This was the first Ugly Betty episode since their big wins at the Golden Globes and I have to say SUPER DUPER YAY! Any show that can make me get teary-eyed over a Gucci bag deserves many, many awards. And America Ferrara is the most adorable girl ever, and her acceptance speech was classy and sweet. And the whole thing just made me love Ugly Betty even more.
And I’ve also been watching the new season of “Extras” on HBO, and Ashley Jensen, who plays Christina on Ugly Betty, is fabulous in it, and it made me love her even more.
So basically my point is: I’m having a big love fest with Ugly Betty. And this was a great episode, so the love continues. Yay, let’s get to it!
Anyway, this episode opens two weeks after the big events of last episode. The Suarez family is out to eat at a Mexican restaurant. Proof that this is going to be an episode like no other: Ignacio is not in the kitchen cooking for everyone. Has anyone else noticed that 98% of Ignacio’s scenes involve cooking? A non-cooking Ignacio means a whole new Ugly Betty World. Either that or he doesn’t love his family any more.
Betty is sulking over not having a job, but Hilda upstages her. Herbalux has been recalled because it makes people’s hair fall out, so she’s out of a job too. Hilda points out that Betty already has another job. Yup, Betty is the chip girl at the Mexican restaurant.
Which means that Betty puts a sombrero full of chips on her head and brings them to the hungry customers. If this was a real restaurant, I would eat there every single day. “One more hat of chips, please! Pronto!”
Wil and The Bandaged Woman meet with Steve. He tells them for $1 million, he’ll give them proof that Bradford was responsible for Fey’s death. When they hesitate, he gives them 24 hours to decide. The Bandaged Woman says that once they hand over the money, they have to be ready for an immediate takeover of Mode. Haven’t they been planning to take over the company for months? Have they just been sharing lip gloss tips instead of coming up with an actual plan? As far as I can tell, their strategy was largely stolen from Evil Dr. Will on Big Brother All-Stars: Divide and conquer. Or, as TBW says, if there’s anyone at Mode they can’t trust, it’s time to get rid of them.
Wil immediately puts Marc on the job. He runs around the office with a Polaroid camera and takes pictures of everyone. Marc is the definition of “awesome-in-every-way” (it’s a hyphenated word, look it up). But I’m not sure that when you’re putting together the parts of your evil secret plan, the best strategy is to attract the attention of every single employee by making as big a fuss as possible. Evil Dr. Will would not approve!
They post the pictures on a secret bulletin board in Wil’s office, dividing everyone into those who are staying and those who are going.
Christina’s stuck in the middle of the board. She’s a good seamstress, and she is the only one who knows Wil’s real measurements. But neither of them can understand a word she says. The movie “Snatch” would obviously make their heads explode. Much to Marc’s dismay, Wil wants to put Amanda in the “No” category, as she’s loyal to Daniel. The only way Amanda can stay: if she proves her loyalty to Wil. If Wil is going to use the fact that Amanda slept with Daniel against her, maybe the best way for Amanda to prove her new loyalty is to sleep with Wil? I’m pretty sure that would work on “The L Word”.
Meanwhile, Betty decides to go into the city after chip work. Daniel is getting back from his trip to Brazil the next day, and wants to make sure that his fridge is full and that his dry cleaning is there. She says that she feels guilty for the situation he’s in and wants to make his return a little easier. Fact: Betty is the nicest person alive. Fact: She doesn’t work for Daniel any more, so going to his apartment is a little bit weird.
Fact: Daniel never left for Brazil. Things Daniel has been doing: Sitting in his apartment. Eating take out. Watching TV. Things Daniel hasn’t been doing: Cleaning up after himself. Shaving. Showering. Boy, is Betty in for a surprise.
Daniel hides when he hears someone open the door with a key. And this is when things get weirder. Daniel doesn’t seem to wonder who it might be with a key to his apartment. And Betty doesn’t seem to wonder if it’s a good idea, given that Daniel’s apartment appears to be ransacked, if she should investigate that strange noise. If this was an episode of Law & Order, they would have shot each other. But it isn’t Law & Order, so Betty investigates and finds Daniel hiding in the armoire.
Betty can’t believe that he never went to Rio. I can’t believe that she’s cleaning up his apartment. I feel like I need to have a talk with Betty about boundaries with your boss. Rule #1: Never pick up your boss’s underwear off the floor. OK, I’ll have the talk with Betty and Amanda together.
Anyway, Betty tells Daniel that he can’t hide forever. He has to be ready for Fashion Week. Then Betty tells Daniel she couldn’t work for Sofia after what she did, so she quit. Daniel high-fives her. He then says that she can come back to Mode with him. As editor-in-chief, he can have two assistants if he wants to. This is followed by another high-five.
I hope this plethora of high-fives in one scene means that high-fives are making a come-back. Other things I want to make come-backs: Pet Rocks. Sean Cassidy. The hair-do known as the “Dorothy Hamill”.
Back in Queens, Ignacio is making cupcakes, hoping to bribe Justin’s math teacher to raise his grade from a D. And Hilda has four job interviews, and is trying to figure out what slutty tank top to wear. Really, Hilda, everyone knows that it’s not the color of the slutty tank top that’s important. It’s the quality of the push-up bra underneath.
Hilda asks Betty about Henry, and Betty sadly replies that they haven’t talked since the Christmas party. This is, of course, all Hilda’s fault, because she threw away the phone message. Damn you, Hilda. Then Hilda proceeds to put Henry down, but points out that Walter is the kind of guy Betty should settle down with. I hate to sound like a broken record: But since when was a guy who cheated the kind of guy you want to settle down with?
Betty heads off to work and runs into Daniel on the street. A very orange Daniel, who apparently thought the way to convince everyone he’d been to Brazil was to apply a lot of self tanner. A better solution totally ignored by Daniel: getting a butt lift and telling everyone he went to the same clinic Wil was called out for visiting a few episodes ago.
Amanda catches Wil taking measurements of Daniel’s office. When Amanda assures Wil that Daniel will be back, Wil points out that they need someone to be editor-in-chief of the new issue. Just then, Marc runs in cawing like a bird. Amanda tries to figure out what he’s doing, and in a hilarious exchange Wil tries to hide the fact that she and Marc have a secret bird call code. This is further evidence of what bad secret plotters they are (Although Evil Dr. Will is a much better strategist, it really would have ruled if he and Boogie had a secret bird code), but it was still really funny. Especially when Marc tries to convince Amanda that there was no secret bird code by telling her that he has a secret bird code with someone else. This makes me resolve to make my own Secret Bird Code Alliance. First and only member so far: My cat. She never bird calls back, but she does come running every time I do it.
After this wackiness, Marc announces that Daniel is back. Everyone runs out to great him. And Daniel’s hug leaves giant orange palm prints on Wil’s white suit. Amanda’s smile disappears when she learns that she and Betty will be co-assistants. Amanda insists that she’s in charge and sends Betty to get Daniel’s coffee and bagel. Betty tries to cheer Daniel up with a swimsuit casting session, but he has no interest.
Betty is worried about Daniel’s pain and decides that he needs to get back on the horse. She confers with Christina and they decide that Gisele would be a perfect date for Daniel. Christina suggests that Betty just call up Gisele’s representation. Betty can’t believe it’s that simple. Well, I have news for Betty: it’s not that simple. I have called Jake Gyllenhaal’s agent a few times (ok, 147 times) and I have yet to go on a date with Jake. But Betty believes that she can make it happen, so she rushes off to call. On her way out, she complements Christina on one of her designs. Christina explains that she’s submitting it to be in the Mode Designers to Watch show. She enters every year, but since Wil picks who gets it, she never does.
Meanwhile, Hilda returns home after a day of interviews. No one was interested. When she hears a message from Justin’s teacher about how much she loved the cupcakes, Hilda decides to go into the cupcake business. She brings some of Ignacio’s cupcakes to The Roosevelt Diner, and they agree to buy 100 as long as they’re delivered by 5am the next day. Hilda immediately puts Ignacio to work making cupcakes. OK, now this episode is finally back to normal, with Ignacio in the kitchen cooking for everyone.
Betty has set up a date for Daniel with Gisele. This makes Amanda nervous, as she worries that Betty is trying to upstage her. And she has a point. If you were a boss, would you pick a) the assistant who hooked you up with a supergorgeous supermodel; or b) the one who didn’t.
Marc then lets Amanda in on his little secret with Wil. He shows her the bulletin board. Amanda’s first thought is how horrible her picture is. But since this is missing the point, Marc explains that if Amanda wants to stay at Mode when Wil takes over, she has to take action by screwing Daniel over. Unfortunately for Amanda, actually screwing Daniel won’t work this time. She has to screw something up for him. I was sort of hoping that Amanda would get confused over this and we’d get to see an Amanda-Daniel visit to Make Out City. But no such luck.
Betty breaks the news to Daniel about his big supermodel date. He’s nervous, but Betty tells him that they could alert the papparazi and turn it into a photo opportunity. This wins him over, although Betty insists that he get a new shirt because he’s a little orange around the collar. I don’t know why Betty assumes that Gisele wouldn’t be into the Oompa Loompa look. Fact: A lot of supermodels love the color orange.
Marc takes this opportunity to point out that Daniel will always pick Betty over Amanda. This pushes her over the edge and Amanda decides to take Wil’s side. She picks up the phone and cancels Daniel’s date with Gisele. Then they have a little photo shoot in the office so Amanda can have a new picture for the board. And this picture is placed on the “in” side.
That night, Daniel shows up at the restaurant right on time. And the papparazi are there, waiting. And Daniel waits. And waits. And there is no Gisele. He finally calls Betty who makes some phone calls and learns that Gisele isn’t coming. Betty goes to the restaurant to have dinner with Daniel herself. She explains that the press will think that he wasn’t stood up, that he was just having dinner with his adorable assistant.
As Daniel hangs his head, Betty smiles at the photographers. I couldn’t help thinking that Betty has turned it into a much more expensive evening for Daniel. We all know that Gisele wouldn’t have eaten a thing. That has to be one of the big upsides of dating a supermodel – think of the money you’d save in food! No wonder guys like dating models!
Wil now has the evidence against Bradford. I’m a little unclear where they got the $1mm to buy it, but let’s just forget about that. Now Wil & TBW need to find someone unconnected to Wil to deliver it to the police. Wil decides to go to Christina. While Christina isn’t on Wil’s side at Mode, I’m pretty sure she can’t really be categorized as “unconnected”. Whatever happened to paying a homeless guy $10? Or even $5. Or just giving him a bottle of cheap vodka. That’s what I do whenever I have to deliver my secret evidence to the cops. But Wil is sticking with Christina. Wil tells Christina that if she helps her out, she’ll be rewarded, clearly meaning that she’ll pick her designs. Christina doesn’t want to sell out, but worries that this is her only chance.
Daniel and Betty manage to sneak away from the paparazzi. But since Betty didn’t like the snails the fancy restaurant offered for dinner, Daniel offers to buy her some pizza. See what I mean about dating non-supermodels being more expensive? Daniel is now buying two dinners for Betty. They end up in an Italian restaurant (oh, so many carbs!). When Daniel talks about how much he misses Sofia, Betty tells Daniel that he’s lucky – he was ready to make a commitment, and she envies that. Daniel tries to convince Betty that Henry is totally into her, but Betty isn’t buying it. Then it’s their turn for karaoke. Betty drags Daniel to the stage for a rousing rendition of “I Got You Babe”.
At the Suarez house, Hilda has a cupcake production team in full force. And by morning, 100 cupcakes are ready to be delivered. Everyone is exhausted. Really Hilda should have fed them cupcakes all night – think of how much faster everyone would have worked on a constant sugar rush.
Hilda delivers the cupcakes and returns home with a check for $180 and an even larger order for the next day. Ignacio reminds her that they are still $230 short of their investment. Ignacio wants to go to bed, but Hilda wants him to start on the cupcake order for the net day. Ignacio, too exhausted, leaves. Hilda decides to make the cupcakes herself, despite the fact that she doesn’t cook. I have a feeling this is going to be like the time that I was going to make the macramé / hot glue gun project that looked so easy when Martha Stewart did it on TV. In other words: Disaster.
But who cares about that? Because this is when the really good stuff happens. TBW finally cuts off her bandages. And it is finally Rebecca Romijn. YAY!
Betty and Daniel walk the streets of Brooklyn. They stop and look at a view of the city from the bridge. Daniel talks about missing his brother Alex, who was killed in a skiing accident. Daniel then assures Betty that Erin, from the Christmas party, isn’t really involved with Henry. With some rare insight, Daniel points out that Betty is using that as an excuse to avoid Henry. He then tells her that she’s better than any model. Betty smiles as they look out over the city. OK, Show, what is going on? Because this scene felt like flirting. It felt like you were setting up a romance. It felt like they were going to kiss. And I find that wrong. So stop it.
But there is no kiss, and they part ways, and Betty goes home, where Hilda scolds her for being out all night with her boss. And although Hilda could not be more wrong about Walter, she is very right in pointing that out. But before we can learn more, the girls are interrupted by some burning cupcakes. Hilda loses it, almost crying about not being able to make cupcakes. She had Justin instead of going to college. And while she loves Justin, she wonders what her life would have been like without him.
What Hilda doesn’t know is that Justin is listening from the living room. This makes me sad for Justin. You know, ‘coz the rest of the kid’s life is so easy – what with being a fashion and musical loving gay kid in junior high – that he should really know his mom doesn’t want him. Do we really need to pile this on him as well? But Betty assures Hilda that she’s just in a transition period and will come out stronger. I don’t know about you, but I’m having a hard time feeling too badly for Hilda. I do want her to succeed. And I don’t have a MBA or anything, but if you start a cupcake baking business without actually being able to bake cupcakes, I have to think that it can’t be a total surprise when it doesn’t work out.
The next day, Amanda looks in the paper, expecting to see a picture of Daniel being stood up. Instead, the paper shows Daniel and his assistant “dining at a hot spot.” In your face, Amanda! Not only is Betty the favorite, she’s in the papers with Daniel. That’ll show you and your supermodel sabotaging ways! And Christina goes to Wil’s office. Wil gives Christina a package to anonymously drop off at the nearest police station.
Betty comes into work. Amanda has cleared out her desk. She explains that Betty should be Daniel’s assistant. Amanda then demands her old job back, with a raise of course. Hopefully it’ll be a big raise, and she’ll be able to afford this season’s Manolos, instead of suffering through wearing last season’s.
And now the really, really good stuff: Back to Wil and TBW. TBW looks hot in a slinky dress. Wil tells her that the skiing accident paid off and addresses TBW as “Alex Meade”. Alex corrects her… “It’s Alexis now.” Um, people, TBW is Alex Meade! It’s Daniel’s brother! It’s NOT FEY! I was wrong all along. This was definitely a twist that I did NOT see coming and I love it!
So that’s where the episode ended. Did you love it as much as I did? Did anyone see the Fey / Alexis twist coming? What do you think will happen now that Betty is back at Mode? I’m excited for her to be back, so we can get the full glory of the Marc / Amanda / Betty triangle again. What do we think is going to happen to Christina? And of course, what is going to happen between Alexis and Daniel? So much good stuff coming up, I can hardly wait!!