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April 23, 2014

Ugly Betty: Giving Up the Ghost

by Erin Martell, posted Nov 23rd 2007 10:00AM

America Ferrera and Eliza Dushku

(S02E09) Thanks to the Medusa X virus, Wilhelmina Slater nearly changed Mode and Ugly Betty forever. Wili's plans for Slater magazine didn't come to fruition this week, but something tells me that she won't stop trying to destroy Mode. While Wili was busy trying to get money from her father, Alexis, Daniel, and Betty were trying to honor their dead parents. I guess we all have different priorities around the holidays!

Betty's dilemma about returning to Mode made for an interesting contrast with Wili's conversation with the senator. Unlike Betty, who could only guess what her mother would think of Mode's influence on her, Wili got to hear firsthand from her father that Mode has turned her into a bad person. Daniel said it best: making difficult decisions is part of growing up, and switching jobs wouldn't change that. For the most part, Betty has made decisions based on her selflessness and love for her family and friends. Wili, on the other hand, has chosen to pursue her ambition at any cost. I'm glad that Betty wised up and realized that working at Mode would never turn her into Wilhelmina. At least not without a lot of surgery.

Bradford's ghost took several forms in this episode. For Betty, he was the "island casual" representation of her guilt. Daniel and Alexis were haunted by Bradford's perceptions of them. After breaking a celebrity out of rehab and nearly giving her a drink, Daniel learned that he didn't have to become his father in order to honor his memory. Alexis' talk with Harvey taught her that, whether Bradford accepted her or not, her opinion was the only one that mattered. For a long time, these issues with Bradford were a major part of Alexis' and Daniel's lives. What will they do now that they don't have to impress or argue with him? I'm curious to see what new conflicts and relationships come into play for the Meade siblings.

Before the end of the season, we might get to witness the beginning of a new father-daughter relationship. Fresh off her failure at the magazine, Amanda returned to the search for her biological father. She'll need something to do, now that Marc is part of the Slater gang. How sad was it to watch Marc make fun of Amanda, and to watch Amanda figure out that she and Marc are on different sides now? I don't care how the writers do it; Wili and Marc have to return to Mode! I don't think I can handle more than a few episodes' worth of this separation.

Once again, Betty needed a figment of her imagination to help her make an important breakthrough. I hope that laid-back Bradford's appearance was the last one of these visions. Hilda's vision of Santos was touching, but Old Betty and island casual Bradford were distracting. There has to be a better way to depict Betty confronting her problems than through fake conversations in daydreams.

All in all, this wasn't one of those classic Betty episodes, but it had a few nice moments. I'm thrilled that Betty and Daniel are working together again, and their high five reminded me of the good old days. I also thought it was funny that the supposedly fashion forward Amanda keeps making questionable clothing choices. In Season One, she got duped into wearing a latex hobble dress because she thought it was from a hot new designer. This week, she received inspiration from a pizza delivery guy. Betty's sweater vests aren't looking so bad all of a sudden.

Daniel made the memorial issue of Mode issue Number One, hoping for a blank slate. What will this fresh start mean for everyone? How long will Wili's scheming keep Marc and Amanda apart? I still have a few questions leftover from earlier episodes, too. What happened between Wili and the doctor last week? Where's Gio? The next two weeks will be tough; we're talking serious Betty withdrawal, here. Stay strong, people!

My favorite lines of the night:

  • "My guilt wears island casual?" --Betty
  • "Is this going to be some kind of murder-suicide thing? Because Cliff and I have Chorus Line tickets tonight." --Marc
  • "Girl fight...kinda." --Nick Pepper
  • "I always imagined you rising out of a cauldron or born of a jackal." --Marc, to Wili
  • "What am I gonna do now, work hard? --Amanda

Next week--a rerun, but fear not. A new episode is coming up in two weeks!

Which plotline did you miss the most this week?
Cliff and Marc's relationship134 (40.5%)
Gio's role in Betty's life48 (14.5%)
Wili's proposition to the doctor (from last week).149 (45.0%)

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Karen

Oh, thanks, CT A! You're right; I totally missed that.

November 26 2007 at 2:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
C.A

Karen, If you listen closely, someone (I forgot who it was. Maybe it was Betty) says that Wili destroyed the files and than took the book. I think the reason why she didn't want to acknowledge it was because she didn't want to get into any trouble or didn't want anyone break into her dungeon to retrieve the book like the last time.

November 25 2007 at 6:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Karen

Here's what I didn't get: we all know that fashion magazines have "the book"--the binder where the entire issue is stashed as its laid out, and which Betty has had to beg, borrow, or steal for Daniel on occasion. So, there is actually a print copy of each issue that should be in Daniel's possession. Then why did Wili's destruction of the online files have such a tragic result? Why couldn't they just scan the cover photo from the copy in the Book, and re-create the editorial matter from the hard copies in the Book?

Now, it could be that Wili had the Book in her possession when she unleashed the Medusa X virus, but if so, shouldn't the show have at least acknowledged it? So weird to me....

And, yeah, Erin--what is UP with not mentioning the spectacular Eliza Dushku?? You missed the Bud Cort cameo a couple of episodes back, as well--maybe we need someone more character-savvy checking these reviews?

November 25 2007 at 2:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
La-Di-Dah

Best thing ever: the blank slate cover. Although, Dushku wrecking the set as a cover would also have been gggreat.

November 24 2007 at 1:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BC McKinney

"I knew Fay Sommers. I worked with Fay Sommers. I once made out with Fay Sommers." - Sheila to Amanda

November 23 2007 at 2:10 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joni

What, no mention of an hilarious Eliza Dushku? And her portait of an american sweeheart? How come?

November 23 2007 at 11:44 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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