Late night at Mode magazine. What exciting things are happening in the world of high fashion? Daniel cheating on Sofia-Salma? Amanda secretly eating carbs? Someone photoshopping their own face onto a supermodel’s body (which is what I would do all day every day if I worked in the photo department)? Nope, none of the above. It’s just Betty packing up her things as she heads off to work at MYW. Sad, for sure, to see her go. But maybe we’ll finally learn how the show is going to handle Betty’s exit / return (because you know she’s not really going). Show, you’ve been drawing this out for way too many episodes, so stop it and let us know already!Now that I have my hopes and dreams for the episode off my chest, let’s get back to it. Christina points out that Betty won’t get much swag at MYW. She then asks to see Betty’s Gucci purse. But when Betty finally reveals the bag, Christina immediately knows the truth – that’s a Gucci knock-off! The horror!
Betty, of course, has to explain. We flash back to four months before. Betty’s in the hallway, stampeded by screaming women. I haven’t seen a group of ladies this excited since Justin Timberlake went on The View. Betty’s confused too, perhaps hoping to see Rosie O’Donnell rounding the corner to bring sexy back to Mode.
But Wilhelmina explains that Christina just posted the sign-up sheet for the swag. Christina has to get rid of the old clothes in the Mode closet, and the assistants fight each other for the best free stuff. Wil condescendingly suggests that they perhaps have socks in Betty’s size. Because really, of all the things that Betty needs fashion help with, she should really focus on her socks, right?!
But Betty has no time for such petty nonsense as swag. She has research to give to Daniel on the minimalist Japanese fashion designer Oshi. Oshi is on his way to New York to reveal his Spring Collection to Mode. Pressure is high, because Oshi had a very close relationship with the late great Fey, but doesn’t know Daniel. At this point, they should a picture of Fey with Oshi.
And it is pretty obvious to me that this is not Rebecca Romijn (formerly Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, soon to be Rebecca Romijn-O’Connell), who was recently cast to play Fey. I mean, if you cast someone in a role, shouldn’t you use their picture for that character? And what does this mean for Elizabeth Payne, who according to the IMDB has been playing “Masked Woman” aka Fey, in the first ten episodes?
Aw, cute and all, but no Rebecca!
But apparently the Mysterious Changing Fey isn’t the big mystery the show wants us to focus on. The mystery is whether or not Oshi will hit it off with Daniel and he will continue his relationship with Mode. Daniel knows that he needs their first meal together to be perfect. To help, Betty got him a Japanese phase book. You know, because Japanese, being such a simple language, can be learned from a book in just one afternoon.
See, I learned that from Babelfish in just 30 seconds. (And for those of you too lazy to learn Japanese yourself, that means “Speaking Japanese is so easy!” Duh!)
But then, some bad news — Daniel’s corporate credit card was rejected. Turns out, Betty didn’t get the memo from Henry that Daniel’s expense report was due that very day. Who cares about expense reports, I am thrilled that this means more interaction with Cute Henry from Accounting! Betty is given an extension until 10:30 the next morning. If she doesn’t get it in by then, Daniel won’t be reimbursed at all. I’m hoping this means a late night of “accounting” with Henry, aren’t you?!
As if that wasn’t enough excitement, Betty and Daniel finally get their first paychecks. They’re both shocked to see how small the checks are – who ever heard of such a crazy thing as FICA?! Now, Show, you’ve made it pretty clear that Betty has had jobs before – one, I believe in a sandwich shop, and one in a cat hospital. So why is she so unfamiliar with paycheck deductions? Or are you setting us up for the very special “Betty Fights IRS Tax Evasion Charges” February Sweeps episode?
Meanwhile, Wil has a meeting with Bradford and she’s gunning to be made publisher of Mode. Bradford admits that Daniel doesn’t have a great track record with money – he ran through his trust fund in just three years – but insists that Daniel is learning. He tells Wil that she should just concentrate on helping Daniel establish a relationship with Oshi.
Marc has his eye on the Gucci handbag in Christina’s closet – after all, it’s the It Bag of the year. When Betty wonders why he’d want a purse, Marc explains that he could use it to trade in favors. And trading swag for favors is the currency of Mode. But Betty yet again has no time for this silly talk of swag. She needs Marc to teach her how to do an expense report. Wil tells Marc to give Betty a copy of their report that she can use as an example. Betty gets it and scurries away, ever eager to get back to work. And as soon as she’s gone, we learn that Marc actually had Betty’s copy of Henry’s expense memo all along and hid it from her! Unbelieveable sneakiness on the part of Marc!
Christina explains to Betty that swag is part of her job. Since they don’t make much money, the swag is a bonus that Betty should accept. When they see a man selling knock-off Gucci bags on the street, Betty tells Christina that her mom used to have a bag just like the It Bag that she used to play with. Christina tells her not to buy a knock-off, because everyone at Mode would be able to tell. That’s fine, Christina, but I think you’re missing a much more interesting point: If the Suarez family is so poor, how did Mom Betty have a Gucci purse?
Betty brings Daniel’s receipts home to work on the expense report. Since most of the receipts don’t have explanations, Betty takes a cue from Wil’s expense report and just dumps most of it into “Miscellaneous Expense”. Betty’s family is stunned by the amount of money Mode spends – Wil was reimbursed for $25,000 worth of props for a photo shoot in Rio de Janiero. Just when I was thinking “What are these people complaining about? The Suarez family has all the plastic fruit and tamales that one family could ever need and wanting anything more is just greedy,” I discover that they need the money to cover Ignacio’s heart medication. His HMO won’t cover the meds any more, and the pharmacy won’t fill his prescription without cash payments. Ugly Betty lesson: Ignacio should have gone with the PPO.
As Betty is on her way to work, she discovers that Walter is following her around in an attempt to win her back. Only Walter would think stalking is the way to win your girlfriend back after cheating on her. Betty sends him on his way and goes to work. She arrives at Mode to find Daniel worried about Oshi meeting. Wil tries to scare Daniel by pointing out that he sent Oshi the wrong flowers and neglected to send champagne to his hotel, but Daniel still won’t invite her to the dinner.
Betty gets Daniel to sign his expense report and rushes it off to accounting. She turns in the expense report to Henry. And with this, we get to see the first time Betty and Henry meet. Sadly, there is no flirting or making out or anything. Come on, Show, what kind of office is this where we can’t get some making out?! Betty rushes off to a secret meeting with Bradford. Bradford is worried that Daniel can’t handle the company finances. He asks Betty to protect Daniel and let him know if she sees anything out of line.
Betty returns to her desk to find Henry in Daniel’s office. All of the miscellaneous expenses have been rejected. That’s $20,000 worth of rejection, all because Henry is such a stickler for detail and insists that all expenses have backup and proof. Silly Henry! This is a very Walter move. The way to win a girl’s heart is not to go over her head and tattle to her boss. You should have just approved the expense report and offered to give her a one-on-one tutorial for the next round! Amateur mistake, Henry! But Daniel is upset, and they learn the bad news that not only has Bradford been alerted, Daniels’ credit card has been suspended.
Daniel is called to Bradford’s office. And, yup, Bradford’s mad. He will pay the $20,000, but says that for the rest of the month Daniel will not have a credit card. He’ll have to use his own money. Doesn’t sound too bad… until we learn that Daniel only has $327 in his bank account. He is broke and has been living off his corporate credit card. This leaves him unable to pay for entertaining Oshi. Betty suggests that Daniel come clean to Bradford, but Daniel refuses since that will make him look fiscally irresponsible. Well, yes, because he is fiscally irresponsible. Hard to summon up too much sympathy for the overspending broke trust-fund baby at this point. Except if you’re Betty, who promises to help Daniel think of a way out of his dilemma.
Meanwhile, Christina has a surprise for Betty – the much coveted Gucci bag that Marc wasn’t able to find anywhere during the grab for swag. Betty is hesitant to take it, but Christina insists. She explains that fashion makes you feel special. And at Mode, fashion gets you respect. Betty goes home and shares the rest of the swag with her family – a watch for Ignacio, a Hermes scarf for Hilda, and a Burberry belt for Justin. Aw, swag for the whole family – turns out, swag is way better than plastic fruit!
The next day at Mode, it’s Oshi time! Oshi makes a grand entrance with his entourage, including a translator and a guy whose job is holding a boom box so Oshi always has music.
Daniel’s hopes are high, but things immediately go wrong when Betty offers Oshi coffee. As if Oshi would drink coffee! Luckily, Marc arrives with the proper beverage: champagne. Oshi explains that he will give his fashion preview at Mode the following evening, and that will be followed by a “wonderful meal”. After that, he may or may not do business with Mode. On that ominous note, Oshi departs.
Will wants Daniel invite her to the dinner so she can pick up the tab. But Daniel is in a bind – if he invites Wil, he looks like he’s not in charge; if he doesn’t, he can’t afford to take Oshi someplace nice. Betty pulls out her list of fun things to do in New York under $300, including a visit to Grey’s Papaya and a ride on the Staten Island Ferry. Suggestions even Betty rejected: impersonating the homeless and going to a soup kitchen and “Hey, Oshi, the fashion models you design for don’t eat, what makes you so special?”
Later, Betty learns that her swag bag is worth $4,500. This gets Betty a-thinkin’. On her way she stops by the pharmacy. Walter, now a full-fledged stalker, walks as she goes inside and trades the Gucci bag for her father’s prescription.
Betty returns home with 15 vials of drugs. Everyone is thrilled, except for the cunning Justin, who immediately notices the Gucci is missing. Betty acts brave, as if Gucci doesn’t matter. But she quickly retreats to her room, where she looks at a picture of Tiny Three-Year-Old Betty with her Mom, holding the very same bag (Again, How?! How?!)
Hilda tries to comfort Betty. But Betty says that their mom gave the bag to her because she knew how it would make Betty feel. And when she had the Gucci bag, it was like she was a little girl holding Mom’s purse and she felt pretty. Aw. I got teary in this scene… until I realized that what the show was actually telling me is that it’s $4,500 purses, not who you are on the inside, that buys happiness.
But it’s this moving scene that motivates Betty to get revenge for all of Wil’s overcharging. She asks Justin for his copy of Mode with the spread shot in Rio. She then makes a beeline for Daniel, where she shows him the pictures – just models in bikinis and sand. Missing: $25,000 of props. But Daniel still needs proof that Wil cheated so she’ll look fiscally irresponsible to Bradford, too. Betty makes a quick phone call to Brazil, where she gets some juicy information…
But before that’s revealed, we have Oshi’s fashion show. I’m no expert, but his designs look less like something I’d want to buy and more like what my 3-year-old niece would draw as clothing for a space alien.
But Oshi is proud of his collection, which he describes as round, white and minimal. This description sets off a brainstorm in Betty. I was torn between thinking that she was going to feed the Oshi Entourage bagels (H&H Bagels, Upper West Side!) or perhaps Trader Joe’s mochi. But before Betty’s idea can be revealed, Bradford interrupts. Turns out, Bradford would have happily paid $25,000 for props, but will not let Wil expense her Brazilian butt lift. Seems small-minded of Bradford – you can only use props once, but you can admire a butt lift for years.
This leaves Wil, and Wil’s credit card, unavailable for dinner. Daniel is sure that they’re screwed. But of course, Betty has a plan. And this plan involves going to New Jersey, so how could it go wrong? So the gang piles into cars and ends up at… The White Tassel. You know, a restaurant that is not at all a rip-off of The White Castle.
And, much like Oshi’s dreams, it’s round (Well, the burgers are.), it’s white (Um, I’m assuming they mean the sign, not that The White Tassel has any sort of segregation policy.), and it’s minimal (I guess this means that their burgers are small. But really that just means you have to eat 12 of them to even get close to fullness.). But despite Daniels’ doubts (and shouldn’t he have learned by now you Never Doubt Betty), Oshi likes it. Everyone claps, and then goes inside to eat 327 teeny burgers.
The episode draws to a close with a scene that takes place at the end of almost every Ugly Betty episode – the obligatory “Betty Gets Dropped Off at Her House in Queens”. Outside, Daniel calls his dad to share the news that Oshi is giving them an exclusive for the next four collections. He does not share the news that it was all because of Betty and he was ready to just give up. Bradford reactivates Daniel’s credit card. Which I guess is good, although I’m not sure how much financial responsibility Daniel learned in that tough 24-hour-period without it.
As Betty heads inside, Walter approaches. At first, Betty is unhappy to see him. But then she sees that he brought her a present – a knock-off of the Gucci purse that she traded away. Betty gets a little choked up. And honestly, so do I. Betty takes the bag and hugs him. Damn you, Show, for making me like Walter a little!
The next day at Mode, Betty gets complements on her bag. Betty goes straight to Marc, and offers him her “real” Gucci if he’ll buy her a fake one from the guy selling knock-offs in the street, plus a favor to be named later. Marc immediately agrees. Silly Marc, guess he doesn’t know a real Gucci after all!
Betty finishes packing, says goodbye to Christina and leaves, giving a classic Betty stumble on the way out the door to MYW.
And that’s it. A satisfying episode, if I do say so myself. I don’t really believe that Betty is leaving Mode, do you? And I will not believe that she’ll stay with Walter, despite the sweet gesture of the purse. And while I liked the episode, it didn’t really move us anywhere plot-wise. We learned nothing new about Fey and nothing new about Ignacio’s immigration problems, nothing new about Betty’s job situation, nothing new about Daniel and Sofia-Salma… I still have so many questions!