Dare I say this was my favorite episode of "Ugly Betty"? I'm always impressed with the show's ability to balance comedy and drama, but Thursday's episode took it to another level. What other show could combine one-liners like "so this is where the tragic happens" with totally heartbreaking family scenes? For all the goodies,
As usual, the Meade family is dominating TV and tabloids, and Hilda points out that Betty should appreciate what a nice, normal family she comes from. Of course Ignacio then sets off his house arrest alarm. Have I mentioned I’m over that plotline? Meanwhile, Daniel and Alexis still aren't speaking, nor are Bradford and Alexis. Claire — who is detoxing before standing trial — points out that she technically owns Mode, and she can make Daniel and Alexis both work there. Alexis says she’s not interested, but Wilhelmina convinces her that nothing will make Bradford angrier than seeing Alexis in charge.
Marc's mom, who still doesn’t know he's gay, is in town for a cat show, and Amanda’s ready to report for fake girlfriend duty. But Marc tells her that they've "broken up" — Marc's mom was starting to pressure him to propose. Amanda decides to get back at Marc by acting like Betty is Marc's new girlfriend, which leads to one of the more awkward screen kisses I've ever seen. Betty agrees to stand next to him for a while in exchange for information that will save Daniel's job, but when Betty's dad calls, Amanda hands the phone to Marc's mom. Soon, they're all set to have dinner at Betty's house that night.
Marc offers up that Alexis is planning to take over Mode, but when Daniel confronts her, she says that’s ridiculous. Daniel buys it, but Alexis is actually planning a whole separate issue of the magazine, complete with her own photo on the cover. Marc and Betty memorize facts about each other (Marc: "You're from the Philippines, right?" Betty: "Queens." Marc: "Don't give me that look. They both end in 'eens.'"), which leads to a swooning Henry moment, as he drops by and proves he knows Betty's favorite pizza topping. Meanwhile, Betty suggests that Daniel's letter from the editor be about his family this time, not shoes.
Marc and Betty launch into their fake-dating dinner, with Marc calling Betty his "enchilada" and "taquito." Betty can't handle it and asks Marc to please just come out to his mother, but Marc says he can’t admit he’s been lying to her for a decade. Things fall apart a bit when Justin arrives and bonds with Marc over Dreamgirls, and all manner of wacky Suarez family capers ensue. Daniel arrives with his new letter from the editor, but Marc tells Betty that Alexis is already taking the magazine to print. Betty runs off to save things, and Marc is left to babble his way through the evening.
He tells his mom he's breaking up with Betty, and she says she's relieved, calling Hilda a slut, Ignacio a gross illegal and Justin "swishy." That's the last straw for Marc, who tells her to open her eyes and look at her own swishy son. She tries to leave, and Marc blocks the door, saying she has to know the real him. She informs him she's not interested in the real him.
Daniel and Alexis race down the street, and Alexis pulls ahead as always. Daniel says he's giving up, and if Alexis wants to take over, let her. (Except he actually says "If Alex wants to take over, let him," which is kind of heartbreaking — he still hasn't accepted that he has a sister.) Claire, meanwhile, tells Wilhelmina that only Meades will ever run Mode, so Wilhelmina decides she'll just have to make herself a Meade and shows up at Bradford's wearing very little.
Betty goes home to find Marc on the stoop, and he explains what’s happened. Betty says sometimes the family you make for yourself is the family that loves you most. A voiceover of Daniel's editor's letter welcoming Alexis back plays over shots of the Meade family — Daniel drinking in bed with two women, Alexis feeding her mom soup, Bradford picking up the Alexis issue of Mode — and then Betty goes inside to join her family's game of cards. Sob.
Photos copyright 2007 ABC, Inc.