Say it isn’t so! Rumor has it that due to the writers’ strike there are only three more episodes of Ugly Betty in the can and then it is the end of the season. But the consolation is that episode ten was fabulous enough for a dozen episodes.
Where to begin? Well, Hilda asks Gio out, causing some ambiguous feelings for Betty. Envious of their reggaeton dancing date, Betty is disappointed by Henry’s promise of a fabulous date that turns out to involve the making of ice cream (and not for erotic purposes) and a showing of a prime example of new German cinema (and truthfully the image of Henry saying “off the hook” was so disturbing I’m having problems purging it from my mind). Personally, give me the reggaeton dancing date any day.
However, following Gio’s ideal date theory, Betty suggests she eat the ice cream off of Henry’s stomach. Rather than enlivening the evening this results in a cold belly, whipped cream shoved in between Betty’s eyes and her glasses, and scalding hot fudge across Henry’s bellybutton. The double dancing date at the club doesn’t go much better. Between Henry’s sleeve catching fire from the flaming drinks to the fight on the dance floor when Henry storms out, the evening was turning out to be a disaster. However when Betty calls Henry to apologize she sees him dancing on the floor like a geek-infused John Travolta in a wife-beater t-shirt with THE smallest waist I have ever seen on a man who wasn’t made out of plastic with molded hair. Cue schmaltzy music, the applause of the crowd and the romantic kiss. As Gio watches them walk out arm-in-arm it becomes clear to us — and to Hilda — that he has a thing for Betty.
Daniel and Alexis are bickering like children over the undecided leadership of Meade Publications. And once again Claire Meade gets the best line of the episode. While listening to them squabble from the phone in prison she scolds, “There is a woman named Hatchet in here who gets out tomorrow and I swear to God if the two of you do not cut it out I will send her to get you!” In order to settle their differences they decide to have a paintball fight, settling it as they did the ownership of their childhood tree house.
They each arrive at the offices in outrageously sexy PVC outfits (I suppose at a fashion magazine even paintball gear must be chic): it was like The Matrix with day glo acrylic. There are mannequin parts everywhere and splatters on the Anna Sui, leading Amanda to cry, “Daniel, this is out of control. Maybe we should just give up. Innocent clothes are getting hurt.” And the inevitable happens and Amanda and obnoxious Nick hook up. It’s about time. Thinking Alexis is hurt, Daniel goes to her and suggests they give up the fight and run the company together. She seems to agree but when he puts down his gun she shoots him with a paintball and earns the top spot in the company.
I have to say, Wilhelmina stealing a cab from Betty White and slamming her hand in the car door was the best piece of writing this season. The incident was caught on someone’s cell phone and the footage makes it onto YouTube. As they pull up the website Marc exclaims, “Oh God, this thing’s had 50,000 hits in the last hour! Some queen’s even mixed it to a dance song.”
And it is prime Betty White. Calling Wilhelmina from her hospital bed she tells her, “I’ll be fine. I did lose a lot of blood but it was my own fault. I stopped to sign a few autographs and almost bled out on the sidewalk.” And then the second best line of the night: “I adore [my fans]… except for the few sickos who write lesbian fan fiction about me and Bea Arthur.” So Wilhelmina convinces Betty to forgive her on television and the old golden girl brilliantly turns the tables, acting the victim for the camera destroying Willie’s already viper-ish reputation. “Oh God, get the monster away from me!” she cries! I couldn’t have done it better myself.
So Wilhelmina resorts to Plan B, removing a vile vial of Bradford’s sperm from her kitchen freezer and threatening to “give birth to an heir.” Shudder!
All in all a FABULOUS episode, really up to the old glory days of the first season. What a pity it might be cut short, but I can’t help but support my fellow writers. All I can say is, I hope they get what they want so they can “bring ugly back!” (With all due respect to Justin Timberlake, of course!)