”Ugly Betty”: Marc and Betty’s date
Looks like my Betty wish came true. In my TV Watch last week, I pined for more focus on the supporting characters, and — voila! — an episode centered on Marc, his sexuality, and how he hasn’t come out to his in-your-face, overbearing mother. Plus, some nice support from Amanda. And a bit from his ”girlfriend” Betty, too. Simply awesome. And we were treated to Claire in the hospital, Willy hatching more ways to take over Mode (including an attempt to seduce Bradford!), and some always awkward conversation between Henry and Betty. Double awesome. All around, another great episode.
For all the fun that Marc provides on a weekly basis, this episode was a decided turn in the other direction for him. Oh for sure, he had some amazing banter with Willy that, as always, provided much comic relief. I especially loved this exchange: Marc: ”This is our new office. It has fluorescent lighting. I will not be looked at under this merciless glare.” Willy: ”Patience, Blanche, it’s only temporary.” Marc: ”We shall overcome, girlfriend.” Willy, giving a snide look: ”You did not just say that.” Willy seems to encourage and love his snarky, sassy remarks (”I’m so going as you for Halloween!”) but then reprimands him for them. Why, Willy, why? Because it’s funny! And Marc seems to enjoy being her slave and catering to her every whim. The relationship is just beautiful.
But, alas, back to the seriousness that reared its ugly head as Marc’s cat-show-obsessed mother turned up in New York City. (Did she really name her cat Lady Buttons of Camelot? That’s what I’m naming my next pet.) She’s pretty much a raging b—-, though, and fabulously played by guest Patti LuPone. (Where has she been lately? I haven’t seen her in anything since she played Stella in Oz. Regardless, perfect casting.) Marc, for once, seemed a little deeper than his usual, two-dimensional self. We were finally allowed to see his demons, as opposed to seeing him exploit the demons of other people (i.e. Betty). When he said, ”You wanna talk about swishy? Open your eyes, Mom, and look at your own swishy son,” did any of you other fans feel awful for the poor guy? While he lives his fabulous life in NYC out of the eye of his mother, he’s keeping this dark secret from her. Thankfully it’s finally out to her, but he may have lost her along the way. The fact that Ms. Weiner (why is she not Ms. St. James? did I miss that part?) kicked him to the curb grounded the whole thing in a sad reality that probably happens too often. But I was happy to see that while Marc may be down, he wasn’t crushed: ”It’s her loss,” he said after having the Puffs-moment heart-to-heart with Betty on her front porch. ”Because I’m freakin’ fabulous.”
What this all does, though, is set up LuPone to make another guest appearance on Betty. Who’s excited for that? Me! For the whacked-out cat names alone, I’m excited. But also for the continued exploration of her and Marc’s relationship. Her walking out on him can’t be the end of this, right?
This story line also raised the possibility that Betty and Marc may actually have a friendly relationship now. ”Oh, and just so you know, you’ll always be my little chimichanga,” he said as he walked away. ”Doesn’t mean I like you.” Even though I love it that Betty has broken through Marc’s icy wall, I’m hoping they’ll be back at odds in the office! I mean, he fed her glue! They’re best when they’re bickering.
One thing we won’t see again (now that he’s out): Betty and Marc’s totally unbelievable relationship. I gagged on my Reese’s peanut butter eggs every time I heard them call each other ”taquito,” ”treasure,” or some such other fake pet name. (Really, ”treasure”?) I much preferred Amanda as his beard. ”We’ll always have that fake pregnancy scare,” Marc told her, after he ”dumped” her. Amanda’s response: ”Oh, that was a real scare, you idiot. It just wasn’t yours!” Zing!
Maybe I should have mentioned this before, but the dinner party at Casa de Suarez was fantastic, right? So many zingers — mostly from Marc. 1. While looking at Betty’s bedroom: ”So, this is where the tragic happens.” 2. Insisting he won’t come out to his mom: ”Are you kidding? Look what happened with Lady Buttons. And that was just over a stupid ribbon.” 3. Giving Betty a pep talk: ”Let’s turn that mustache upside down, go downstairs and finish dinner, and then we’ll be out of here.” And Justin, of course: ”Dad tried to take me out for fast food. Chicken nuggets are almost 15 points! It’s almost bathing-suit season!” Hilda scored a laugh point, too, with her how-Justin-came-to-be story: ”Prom night, condom breaks, long story. Actually that’s pretty much it.” And Marc again, trying to make a ”straight” comment: ”And how about the boobs on that Beyoncé?”
Now to Willy. She just can’t win, can she? ”Seems like practically everyone in the room is an editor in chief,” she said to Daniel and Alexis, who had agreed to try to split the responsibilities. ”Except for me.” I feel for her. Even though she does have a heart of stone, everyone has turned on her: Daniel, Bradford, Alexis…the list goes on and on. But Willy is like Scarlett in Gone With the Wind — she will persist. And that’s why I love her. Can’t you just see her in that field declaring that she’ll never go hungry again, even if she has to lie, cheat, steal, or kill? She’s probably willing to do all those things to become Mode‘s editor in chief. In fact, hasn’t she done nearly all of those things anyway?
And her little seedling of a seduction act on Bradford? ”How about a little dinner and some company?” she purred, wrapped in fur. Is it really possible that she hasn’t tried this before? My only warning to poor Willy would be to watch out for Claire. The last editor of Mode who slept with Bradford ended up dying in a fiery car crash at the hands of the very capable Claire (who, we found out this week, actually owns Mode). Even though she may be handcuffed to a hospital bed and heading toward a life sentence for murder, I wouldn’t put it past her to break out and take Willy down. What’s Claire got to lose at this point?
I’m almost lost in the whole Meade family mess right now. Anyone else? I can hardly keep it straight who’s mad at who, who’s backstabbing who, who’s in jail, who’s out, and so on. Right now, it seems that jailed Claire is backing Alexis as a co-editor at Mode. Daniel seems okay with sprung-from-prison Bradford. But Bradford is still pissed at Alexis for getting the sex change. Claire and Bradford also seem to be getting along, except for that whole murder thing hanging over their head. Got that? Me neither.
And Daniel and Alexis, supposed collaborators on Mode? Well, that was over faster than one of Daniel’s one-night stands. What I did love about their relationship this week was seeing some of the backstory, from when Alexis was Alex. It’s hard to feel bad for Daniel because he’s such a pretty playboy and basically has a charmed life, but anyone who has an older, more accomplished sibling (who can outrun you!) knows what he’s going through. Feeling like a failure, outdone by someone he loves (or did love), hung out to dry. But, Betty being Betty, the story line was punched up with amazing laughs: ”I have much bigger dreams,” Alexis said to Daniel, after telling him he didn’t want the Mode editor job. Daniel: ”Like what? A uterus?” Alexis: ”You can say it, but can you spell it?” Big brother just showed you up again, little Danny!
Meanwhile, the continued saga of Henry and Betty just gets a big sigh. More stiff, awkward conversation between the two. Are they really going to just let things be? I mean, Henry knows Betty’s favorite pizza toppings and who her favorite Disney princess is! It’s cute. The only thing I’m happy about with this story line is that we didn’t have to endure too many minutes of their under-the-surface yearning for each other. Frankly, it just hurts me too much to watch.
But, TV Watchers, I turn to you now. What, if anything, about Ugly Betty hurts you too much to watch? How’s Bradford going to react to the redesigned Mode? What were your favorite lines of dialogue from this episode? And where can we buy those ”Free Claire” T-shirts?