So "Ugly Betty
" is back from the holiday hiatus, and last night's ep quickly taught us three things:
Yes, Betty's YETI program storyline does have potential. Brilliant move to bring Marc in too - it gives the whole thing continuity.
Hilda is still getting random little subplots. This time, she is re-launching her salon as a salon-boutique fusion (aptly named "Hilda's Beautilities").
Love triangles (or is it a quadrangle in this case?) are hard to follow. I'm talking to you, Daniel/Molly/Connor/Wilhelmina.
We begin with Betty gushing over her idol Jodie Papadakis (played by an awesome Bernadette Peters), who is running the YETI program this year. Betty is also supposed to attend her first YETI mixer, but she skips the event to help Hilda set up the salon's re-launch party.
Life at Mode is intense as always, and the fashion mag is getting particularly competitive with Elle. Daniel is still pining after Connor's fiancée, Molly. Molly is still throwing puppy dog looks at Daniel. Wilhelmina is still seriously into Connor. And Connor is…just oblivious, I guess - although he does suddenly seem a little more attentive to Wilhelmina.
Realizing that a Daniel-Molly pairing would free up Connor, Wilhelmina decides to intervene. She acquires the surveillance footage of Daniel and Molly's forbidden kiss and shows the DVD to Daniel. He immediately expects that the recording is leverage and is surprised when Wilhelmina hands him the DVD without conditions. She puts on her best sympathetic face and promises not to reveal anything to Connor; but, she encourages him to talk to Molly to find out if his feelings are reciprocated (she wouldn't want him to "wonder what might have been," etc., etc.).
And, in fun business-related news, Mode has just learned that if they can get a specific Halston dress, then Keira Knightley will pose for their next cover.
Betty is thrilled to be attending her first YETI meeting but is disheartened when she is singled out as the only YETI-er who didn't attend the mixer. Betty cites family reasons for her absence, but no one buys it. Jodie Papadakis underscores the importance of networking in the magazine world and informs everyone that they must make forty new contacts within the next week. If they fail, they need not return for the next meeting - a warning that's not-so-subtly directed at Betty.
Later at Mode, Connor tells Betty that to learn about networking, she must "find somebody that's really good at superficial stuff, and [then] do what they do." And it just so happens that she then runs into Marc. It takes some persuading, but Marc finally agrees to let Betty join him and Amanda on an after-work networking session. Unfortunately, this outing will mean that Betty misses another night of helping Hilda with re-launch prep; but, remembering that family issues are no excuse, Betty decides to go for the networking.
Immediately, it's clear that Betty's networking isn't efficient, and Marc and Amanda harangue her about spending twenty minutes chatting with a caterer. You "get in, get info, and get out," Marc coaches her. It's all about leaving a strong impression. After then dubbing her the "Bettynator," Marc and Amanda leave Betty to network on her own. A little "Terminator" parody ensues while Betty gathers her forty contacts to save her YETI status.
Betty has thirty-nine contacts when she meets Teri (Nikki Blonsky), another fresh-faced young assistant like herself. The problem? Teri works for rival Elle. But Betty brushes off the rivalry, deciding that Teri seems sweet. Since Betty's evening is winding down anyway, she and Teri chat over cocktails and appetizers. But then Betty accidentally lands her elbow in some dip and has to leave briefly to clean up. It's then that we see Teri eyeing Betty's Blackberry (which Betty just left sitting on the table, for who knows what reason). (Cue ominous music)
The next day at work, Betty is able to give Daniel some helpful little tidbits about Elle, and Daniel is impressed. He also instructs her to pick up the Halston dress that evening, which is unfortunate since Hilda's re-launch party is that night. Ignacio voices his unhappiness about Betty ditching her sis again, but Betty makes the old "I have no choice" argument. And a very pregnant Christina could use some fun, so she goes to help in Betty's stead.
Wilhelmina is hosting her own part that night. Although she tried to encourage Daniel to talk to Molly at Mode, the venue was too public, and Connor showed up. So, Willy now suggests that Daniel and Molly could wander off somewhere private during her party. (She'll be happy to distract Connor!)
In the meantime, Betty has gone to fetch the Halston dress; but the man responsible for checking out items tells her that a Betty Suarez has already picked it up. He says that she had a pink stripe in her hair and that she left her business card. Now, the light bulb goes on… Teri from Elle took it. (A little weird that the procedure for checking out an expensive vintage designer outfit consists of showing a business card, no?)
When a shamefaced Betty returns to Mode to explain what's happened, Wilhelmina's initial reaction is "Betty, you're fired." But, of course, Daniel says she's not. He proposes that they call the editors-in-chief at Elle and discuss the matter. The Elle people are smug, and it quickly becomes apparent that they are going to hold the dress so that Mode won't get its Keira Knightley cover. (Oh, and, in case we haven't already figured it out, we get further confirmation that Teri is an obnoxious jerk.) Betty feels terrible and tries to make amends; but Daniel only mutters something about how he "should have had an editor do it" (ouch!) and then tells her that she can leave.
A now thoroughly downtrodden Betty goes to Queens for Hilda's little soiree. She's still acting sulky when she happens to look through her business cards and get an idea. She quickly gathers her belongings to leave the party, a move which finally prompts Hilda to confront her sister. Understandably, Hilda is furious that Betty would just bail again. Ignacio takes Hilda's side, and it looks like a whole family mess. Still, Betty just says that she's sorry they don't understand - and leaves.
Now we find out Betty's plan… That caterer she spent twenty minutes with during her networking night? She calls him to ask if he can sneak her and Marc into the Elle offices. At Elle, they're having a big party ('tis the night of parties apparently), so Betty and Marc must be stealthy in reaching the wardrobe closet. They make it there, but the dress is on a mannequin, and Betty can't figure out how to get off the dress without tearing it or messing up the beadwork. So they decide to walk out with the whole kit and caboodle. They briefly pretend the mannequin is a drunk partygoer, but when its head falls off, and they get caught by Teri. All they can do is make a mad dash for the elevator (which first involves a minor Betty-Teri scuffle), and they barely escape Teri's screaming and clawing.
Meanwhile, Wilhelmina's party has begun. Immediately, Willy starts distracting Connor, so Daniel can take Molly to the bedroom and he pour out his heart. Molly shuts him down, reminding him that she's engaged and that she and Connor have been through a lot together. In the main room, Zac Posen compliments Connor and Wilhelmina as "the most divine couple" - to which, they respond only with bashful laughter and denial. But Willy looks pleased, and Connor assures her that he was flattered by Zac's assumption. It looks like Wilhelmina is about to have a confessional moment of her own and admit that she still has feelings for him; but, a flustered Molly approaches and asks Connor if they can leave.
When Daniel returns to the party, Wilhelmina asks whimsically about Molly, but it's pretty obvious that the Daniel-Molly conversation didn't go so well. Daniel then tells Willy that he's sorry too - he knows she likes Connor. They share a nice little moment, in which they sip champagne, and Daniel says that he won't tell her secret. And it's about this time that Betty and Marc show up, with their headless Halston-wearing mannequin!
Wilhelmina is so impressed with Betty and Marc that she lets them stay at the party - the first time assistants have ever been to a Wilhelmina Slater party. Just as Betty notices that Jodie Papadakis is there, she gets a phone call from Hilda. So she puts her cell phone on silent and starts rubbing elbows with industry elite. Jodie seems friendly and surprised to see an assistant at the party, and Betty asks Jodie to be her mentor. Jodie just responds with sweet bemusement, "Let's start with me not kicking you out of YETI." All in all, the evening looks like a success.
When Betty finally gets back to Queens though, the house is empty. She finally looks at her cell phone and sees that she has nine missed calls from Hilda. So she calls back and discovers that Ignacio is being hospitalized after suffering from a heart attack (a little twist would have been more impactful if all the "Ugly Betty" commercials hadn't hinted at it for weeks).
As Daniel saunters home, he is surprised to find Molly on his front steps. She has just broken up with Connor and admits that she might return Daniel's feelings - and then they kiss. In parallel fashion, Connor shows up at Wilhelmina's, and he doesn't say anything. He just lays a smooch on her. So while Daniel and Wilhelmina embrace their respective romantic interests, Betty hugs her unconscious father in his hospital bed. (Sigh)
So what did you think of last night's episode? Post away!
And, on a side note: congratulations to Ana Ortiz, who plays Hilda. Yesterday it was announced that she and her husband are expecting their first child in July. Think her pregnancy will be written into the show?
Ugly Betty Stars: America Ferrera
/ Eric Mabius
/ Alan Dale
/ Tony Plana
/ Ana Ortiz
/ Vanessa Williams
/ Ashley Jensen
/ Becki Newton
/ Mark Indelicato
/ Michael Urie
/ Rebecca Romijn
/ Kevin Sussman
/ Freddy Rodriguez
/ Illeana Douglas
/ Judith Light
/ Christopher Gorham
Story by Chelsea Fogleman
Starpulse contributing writer