After a stellar pilot, I wondered if Ugly Betty could maintain the momentum in its second outing. Thankfully, this is a terrific follow-up hour!
The Box and The Bunny introduces the infamous “Book” – a mockup of the latest Mode issue which basically amounts to it being the most important item in the show’s world. Naturally Betty loses it for hijinks to ensue, and the episode does a terrific job of sustaining the suspense until the very end. It helps that we get a villain in the form of Gina Gambarro, Betty’s boyfriend-stealing neighbor. Gina could have easily been a throwaway character from the pilot, but by bringing her into the fold, the show manages to integrate Hilda, Ignacio and the whole Suarez family into the A-plot for maximum results. Oh, and we also get an uplifting resolution with the magazine’s cover-star Natalie Whitman embracing her unretouched photos and giving Daniel a win over Wilhelmina. On another show, this would be a heavy-handed conclusion, but the influx of cheese just works here!
Although I seem to remember Amanda being not nearly as mean in the rest of the show’s run, she’s pretty darn malicious this week as she kidnaps and tortures Betty’s bunny, placing even more unnecessary stress on our heroine. Still, Becki Netwon is such a lovable presence that you never truly hate the character. Plus the bunny is a hilarious metaphor for Betty’s struggles – both are constantly beaten down over and over again and yet… they somehow survive. Very amusing!
Bits from Mode
– The cinematography on the show continues to be uber creative. Notice the very funky shot of Betty heating up her empanadas from inside the microwave. How cool was that?
– The catfight between Gina and Hilda was absolutely hilarious wasn’t it? Ana Ortiz rocks every one of her scenes.
– How can Vanessa Willams be so darn gorgeous and witty? She needs her own show ASAP!
– Justin’s gasp at Betty losing the book was everything.
– Amanda referring to Wilhelmina as “Vampira” cracked me up.
– I have no idea what Marc means when he refers to Queens as “The lost city of Hoochieville”, but Michael Urie’s delivery is so spot-on that you can’t help but laugh.
– Super sweet moment: Christina fixing Betty’s bunny.
– The mystery woman calls Daniel and hints at even more nefariousness where his dad is concerned. Hmm… Also, Bradford burns a picture of himself and Fey.
Barbs & Betty
Zelda: They ever got their hands on me, I’d look like a pre-crack Whitney.
Christina: Would you buy a magazine if I was on the cover?
Zelda: Yeah, National Geographic.
Marc: (to Daniel) Wilhelmina’s notes are already inside. She said pay close attention to the Fanny Pack article. She’s not sure we’re hitting the emotional arc just yet.
Amanda: (to Betty) A little overtime and you can afford invisaligns.
Ignacio: (after finding Betty looking through the trash) This is why I don’t want us to have a dog.
Daniel: You lost it?
Betty: No, I didn’t lose it! It’s just in a place that I don’t know about!
Amanda: Oh, my god! If that showerhead could pay my bills, I would marry it.
Amanda: Do you like it when I bite your ear?
Daniel: I gotta call Betty.
Amanda: Okay, buzz kill.
Daniel: She took the book home to her house last night.
Amanda: To Queens? Ew! Did she need it to fix the wobbly leg under her coffee table?
Amanda: Fire her. Fire her right now. I would be such a better assistant.
Daniel: Why don’t you go get dressed?
Amanda: Okay, but I’m telling you, you’re gonna get it back, and there’s gonna be chimichurr-o sauce all over it.
Christina: (to Betty) Now what exactly is a Gina Gambarro?
Betty: You know what? You really do belong here more than I do. And I truly hope that you get everything you deserve.
Amanda: Awwww, thank you.
Betty: Bye, Amanda. And though my bunny and I are a little worse for wear, we’re here, and we’re staying, and it’s gonna take a hell of a lot more to get rid of either one of us. Good night!
Amanda: Whatever, I’m still prettier.
A wonderful follow-up hour that continues to bring the show’s zany world to life with confidence and style.