Season 1 ended with Jenner still very much married to Kaitlynn Carter, though the two had split by the time the episodes started airing. Since then, Carter had a short but incredibly public relationship with Miley Cyrus, while Brody apparently had some kind of fling with Audrina Patridge -- all of which was addressed on the Season 2 premiere.
"Over the past year, my life got turned upside-down and it gave me so much clarity. I've been divorced for over a year now, I just did some really, really good self reflection," Jenner said in a confessional the top of the episode, as he showered, nude, for the camera. "There were so many things about myself that I disliked. Drinking too much, partying, I looked at myself and just said, 'What are you doing? This is not you, this is not who you are.'"
He then hosted a gathering for the cast at his home, months after the show had to shut down production do to the Covid pandemic. Kaitlynn, of course, was invited.
"The first few months after Brody and I split up were easily the most difficult and challenging months of my life, but I think we both accepted that splitting up was the right choice," Carter said in a confessional as she arrived. "Even though it was very sad on one half, it was very clear to me we're better off as friends."
During the party, the gang participated in a ceremony where they let go of the past, with Brody taking a moment to publicly explain how he's changed over the past year, before specifically apologizing to Carter.
"One of the things that I really hated about myself is how I would behave sometimes when I would drink," he said, before turning to his ex. "So, Kaitlynn, I want to apologize to you also because I've been a nightmare to be around and deal with." She said she was really proud of him.
The next day, she also came over to his home to chat, as Jenner explained in a confessional that he found out about Carter's relationship with Miley in the press. "After some time had passed, I realized this is where our lives are going, we're gonna be separated, we're not gonna be together but let's still be in each other's lives and still maintain a friendship and a love," he added, "and we've been able to do that."
As the two caught up, Carter said there's "been so much speculation about why we broke up," before thanking him for taking on some of the blame in front of their friends by disclosing how his drinking had affected the duo. "Granted, you drinking was not the only reason," she said, "I appreciated when you said that the other night and took some responsibility in front of everyone."
"I think there were certain things in our marriage that were driving me to drink more than normal," he replied. "The pressure of having kids, I honestly think that was weighing on me heavily and it was causing me to drink unhealthy amounts."
"The circumstances of what happened after our split catered to that negative s---," Jenner then told her. "The whole lesbian thing was gnarly because our entire relationship, you never expressed that you had any interest in females whatsoever."
Raising her eyebrow, Carter said she didn't think that was a "totally fair" thing for him to say. "We had some fun, but you said to me that you weren't into girls," added Brody. Replied Carter: "I think I had never just met somebody that I was into."
Brody also said the Miley stuff was "a shock for me and I think a lot of people."
"I had never really imagined that I would end up going from one pretty public relationship into another, but when she and I broke up, that was the hardest time of my life because I was really on my own and in the center of a lot of attention," Carter revealed in a confessional. "I think being able to rediscover who I am as a person, on my own, completely, just gave me a new outlook on everything."
Carter also told Jenner that seeing how he has taken accountability has made her wonder where they would be if he had made these changes before splitting. When he noted their relationship was stronger now, she said she wished they could have had these conversations sooner.
Brody's relationship with Kaitlynn wasn't the only one in the spotlight this week, as viewers also learned something went down between him and Audrina between seasons. After she arrived to the party at his house, she teased their hookup.
"Brody and I have always had a flirty relationship. Pre-pandemic, there was definitely some kissing between Brody and I," she said. "I mean, I did stay over at his house. There was a thought that, okay, me and Brody should just give this a shot. All these years, why not, let's see where it goes."
But, "once Covid hit," said Patridge, she "kind of closed off from everyone" and hadn't spoken with Jenner since. "He's a great guy, he has the biggest heart and he's a great listener and he's very attractive -- it's hard to shake the thought of what could have been with Brody and I," she added.
We didn't get Brody's side of the equation at all, but saw the two flirt with each other a little bit around the fire. He expressed how easy it was to talk to her, even when they haven't seen each other in a minute.
Later in the episode, Patridge said she was "trying not to live in the past and move forward" -- and agreed to go out on a set with Sean Stewart, after being set up by Heidi and Spencer Pratt. While it got off to a bit of an awkward start, it seemed like she had a good time overall.
The episode ended with a teaser for the season, showing Brody dating yet another woman and possibly flirting with Kristin Cavallari. So, stay tuned!
"The Hills: New Beginnings" airs Wednesdays on MTV.