Hidden Palms
Party Hardy

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Party Hardy

Johnny and Nikki decide to spend her last night in Palm Springs at home, and she fucks with the IM stalker a bit, just for fun. They get to talking about Dumb Moody Greta, and Nikki convinces Johnny to go out and find her and talk this weirdness out. Johnny takes off just in time for Nikki's obnoxious friends to show up, unannounced, and throw a bitchin' house party. Johnny tracks Greta down at her house and asks her to tell him about the deal with her and Cliff and Eddie. She's all tortured but ultimately clams up, so Johnny stalks off, and the general sense of nobody caring is palpable.

Nikki and her drunk hoochie friends goofily seduce Cliff from the bedroom window, which gets him to hop on over to the house party. He acts all flirty and Cliff-like until Nikki pops a quick peck on his lips, at which point he kind of tenses up and looks weirded out. I'll file that one away. At some point, the party goes from being Nikki's L.A. friends only to a Palm Springs-wide raging kegger. Even Liza gets invited. Nikki ends up getting maudlin out on the patio -- like, if Cliff wanted maudlin he'd be with Greta, okay? Speaking of which, Little Miss No-fun-shine is back to weeping over her home videos, this one clearly indicating that Soon-To-Be-Dead Eddie was being tormented by a Terrible Secret.

Johnny finally comes home to find Cliff doing body shots off of Nikki. She runs off, so its time for the boys to throw down. Cliff's firmly behind the idea that Johnny lighten up, while Johnny would appreciate it if Cliff would stop acting like a creep, freaking out his girlfriend, and sending him emails from a dead guy. Cliff adamantly denies sending the emails, washes his hands of Greta's brand of crazy, and advises Johnny to "have a drink." Which earns him a roundhouse punch to the jaw. Cassidy, again, sells it like a champ. The ensuing brawl is witnessed by a returning-home Karen and Bob, and Johnny's mom looks just so disappointed in him.

Aftermath: Bob has some tough love for Johnny, warning him that Nikki will drag him down long before he's able to get her sober. Nikki, naturally, overhears this and takes off. Cliff returns home and gets menaced by Travis, and for the first time ever Cliff looks vulnerable. And Greta stops by Johnny's house long enough to tell him, once again, that she can't talk about certain things. A pop music montage threatens to end the episode with a tour of each and every depressed character on this show, but we're saved by creepy instant messaging! And Johnny can see Cliff asleep in his room, so he knows "08Nova" isn't him. Johnny asks "Eddie" why he killed himself, and "Eddie" replies that he didn't -- he was murdered. Johnny densely returns to his old standby of "WHO IS THIS?" as we cut to the other end of this conversation -- it's Liza! Hey, why not?

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