'Ugly Betty' Season Three Finale
Now that former playboy Daniel Meade is a devoted husband, the media is going gaga for him (with the tabloids dubbing him "Prince Charming"). Even as he and Molly leave the hospital following her collapse, the paparazzi are waiting and ready to snap shots of the happy couple.
Having all this attention on Daniel annoys Wilhelmina to no end. She's still reeling over Claire's abrupt ascent to Vice-President of Meade. In fact, she's starting to look askance at the connection between Claire and Cal Hartley. It seems like there's some history there…
Speaking of Cal, he's going around Mode, handing out tickets to the next night's Mets game. With the public lovin' on Daniel and Molly, Cal has arranged for Molly to throw the first pitch. Daniel expresses some discomfort with this idea and ends up getting saddled with the task himself. Betty accepts the Mets tickets, saying that she'll bring Matt. In the meantime, she's busy preparing for her YETI interviews, which are scheduled for the next day.
When Matt soon shows up at Mode, he's toting his first completed painting, and Betty is eager to see it. It turns out that the painting is of…Betty! …wrapped only in a sheet… Matt's also included Betty's favorite yogurt and her toothbrush in the piece. Betty is a bit taken aback by the implied nudity, but the subject matter of the painting leads up to a big question from Matt: He wants Betty to move in with him. She promises to think about.
Meanwhile, Matt and Cal aren't the only Hartleys ambling around Mode. Victoria stops by, ostensibly to give something to Cal (I say ostensibly because this part isn't very well explained - seems more like a plot device to get Victoria interacting with Mode employees). Wilhelmina picks up on some frostiness between Claire and Victoria; and she immediately sense that Victoria may be able to provide some dirt on Claire.
Over dinner that night, Betty tells her family about Matt's suggestion that they move in together. Ignacio is surprisingly supportive of the idea, and, with some squeals of excitement from Hilda and Justin, it's basically settled then and there: Betty will say yes.
So the next morning, as Betty is strolls to work, she calls Matt to tell him the good news. Cutesiness follows. Matt is happy - he's already painted the kitchen her favorite color. Betty even notices a rainbow in the sky…a rainbow that curves to the ground and points directly to…Henry Grubstick! Yes, that would be the Henry of "Ugly Betty," Season One. Betty's ex. The guy she never quite got over. Well, if you saw any of the previews for this week's episode, you already knew of Henry's much-touted return, so this revelation was really no shocker. Henry rides off in the back of a cab before he sees Betty, but the sighting has jarred her enough that she ends her call with Matt suddenly.
When Betty gets to Mode, she frantically asks Amanda if she has received any messages. She's wondering if Henry has called to tell her that he is in town. With Marc and Amanda working their chatty magic on her, Betty eventually blurts out that Henry is in town. Marc and Amanda are intrigued.
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Not that Marc can ultimately spend too much time thinking about Betty's ex-boyfriend. He's helping Wilhelmina who has decided to join Victoria Hartley's tennis club in hopes that she and Vicky can get chummier. Plus, Marc is worried about his own YETI interviews. Betty is compulsively checking Henry's status on his Facebook profile when Marc eventually drags her away so they can go to their interviews. They sit down with interviewers from various publications. Marc is particularly jazzed about a Junior Editor opportunity with Vogue; and Betty has a particularly touching moment with a woman from The New York Review (the show's sentimental piano music starts playing, so you know that the "Betty" producers mean business). At the end of the interviews, their YETI boss, Jodi, says that everyone loved Betty; but they thought that Marc was selfish. Jodi seems to be smarting from her failed relationship attempts with Marc (she's evidently just ignoring the fact that he's gay). The situation gets Marc a little freaked out fast - Jodi wouldn't mess up his career, right?
In the meantime, Daniel is appearing on daytime talk show "The View" to promote Mode's Wedding Issue. He keeps trying to discuss the magazine, but (with cameos from Joy Behar and Elisabeth Hasselbeck) "The View" ladies keep pushing him to talk about his personal life and his transformation from player to loving husband.
As Betty, Marc, and tagalong Amanda return from the YETI interviews, they get a sudden surprise. They bump into Henry on the street. The encounter is in classic "Betty" style: sweet, awkward, and, at times, cringe-worthy. Henry is there with his new girlfriend, Chloe, who is apparently in town for an aerobics convention (she's an instructor). Chloe is thrilled about meeting some of Henry's New York friends and quickly tries to befriend Betty. (A little odd, no? Why would she rush up to her boyfriend's ex and immediately try to become besties?) Chloe suggests that Betty have dinner with her and Henry that night. Thankfully, Betty has to decline because of the Mets game that night. Here, Marc and Amanda chime in. Henry and Chloe can have their tickets! It means that Henry and Chloe will go to the game and be seated right next to Betty and Matt. Based on the vibes we're getting from Betty and Henry, these two aren't *quite* over each other...although they both put on good faces, and Henry and Chloe agree to go to the game.
While this is happening out in the streets of Manhattan, Molly is tucked away in her and Daniel's apartment. She's watching all the press coverage of Daniel and can't help but notice how the city's female population is now drooling all over her husband. The fangirls are starting to get to her and Daniel alike.
Elsewhere, Wilhelmina is executing her plan for getting dirt on Claire and Cal Hartley. At the tennis club, Willy conveniently "bumps into" Victoria Hartley. The two women wind up getting into a match and have a grand old time. Ultimately, they head back to Wilhelmina's place where they chug martinis by the piano and sing showtunes. The intimacy offers Willy the chance to get information out of Victoria. Come to find out, not only did Claire Meade and Cal Hartley once have an affair, but there was a baby involved!
Most of the other Mode employees are getting ready for the Mets game. Betty has explained the Henry situation to Matt, and he seems cool with it. Then Betty gets a phone call from Jodi regarding her YETI interviews…The New York Review plans to make Betty an offer the following day. Betty gets teary when she tells Daniel the big news. He's happy for her; and, of course, they have to share a hug since it looks like they're work duo will soon be no more.
So game time rolls around, and Daniel goes out on the field to throw the first pitch. Molly cheers him on, and Matt gives Betty the keycard to *their* apartment. Ah, c'est l'amour… Then Henry and Chloe show up, and all the contentment turns to weirdness. As she watches Matt and Henry throughout the night, Betty starts having an internal argument with herself about which guy is better. She just can't totally let go of Henry.
Up in the concession area, Daniel and Molly run into one of Molly's old friends. Molly introduces her pal to Daniel and starts pointing out how much the two have in common. With all of the previous talk about other women being interested in him, Daniel interprets the introduction as Molly trying to set him up with her friend (so that he won't be lonely when she's gone). Molly and her friend are mightily confused by Daniel's assumption. So later that night Daniel and Molly have to talk it out. Eventually Daniel discovers that Molly is freaked by his fangirls because she fears that she'll be forgotten after her death. To this, Daniel tenderly assures her that he could never forget about her.
As Matt, Betty, Henry, and Chloe continue to chat at the game, Matt says that he and Betty have big news. He looks toward Betty, and she happily tells them all about her upcoming job offer at The New York Review. Matt looks clearly disappointed. He wanted Betty to tell everyone about the two of them moving in together. On their way home that night, he asks Betty why she didn't say mention it. Does she not want Henry to know? Betty apologizes and makes some quick excuses about it slipping her mind. Showing that he's a good guy, Matt lets it go, and he and Betty quickly make up.
But that night, Betty confesses to Hilda that her feelings for Henry came flooding back when she saw him again. Hilda points out that things didn't work out for Henry and Betty last time, but Betty doesn't seem to take the advice to heart much.
At work the next day, Betty calls Jodie again because The New York Review has still not called with the job offer. Marc is getting anxious too, apparently having not heard from Vogue. Betty encourages Marc to call Vogue himself and find out the results - because, hey, he's got nothing to lose! Then taking some of her own advice, she picks up the phone and calls The New York Review. It's then she finds out that her own dear YETI mentor, Jodi, has stolen her job. Jodi's had a tough financial year and was trying to land her own position at The New York Review. But to give Jodi a position, the magazine had to cut one of the Junior Editor openings - hence, no position for Betty. Meanwhile, Marc learns that he has an offer from Vogue and will start in two weeks.
Crushed, Betty tries to call Matt, but she can't reach him. So, she checks Henry's Facebook status again, learns that he's in the park, and she calls him i. He meets up with her, and, after some chatting, Betty finally tells Henry that she is moving in with Matt. Henry seems disappointed but concedes that Matt is a good guy. As they reflect on their past, Betty admits that she will probably always be a little bit in love with Henry. But, they've got to move on. And Henry does some confessing of his own, acknowledging that he doesn't know why he and Chloe are together. It's all building up to Henry and Betty saying goodbye with a kiss. Like a REAL kiss. Not a "oh, we're just friends" kiss. And little do they know…Matt sees it all. Having obviously gotten Betty's voicemail about The New York Review job, Matt goes to the park looking for her. With a bouquet of flowers in hand, he watches his girl make out with her ex. Henry and Betty eventually go their separate ways without having ever known that Matt was there.
That night, Betty has a dream, which involves hot dogs and kissing Antonio Sabato, Jr., among other things. The rough interpretation of the dream is: She feels guilty about kissing Henry and thinks that she should tell Matt. Now, she's just got to figure out how…
And Daniel, to assuage Molly's fears about being forgotten, has something special for his wife. The cover of Mode's wedding issue features Molly in her wedding dress. She is delighted. To top it all off, this very issue gets nominated for a MAMA (Magazine and Media Awards) for Magazine Issue of the Year.
The MAMA nomination gets the magazine even more media, and Wilhelmina uses the spotlight to threaten Claire. Alluding to Madison, South Dakota, and finding your inner child in the early 1980s, Willy conveys that she knows about Claire and Cal Hartley's love child. Claire may look thrown off balance by the remarks, but she doesn't say anything as she walks through a throng of reporters.
When Betty arrives at Mode, she heads straight to Daniel's office. He goes through their to-do list and asks Betty to talk to Feature Editor Penny Meadows about turning in her Yves Saint Laurent piece. Betty looks disinclined…Penny Meadows is mean, grumpy, and smells funny. She's also played by Rachel Dratch, which makes her screen time pretty dang awesome. When Betty goes to Penny's office, she finds Penny more concerned about drinking beer and shooing pigeons off the windowsill than finishing her article.
As Betty argues with Penny, she gets a text from Matt. He's at an outdoor café across from Mode, ready to meet her for lunch. Now, Betty decides, is the time to tell Matt about her kiss with Henry. They sit at their table, and Betty starts to say something - Matt even looks hopeful. But before Betty can get the words out, someone falls out of the Meade Publications skyscraper that is across the street from them. It's Penny Meadows, who evidently slipped from the twenty-eighth floor when she was trying to get rid of those pesky pigeons by her window. So yeah. She's obviously dead.
Penny didn't exactly have friends at Mode, but Betty and Daniel want to be nice, so they plan a little memorial service for her. As they're talking, a mental light bulb turns on for them…A Feature Editor position is open! Daniel instantly tells Betty that the job is hers. So it seems like things are, professionally, going to work out for Betty.
Personally, her love life is still a mess. Hilda encourages her little sis not to tell Matt about the kiss with Henry, arguing that it would only hurt Matt. And anyway, Henry's out of the picture now, having gone back to Tucson. Betty considers this suggestion.
Elsewhere at Mode, Wilhelmina searches for Marc's replacement. Penny Meadow's memorial has already begun as Willy gives Marc a surprisingly heartfelt hug. Those two are really going to miss each other…
For Betty's part, she is trying to start Penny's service, but people are making noise at the nearby coffee bar, and most of the seats are empty. Only Penny's twin sister, Mindy (also played by Rachel Dratch - sweet!), sits attentively in the front row. The only excitement comes when Marc strolls in to the service and announces that he will be taking over Penny's position. Betty's mouth falls open. That's her job! Daniel and Wilhelmina exchange glances, and it's clear that each thinks his or her own assistant is best for the promotion. So the argue and finally decide that Betty and Marc can both have access to Penny's research for the Yves Saint Laurent article. Both assistants will take the research and write an article intended for publication. Whoever writes the better article gets the promotion. Game on!
During this time, Matt has been trying to reach Betty. He wants to know what she had planned to say right before Penny Meadows fell to her death. Betty brushes the question aside now, taking Hilda's advice that she not tell Matt about her kiss with Henry. But when Matt shows up to see if Betty can get lunch, it's clear that he's not going to let her off the hook that easily. He takes her to the very park bench where she and Henry played tonsil hockey, and he tries to bait her into admitting everything. When this proves no good, Matt finally tells her that he SAW them kissing. He's really devastated.
Unfortunately, Betty can't concentrate on Matt much now because her career is still on the line. From Amanda, Betty learns that Penny Meadows kept most of her research at home, so Betty decides goes to Penny's apartment, and finds that Marc is already there, poking around. As the pair rifles through Penny's stuff, Penny's sister, Mindy, pops around the corner. Mindy remembers Betty and Marc as the people that ruined her sister's memorial service. As payback, Mindy takes all of Penny's handwritten Yves Saint Laurent research and tosses it out the window. Betty and Marc can only helplessly look on. There's nothing for Betty and Marc to do now except down margaritas with Amanda. As they sit wallowing, Betty gets an idea…She and Marc can join forces. The next morning, they turn in letters of resignation, forcing Daniel and Wilhelmina to make the decision without the article.
Feeling revved up now, Betty decides to try talking to Matt. She waits in front of one of his art classes, insisting that she loves him and wants to be with him. She's sorry about her mistake. Matt looks a little moved but only says that he has to get to class. Betty hands him a ticket to the MAMA Awards, hoping he'll come.
And as for the MAMAs, they are that very night. Molly is helping Daniel prepare, giving him his notecards to read if Mode wins. Daniel notices that Molly feels feverish and says that he's going to cancel his appearance, but Molly shrugs off his concern. Saying that she'll take a nap and arrive a little late, she promises to be there in time for Daniel's category. Daniel hesitantly agrees but says that he's going to have the nurse come by to check on her.
At the awards, everyone mills about. Betty takes Justin who is feeling down because he didn't get into the school performing arts for the next school year. Betty and Justin run into Marc who pulls Justin aside for some one-on-one time. And however catty and snide Marc can usually be, he shows great sensitivity and a lightness of touch in this scene. Justin tells Marc about getting rejected by the performing arts school, and Marc says that the school made a mistake. Then Marc alludes to the implications of these results: Justin will have to start public high school in Queens. Justin says that he thought there might be more people like him at the performing arts school... Marc smiles sadly and says that he himself went to public high school. All you have to do is find your niche, he advises. Justin lights up a bit at this reassurance, and I have to say that, for me, this sweet, understated exchange was the highlight of the whole episode.
At the Mode table, Matt waits for Betty. There, he meets his father by chance, and the two men wander off to the bar for drinks. After recounting the whole Betty-Henry situation to Cal Hartley, Matt wonders if he's being too hard on Betty. Maybe it was just a one-time, goodbye lip-lock. But Cal has to go all Debbie Downer on his son… He tells Matt that Betty will probably never love him like she loves Henry. Matt can spend his life stewing in anger over that fact, or he can channel that frustration into productive work. More on this later…
So backstage at the MAMAs, Daniel and Wilhelmina have decided that the Feature Editor position will be decided by a coin toss. The result? Betty gets the job. Even in Betty's success, it's hard not to feel bad for Marc as we see Wilhelmina give him the news.
Soon, they must all return to their table because Mode's category is about to be announced. As you might have guessed, Mode's Wedding Issue wins its nomination, and Daniel and Wilhelmina dart up to the stage to accept. As Daniel approaches the microphone, he reaches for the notecards Molly gave him, but they are gone (Marc has taken them to help Wilhelmina trip up Daniel). But just as Daniel's nerves are getting to him, he sees Molly walk through the door. His eyes clamp on hers, and then eloquent words just come pouring out of his mouth…Capped off with a sweet shout-out to Molly, the speech goes great. Afterwards, he walks toward the door where he saw Molly enter. Betty is there, smiling and congratulating him. He asks where Molly is, but Betty explains that Molly was never there. So, yeah, your stomach should be sinking right about now. You know what that probably means for Molly…
After the presentation of awards, Wilhelmina approaches Claire again. Willy has already gotten Claire to admit that she and Hartley had an affair in the early Eighties. Claire has also admitted that she was pregnant with his child and went to South Dakota to terminate the pregnancy. Wilhelmina has threatened to go to Hartley with this information if Claire does not resign from Meade, but Claire has plans of her own. At the MAMAs, Claire tells Wilhelmina that she is not resigning. And…whaddaya know?...Hartley shows up. Claire has beaten Willy to the punch in telling Cal. Claire and Cal Hartley walk off arm-in-arm, saying that they will need to "reevaluate" Wilhelmina's role in the company.
For Wilhelmina, this turn of events is disastrous. Later, at her apartment, we find her talking with a strange man. She has hired this guy to track down Connor Owens. She needs to find Connor - or rather, the money Connor has stolen - so that she can get Cal Hartley out of Meade Publications. Once this meeting is over, Willy walks back to her bedroom and drops the drink in her hand. Someone unexpected is in the room, but we'll have to wait until next season to find out who.
Before Betty goes back to Queens for the night, she calls her family with the great news about her promotion. She also stops by Mode to check out her new office. Surprising, she finds that Matt is there. He looks like a wreck. He asks her point-blank if she still loves Henry, and when she stalls, the answer is clear. She defends herself, saying that Henry was her first love. Doesn't Matt feel that way about his first love? Well, he explains, Betty was his first love. Looking both heartbroken and eerily callous, Matt breaks up with Betty. She is positively distraught by now. Matt starts to walk away, but before he leaves we learn one more thing: His dad has offered him a job at Mode, and he's accepted. Matt will be Betty's new boss.
Finally, we found a red-eyed Claire gazing at a South Dakota adoption certificate. So…she didn't abort the pregnancy after all. The mystery heightens as she throws the certificate into a fire. And then we see Daniel, arriving home from the MAMAs to find cop cars and an ambulance outside of his apartment. He arrives in time to see a bagged corpse being wheeled out on a stretcher. Shocked and alone, he texts Betty who rushes to his side to offer comfort and support.
So, there you have it, folks. Season Three is wrapped up. What do you think of all the new "Betty" plot set-ups? Take to the comments section with your thoughts!
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
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