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''Ugly Betty'': Wilhelmina pulls Betty in

On ”Ugly Betty,” evil queen Wilhelmina tempts our heroine to betray Daniel by offering to help Ignacio return home; plus, Henry comes back for more awkward moments with Betty

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Vanessa Williams, Ugly Betty
Mitch Haddad

Ugly Betty

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:
09/28/06
performer:
America Ferrera, Eric Mabius, Ana Ortiz, Vanessa Williams
Producer:
Salma Hayek
broadcaster:
ABC
genre:
Comedy, Drama

”Ugly Betty”: Wilhelmina pulls Betty in

Although we love Betty for her fortitude, good nature, work ethic, and moral compass (and, unforgettably, the ability to rock a mean Guadalajara poncho), there was something downright gleeful about seeing her take a turn for the worse in this week’s episode. All those wrinkles in her forehead? The frowns? The snappy, let’s-punch-Henry-hard moment? It all came thanks to Willy, who summed up Betty’s new groove with glowing approval: ”You surprised me, Betty,” the evil creative director said. ”Stealing my keys? Breaking into my apartment? Taking the book? [Laughs.] Good for you — you’re growing.”

That approval showed that two can play at a game Betty never seemed up for playing before — but, of course, it came at a price. The dastardly Wilhelmina discovered that her affair with bodyguard Duane wasn’t a secret to Betty anymore. (After finding the clue — Betty’s earring on her bedroom floor — she gut-splittingly announced, ”I smell a burrito.” Loved that one.) Knowing that Betty would spill the beans ( ”I’m sure you understand,” Betty said bravely, ”my loyalties are with Daniel”), the cunning Willy — always one step ahead of whomever she’s manipulating — deftly pulled the family card, the one thing Betty can’t turn a blind eye to. At the first mention of Willy’s deal — in exchange for Betty’s silence, Ignacio would be granted a visa — I thought there wasn’t a chance Betty would bite. Just a week ago, the girl had a touching late-evening burial ceremony with Daniel. There’s some serious love, or maybe it’s just mutual admiration and respect, in this relationship.

But on second thought, Ignacio has been stuck in Mexico for weeks. As has always been the case with the Suarez clan, family comes first. I’m actually totally fine with Betty’s deceptive turn. She had no other choice. But what’s in store for her when Daniel and Bradford find out what she’s hiding? My fan intuition tells me that nothing could break down Daniel and Betty’s bond, especially since Daniel isn’t a huge fan of Willy. Honestly, would he care if he found out that Willy was cheating on his dad? I suppose he wouldn’t necessarily be hurt about the infidelity, but at the same time, he wouldn’t want to be kept in the dark about it — and mostly wouldn’t want to see his father hurt. (Although, after the way Daniel talks to Bradford sometimes — like when he got heated about Bradford lying to Alexis — I’m not sure Daniel even likes his father.)

What’s more, this story line spawned one of the best recent Betty scenes, with the Western-soundtracked shootout between Willy and Betty on the mannequin-littered Mode rooftop. And the Wilhelmina rage scene at the end, with her bashing the mannequins in frustration, was simply priceless. The icing on the cake? Marc supplying the thunder sound effects.

Speaking of Marc, how much are you loving the intern boot camp he was running downstairs? (I couldn’t get over the part where Marc went off about Shakira not having bendy straws. Great acting!) The ever cute Justin’s internship at Mode has to be one of my favorite story lines ever on this show. He’s not a stranger to the office (last week definitely wasn’t the first time he snuck in), but for so long he was vicariously living at Mode through Betty. And now he can pick up dropped pencils, update Wilhelmina’s contacts, and go rice-cake searching to his heart’s content. He’s ecstatic. ”You want me to bring my lunch?” he said to Hilda after she handed him a brown bag for his first day. ”Mom, the famous Mode cafeteria? Where Naomi Campbell had a tuna melt and a meltdown. They now have it on the menu — the Naomi Campbell Tuna Meltdown. Yah.” It’s rewarding to see him so happy — especially after everything that’s been happening at the Suarez house.

NEXT: The return of Henry

Back to Ignacio: Can someone clue me in as to why he was being held at gunpoint there at the end? Was that guy a relative of the man he killed before leaving Mexico the first time? Woe, woe, woe. I’m confused (and sad!), but we’ll no doubt find out what’s happening next week. Seems like Ignacio won’t be leaving Mexico anytime soon — or he’s going to have to give that guy something that he wants (his life? one of his daughters? some of his famous enchiladas?). We all should have seen this one coming because of the references to it last season.

On the Alexis-Daniel-Bradford front, it’s lies. All lies. (So typical for the Meade family.) This is totally Betty because of all the secrets, but where is it leading us? Will Alexis find out that both Daniel and Bradford are lying to her about what happened before the accident? Will Claire swoop back in and tell her the truth about everything? Does Bradford really want his family back? And I’m sorry, I kind of need Alexis to do something other than grab her breasts and look wide-eyed — and I know she’s laid up in the hospital — for me to care about her again.

Last, let’s talk about Betty’s romantic life. I’m down with Henry’s return because I’m really rooting for these two to get together. They’re cute — no one can deny that. But Henry is a jerk sometimes — going on and on about all the baby and fatherhood stuff to his buddy Betty, ugh — and she’s just too timid. Their relationship could languish in will-we-or-won’t-we forever. I would have loved it if Betty had found someone in the time that Henry was gone — stick it to him a bit! Also: Where was the damn kiss between Betty and Henry ? It was almost there, but not. We were cheated! (And so was Betty. And Henry for that matter.)

As for Betty sound bites, I thought it was kind of a dry week. Lots of good turns of phrases (”pie-eating Betty,” ”I know he pays you for your south-of-the border spirit,” ”Willameister”), but only a few others that I loved (besides the ones I’ve already quoted above):

3. Willy, making a deal with Betty on the Mode roof: ”Come on, girl. I am black. You are Mexican. Let’s not talk around it like a coupla dull white people. Keep your mouth shut, and your old man comes home.”

2. Duane the bodyguard, just before his ”afternoon delight” with Willy: ”Can I be on top this time?” Willy: ”Don’t be stupid!”

1. Christina, sneaking into Wilhelmina’s apartment with Betty: ”I can’t believe we’re actually in Lucifer’s chamber, Beelzebub’s lair, the devil’s rumpus room! Ohhh, look! A photograph of Wilhelmina with Dick Cheney!”

So, TV Watchers, I’m asking you: What were your favorite lines from this week’s episode? Where was Claire? (Guess not every story line can play out every week.) Will Bradford and Willy actually tie the knot? And how ugly is Amanda’s new dog, Halston? (Yuck!)