¡Gracias a Dios! The second season of Ugly Betty is picking up!
Let’s start with Amanda, shall we? Well, it turns out that Bradford’s not her father. (Thank the LORD! It would be hard to imagine that the fatally stiff Bradford could spawn such a fabulous creature. I mean they have GOT to do something with his character. He is merely a bland metal pinball bounced between the crazy women in his life. Okay, I don’t know what metal had to do with that metaphor, but stay with me anyway). For the annual Mode black and white ball Marc convinces her to come in red as her mother used to, hauling her hairless little dog. When this fails to get the press’s attention, Marc steps on her dress, leaving her naked on the red carpet (except for the pooch, blond wig and sunglasses) and the next day every paper in town features a photo of Fey’s illegitimate, nude daughter. But Amanda is still unfulfilled: it is then she plants the seed that she has to search for her real father to understand who she is.
We pick up Ignacio where we left him last week, in Mexico with a gun in his face, facing down his rival, Ramiro Vasquez Ramiro — significantly less dead that previously thought — who forces Ignacio to make his special flan at gunpoint, because sometimes he misses his wife, and sometimes he misses Ignacio’s flan. After consuming the custard he orders his son to shoot Ignacio anyway and leaves (classic mistake in these kind of plots… you’d think after watching telenovelas Ramiro would be smarter than that). Gentle Ignacio manages to talk the son down by reminding him of his father’s abuse, and when Ramiro returns to see why he hasn’t done it yet, we cut to an outside shot of the house and hear a gunshot. No need to guess what happened there.
It seems Bradford and Wilhelmina’s nuptials are back on. And Wilhelmina had to announce it in front of poor Claire Meade — who sneaked into the party with her literal partner in crime, Yoga — could the poor woman be shoved any farther down? I know, I know, she killed Fey Sommers, but I feel bad for her anyway. Perhaps she and Yoga can find happiness together in the Hamptons on a more permanent basis?
Oh, and Freddy Rodriguez is here! His acerbic but intelligent character Gio the sandwich man entices Betty with his witty challenges. They end up taking a trip to New Jersey to pick up a robotic wheelchair for Daniel (which he doesn’t need, more on that later) and with the progression of their banter, Betty comes to realize that in all the bagel-fetching and boss-babysitting she’s lost sight of her original goal: to be a writer. Gio is a wonderful addition and though I’m getting used to the funky mod haircut I can’t decide if the character is psychotic or just clever.
Henry wakes up in Betty’s house hung over from his wine cooler binge. Hilda tells him that he has to call Charley and confront her about her affair with the orthodontist, and Henry spends half the episode working up the courage. When he finally does, he also manages to stand up to Marc and Amanda who in turn decide that he has suddenly gotten hot. Meanwhile Betty’s feeling intrigued enough by Gio to hide his sandwich gift from Henry. And so another love triangle begins!
Daniel, meanwhile, is floundering a bit. The plotline that he was faking his inability to walk in order to seduce his physical therapist (who I don’t believe we’ve ever seen) was weak, at best. It seemed like a device to get Gio and Betty alone together and perhaps to reestablish Daniel’s player status. But the scene with Daniel teaching (or attempting to teach) Justin to play basketball was wonderful. I love the growing relationship between these two and that Daniel has always accepted Justin for who he is.
And as Betty and Hilda sit at the kitchen table discussing Betty’s bold move to enroll in a writing class, Ignacio arrives home. Though I was not at all surprised that he was alive, I have to admit that I cried at the reunion of the Suarez family. Despite the somewhat disappointing start to this second season — it’s their own fault, they set the bar so damn high with the first one — these characters already feel like family to me. I care about what happens to them and that is what keeps people tuning in week after week.