Friday, January 05, 2007

Ugly Betty: Leftovers and Knockoffs

This week on Ugly Betty: four months ago. No, really. Either the episode order has gotten hopelessly discombobulated or the writers were feeling lazy, because we've gotten what is essentially a new repeat. Everything is what it was in September: Wilhelmina is still trying to take Daniel down, Amanda and Marc are still mean to Betty, Papa Suarez is still having HMO issues, and Walter is stalking Betty. All of this is dressed up in the frame of Betty's last day at Mode, as Betty packs up her desk and tells the whole pointless tale to Christina. The frame story gets ridiculous during Betty's past conversations with Christina – is Betty really rehashing those for Christina's benefit? Wasn't she there? And then there's a bit in the "four months ago" story in which Christina asks after Betty's Magical Gucci Bag - the same question that sparked the whole frame story thing in the first place.

The Magical Gucci Bag is, of course, this week's MacGuffin; Christina is cleaning out the closet and everyone has an eye on that bag. Even Betty likes it, although, like Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada, she insists that she doesn't care about fashion. Betty, I say to you as I said to Anne: it's your job. Learn to care. To her credit, she does, thanks to the Magical Gucci Bag, which reminds her of one Mama Suarez had and makes her feel good – so Christina saves it for her. But if the Magical Gucci Bag represents one thing, it's love, so Betty barters it for her father's heart medication. Aw. And because knockoff Magical Gucci Bags represent cheap, discount love, Walter gets her one of those to replace the real MGB. Which she promptly gives to Evil Marc anyway, so ha! Walter, I hope Marc is very happy with your "please don't turn me in to the cops for stalking you" present.

Meanwhile, the office politics are – well, they're what they were four months ago. You remember when every episode used to follow the same pattern: Daniel needs to land a big client in order to prove himself, Wilhelmina throws a wrench into his plans, Betty gets an idea that saves their bacon? Yeah, well, same thing, only with a minimalist Japanese designer, insufficient funds, and a White Castle knockoff. At least there's Henry to savor, as we get the first meeting between Betty and the world's cutest accountant (she steals his coffee and bagel for Daniel). Sadly, much of Henry's time is consumed with actual accountancy in this episode, like going over expense reports and trying to determine how to go about seizing Wilhelmina's improperly expensed butt lift, so he doesn't get much of a chance to shine. But it's nice just to look at him.


Erin said...

I didn't like this "new repeat" either, and would love to hear the network's reasoning for not airing it in proper order. Perhaps the episodes will be rearranged for the DVD, and they will take the "remember when this was happening" scenes out. I did enjoy seeing how Betty and Henry met, though.

Liz said...

Now that I'm all caught up, I can say "word" on the lame out-of-order episode. Uncool, ABC!