”Ugly Betty” recap: Daniel’s hot romance
Just like everyone else, I couldn’t wait for the cameo from Christian Siriano and Nina Garcia of Project Runway on this week’s Ugly Betty. The possibilities were endless: a diva showdown between Nina and Willy; a temporary makeover of Betty by Christian; Amanda replacing Marc with Christian as her new BFF; an issue of Mode guest-edited by Christian…But their teeny, cliché-filled appearance — which seemed to be just getting started when Renee waltzed in and broke it up — was unsatisfying. Don’t you think?
Sure, I loved seeing Christian (fabulously draped in a Count Dracula-esque cape) prance in with a gaggle of models wearing his Runway designs, too. But really, was that all? Sheesh. If you want the definition of buildup without payoff, I think we witnessed it right then. The best part of that sequence was Amanda furiously voguing with the models only to quickly get the hook by a very irritated Alexis. Oh, and Christian telling Alexis she was a ”hot tranny mess” was spot-on. I mean, the phrase is totally overdone, especially after the uproarious SNL parody, and you could see it coming a mile away, but I’ll admit: It was appropriate and funny.
In news about people who definitely are not trannies, Renee was smokin’ this episode. No, seriously, she was lighting things on fire! I about died when she chased Betty around lighting that lighter over and over — and then when Renee pulled a knife and Betty ended up only with a useless candlesnuffer. We got a clue as to what Renee’s damage was last week when she freaked out after Christina lit a candle in Willy’s apartment, and tonight, the whole enchilada was revealed: She was an arsonist who accidentally killed a former lover in a fire. And by the looks of what she did tonight — girlfriend scattered about 20 dozen candles around Daniel’s apartment — she pretty much still is an arsonist. I’m truly sad to see Gabrielle Union go. I mean, her being carted off to the asylum — or wherever Willy was having her sent — means she’s gone for good, right? No reappearance down the line? Renee and Daniel had a nice chemistry, and there is little about Gabrielle Union that isn’t flawless. At least it’s gratifying that she went out with a bang.
NEXT: Daniel and Betty’s fantasy hookup
The ramp-up to Renee’s crazy escapade in Daniel’s apartment was quite the fantasy for some of you out there, eh? Betty and Daniel’s possible hookup — c’mon, I know there’s a contingent of Detty (is that what you’re called?) fans out there. I was 90 percent sure that we were being duped when Betty first walked into Daniel’s office and started to try to seduce him. (”Mmm, you smell so good, Daniel,” Betty hilariously said. ”Like muscles and power. I want you!”) But 10 percent of me knew Betty wouldn’t skip over Henry and Gio for her beefcake boss. (Renee hit the nail squarely on the head when she told Daniel, ”Frankly, I’m just surprised most women don’t just tear your clothes off.”) Betty has dreamed about it before. And truly, I sort of wanted Betty to do the nasty with Daniel. Isn’t that kind of disgusting of me? Betty and Daniel have nothing in common, and it’d only make their working relationship totally awkward, but a little romp between the two wouldn’t be that outrageous in Betty world. Or maybe it’d really make this show jump the shark. I can’t decide. Anyway, it’s not happening, and I think the writers are probably on point to never make it happen.
On the subject of Betty’s romantic life, though, I’ve got to say it’s pretty dismal. She and Henry seemed more destined than ever for Splitsville this week. And Charlie didn’t even technically pop up to screw things up! Their weirdness was pretty much all their own doing. (And as for Henry’s little run-in with Gio? Amateur! He’s so insecure about his situation he’s going after the sandwich guy.) Granted, Betty was insanely busy, and we did hear the news from Henry that Charlie had had a panic attack in the airport and would be sticking around until she had the baby. None of that bodes well for Betty and Henry. But it does bode well for my favorite new couple on the show: Gio and Betty. I was thinking about Betty’s love life a bit over the past week. I remember that when she and Henry were trying to hook up, I was all about it. It seemed like such a good match. But when is the last time you can remember the pair doing anything that wasn’t totally mind-numbingly boring? How long has it been since Betty made that ice cream sundae on Henry’s chest? I guess this is how relationships on television are supposed to work: Break up, move on, get back together, break up….Just look at all the great soap-opera couples. It’s time for the breakup, in my opinion.
The other story lines were rather spare. Hilda and her old nemesis Gina Gambarro had a little showdown in her Beautilities shop back in Queens. The back-and-forth was funny (said Hilda about Gina’s shoes: ”This isn’t a snowflake. It’s a snow-fake!”), but anyone who reads spoilers knows what this exchange — which made Hilda realize she really wants a man — was setting up: the introduction of the beautician’s new love interest, to be played by man-candy Eddie Cibrian. Reportedly, he’ll show up as Justin’s PE teacher.
NEXT: Lack of support
Again, I wanted to see more of my fave supporting cast members: Alexis (you may have heard that Rebecca Romijn is going to be demoted to recurring status next season, so we’ll see even less of her); Marc (BTW, where’s his cuddly boyfriend, Cliff?); Amanda (at least tonight she got to wear a spectacular puffy top, which you can bid on for charity here).
And you knew this was coming from this unabashed Vanessa Williams lover, but there definitely wasn’t enough Willy tonight either! Sure, I relished the pure evil that was seeping from her as she locked her sister away again, but I’m ready for her to get back into the Meade offices and start stirring up a ruckus there. Judging from next week’s previews — she was giving the office a tour of Christina’s sonogram on the projector screen in the conference room — she’s gonna be back very soon! My question: Will she be working for Mode or Hot Flash? (Her womb is hostile and all, so Hot Flash seems to be somewhat fitting?)
Now, on to the best sound bites from the evening:
· Justin, after scheduling Gina Gambaro for an appointment at Hilda’s Beautilities: ”Mom, don’t we need the business? Even skanky business….”
· Amanda, explaining the small crush she still has on Daniel: ”I am mostly over it. But I do have a rule that if I date someone, I get to think about them in the shower sometimes.”
· Amanda, on why Gio has hooked Betty: ”You give Betty enough food, it’s just a matter of time before she falls in love.”
· Christian Siriano, upon his entrance to Mode: ”The House of Siriano has arrived. Worship me, bitches!”
· Willy, after Marc whined about having to go watch over the pregnant Christina at Willy’s apartment: ”Don’t pout. You haven’t the lips for it.”
· Marc, while he and Willy were plotting to get Renee put away: ”So sad Gucci doesn’t make a straitjacket.”
· Willy, referring to putting her sister away: ”I get no joy from this, Marc. Well, that’s not true — I get a little joy. But it’s tempered with sadness.”
Over to you, TV Watchers: How did you feel about the cameo appearances? Were you secretly rooting for the Betty-Daniel hookup, too? And what do you think Claire was up to this evening? Burn up the message board below!