So is Betty really changing jobs? Is Daniel going to propose to Sofia? Those questions will have to wait at least one more week. Thursday's "Ugly Betty" episode was one big flashback, in which Betty — while cleaning out her desk at Mode, apparently prepping for her move to MYW — explains to Christina how she ended up trading her real Gucci bag for a knockoff, saving a photo shoot, a boyfriend, and her father's health along the way.
The episode starts with "the stampede," a quarterly swag-grab in Christina's fashion closet. Mark explains that fashion is currency at Mode, and if he gets, say, the new It bag from Gucci, he can trade it for any number of other favors.
But Betty has bigger things to worry about, namely filling out a huge expense report for Daniel and arranging a dinner for fashion designer Oshi. Meanwhile, Wilhelmina complains about Daniel's financial irresponsibility to Bradford: "For his 28th birthday, he tried to buy an island. And J. Lo." Betty's got some money problems of her own: Her paycheck is much less than she expected, and the HMO stopped covering her dad's prescriptions. Betty also can't quite shrug off Walter, who keeps lurking around and giving Betty electronic goods from his store in a misguided attempt to win her back.
Things get wackier, of course, so
Cute Henry from Accounting rejects the expense report and tells Daniel he's responsible for $20,000 of expenses. Trouble is, Daniel can't get a credit card of his own and has a whopping $327 in his bank account. Wilhelmina and Mark celebrate, because the expense report was a setup to get Daniel in trouble, and now Wilhelmina thinks she can take over the Oshi dinner and get named publisher. Then, while the rest of the Mode staff is nursing their cuts and bruises from the swag battle, Christina gives Betty the Gucci bag she's been hiding.
The next day, Oshi arrives, and as always it's a spot-on parody: He has an entourage, including a guy whose only job is to press play on the iPod boombox. Daniel has no idea how he's going to entertain Oshi on the cheap. "Three hundred dollars won't buy Oshi a new scrunchie," he says. Meanwhile, Betty bribes Cute Henry to get Wilhelmina's old expense reports and discovers a huge props charge for a Brazilian shoot that only involved bathing suits. She calls Brazil, and the woman who answers the phone asks if Betty wants to speak with the doctor. She knows she's onto something.
While the Mode staff checks out Oshi's white, minimal collection, Betty insists she knows a white, minimal place where Oshi can have dinner. Daniel says absolutely not and is about to let Wilhelmina pay when Bradford strides in and corners Wilhelmina: "I take great exception to financing your Brazilian butt lift," he says. Lacking money or other ideas, Daniel, Oshi and the entourage follow Betty's plan and drive to a White Castle ripoff in New Jersey called the White Tassel. Luckily, Oshi likes it.
Walter still has one last lurk in him, and he's waiting outside Betty's house with a knockoff Gucci to replace the one she sold. She gives in and hugs him. The next day, Betty trades the fake to Mark — who, of course, thinks it's real — for a knockoff and a favor to be named later. "You won't fool anyone with a phony," he warns. Heh. And then we flash forward again to Betty walking out of Mode.