Ugly Betty: Jump (season finale)
(S02E18) After all the hype surrounding the Lindsay Lohan appearance, I was expecting more than a brief flashback that explained Betty's hatred of sports. Even the little French kid had more screen time! It would be one thing if Lohan was introduced briefly midseason and continued to make appearances; that would have made sense. Introducing her for thirty seconds before the season's end was a strange choice. I look forward to seeing how they reintroduce Kimberly in the Ugly Betty present, but I wish they had waited until next season's premiere to bring her in.
The Lohan thing is a minor grievance. Unfortunately, there were some major things wrong with this episode. As finales go, "Jump" didn't come close to the emotional punch of season one's "East Side Story." The cliffhangers didn't put much at stake. Betty won't suddenly move to Tucson to be with Henry, especially since the cast and crew are moving to NYC for real. Daniel isn't really gone from Mode for good, or the whole premise of the show would be shot. Don't even get me started about that weird fake plane at the end.
Once again, there was a connection between Betty and Hilda's love lives. Both women were playing it safe; Hilda by taking things slow with Tony Diaz, and Betty by being too cautious (with Gio, her writing, everything). I'm having trouble rooting for Hilda's relationship with the sort-of-married Coach Diaz, especially since the writers didn't give us much of a reason to like him. Yes, he looks great with his shirt off, but why do we want him in Hilda's life?
The men of Ugly Betty didn't do so well in this episode. Daniel got stuck with a random "long-lost son" storyline, and Henry turned desperate and pushy all of a sudden. What was the deal? He pitched this perfect life in Tucson scenario, put the ring in Betty's hand, and left without waiting for an answer or just to, I don't know, talk? I got the impression from Betty's dream that her answer to the Gio-or-Henry question will be, "Neither." She's going to take a page from Kelly Taylor's book and choose herself. That's all well and good, but can she choose Gio once she straightens herself out?
The softball game scenes were the highlight of this episode, and emphasized the things that Ugly Betty does well. The impractical softball uniforms, the usual Marc and Amanda misbehavior, and a great celebrity cameo. Naomi Campbell was a good sport to go along with the cell phone joke. The game was also a great way to declare Wili the victor of round two of Meade vs. Slater. She won the game and got Daniel's job.
I have a lot of questions after watching the finale, but probably not the ones the writers intended. What was up with the Madonna overload? Where was Christina, and what was the point of Stuart's presence this season? Can Elle's Joe Zee be a recurring guest star and insult Wili with more awesome one-liners? All in all, I think this season suffered from the writers' strike hiatus and the dismissal of several key staff members over the last year. I still love a lot of things about Ugly Betty, though, and I hope that season three will feature more of those elements.
My favorite line/moment of the night: Daniel doing his Wili impression, or the repeated use of the word "natch."
|To Tucson with Henry||13 (1.3%)|
|To Rome with Gio||350 (35.0%)|
|Somewhere else by herself||590 (59.0%)|