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Ugly Betty Recap: Episode 11, "Dress for Success"

Ugly Betty Rundown: Episode 11, "Dress for Success"

Oh boy. Ugly Betty begins a story arc this week on a topic that tends to make me squeamish when it pops up in my entertainment: the choice between family and career. In The Devil Wears Prada, Anne Hathaway's character is told straight-up that once your personal life suffers, you know you're making it in the business world, and that now seems to apply to Betty as well. In this episode, she attempts to balance work and family obligations, but ultimately one part of her life will suffer — because clearly, you can't have it all.

Things get tense for Betty, and the stakes turn out to be higher for her personally than Hathaway's Vogue intern character, because Betty nearly loses something much bigger than a boyfriend. Basically, there's a lot of guilt going on, and that made me feel kind of crappy. Let's get down to business and chat about it. Just


  • Seriously, so many guest stars! We have Zac Posen, a pretty hilarious Nikki Blonski, the lovely Bernadette Peters, and real-life Elle editors.
  • So Bernadette's character is Betty's idol in publishing and her YETI teacher. She does what all good mentors do at first, which is to be really super hard on you.
  • Just when Betty's seeing stars and getting all career-ambitious, Hilda's reopening her salon/purse store place and is really stressed out planning the re-opening party. The name is pretty awesome: Hilda Beautilities Plus.
  • In addition to impressing her YETI teacher, Betty gets pressure is piled on at work. I love the scene where Daniel tells the staff that Elle is kicking their butts and it's not going to happen again. Wilhelmina chimes in bad-cop-style with, "If we do, one of you dies." Ha!
  • That scene's full of awesome Willi lines, actually. Connor says he loves their good cop, bad cop dynamic and Daniel says, "It's more like I'm nice. She's not," to which Willi replies, "Can I help it if my balls are bigger than his?"
  • So Willi is full steam ahead on helping Daniel win over Molly. When she shows him the security footage of them kissing, he assumes she's being awful, but she says, "Perhaps in the past but not this time."
  • Christina kills me with laughter this episode because of how hormonal she is. Hilarious lines include, "I'm carrying her little rodent" and the end of her crying rampage to Betty: "And the internet's gone down!" Although, honestly the internet not working has had me close to tears as well, lemme tell ya.
  • There is practically zero Amanda this time around, but Marc does a good job filling in the hole in my heart. Like at the YETI class when Betty can't name anyone in the room but Marc, to which he responds, "Who are you?" Hee!
  • And networking. The networking scene! Marc was on fire! For example: "I once had a threesome with Jon Hamm and Mia Hamm, I called it the night of the Hamm sandwich."
  • Then to Betty: "You're a mean, not so lean, contact-getting maching. You're the Terminator. You're the Bettynator!" Her "Bettynator" vision was pretty amazing too.
  • This is of course where she meets Nikki Blonsky's character, and they're so cute complimenting each other on braces and pink stripes in hair. Kindred spirits!
  • The best ever, though, is the physical fight between Nikki and America. Holy cow, I laughed hard. I also died of laughter when Nikki's character screams, "Oh yeah? Prove it, brace face!" through the video-phone thing.
  • Finally, what a load of guilt Betty's family lays on her! They are very tight-knit, so these kinds of conflicts are bound to come up, and I get how this was really important to Hilda, but jeez. Betty's starting out, and when you're starting out, you sort of live and breathe the job. What do you guys think?

So Daniel and Willi both get what their hearts have desired — now what? And poor Ignacio has a heart attack! That's got to make Betty feel even worse for going after her dreams than she already does, sheesh. What did you guys think of this episode?

You kind find all the fashions from this episode at CelebStyle.

Photos copyright 2008 ABC, Inc.

Join The Conversation
fakeplanettelex fakeplanettelex 8 years
@ number6_ed, the song at the end of the show was sebastien tellier - la ritournelle. the music supervisor seems to love sebastien tellier, because this is the 2nd time in this season they've closed out with him (the rooftop scene with willi & betty was "look") i loved this ep, but betty makes me cringe. i'm like, did you not learn your lesson already? and her fam needs to get over it, they know who she works for. i'm liking the new dynamic between willi & daniel. i hope it stays this way for a bit. i get it, willi's supposed to be evil, but it is getting old. characters change, develop, blah blah blah. not enough amanda. :(
LaLaLaurie06 LaLaLaurie06 8 years
Love the addition of Bernadette Peters. She's such a great actress. I, too, think that her family was a little less than understanding about the YETI thing and her busyness. I understand that it sucks to have someone break plans with you but would you really rather have that someone get kicked out of something just so they can help you put together goody bags?
halakahiki82 halakahiki82 8 years
Betty's family has always been just plain AWFUL. I love Justin (especially), Hilda and Ignacio on their own, but with regards to Betty they're all pretty much A-holes (except maybe Justin). They would be perfectly content if she was slaving away at mcdonalds or something, completely miserable with her life because they would have full control over her. And that's not fair. Ignacio always says some crap about 'only your family really supports you' and that's a load of BS because they have practically never supported Betty's ambitions, dreams or efforts to have a successful career. If she doesn't bend over to their demands, they flip out. Yeah, the beauty shop thing is big, but not like, life-changing big. And Betty helped as much as possible. This all reminds me of season 1 when Hilda was a horrible, b****. And when everyone wanted her to suck it up and stay with stupid cheating ugly Walter. Betty's family blows, man. Also: MORE MARC & AMANDA! Obviously.
Allyace Allyace 8 years
An episode with that little Amanda in it is lamo in my book :-P.
bransugar79 bransugar79 8 years
I thought thatthe whoel episode was great. i love Daniel and Molly together and I think sh eis sweet and gets Daniela nd she was never right for Connor. And yay fo Willi actually using her powers for good this time. I'm glad she got Connor because they do make a FAB couple. I think that Bett's family was being WAY too hard on her. She is there for thema nd she is supportive and Hilda's party was important too, but I mean there were a million other people there. I get being a tight kit family but part of that should be understanding that supporting your family means supporting everyone and sometime you just have to understand when people can't do what you want when you want it. Betty was trying to fix a mistake and that was very admirable. I was sad that Ignacio had a heart attack but I also sort of felt like it was the writer's way of judging Betty for her choice. Like if you don't do what your family wants here are the horrible things that happen to you. it was just alittle weird
Linda-McP Linda-McP 8 years
Great episode. Love Connor and Willi together and really enjoyed the all star power that Bernadette Peters and Nikki Blonsky brought to the show. Betty's need to balance work and family was well done; how sad, though, that it is Ignacio's heart attack brings their family back together in the final scene.
fleurfairy fleurfairy 8 years
Connor makes me go weak in the knees. He is gor-geous. I loved the good-cop/bad-cop scene especially when Willi says "One of you dies" and they all look scared sh*tless! I thought Betty was being a bit rude to her sister. Blood is thicker than water, as my mom always says.
gummybears123 gummybears123 8 years
I'm so glad Willi and Connor got together!!
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
This episode was so sad! I always feel so terrible for Betty because she always screws something up and has to fix it in the end. I would be a wreck if I was her. I think her family was being a bit too hard on her, but I understand where they were coming from too. I can't believe Ignacio had a heart attack! So sad. As for the happier stuff, there was so many funny lines last night. I loved the networking scene and Daniel & Wilhelmina's good cop/bad cop scenario. Molly is a bore to me, but I like Connor with Willi.
smileyface smileyface 8 years
GeorgiaPeach (love your name by the way!) I think the point of Molly is that she is real to Daniel. She's the first person he has ever fallen for that isn't a model or an extremely glamorous/rich/etc. person. He finally meets someone and falls for them because they are a nice sweet person and I think that its a sign that he is growing up and starting to mature.
GeorgiaPeach89 GeorgiaPeach89 8 years
I think Betty's family had a right to want her around at that party. I mean, c'mon - it's Hilda's big break, finally! Betty will always be the "star child" with lots to look forward to. But we don't know if that'll be the case with Hilda. This probably will be her one big moment to shine, so why shouldn't Hilda expect Betty to be there for her like she's done for her lil' sis in the past? As for Connor/Willi and Daniel/Molly, I don't like either of those pairs. And common sense tells me that both pairs will crash and burn, so I say enjoy watching them while they last. But I'd like for Connor to stay on - not as Wilhelmina's man, though. (Too bad he probably won't become a regular on the show.) As for Molly, I'll be cheering when she finally leaves! She's a boring chick, really, and Daniel deserves someone more "real" and truly nice.
cupcakers cupcakers 8 years
Yeah Betty's family was being too hard on her. It's sad about her father having a heart attack at the end, but I mean they kept pushing her to follow her dreams this whole time and when she finally is going places, they make her feel guilty-geez. How hot was Connor when Willi opened her door and he's standing there and just goes right in for a kiss, they are hot hot hot together! Loved Zac Posen's cameo! Marc and Betty pretending the mannequin was a drunkie they were taking home from the ELLE party was hilarious.
number6_ed number6_ed 8 years
I loved that song at the end when everything was happening. Perfect choice of music. I have to disagree and say that Betty was not too cool when she was talking to her dad about how this is about her career and whatnot. I mean HELLO! What Hilda has going on is about her career too. Just because it's not as glamorous as Betty's does not make it any less important.
smileyface smileyface 8 years
This was such a great episode, except for Ignacio having a heart attack. I loved when Betty and Marc showed up at the Willi's party and he was like I'm the first assistant to make it to a Wilhelmena Slater party and Betty was like I'm here too and then Marc said not when I re-tell it! HAH! Too funny. I'm glad Molly and Daniel got together and Conner and Willi. I think that they each deserve to be happy and its so rare to see Willi using her powers for good!
amloveaffair amloveaffair 8 years
I loved this episode. I did think Betty's family was being a bit ridic. though. Betty needs to keep working toward her goal. She put up with all of Hilda's crap and now they're all hating on her! Molly+Daniel=awwww! Yay! Hopefully something doesn't go horribly wrong, which it probably will.
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