Ugly Betty: Twenty-Four Candles
(S02E14) That look says it all, doesn't it? Betty spent part of her birthday with fellow dreamer Gio, and came home to Henry with a lot on her mind. The reappearance of Charlie reminded us that Henry's baby is coming soon. There's a difficult decision in Betty's future. Who will she choose, Henry or Gio?
Gallery: Ugly Betty: Twenty-Four Candles
This episode gave us a lot of classic Ugly Betty moments, including some fabulous scheming by Wilhelmina Slater. Wili and Marc pulled the ol' switcheroo with Renee's meds to sabotage her relationship with Daniel. I can't wait to see Gabrielle Union bring out her crazy side. Renee's been a great foil for Wilhelmina so far. Apart from Claire, none of the other characters comes close to being a worthy adversary for Wili. Renee knew just how to exploit someone's weakness. In this case, Marc's love for chocolatinis gave Renee the ammunition she needed.
At least one family on this show knows how to stick together. I loved all of the heartwarming Suarez family moments. Ignacio and Hilda got a little more screen time this week. They were sidelined during most of the Henry-Gio love triangle and Amanda's daddy search. I was so proud of Hilda for laying the smack down on Charlie. Henry was far too trusting when Charlie dropped in for a surprise visit, and Betty was far too accommodating. Someone had to put the manipulative mother-to-be in her place; Hilda was just the woman to do it. Ignacio did what he does best: be a loving father. The pouty look on his face when he couldn't throw Betty a party was sweet. Betty will need her dad in the upcoming weeks.
Is it wrong that part of me wants Betty to work for Claire Meade? Claire is an ideal mentor for Betty (minus the drinking), and Betty brings out Claire's softer side. Their heart-to-heart in the bathroom was one of my favorite scenes of the episode. There's nothing like a Betty Suarez pep talk to set a Meade right. Will any of the ex-con employees of Hot Flash become Claire's new Yoga? Claire could use a decent sidekick.
Betty's dream revealed a lot about her relationship issues. She wants it all--the carriage ride, the fireworks, and the weekend in the Poconos. I believe that she truly loves Henry, but is beginning to realize that he can't give her those things. Henry is becoming increasingly unavailable now that Charlie is in town and the baby's on the way. On a side note, what possessed him to let Charlie answer the door? He let his baby mama crush his girlfriend's dreams of a perfect birthday. Showing up in Queens with pink gerbera daisies was a nice gesture, but will it be enough this time?
Gio made an effort to give Betty her "ultimate birthday extravaganza," but fell a bit short. I'm glad that Betty's promise to avoid Gio didn't take. I'm liking Gio more and more as a match for Betty. He's a dreamer, too, but he knows how to work with what the world hands him. Betty was ready to give up on her fantasies after the improvised dinner didn't work out. Gio managed to get her a horse-drawn carriage and a romantic fireworks alternative. Betty needs to reconcile what she wants with what is possible. She'll either get a dream romance or Henry, but not both.
This episode left me with many, many questions. Who did Renee kill? What was the deal with the gratuitous scene of Rebecca Romijn in her underwear? Why does Justin have to grow up so fast? I also wondered if there was perhaps a grain of truth to Marc's excuse for being in Daniel's apartment. Remember when he blurted out that he fell in love with Daniel (in last season's Thanksgiving episode)? I guess Marc's keeping the crush alive. Did anyone else love Hilda and Gio's new haircuts, by the way?
Just so I don't end things on a superficial note, here are my favorite lines of the night:
- "He says now I owe him one. Someone has a short memory." --Betty, on Daniel
- "What's your favorite thing about getting old? Is it your hair thinning or kids asking you about Vietnam? --Amanda, back to her usual teasing
- "These are not just decorative." --Hilda, laying the smack down
- "I try to keep up the appearance that I never use the bathroom. I hope you won't think less of me." --Claire
- "I'm too cute for prison. They'll pass me around like a collection plate at a Catholic church." --Marc
Next week--Renee gets crazy, fights break out all over the place, and Project Runway's Christian Siriano guest stars.
|Ignacio's cupcakes||29 (9.4%)|
|The bedazzled cell phone||16 (5.2%)|
|Pink gerbera daisies||13 (4.2%)|
|A carriage ride with Gio||99 (31.9%)|
|Daniel remembering he'd forget||153 (49.4%)|