Babies and the Hills – The Final Chapter

The last time we saw Heidi and Spencer, it appeared that they had “kissed and made up” over the baby issue and were back to being young, happy newlyweds. Spencer meets his friend Charlie at the car wash, and smiling slyly, admits that he had “the best night of my married life”.

Spencer – “ I came home to a fully cooked meal, Heidi, she got up, and it looked like she was just wearing lingerie to dinner. I’m like damn, I guess this is what married life is … lingerie at the dinner table!”

Charlie frowns and says “It sounds like the Black Widow. Weave a web, suck you in and then kill you.”
Spencer looks confused. “What?”

“I’m just sayin’, she might have ulterior motives.”

“Like what?”

“She might be trying to get pregnant.”

“She’s on birth control, dude!”

“How do you know?”

“I know she’s on birth control because I see the pills.”

“Dude, you gotta watch her swallow them and take them. She’ll be hiding those under her tongue – you’ll find a pile of them in the corner underneath your bed.”

“I don’t think Heidi would ever do something like that.”

Charlie looks at Spencer sideways. “There’s a couple of tests you can run …”

“Well, let’s hear.”

Charlie smirks. “Number one, put a little wine in front of her, see if she’s taking the alcohol. Take her out to some sushi, get her some shellfish …”

Spencer starts to laugh. “See, I heard you eat shellfish, it makes you all horny and you get pregnant.”

“That’s before. That’s the oysters, that’s a different game. Seriously, watch out for that after sex stuff ‘cos girls can do things that increase their chances of conception.”

Spencer looks askance. “You’re making this up.”

Charlie insists. “I’m not. I seen it. You can YouTube it – post sex babymaking. Acrobatics. She’s probably got a triangle wedge in the corner, sleeps with 2 pillows under her, just waiting …”

Spencer looks stunned. “Oh, my lord …”

Charlie slaps him on the back as the car arrives at the front of the car wash. “I miss the good old days, when you just had to worry about your car.”

I was laughing aloud after this exchange, and not the least because Charlie is too young to be so cynical. For a young guy, he seems to know an awful lot about feminine wiles, and one can’t help but wonder how!  On a more serious note, he sees the situation very clearly as an outside observer of Spencer’s troubles, and is right in his caution to be careful. Spencer trusts Heidi, but Charlie is aware that she may not be so deserving of that trust.

Charlie’s words have hit a nerve, though. Spencer decides to take his advice, and takes Heidi to their special sushi bar for dinner.

Spencer orders sake. Heidi would prefer water. Spencer orders crispy tuna rice. Heidi is suddenly craving meat. Spencer eyes Heidi warily across the table. Alarm bells have started to ring. The food arrives, and Spencer proposes a toast. “To a marriage that has trust. I love you so much, Heidi.”

Heidi smiles graciously and and replies “Cheers. I love you.”

Spencer smiles unconvincingly, and eyes her warily across the table… The next time we see Spencer he is at home, sitting at the dining table and staring off into space. Charlie arrives and greets him. “What’s up?”

Spencer is frowning at a box on the table. He flips it at Charlie.

“This is what’s up. It’s a pregnancy test.”

Charlie looks dumbstruck. “Yeow. My dude. This is not right. She must have left it around for you to find, or something.”

Spencer snaps, “It was in the trash.”

Charlie asks “Did you already go to sushi? Was she drinking and stuff? Did you take her out and run her through the paces?”

Spencer speaks slowly. “You were … very correct about taking her to Katsuya…”

Charlie nods. “Thank you.”

“… taking the little alcohol test … yeah, she didn’t drink.”

Charlie stares consideringly into the distance. “Bro, it’s rough. Rough one for you.”

Spencer leans across the table and whispers in a low voice “Dude, what if she’s pregnant? Game over.”

Charlie smirks. “If she’s pregnant, you’re going to have 9 months to read a lot of books and get ready to be a daddy.”

Spencer scowls at Charlie’s flippant tone. “I’m gonna have a serious meltdown if she tells me she’s really pregnant. I mean, I’m gonna have a kid that’s gonna grow up and try to kill me. I can just feel that, you know?”

Charlie’s smile broadens. “A little Oedipus complex? A lot of kids do that …”

Spencer drops his head to the table. “I can’t believe they don’t have a male birth control pill yet. I should have been on it.”

Charlie squares his shoulders and looks at Spencer. “The only realistic thing you can do is sit her down and talk to her. You’re gonna have to confront this head on with her, and I suggest you do that soon. Before you get the pitter patter of little feet running around here.”

Spencer looks despondent.

Charlie grins. “I gotta big book of baby names at home if you want me to bring it over. You could start sorting through those …”

Spencer shakes his head.

“No, not into that?”

“It’s not funny, Charlie.”

“Hey, I’m just trying to make light of it …”

“Don’t try to make light. I just wanna be depressed here … I don’t want to get pumped up.”

Charlie consoles him. “Well, you gotta do you at the end of the day …”

Spencer snaps at him. “Me is not a baby.”

“Well, it might be now”.

One can sympathise with Spencer being depressed. Trust is an integral part of any good relationship, and to have his trust so blatantly abused, when he had made his position clear and his feelings known, is a body blow. He’s also quite right in lamenting the lack of options for pregnancy prevention. Short of standing over Heidi as she takes her birth control every day, or abstaining from sex altogether, he really has no way of protecting himself from an unwanted outcome and keeping his relationship together at the same time.

Spencer’s sense of betrayal and unhappiness bubbles over as he plays basketball with Brody later that day. As he shoots the hoop, he announces, “There’s a chance that I’m really about to be a Pratt daddy for real. Heidi’s been talking about this baby for so long, you know, blah blah blah blah blah, and Charlie’s like ‘you better watch out, she’s gonna try and get pregnant on the down low.’ Guess what I found in the trash that night? A pregnancy test!”

Brody replies “Aren’t you supposed to discuss those sort of things in a marriage?”

“We did! She said, I’m having a baby, and …”

“And that’s it?”

“That’s it.”

Brody grimaces. “That’s not a discussion. That’s called a … I don’t know what that’s called.”

Spencer says, “I feel like it’s a sperm kidnapping. She’s straight out hijacking sperm.”

Brody laughs. “That’s … that’s scary.”

Scary is indeed what it is – and what it’s generally called is an “oops”. It’s a well documented and, it would seem from some of the blogs and forums I’ve seen, generally encouraged form of extortion. There’s a feeling amongst women that they are “entitled” to a child, and the man that refuses to give them one is fair game for a “birth control failure”. Our pro-natal society sends a message to women that if a baby is the end product, then you’re entitled to use fair means or foul to achieve it. If the man agrees to play, all well and good. If he doesn’t … well, he’s going to anyway, whether he likes it or not.

This is the situation Spencer finds himself tangled in. Brody is correct in recognising that morally, it’s a foul ball. But it might be too late for morals … where is Heidi, and is she pregnant or not?

In the final scene of the episode, Spencer walks into the lounge and calls Heidi, who appears in the hallway. It’s obvious there’s some serious tension between them.

Spencer says “Can we sit down?”

Heidi perches on the edge of the couch. “Okay. What do you want to talk to me about?”

“Um – I found a pregnancy test in our trash.”

Heidi raises her eyebrows innocently. “Okay.” Her gaze and voice are neutral. Even though she’s been well and truly sprung, she still feels that she has the moral high ground.

“Are you pregnant?”

Heidi drops her eyes and looks downcast. “I was – hoping. But it looks like your wishes came true and I’m not.”

Spencer sighs with relief and says, “How did our marriage get to this point?”

An emotional Heidi says, “You just said you never want kids and just shot down the whole idea.” A defiant note creeps back into her voice.

Spencer sighs. “I’ve really been thinking about it, and you know – I used to say , all my life since we were 16 – I’m never getting married. I’m 100% not getting married. “ He holds up his hand and points to his wedding ring.

“So the whole I’m 100% never having a baby talk – I’m not sure how much juice that really has. So when we’re both ready, we’ll have a baby.”

Heidi drops her head with a small, triumphant smile. “I mean, that’s a big thing to hear. That’s a big change.”

Spencer looks at her and says, “You know, I need to be about whatever my life’s about. But whatever you want to do, I’m right there with you.”

TA-DA! Cue the soap opera happy ending, and all the teenage girls are crying into their Kleenex in joy. In the meantime, I’m positively foaming at the mouth. The lines that every CF’er dreads, the lines that society feeds us relentlessly – “If you meet the right person, you’ll WANT to have their babies!” “If you really love someone, you’ll GIVE them a child!” “When you GROW UP, you’ll WANT children!” I could practically fill a bingo card with the underlying messages alone. Argh – how “Life Scripted”!!!!

But if you want to look outside the box, one can read this ending a few different ways. Spencer has at least secured himself some breathing room, and the situation can be revisited when the time is right. Both of them are in their early 20’s, and there is plenty of time for living as well as planning a family. Heidi’s desire for a baby may or may not remain strong, and Spencer may eventually be happy with a decision to be a parent. They may split up in the future, leaving both of them free to pursue their viewpoints. Or, it’s possible that Heidi may come around to Spencer’s way of thinking. Stranger things have happened. Only time will tell.

When people say, “You’re too young to know what you want”, sometimes they’re actually right. People change, circumstances change, feelings and attitudes shift over time. We all know people who swore they were CF, and are now happy and fulfilled as parents. There are no hard and fast rules. As incredibly frustrating as it is to those who are adamantly childfree, stereotypes start from a germ of truth, and it’s a truth that what we wanted as children and early adults is not necessarily what we wanted as we grew up.

There will be plenty of time for Heidi and Spencer to discuss the issue of children. In the meantime, I guess we can all be happy that peace reigns at last, and the series can end on a happy note. A perfect ending in reality TV-land.

I hope you enjoyed reading this series as much as I enjoyed watching, analyzing and writing it. I guess we’ll have to hold our breath for next season!

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