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Ugly Betty Recap: Episode One, "The Manhattan Project"

Ugly Betty Rundown: Episode One, "The Manhattan Project"

The return of Ugly Betty was one of the few season premieres last night that didn't have any extra time tacked on. But I was totally fine with that, because the Betty folks managed to deliver a fun first episode of their new season even without bonus minutes. The last time we saw Betty, she had a big choice to make: forever with Henry or a romantic trip abroad with Gio. I think the choice revealed last night was somewhat predictable, but it still had a pretty hilarious twist. We'll chat about that in a sec.

Meanwhile, a lot has changed now that Wilhelmina is back in charge, including a darker, more sinister-feeling Mode headquarters, complete with the temperature turned to freezing — the perfect lair for an evil ice queen. And where has Daniel been banished to in the Meade kingdom? I won't say until after the jump, but it was one of my favorite twists of the night. There's also a new hot guy on the scene! Ready to chat? Just


  • Betty opens the episode by saying, "I had a choice to make between two guys. And I was torn." She decides that she's not ready for marriage to Henry, and she also doesn't like Gio in that way and doesn't want to lead him on. So she chose a hilarious trip around the USA to the tune of The B-52s song "Roam." I loved the postcards of Betty's adventures — so fun!
  • So much laughter at "Peg and the girls!" and Justin's dismay at how unfeminine Peg and Betty's travel buddies were.
  • I have a love-hate relationship with Betty's earnestness. It's so endearing at times and other times, like when she introduces the "idea binder," I just smack my forehead and cringe. Ignacio sounded harsh, but I think he has it right when he calls her naive.
  • Lindsay Lohan is back as the mean girl who's grown up to run the local burger joint. And she's Ignacio's boss! She looks good in the uniform, I have to say.
  • When Betty returns to Mode, Amanda and Marc are of course priceless with their reactions: "Oh Betty! I forgot how big and bright you are!" So mean but so funny.
  • I loved when Betty asks why they're being so nice to her and they respond that she reminds them of the good old days.
  • That scary Rosemary's Baby nursery setup in Daniel's office gave me the creeps.

  • OMG, Player Magazine might have been my favorite part of last night. The show's portrayal of a men's magazine is awesome — especially Daniel's facial hair and the boo-ing whenever Betty enters the room.
  • The best Player Magazine part is when they discuss Betty's idea about a piece on powerful women and a staff member says, "See, we don't like disease (boo!) or old women (boo!)," to which Betty responds, "They're 40," to which the entire room then responds, "Boooooooooo!"
  • Regis and Kelly make an appearance and have a funny conversation about Hot Flash. Regis calls it a magazine about "lady business."
  • How'd you like all of Betty's new-age stuff, like power animals? Ha!
  • Poor Hilda. Why can't she catch a break with the guys? He's sooooo married! It sucks. You know they say they'll leave their wives but it never happens.
  • Second best moment of the night behind Player Magazine for me was the food fight with Lohan's character. Betty: "You . . . mean, mean person!"
  • While there was no Henry or Gio in site, Betty has a new man in her life (kinda), her hot musician neighbor Jesse! What do you think so far? Thumbs up or thumbs down?
  • Oh and finally — Rebecca Romijn looks super-pregnant. It was kind of fun to watch her play "hide the bump" all night.

I love the way this new season is set up: Betty in the city with her very own apartment, evil ruling at Mode, Betty's new friends at Player, Daniel the dad. I don't have too many complaints and think there's loads for the Betty folks to work with this season. Could you tell they were shooting in New York? Do you want to see more of Lohan? Are you glad Betty got her "B" necklace back and is ready to conquer the city as a powerful career woman? Discuss!

Photos copyright 2008 ABC, Inc.

Join The Conversation
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
Okay I take it back. The end was really cute. I'm such a sap. :oops:
harmonyfrance harmonyfrance 8 years
I think I'm kind of over this show.
lovey lovey 8 years
Correction: *not "write", but did he sing it /record it for "Ugly Betty"? Isn't "American Girl" an Tom Petty song?
lovey lovey 8 years
Like the song at the end - something with "American Girl" (did he really write it?) and Betty's dancing!!! Also liked Lilo and am looking forward to see her in more episodes.
Phasekitty Phasekitty 8 years
I seriously missed Gio last night- it's sad to know that Freddy Rodriguez's days on Betty are probably over- but that new Jesse guy is pretty cute. I honestly thought one of the funniest parts was with Lindsey- "I'm 98% sure I have lyme disease." :rotfl: I like the Player magazine development and I'm interested to see where it goes. I definitely did miss Amanda and Marc last night though. Oh, and yeah, Rebecca Romijn was sooooooo pregnant. It was impossible to hide!
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
oinkoink - I feel the same way about Gio! I was so disappointed when Betty said she didn't feel that way about him. I figured maybe she'd go on vacay on her own and then they'd start dating or something. I hope he at least comes back to the show.
oinkoink oinkoink 8 years
Am I the only person who thinks Betty and Gio belong together? I was very disappointed in the first show. I wanted Henry gone but I still think that both Henry and Gio deserved more than a one minute flashback to end their stories. I am still holding out hope that the writers make Gio into a recurring character throughout the rest of the show until it ends. He's a great character and Freddy Rodriguez plays him so well. It really broke my heart when Betty told Gio she didn't have feelings for him. I didn't really believe her because I saw the chemistry. Maybe she's just confused now and will figure out what her relationship is with Gio later. I'm crossing my fingers.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
need, not mean*
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 8 years
The episode was just okay to me, I don't understand all of the raving. I'm agreeing with the people at Television without Pity, the episode was just okay, Lindsay Lohan's acting was flat, and Betty doesn't mean another guy in her life right now (even though that guy, Jesse, was kinda cute). I miss Henry though, and it was nice that she acknowledged that she loved Henry but didn't have feelings for Gio. I hope Henry comes back eventually. Anyway, Betty's apartment was nice! Honestly, all it needed was to be cleaned and have a fresh coat of paint. Otherwise, it was a really nice and big apartment as far as a NYC apartment goes. I like that Betty is living on her own, even though I hope we still get to see Ignacio and Hilda's home. Speaking of, that was gross that they slept together in the living room. I would be so afraid that Justin or Ignacio would walk in. I think it's dumb that Hilda is continuing to see the coach even though he's married. She's the only one who is going to get hurt in the end...what was the status of his relationship to his wife anyway? I forgot what he said in the finale last year. The Player magazine thing was boring, I miss all of the being at Mode. Rebecca Romijn's belly is becoming so obvious. Wilhelmina's nursery was creepy. Love Marc & Amanda, but they didn't have much to do last night.
polly17 polly17 8 years
not enough marc and amanda!! they are the best thing on the show..actually....i love all the supporting casts more than betty herself
XpsX XpsX 8 years
so far the Player magzine is so lame,i wish it gets cut soon!need to see Betty back to Mode and makes so much fun scenes with Amanda&Marc! Lindsay Lohan looks good in the show but the part she's in is flat. does Whillimenia gain weight? it's kinda obvious in her arms.Rebecca looks great tho! and that Jesse guy in the end is cute,maybe see him more?
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I'm so in the dark. I didn't even know Rebecca Romijn was pregnant. I just wondering why Alexis' boobs looked so big, and wondering whether she'd gained weight, or it was just that pink dress. Oh, and I loved Hilda's "I've got my big ring on" when they were preparing to confront Lindsay Lohan's character.
demonkitty18 demonkitty18 8 years
I loved the episode and Betty's new wardrobe! I thought Lindsay Lohan was alright, nothing amazing. However, the show is getting a bit predictable, I mean I totally saw Lohan and Betty calling it a truce in the end and Wilhelmina's whole Regis and Kelly plan too. Does nobody else miss Gio????
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
Anniina, I think it being horrible is the point. After all, it WAS "Willie's" idea. However I think they're going to tone it down and I'm betting that it's going to become BIGGER than Mode. My opinion is that Player is going to be the new Playboy. Just watch and see! And then when it happens you'll all go, "MYKIE! That girl knew it!" LMAO
KatiaD KatiaD 8 years
So from what i see the general view from others sites too Lindsay was fantastic,great amazing,good and those who dont like her private life say she was horrible.So ill take she was great/Yeah go Linds. I was working until late.Bohoo.
fashion4ward fashion4ward 8 years
I like the episode quite a bit. I like Lindsay's storyline, and I must say, she looked good. I do agree that the whole thing was predictable- you so knew that apartment wasn't gonna work out. Not enough Amanda and Marc- they're the best part of the show! I got all googly-eyed for Jesse! Hotness! Anyone know his real name? And Daniel's son is a-d-o-r-a-b-l-e!
Anniina Anniina 8 years
Yeah, I agree with Mykie7. And the Player magazine is horrible!
tiabia tiabia 8 years
Daniel's tracksuit at Player Magazine was enough to win me over for the entire show!!! LMAO
amloveaffair amloveaffair 8 years
Oh whoops sorry buzz! I guess I just got too excited! Oh and Mfern I loved Betty's outfits too!
Baluk Baluk 8 years
I thought the Lindsay story was pretty flat. It all got neatly wrapped up at the end...she should have remained nasty...I didn't think she acted well at all. I loved her dancing around her amazingly cleaned up apartment at the end!
Entertainment Entertainment 8 years
Hey amloveaffair - I have a bullet in there about them, see?: "Poor Hilda. Why can't she catch a break with the guys? He's sooooo married! It sucks. You know they say they'll leave their wives but it never happens."
mfern64 mfern64 8 years
I love Betty's choice of socks and pumps and striped tights!
amloveaffair amloveaffair 8 years
Oh and I love calling Whillimenia 'Millaweina'
amloveaffair amloveaffair 8 years
I love Jesse! He was in an episode of 30 Rock too! [and 'The Hair' was in this week's Fringe episode!] I liked this episode for the most part. I started freaking out when Betty first got back to Mode. I thought it was a dream! LiLo did some horrid acting when we first saw her but it got better! I love her =] I'm glad Betty is back and I'm glad Gio and Henry are gone. I loved Henry at first but he got annoying and I just didn't see her and Gio together. you didn't mention anything about Hilda and Coach Diaz!
Mykie7 Mykie7 8 years
I LOVED Lindsay's character! I half expected Betty to offer her a job as the "R" girl on a motorcycle! LOL I thought Linds did an outstanding job and I was laughing my A** off! I knew as soon as Betty laid out her "plan" for her family that it would fail miserably. I also knew that when she didn't look at the apartment first, it would be a disaster. Those were a little too easy to read for my taste. Some of the show is getting really REALLY predictable, and I don't like predictable. Like when Alexis and "Willie" (I HATE that freakin' name! LOL) went on Regis. YOU KNEW what Wilhelmia was going to do! It wasn't like Regis and Kelly AT ALL to be that way, if they were going to do that, it should have been on a different show. Regis and Kelly always try to be respectful of their guests, that was pretty far fetched. Even with those complaints though, overall I loved the episode and it definitely left me wanting more.
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