Well, the nation's financial crisis has officially come to "Ugly Betty
." From companies in shambles, to potential federal bailouts, to families losing homes, this episode is not short on economic hardship.
Now that Connor has run off with millions of company dollars, Meade sits on the brink ruin. Betty heads off to work dressed in (almost) head-to-toe black, afraid of looking too cheerful when the company is in such dire straits. She can't help but be a little happy though. Matt sends her jellybeans and a balloon at work and calls her to make flirty small talk. They have dinner plans that night too. Although her job may be in danger, Betty's personal life is going great.
Daniel is struggling with his decision to "respect Molly's wishes" and let her face her cancer alone. Wilhelmina is blocking out her emotions about Connor's scandalous departure, instead throwing herself into work. She's back as her old uber-aggressive and intimidating self - but, she points out, she is also taking care of a baby, so she's exhausted.
Mode's financial troubles are enough to occupy big chunks of Daniel and Wilhelmina's thoughts. Insurance won't cover the company's loss, but Claire proposes they seek a federal bailout. The government has already sent a panel to New York City to make a decision about a print media bailout. This could be Meade Publications' shot to get back in business!
After their date, Matt accompanies Betty back to Queens. Hilda's attitude is all gooey when she first meets Matt. Then Matt leaves, and Hilda finds out what happened at dinner - Matt forgot his wallet at the office again, so Betty had to cover the bill. He figures he can make up for the lapse by seeing her home, but Hilda doesn't buy it. She's busy calling Matt a cheapskate, when the family opens up a letter from their landlord. It informs them that they will be soon be evicted.
It turns out that their landlord is having money problems of his own. He's selling the property to his nephew, who plans to turn the house into a recording studio. Still in shock, Betty hastily agrees that they will buy the house themselves - without a plan as to how they will raise the funds. She soon discovers that they qualify for a loan, but they still need $15,000. So the whole family starts pitching in to raise money.
In the meantime, Daniel and Wilhelmina prepare for their appearance before the congressional panel. They purposefully take the bus, hoping not to appear extravagant (but, of course, Willy doesn't even know how to pay the bus fare, and Daniel's smallest bill is a $50). Still, their meeting with the panel appears to go well. The panel agrees to reconvene later to make a formal decision about the requested 75 million dollar bailout.
While Wilhelmina is in front the panel, she has asked Marc to go pick up some posh baby supplies. Amanda goes too, and they end up gabbing about the horrors of babies and parentdom. The two are in total solidarity until they meet a cute gay single dad, walking with his baby. Marc then totally one-eighties, apparently adoring child-rearing now! He blurts out that he has his own baby boy at home. He arranges a playdate with Cute Single Dad and walks away as giddy as ever.
Meanwhile, the Suarez family is piling together their money. Justin secretly cuts school for the day to perform showtunes on street corners. He earns a few hundred from panhandling, but it's still not nearly enough. They are almost $10,000 short.
Then the family gets some hopeful news… Ignacio has gotten on to a TV show called "Kitchen Rumble!" TV chef Frankie Burrata (an Emeril-like personality) will come to their house for a televised cook-off. If Ignacio wins, he gets $10,000. If Frankie wins, then Ignacio gets Frankie's leftovers. The family's mood turns optimistic. Ignacio is the best cook they know.
A TV crew comes to the house, and there is a "high noon" moment between Ignacio and Frankie. But as it happens, Frankie is an affable enough guy when the cameras aren't rolling. The cook-off is full of mock intensity (nicely satirizing all the false tension created on gameshows). Then, with only ten minutes left in the competition, Ignacio throws out his back. Betty has to step in on his behalf, but she holds her own and finishes the Chicken Mole with Ignacio's instructions.
Finally, the moment of judgment arrives. The judges sample Frankie and Ignacio's respective creations and decide that the winner is…Frankie. So, no house-saving miracle for the Suarez fam.
While the cook-off has been taking place, Daniel and Wilhelmina have been toggling between work and personal problems. After their meeting with the panel, the two go to lunch, and Willy tries to goad Daniel with snide remarks. At last, he admits that he is distracted because Molly is dying. Wilhelmina feels awkward and orders a bottle of wine.
The next day, the two Mode head honchos go back before the congressional panel, hoping to hear that they will receive their subsidy. Instead, they find that there is a picture of their lunch in The NY Post. The picture shows them laughing and clearly enjoying a $400 bottle of wine. After a fiery, finger-wagging lecture from the head of the panel, Daniel and Wilhelmina learn that they will not receive a cent of tax-payer money. They leave stunned. It looks like Meade Publications is done for.
Back at Mode, Christina is caring for baby William while Wilhelmina is at the meeting. Marc approaches Christina to "sign out" the baby (like an article of clothing or something). He insists that Wilhelmina wants him to bond with William, and Christina buys it. Really, Marc needs William for his playdate with Cute Single Dad.
Cute Single Dad soon shows up - minus his baby. Apparently, his daughter has a fever, so he's left her with the nanny. Marc is thrilled by the revelation and quickly ditches William, leaving him with Amanda (who Marc claims is his nanny). Amanda stands wide-eyed with William while the two guys rush out for coffee.
Speaking of Amanda, she has been working through some of her own personal matters. Her mom (as in, her adopted mom - not the deceased Faye Summers, obviously) has been calling Mode, worried about Amanda's job given the company's financial setbacks. Amanda hasn't spoken to her parents in over a year - since she found out that she was adopted.
Amanda thinks about her parents as she returns baby William to Christina. Upon handing William to Christina, Amanda notices that Christina is good with the baby. Christina remarks that she did carry him for nine months after all. She then admits that she has to remind herself sometimes that she is not his mother. You see where this is going: Christina ultimately says something about your parents being the ones who raise and love you - not necessarily being the ones who give birth to you. Amanda gets teary. She later tells Marc that she realizes her parents probably miss her; and she misses them too.
About this time, Hilda has gotten good news back in Queens. After opening the mail, she discovers that her family has received a mysterious check for $10,000! She starts excitedly screaming her head off and dashes down to Mode to show Betty. Betty looks dismayed when she sees the check. She assumes that the money is from Daniel, and she knows that he is dealing with his own financial problems.
However, Daniel quickly tells Betty that he did not send the check - which begs the question… Who did? The signature is illegible.
Later at dinner, Betty tells Matt about the mysterious money. Like everyone else, he agrees that it's a weird situation but that she should probably cash the check and ask questions later. Matt has evidently remembered his wallet this time because he signs for the dinner bill. He gets an important work phone call and has to step away from their table for a moment. That's when Betty notices something… The signature on the restaurant receipt and the signature on the $10,000 check are identical. Matt sent the money!
When Matt returns, Betty confronts him with the newly found evidence. Matt sheepishly admits to being the check writer. Incidentally, his family is loaded (we're talking billions of dollars), and Matt says that he wants Betty to have the money. He explains that his family throws money like that at charity all the time. Yeah. He actually uses the word "charity." Offended, Betty huffs out of the restaurant.
Once home in Queens, Betty tells Hilda about Matt and the check. Hilda insists that they should take the money anyway, but Betty says no. They are arguing in the living room when Ignacio and Frankie Burrata emerge from the kitchen. Naturally, everyone is surprised to see Frankie again. Frankie explains that he has to win three out four "Kitchen Rumbles" to keep his show but that he was impressed with Ignacio's cooking. He has offered Ignacio a job in his restaurant. And, Ignacio has just sold Frankie his Chicken Mole recipe for…(drumroll)…$10,000. Their house is saved!
Meade's money woes are not so miraculously solved though. Daniel has made the difficult decision to liquidate all his personal assets (houses and such). By doing so, he can keep Meade afloat for a while. It's a risky venture - if Meade sinks, Daniel will lose everything - but he has to try. Wilhelmina offers to contribute what she can as well.
Betty compliments Daniel's bravery in sticking his neck out for the company; but Daniel confesses that he feels like a coward. He still can't believe he let Molly walk away. With minimal prodding from Betty, he soon runs off to go find his ladylove. When he tracks her down, Daniel tells Molly that he loves her and won't let her go through everything alone.
Then a Brett Dennen song starts playing. Yup, you know that you're about to get a sentimental montage when "Ugly Betty" pulls out a singer-songwriter at the end of an episode. Here's what this montage gives us:
1. Daniel and Molly kiss.
2. Amanda calls her mom. (Awww.)
3. We find out that Marc's date with Cute Single Dad was bad. All the guy wanted to talk about was his baby.
4. Wilhelmina opens a desk drawer, and there is a large photo of Connor. Hmmm. She's more heartbroken than she is letting on.
5. Betty meets Matt in a restaurant. He apologizes for making her feel like charity. He adds that he's glad she is not mad anymore because he is "kinda really into" her. They have their first kiss.
6. The Suarez family gathers 'round the TV to watch Ignacio's appearance on "Kitchen Rumble!"
So what do you think of the "Ugly Betty" money drama? What about the news that Matt's family is rich? Will Daniel lose everything?
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