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'Ugly Betty' Recap: 'In the Stars'

May 15th, 2009 11:14am EDT
Ugly BettyBetty and Marc are finally looking to take their careers to the next level. Betty gets an excellent performance review from Daniel, and Marc gets an "adequate" review from Wilhelmina (which, by Willy standards, is good), but the positive reinforcement doesn't matter in either case. When Cal Hartley saved Meade Publications from financial ruin, part of the deal was that Meade would institute a hiring freeze. Consequently, Betty and Marc can't get promoted to editors at Mode, and they're majorly bummed.

As the Mode staff gathers to review spreads for the upcoming wedding issue, Wilhelmina gets a surprise of her own. Although Cal Hartley was supposed to be in Siberia, he has shown up at the meeting to participate. Willy seems taken aback, but Hartley is quick to remind her that they accepted his money. Soon after, Claire enters and critiques Wilhelmina's ideas about black wedding dresses, saying that colorful dresses are now all the rage in Europe. Hartley likes Claire's ideas and appoints her to work on the project with Wilhelmina. Obviously, Willy is none too happy. Incidentally, this scene also delivers one of the biggest doses of blatant product placement I've seen in a while… "Let's put this Cherry 7Up ad here!" "No, let's put this Cherry 7Up ad there!" "Cherry 7Up now has antioxidants!"

With their Mode careers now on a dead-end track, Betty and Marc put all their energy into YETI. The YETI-ers have been divided into teams of three for a final project -a feature article and a photo shoot for whatever two topics the team randomly draws. Betty, Marc, and Matt are grouped together and must do a project that incorporates both music and physical sciences. Only the team with the best finished product will get interviews in the magazine industry, so it's a big deal.

With only four days to complete the assignment, they dash to Marc and Amanda's apartment to start working. Betty and Marc are pumped, but Amanda keeps distracting Matt with YouTube videos. While Matt and Amanda impersonate "The Dramatic Chipmunk" (which they call a gopher, even though everybody knows it's really a prairie dog….), Betty and Marc settle on a project idea. They will use the light show at the planetarium, but instead of using Pink Floyd, they will use modern music to make a statement about "how music connects us." As they work, Marc points out that Matt isn't focused, but Betty brushes that aside. They all take individual duties, and Matt agrees to secure the planetarium for their photo shoot venue.

America FerreraBy the next day, Marc (who was in charge of finding the music portion of the "music and physical sciences" topic), has secured Adele for their photo shoot. He and Betty are ecstatic. But the planetarium falls through because Matt flakes out. Now Marc seriously wants to ditch Matt. Marc puts Betty on the spot, asking if she wants to fire Matt from the project. She feels torn… She tells Matt that he just hasn't seemed as motivated lately…causing Matt to say that she's right and walk out.

Betty follows her boyfriend into the hallway where he confides that he is losing his passion for publishing. He's going to leave YETI. Lately, he tells her, he has been drawn to art - specifically, oil painting. So he's signed up for some classes and is going to focus on that. All of this surprises Betty, but she decides to be supportive. If oil painting makes Matt happy, then-great! And now, she and Marc can finish the YETI project without the dead weight. There's still minimal panicking on Marc and Betty's part, but fortunately, the planetarium unexpectedly becomes available, and they quickly lock down the location for their photo shoot.

Meanwhile, Claire has been working on the new spread for Mode's wedding issue. As she works with a model in a hot pink wedding dress, she and Wilhelmina start squabbling again. After Wilhelmina tears a sleeve off the pink wedding dress, she and Claire storm off to Hartley's office where Willy insists that they can't work together. Claire acknowledges that compromise is, obviously, not possible, so she offers to remove herself from the project. Hartley agrees but asks to speak with Claire after Wilhelmina departs. We'll get back to Hartley and Claire's conversation later…

At Betty's house, there's been some family drama too. When Hilda sees a letter for Elena from the Chula Vista School of Nursing, she opens it. This brings up two questions: (1) Why the heck is Elena having her mail sent to the Suarez house? She has her own place. We've seen it from the outside. And, (2) Why is Hilda opening Elena's mail? On the outside it just looked like ordinary junk mail to me. Anyway, as it turns out, Hilda's paranoia is well founded because Elena seems to be contemplating taking a job with a hospital in California. Showing a complete inability to mind her own business, Hilda approaches Elena and insists that she tell Ignacio about the job offer soon.

Elena explains the situation to Ignacio, and he comes home that evening feeling down. He doesn't want to lose her. His family tells him that he needs to "step up his game." Then, channeling their inner Beyonce, they tell Ignacio "to put a ring on it" (complete with the hand flip from the "Single Ladies" video). With his family's blessing, Ignacio prepares to ask Elena to marry him. The next day, he makes Elena a nice lunch and nervously pops the question. Elena is predictably breathless, and she says…yes! So Ignacio and Elena are engaged. And, speaking of engagements…

Daniel is dealing with a situation of his own. When he brings Molly to Mode, she sees all the images for Mode's wedding issue. She thinks that Daniel is proposing and immediately says yes. Daniel is confused, and it quickly becomes apparent to everyone (Molly included) that he was not asking her to marry him. But it gets Daniel thinking… He talks with his mom, and Claire ultimately gives Daniel her own engagement ring to give to Molly. Claire and Betty watch as Daniel strides out to the balcony where Molly is waiting for him. He gets down on one knee, and, well…you can figure it out from there… The newly-engaged couple soon meets with a wedding planner, hoping to get married around the end of the month.

All the while, Betty and Marc are scrambling to put together their YETI project. Betty goes to the planetarium to scope things out, and there she finds Matt's mother, Victoria Hartley. Apparently, Betty was able to get the planetarium for their photo shoot because Ms. Hartley called in a favor. In fact, Ms. H is being surprisingly accommodating, given that she doesn't approve of Betty for her son… Suddenly Victoria Hartley whips out a slide show of Matt: Matt running the New York Marathon…Matt working as a large animal vet…Matt doing karate… It seems that Matt is always jumping from one so-called "passion" to the next. Now his family wants to see him stick with something. His mom wants him back in YETI, and she knows that he'll listen to Betty more than he'll listen to his mother. So she uses the planetarium as leverage. If Betty and Marc want to keep their venue, then they have to get Matt back in their YETI project. Of course, Marc isn't interested in Matt, Betty, or Matt's mother - but he wants the planetarium, so he tells Betty to get Matt back in the project.

It probably would have made sense for Betty to explain the situation to Matt - to tell him that she needs his help so that his mom will reserve the planetarium for them. But Betty never seems to learn that sometimes it's best to come clean. Instead, she persuades Matt to finish things with YETI, pointing out that there's only one week left and that he should try to finish something. At first, Matt thinks that Betty sounds like his mom, but he's ultimately a sucker for his girlfriend. He agrees to help them finish the project, leaving Betty feeling only the teensiest bit guilty.

Later at the planetarium, things are going well. Matt is even giving some direction to the people at the photo shoot. Adele's manager shows up and doesn't seem thrilled that his client has agreed to participate in such an insignificant project. Ms. Hartley pops by too, saying that she just finished having lunch with a friend. Matt is surprised to see him mom there but initially doesn't think much of it. Then, he sees his mom whisper a "thank you" to Betty, and he knows that Betty was in on the plot to get him back into YETI. Matt confronts Betty, and the two have a humungous fight in front of everyone at the photo shoot. Marc suddenly stomps in, livid, because Adele's manager heard Betty and Matt's argument. The manager has cancelled Adele's appearance, deeming the photo shoot too amateur. Now Matt's hurt, and Marc and Betty are distraught that the whole project has fallen apart.

As Marc scampers off to make a phone call to YETI boss Jodi (Bernadette Peters), Betty sits alone on a platform at the planetarium. She is pondering over what to do when Daniel suddenly appears. He has come by to see how her photo shoot is going. Betty tells him what has happened, and he agrees that her bad day might rival his bad day. After someone at Mode suggests that Molly and Daniel register for long-lasting kitchenware and that they start thinking about nurseries, Molly rethinks the marriage idea. She won't live long enough to make use of appliances that last fifty years; she knows they won't be able to have kids. The stress of wedding planning gets to her, and she cancels it. Now Daniel is at the planetarium and feeling seriously down. That's when Betty asks…Why don't Daniel and Molly get married right now? What's stopping them? She says that they could use the planetarium. She obviously can't use it now that they don't have Adele.

Daniel accepts Betty's offer. They gather together their nearest and dearest; Molly uses one of the many wedding dresses that's available for Mode's wedding issue; and one of the models, an ordained minister, performs the ceremony. Daniel and Molly end up loving their wedding, and Betty's happy that something has worked out.

As guests mingle at the reception, Claire approaches Wilhelmina to remark on it being a wonderful night. We then find out what Cal Hartley discussed privately with Claire… He respected Claire for putting the magazine ahead of her ego, and, consequently, he's made Claire VP of Meade Publications. She answers only to him, and Wilhelmina will have to pitch ideas to Claire from now on. And I say: Amen to that! We've needed us some more Judith Light for quite some time. Hopefully, this will bring her into the plot more often.

Betty and Daniel are dancing at the reception when Matt sheepishly returns. He asks to cut in, and then he and Betty have a heart-to-heart. He asks her not to give up on him. He's still trying to discover his life passion (I find this a little disappointing since Matt previously defended his love of sports journalism so well in the episode "There's No Place Like Mode."). So Betty and Matt reconcile, and then, who should show up? Why, it's Adele! Matt has made a call, and now Adele's here to sing at Daniel and Molly's reception. With all the dancing guests in the planetarium, it's the perfect fusion of music and physical sciences. Betty directs a photographer as he gets the perfect shots for their YETI photo shoot.

Elsewhere at the reception, Ignacio is struggling with his relationship. Earlier, Elena received a phone call at his house (Again, why at *his* house? Is she, like, over there all the time now? It doesn't seem like it…). Ignacio knows that Elena has not yet turned down the job in California, so, at the reception, he gives Elena a plane ticket. He insists that they'll make it through a long-distance relationship and that he knows she needs to take the job. It's not a super convincing resolution for these two characters, but…we'll see.

In the end, Betty, Marc, and Matt have the winning YETI project, which means that they'll get their job interviews (although Matt will, presumably, decline his). Marc is also on the receiving end of some shameless flirting from Jodi - who, despite his hints, has yet to figure out that he is gay. Awkward Jodi-situation aside, it's a happy day for all. That is, until the final scene…

As Daniel and Molly happily prance around their apartment, packing for their honeymoon, Daniel finds Molly passed out on the bathroom floor. We don't yet know the result of Molly's collapse, but it's a sure thing to be addressed next episode!

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

Chelsea Fogleman
Story by Chelsea Fogleman

Starpulse contributing writer