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After Daniel's Ugly Behavior, Betty Finally Punches Out on "Ugly Betty"

Oh, Betty, I've missed you. It seems like forever since we've been able to sit down and watch a new episode of Ugly Betty. Well, maybe not as long as that but I've missed the show's wacky charms enough to feel a twinge of separation anxiety every time I notice there's a repeat on Thursday.

Fortunately, last night's episode of Ugly Betty ("Punch Out") brought us to new levels of loopiness while closing the door on some grating storylines (Constance, anyone?) and it showed us (finally) that Betty had gained enough confidence to not only tell off Christina for accepting Wilhelmina's help (especially given the price) but to tell Daniel that she was off the clock when he once again turned to her for help (after telling her off earlier). Brava, Betty.

Constance. I've loathed this whole Ignacio immigration storyline since its inception way back when in the lousy HMO storyline. But I do have to say that last night's episode did offer one unexpected twist: the off-kilter Constance was completely off her rocker and had been fired two months earlier from her job as an immigration case worker. Instead, she lures Ignacio (or "Nacho") to her apartment in the hopes of meeting his attorney and then proceeds to keep him prisoner. Her plan: to grant Ignacio legal status by marrying him in a quickie wedding ceremony in Atlantic City. Hells, she even has the ghastly powder-blue tux already steamed and ready to go. While Ignacio may have felt bad for the kook (he even had Hilda take a picture of them dressed in their wedding, er, finery), I sided more with Hilda. Make the loon pay and get the police involved. With Constance finally out of the picture, the Ignacio storyline looks to finally wrap up soon with him gaining his green card. Whew.

Amanda. I heart Amanda like nothing else. And the conniving Mode receptionist has more than a few new tricks up her (designer) sleeves, setting her sights on taking down Nick Pepper (Veronica Mars' Deputy Leo, Max Greenfield) and becoming Alexis' new assistant. I loved that she really does know, more than anyone else, what is really going on at Mode: who's sleeping with whom, who's pregnant, etc. and that she really did manage to find Fay's secret "love dungeon," located behind a secret panel in The Closet, but was too distracted by the perfect pair of shoes to even notice that she tripped the switch. Can someone give Becki Newton an Emmy already?

Christina. Leave it to the long-suffer Scottish style to feel guilty for her success. I really did think that the only favors Christina provided for Wilhelmina (who, BTW, was absolutely hysterical in last night's episode as she used live flesh-eating fish to give herself a tingly pedicure in order to seduce Bradford) was turning in that envelope, which incriminated Bradford in Fay's death. But turning over information from every single conversation she has with fellow Mode staffers? That I find hard to stomach. Would Christina really sink so low as passing along intel on everyone to Willie? Even Betty? Hmmm. Still, she looked pretty shocked that Betty would tell her off outside of Prague (the hottest club in NYC that didn't really look all that hot) and walk off, leaving our little Ashley Jensen all sad and alone, but looking mighty beautiful all the same.

Daniel and Betty. Daniel's been in a serious nosedive since Alexis came back and took over running Mode; he's returned to his former debauched playboy ways and has been living it up, albeit in a rather sad sack, spinning-out-of-control purple shirt-wearing way. Last night's episode finally featured a showdown between Betty and Daniel as she tried to protect him (wrongfully) from the machinations of gossip hound/celebrity expose writer Quincy Combs (Leslie Jordan, in yet another scene-stealing role, channelling Truman Capote perhaps?). Daniel railed against Betty's overprotective, micro-managing of his life and cruelly told her off in the club, telling her in no uncertain terms that they weren't friends and Betty's job ended when she clocked out at the end of the day. (Um, what about all of those late night phone calls and cries from help from Daniel then, huh?)

So it was only fitting when, in another unforeseen plot twist, those Russian model sisters that Daniel was busy bedding turned out to be a grifting mother and daughter, who used the fact that Daniel slept with the 16-year-old Petra (oops) as a means of blackmailing him into giving her a Mode cover. Daniel, naturally, turns to Betty to get him out of this mess, but the new Betty Suarez has grown a spine and tells Ignacio to tell him that she's punched out. That's my girl!

Next week on Ugly Betty ("Petra-Gate"), Betty goes out of her way to avoid former friends Daniel, Christina and Henry, Amanda flirts with a designer she assumes is gay, and Alexis is asked out on her first date as a woman.

What's On Tonight

8 pm: The Ghost Whisperer (CBS); Identity (NBC); WWE Friday Night SmackDown (CW; 8-10 pm); Grey's Anatomy (ABC); House (FOX)

9 pm: Close to Home (CBS); Raines (NBC); Wife Swap (ABC); Bones (FOX)

10 pm: NUMB3RS (CBS); Law & Order (NBC); 20/20 (ABC)

What I'll Be Watching

10 pm: 20/20.

What's that you say? 20/20? On tonight's episode of the long-running newsmagazine, it's "Seven ways to Help the World," and if you're not feeling more than a little guilty after watching the brilliant An Inconvenient Truth to tune in, something's very wrong.

10-11 pm: Clatterford on BBC America (9 pm ET)

It's the final episode of Jennifer Saunders' new series Clatterford. On tonight's episode ("Christmas Special"), the whole town comes together to put on one of those particular English Christmas time diversions: the pantomime.


Anonymous said…
Thank goodness the Constance storyline is over! It made me cringe everytime she was on screen. I did like the twist that she was no longer a case worker but even that wasn't enough to justify such a painful plot.

Other than that, the episode was fantastic and is always at its best when concentrating on staying soapy and zany rather than "After School Special."

I also loved the twist with the Russian daughter and (surprise!) mother. And the secret room at Mode that Amanda almost found. In my opinion, any scene with the wickedly funny Amanda in it is a good one!
Anonymous said…
Definitely a good return and a good return to form.

I am thrilled that the Constance story is over, but I agree - at least it went out pretty well, and not totally annoyingly.

Poor Christina - I was so sad for her, yet totally saw where Betty was coming from. Like you, I have a hard time believe she would do all that...

"(Leslie Jordan, in yet another scene-stealing role, channelling Truman Capote perhaps?)" - I'd say more than perhaps. In fact before I read this, I was in a staff meeting where i mentioned that LJ was in UB and said, "He was basically playing TC." He was hilarious. I love him.

The twist on the Russian twosome was great! Especially since all through the ep, I barely paid them any attention. What a great Zing.

Anonymous said…
I have to agree. I hated the "Nacho" story line and the HMO storyline. I sort of hate all of Ignacio's story lines if I am being honest. Hopefully Constance will go bye bye and the producers can give us what we really want. More Marc and Amanda.
Moby Dick said…
Hopefully pig-faced Betty will get cancelled soon.
Ivy said…
This eppy reminded me why I love UB so much. Poor Daniel though, Betty hung up on him, I was like, "PICK UP THE PHONE BETTY". I agree that any scene with Amanda is a good scene, she's a great actress.

The Constance storyline was completely ridiculous, though the twist was funny. Especially Hilda banging her door down.
Anonymous said…
I just stumbled on your site. I'm an Ugly Betty fan, and also a person who is involved in the immigration system --- my husband is a Mexican immigrant.

Ufortunately, only in TV land would "illegal immigrant" gets legalized immediately by marrying a U.S. Citizen. The actual process takes years, and the way they are portrating the process in the show, as if Ignacio will get his green card by going back to Mexico, is completely ridiculous.

I realize this comment is off-topic, but I needed to take the opportunity to make that fact known.

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