TV Recap: Ugly Betty - Dress for Success

Thank god the winter hiatus is over. And what better way to welcome back good TV than to get a brand new, mostly fabulous and somewhat annoying episode of Ugly Betty. Seriously, can you beat Betty body slamming an assistant at Elle? Didn’t think so.

There’s a lot going on in Betty’s world right now. Her best friend, Christina, is pregnant. Her sister, Hilda, is re-opening her salon/store. Plus, Betty is starting the YETI (Young Editors in Training) program with her could-be mentor, Jodie Papadakis (played by the brilliant Bernadette Peters). All this on top of her work at Mode, which has increased since she proved she can handle more responsibility in the past few months. Oh, and did I mention that Elle is kicking Mode’s ass pretty consistently sales wise? Yes, our Betty is quite busy and those around her have noticed. Especially her selfish, ungrateful family.

Hilda’s salon is re-opening and the entire family is supposed to help set-up for it except Betty actually has a life. When she chooses to help Hilda and miss the first mixer at YETI, Jodie asks her to name some of the magazines other YETI students work for and when she can’t, she calls Betty out and says maybe this isn’t the industry for her if she can’t make tough decisions like that. Now Betty has to step up her game so when their assignment is to network and make 40 new contacts, Betty sticks to her guns next time and tells Hilda that she can’t come over. I mean, what would you do? This is your life and your family is guilting you into helping them? Sometimes you have to choose yourself and that’s exactly what Betty does. Only, she has no idea how to network so Daniel gives her the surprisingly good idea of imitating some one who is really good. Enter my darlings Marc and Amanda.

The first step is to not chat up a caterer for 20 minutes, as Betty did when they first got to the bar. As Marc sees it, you should meet, tell them your name and one interesting fact about yourself and give them your card. That’s it. The whole thing should take about 2 minutes, unless they have info you could use. Then you give them a piece of information that sounds good but is actually useless and wait for the tidbit they have for you. Once Marc gives her all of his how-to, Betty’s actually quite good at the whole thing. She gets her 40 contacts in no time and then notices one girl sitting on her own with a pink stripe in her hair.

She seems sweet enough and Betty and her really hit it off when they start discussing how much they hate networking. Then, just because they like each other, they exchange cards and…this girl, Teri (Nikki Blonsky) works at Elle. Remember you’re dealing with Betty here, she’s not going to fight or anything. They decide to just talk about themselves and leave their respective magazines out of it. That is, until Betty takes a bathroom break and the sneaky little bitch goes through her phone. Of course, Betty isn’t privy to that last fact, not yet, at least.

Back at Mode the next day, Betty is just about to ask Daniel if she can leave early to help Hilda when he asks her to personally go pick up the dress for their cover shoot. See, Daniel secured this dress for one shoot only from a private collector. It’s a one of a kind Halston from his fireworks collection. I know, it doesn’t mean anything to me, either but whatever. If they get this dress, Kiera Knightly will be on their cover which will be a huge coup for them as well as drum up about 30 extra pages of ad space. Yup, it’s a big deal so it’s no wonder that Daniel doesn’t trust a messenger. Betty goes over her family’s whining (yay, Betty) but when she gets to the collector, he tells her that some one from Mode has already come to pick up the dress…some one named Betty Suarez.

Only this Betty Suarez had a pink stripe in her hair. So much for sweet little Teri from Elle. Betty knows she has to tell Daniel and Wilhelmina what happened, and she actually has the balls to do it. I guess that’s a good thing but everyone’s so disappointed in her. Okay, well, Daniel is disappointed, Wilhelmina would probably have her killed if she didn’t think she’d be the prime suspect. The cover’s out but now at least Betty can help her rather whiny family, who don’t seem to think it’s a big deal that she just threw 30 pages of advertisements out the window. As her dad says, “Can’t you just deal with it Monday?” I’ve never wanted to slap some sense into a Suarez family member more than after that comment. Not everyone works at a burger joint, Ignacio.

Going home might not have been such a bad thing for Betty, though. She had time to stew and when she went to throw Teri’s card out, she noticed another card for the Gourmet Caterer (the one she spent way too long talking to). Little witch Teri did tell her that same caterer was working on the holiday party and that party is going on right now. Hello, lovely plan.

Betty and Marc sneak in to Elle, with the caterer’s help and find the dress in Elle’s closet. But with its vintage buttons and delicate thread, Betty can’t get it off the mannequin. Just then, two little lovebirds come stumbling into the closet and Betty and Marc panic. They don’t come up with the most brilliant escape route but, hey, it was all happening really quickly. With a hat on the mannequin, they make their way to the elevator by saying their friend is really drunk. I told you it wasn’t the best plan ever. Just then, Teri sees them and plows straight for them. Betty tackles her and throws things in her way and just makes it to the elevator before the doors close.

Dress in hand, or on mannequin to be more precise, Marc and Betty show up at Wilhelmina’s house to drop it off. Of course, they could have taken it to Mode but Willie is having an amazing party full of people Marc wants to meet. Naturally, no assistants are invited to Willie’s parties. Until now. Wilhelmina tells them they can all come in once she sees the dress. Everyone’s there. No seriously, Zac Posen, some other designer and all the magazine head honchos you can think of. Time for Marc and Betty to really put those networking skills to use. The first person Betty can think of to meet is Jodie, who is standing by the bar.

They exchange a little banter and then Betty blurts out the question she’s wanted to ask since she found out Jodie would be at YETI: She asks Jodie to be her mentor. With a sly smile, Jodie says she’ll start by not kicking Betty out of YETI (which was a real concern after the mixer debacle) and see where it goes. Really. I mean, I know it’s not a straight yes but come on. Your wanna-be mentor knows your name and you being at a Wilhelmina party is definitely a memorable fact. Betty didn’t even mind ignoring all those calls from Hilda.

Maybe she would have if she had known that Hilda was calling her because Papa Suarez had a heart attack and was in serious condition at the hospital. Of course Betty feels bad but seriously, what are you supposed to do? Oh yeah, according to the Suarez’, you’re supposed to work from home or get a crap job that allows you to putz around with your family. Whatever.

Oh, and for all you Daniel/Molly, Connor/Wilhelmina fans (yes, I’m with you), there was some serious goings on in this episode: First, Willie confronted Daniel with the security tape of he and Molly almost kissing and when she said she just wanted to help him, Daniel has his doubts but listened anyway. Willie told him to tell Molly how he felt or he would regret it always. Maybe she should listen to her own advice. Then, at her party, Willie made sure Connor was occupied so Daniel had just the chance to tell Molly. Her reaction wasn’t exactly what he hoped and she and Connor made a speedy exit just as Willie was about to confess to him. Agh. Willie and Daniel share a sweet moment, again, over their losses but when Daniel arrives at his house, who should be sitting on his stoop but Molly! Okay, not really surprising but still, exciting. She tells him she has the same feelings and before they kiss, we switch to Willie’s living apartment where there’s a knock at the door. Who should be standing there but Connor! Seriously. Without even talking those two are kissing in a split second and panning back to Daniel and Molly, they’re doing the same. What? Did they break up? Really, what do I care as long as the couple’s we all want are together. Satisfying end, no? Can’t wait till all the fallout next week.