Ugly Betty Season 2: Episode 3

“Betty’s Wait Problem”

Oh, Betty. It’s like the writers were gifted with divine inspiration: they don’t need to set up Betty with a totally bland person with whom she could never share interesting dialogue: they can simply write in a character with whom she has chemistry! ¡Dios Mio!
Yep, Betty herself once more becomes a worthwhile element of the Betty ensemble: life is good.

Spoilers for the one who wears braces!

In brief (honest this time!):

  • Justin sucks at basketball, but learns that Daniel can walk and is just faking his injury being sustained to pick up his physical therapist;
  • Turns out that Ignacio didn’t kill Ramiro Vasquez all those years ago, and now is the time for revenge to be exacted! Yet Vasquez is as abusive a father as he was a husband …
  • Wilhelmina has Marc create a photo album of “Wilhelmina and Alexis: BFF” in order to get her wedding back on (“And here we are … marching for gay rights.”);
  • Bradford informs Claire, who has infiltrated the Black and White Ball, that their marriage was over the second that she murdered Fey Summers;
  • Henry says that he’ll wait for the results of a paternity test;
  • Amanda plans to trade in on her parentage;
  • Betty accidentally gets Dio, a sandwich maker, fired, and then hires him to drive her somewhere to make up for being a “Mode Girl”. She gets angry when she realises that Daniel takes up so much of her time with petty things and realises that she has to take initiative.

The “Justin tries basketball” scenes are hilarious not simply because he sucks at the sport and squeals when the ball approaches, but because the song accompanying the montage is High School Musical‘s “Getcha Head in the Game”. It’s like they’re trying to kill me with aptness. For the record, High School Musical still sucks. Yet I’m not ashamed of my knowledge of it …

It was only in retrospect that I wondered why Ignacio and everyone else in Mexico were speaking English rather than Spanish. Tony Plana is a grand enough actor (and a Grim enough Fandango) that it scarcely mattered. Vasquez proved certifiably insane and, while the story ended predictably enough, I quite liked it. Damn you, charisma! Carry any scene right away!

My problem with the Bradford triangle (and you’ll realise I’m not even trying for segues here) is that he has a point: adultery is one thing, but murder is another entirely. Clearly, though, he shouldn’t end up with Wilhelmina. With Claire’s ultimate rejection taken care of, I’m worried about where she can go; I’ve been enjoying her unhinged antics, and Yoga has been an unalloyed delight. Claire can only really pursue her children, but I imagine that’s somewhat difficult for an escaped murderer.

Amanda’s own efforts are funny as always; her logic is infallible:

“If your dad’s DNA does match mine, we’re only half brother and sister. Which means if we did it like 20 times, it was only wrong 10.”

They’re not related, though, so that’s safe.
Amanda is also quite self aware:

“They were focusing on the wrong bitch!”

It’s a disappointment that she has to resort, at the end of every episode, to standing up, gazing into the middle distance, and lamenting that she has yet to discover the truth of her existence. She and Marc get all the best lines, though, so whatever.

To Betty herself: by the time that Henry tells her that he’s waiting for his paternity test, you can tell that she longs to say “fuck that”. With the introduction of Dio, she has someone to fight for. Honestly, you don’t notice that Betty is “ugly” because Marc dresses easily as badly as her. Mode has a cafeteria, so I don’t exactly know why a sandwich cart tours the building, but I don’t care: it introduced Dio.
I’m fairly certain that one of the techniques of writing chemistry is to instil a sense of antagonism between the characters you’re interested in getting together. I’m sorry to say that watching Betty and Henry is like watching white noise intercut with benign pain. Dio and Betty, however, have the sort of relationship where they presume to know each other’s core, and therefore believe themselves suitable advisers of one another. This essentially means that they have a grudging mutual respect and an even more grudging patina of pissing each other off.

Come into your own, Betty! Fly free! Oh yeah, and Alexis is probably going to find out the various truths the moment she emerges from her hospital bed, in which case: you’re all screwed.

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