This episode of Ugly Betty was a big tease. I have one dream in life right now. And it’s not world peace, and it’s not to feed the starving children, because obviously Bono has those things under control. My dream in life is to have Betty break up with Walter and get together with Henry. This episode spent a lot of time teasing me with the promise of that happening, only to continually lack follow through. And that is just mean.
We open with poor Betty, working late all alone in the dark Mode offices. But wait, what accountant in yonder doorway… It’s Henry, the Clark Kent of finance! At long last, back to the show! Henry flirts, using the time-tested best method of wooing a woman. No, it’s not alcohol, and it’s not a ride in his Porsche — Henry wows Betty with his knowledge of the number of stars visible from Earth. Sexxxy! It works, and when Henry kisses Betty, my heart jumps with joy. Henry & Betty – together! Could Walter be gone soon?! Could I be any happier?!
But the joy is fleeting, as we discover that Betty was just having a dream about Henry. And then we discover that Betty sleeps in headgear and curlers. Oh, the disappointment. At least she didn’t have the dream in the shower (“Dallas” reference for you kiddies who missed the 80′s)
Meanwhile, Daniel and Sofia have been dating for three weeks. Sofia is heading out of town on a trip, and she thinks that Daniel should see other people while she’s gone. Daniel has no interest – he loves Sofia. But Sofia wants to be sure that she’s the woman for him. If he doesn’t get sweaty palms from other women, maybe they can stay together. With Daniel, I’m pretty sure it’s not sweaty palms that she should worry about.
Daniel heads to work and calls a meeting where he announces that due to budget cuts, they’ll be holding the Christmas party in the office. Is it possible that Mode is the cheapest magazine ever? First photo shoots in Betty’s house and now the Christmas party in the office. Even “The Office” didn’t have their Christmas party in the office. To get some extra cash, maybe Marc should open a black market Botox salon in Wil’s office. But if he starts waxing people, I’m done watching the show.
Then Daniel announces that Betty has received a job offer at NYW and that if anyone wants her job, they should give their resume to Betty. Betty still isn’t sure about leaving Daniel, but I’m pretty sure if your boss if trying to recruit other people for your job before you’ve given notice, it’s a sign that you should go. And also a sign that your boss is a dick.
In his office, Daniel shows Betty a selection of diamond rings. He’s is going to pick one and give it to Sofia. Yeah, yeah, it’s great that Daniel is settling down and all, but why didn’t we get a look at those diamond rings? What’s the point of setting a show in the world of the rich and fashionable if we don’t get to drool over giant diamonds? Unfair!
Of course, Betty cares nothing about all that, she’s just glad that Daniel is going to be faithful. But Daniel’s resolve will be tested, because Belle Jolie is sending over their new lingerie line… on their models. I’m assuming this is giving us a glimpse into the way magazines really work. Lingerie shoot, send over the models in bras for the editor-in-chief to examine personally. A spread on shoes, send over the foot models. That expose on hemmeroids, well, let’s just hope Daniel doesn’t take a personal interest in that one.
Betty returns to her desk to find a journal, with the inscription “For all your great ideas at MYW”. Who could it be from? Probably Santa. I hope so because Santa is awesome, and everyone knows he loves journaling. When Betty is carrying a giant bag of plastic snow for the party, she bumps into Henry. And we learn that Henry gives Betty the famous sweaty palms. Which we of course already know, but it seems like Betty is finally catching up to the rest of us and realizing that Henry is adorable.
Amidst the falling “snow”, we learn that they’ll be working together since Henry will be overseeing the budget for the party. Henry’s obviously the star of the accounting team, given the heavy responsibility of a party that has a $500 budget. For a company the size of Mode, I’m pretty sure that means that all they can afford is ice and candy. “Merry Christmas, thanks for all your hard work, now have a Mentos!”
The lingerie models arrive, and one of them is Daniel’s ex-girlfriend Aerin. Aerin immediately cozies up to Daniel, as the other lingerie models lounge around wearing only bras and underwear. Ah, just like the good old days at the women’s college I attended. Fact: Every time a group of women gets together, we strip down to our underwear and start a pillow fight.
Given the realism of the situation, I was sure that someone would do something totally inappropriate (you know, naughty) and the episode would start to get good (you know, in a “Red Shoe Diaries” sort of way). But before it could, Betty interrupts, reminding Daniel of his girlfriend and sending the models to the photo department.
That night, Betty goes with Walter to his work Christmas party at the electronics store Pro Buy. Betty talks to the manager’s wife, Jackie, who used to work in Manhattan but now works for Pro Buy, too. She doesn’t miss the city – “We’re Queens girls, born and bred.” Jackie then piles it on, revealing that Walter says that Betty is the woman for him. Betty is feeling trapped, and for some reason the image of Walter drinking from a beer funnel doesn’t win her over. He also didn’t win me over. I closed my eyes and dreamed of accounting. Trust me when I tell you, Henry + abacus = adorable!
Back at the Mode offices, Marc is shaking presents under Wilhelmina’s tree. He hides when he hears footsteps and overhears Wil’s phone call to Fey. Wil reveals that Marc won’t be a problem much longer, an ominous threat that almost scares the hair gel right out of Marc’s curls.
In another part of the office, Amanda is also working late, trying to prove to Betty that she would make a good assistant for Daniel. Is she filing? Or maybe organizing his calendar? Nope, Amanda is proving herself by twirling around in Daniel’s chair. Ah, just we all learned to do on The Apprentice. When she sees the ring boxes in his cabinet, Amanda takes them out and tries on a six carat diamond ring (who wouldn’t?) that promptly gets stuck on her finger. This made me realize that I need a new job desperately – all I can find lying around my office to steal are some Post-Its and a laminator. And while I do love to laminate, I’m pretty sure I love giant diamonds more.
The next morning, Betty finds another present on her desk – a snow globe. Moments later, Henry appears, wooing Betty with snow globe trivia. The flirting then moves on to holiday Claymation specials. Aw, too much sexxxy! Of course, since Betty sleeps on Little Mermaid sheets, talk of Frosty the Snowman is probably the perfect way for Henry to win her over. But just as things seem to be heading in a positive direction, Betty gets nervous and tells Henry that she has to get back to work.
Betty notices the ring on Amanda’s finger and freaks out. Amanda explains that the ring is stuck, but tries to assure Betty that she doesn’t still have feelings for Daniel and that she’ll return the ring before Daniel even notices that it’s gone. Considering those rings are worth hundreds of thousands, you’d think Daniel would check in on them every once in a while. It makes me wish Betty had an evil twin would could sell the ring and sell Mode the most ass-kicking Christmas party ever.
Soon the Christmas party is in full swing. Betty compliments Amanda on her ability to pull off the party. Her only concern now is that Daniel needs an assistant who will look out for him so his personal life doesn’t get in the way of his professional life. Determined to prove herself, Amanda walks over to where Daniel is talking to Aerin. She pulls Aerin away to the dance floor. Mission accomplished! Although I’m not really sure if it’s a true test of Daniel’s love for Sofia if everyone is constantly running interference. I say let him sleep with models, sweaty palms or no, and see if Sofia really meant that he should see other women while she was gone. But, alas, under the watchful eyes of Betty and Amanda, this is not meant to be.
Betty and Henry start to eye-flirt across the room, gazing at each other and then looking away. Betty then rushes away to hide under the reception desk, but Henry soon finds her as he looks for a wine opener. They again gaze at each other and stammer before parting ways. I love Betty and her awkardness, and I like Henry and his dorky sweetness way more than I like Walter. But by this point in the episode, the Betty and Henry thing was feeling a bit repetitive. It’s been scene after scene of the exact same thing – gazing, looking away, awkward flirting, Betty running off. It’s cute at first, but after three of these identical scenes, I need Henry to make a move already. I want the two of them together, and don’t want to wait around any more. Come on, take a cue from The Little Mermaid – “Kiss the girl!!”
In the midst of the party, Aerin kisses Daniel. Betty watches as Amanda bursts in and puts a stop to it. Daniel doesn’t mind the interruption, because he has realized that Aerin didn’t give him sweaty palms – a sure sign that he really is in love with Sofia. Or perhaps the winter weather has just dried out his skin.
But then Aerin proposes a threeway with Amanda, and I got excited that the Christmas party was finally going in the right direction. I’ve been to office Christmas parties where people offered to have sex with the boss, made out with coworkers, and Xeroxed their bums. The Mode party has offered nothing more embarrassing than Betty’s dorky dancing, so the prospect of a threeway was pretty exciting. At least for me. But apparently not for Daniel, who quickly rejected the offer, and Aerin left to join the rest of the party.
Back in Queens, Hilda is at war with their next-door-neighbor, Gina. It involves running over Christmas trees, and messing with Christmas lights. But after Gina slips on the Suarez porch the two girls make up and Gina comes in for a drink. Basically, this is a kind of a boring filler storyline, so that’s enough of that. This episode isn’t about the Christmas spirit bringing people together – it’s about Betty and Henry getting together, so let’s get back to that…
Marc has spent the entire Christmas party trying to avoid a sinister looking man. But Wil and the man finally find Marc and they lead him down to the parking lot. Marc is freaking out, sure it’s the end of everything. But instead, Marc discovers that the man is there to deliver Wil’s surprising Christmas present – a Hummer. No, the car, people! Wil’s given him a brand new car! Generous, sure. Useful to her assistant who revealed he only had $17 in his bank account last episode, maybe not so much. Perhaps $50 or $60k in cash might have been more useful.
Betty tells Daniel that she has found his new assistant – Amanda. Daniel then gives Betty her Christmas present – a silver business card holder with her business cards from MYW. Um, awesome gift, tightwad. If only you’d thrown in that $25 gift certificate to TGI Friday’s, Betty would be sitting on easy street. Maybe she can at least get rides to work in Marc’s new Hummer.
Daniel calls Sofia and confesses his love for her. While he’s doing so, Betty and Henry do their eye contact, smile, awkwardly look away thing. Again. Come on, already, Henry, the hour is drawing to a close! Then, for a moment, Betty’s view of Henry is obscured… and when Betty can see him again, Henry and Aerin are kissing. What Betty didn’t know is that Aerin kissed him, and Henry pushed her away. All Betty saw was the kiss, and she grabs her coat and runs off. Henry tries to chase her, but it’s too late. Sigh.
While Amanda is cleaning up after the party, Daniel offers her Betty’s job. They agree to work together as professionals. Do professionals sleep together? I think yes, but only time will tell. I’m still not convinced that Betty is leaving, or that Sofia will come back to Daniel, so who knows what will happen between Daniel and Amanda. But in really exciting news, Ted LeBeau, the Texan who owns the big retail store, comes to see Wil for Christmas. Yay! Who even knew that Wil’s palms could sweat?!
Back in Queens, Betty is trying to figure everything out. I know, it’s soooo confusing. Who is more awesome, Henry or Walter? There are so many things to consider. You know, because Walter has that cheating with the neighbor thing, but Henry eats sushi… STOP IT, Betty! The answer is obvi HENRY!! Hilda assures her that Walter loves her very much. Which is fine and probably true, but Walter has no personality, smarts or charm. Betty can do better. In fact, I’m pretty sure that Mimi with the clown makeup on The Drew Carey Show could do better.
As if on cue, Walter arrives. Betty learns that all the presents in the office were from him. Which might be cute if Walter wasn’t so lame, and if his final present to her wasn’t a calendar of New York. Calendars and snow globes are what people get from their grandmas, not from their boyfriends. I guess at this point we just have to be glad that Walter didn’t splurge for the nice warm socks and sensible underwear.
While they’re talking, Hilda answers the phone. It’s Henry, who wants to explain what happened and invite Betty over to watch Rudolph with him. I was hopeful at this point that we were finally going to get this nonsense all straightened out, but instead, Hilda tells Henry that Betty is busy, and then throws his message away. Damn it, Show! I am really mad at you now!! Go to your room, Show, you’re grounded… at least for two weeks, when we will hopefully get a new episode where Betty breaks up with Walter (they’re reairing the pilot this Thursday, so we must wait. sigh.).
Walter assures Betty that he wants to try to be a part of her life. They kiss – an awkward, weird, closed mouth kiss. Betty looks down at her non-sweaty hands… and the episode ends.
So what did you think? I think that Walter and Betty are going to break up, but I really don’t know how much longer the show is going to stretch this out. Maybe we’ll get a New Years kiss between Henry and Betty? Do you think Betty will take the MYW job? I have a feeling she’ll end up staying with Daniel, although I’m not sure how they’ll work that out. Do you think Sofia will come back? Will she get engaged to Daniel? What will happen with Ignacio and the immigration issues, which weren’t dealt with at all this round. What about Marc, who I adore, and his new car? Will he have to sell it to pay the taxes? Oh, so much! Let’s discuss!!