Ugly Betty- Episode 3.18 ‘A Mother of a Problem’
Christine Baranski, Ralph Macchio, Sarah LaFleur- Guest Stars.
This week’s episode opens with the Suarezes +Matt + Elena at breakfast. Betty is chowing down like she has to be somewhere, and indeed she does. She’s going into MODE to help Daniel on a Saturday, without pay! And also, Betty is going to a Ranger’s game with Matt. Hm… Sports? Et tu, Betty? Matt rattles on and mentions (somewhat offhandedly) that his mother is just dying to meet Betty. Councilman Daniel-san… er.. I mean Archie also stops by for a ‘haircut’. Just a normal, busy morning at Casa Suarez.
Daniel and Molly are having their own morning together as Daniel rushes off to the office. Daniel doesn’t want Molly to overexert herself, and prefers that she stays indoors. ‘I have cancer,’she says. ‘”It’s not like a bowl of soup and a nap and I’ll be over it.” True. But she seems to understand Daniel’s need to want to keep her safe and agrees.
Daniel and Betty at the office are terrific as usual. Betty has organized everything from salami (the kind that doesn’t make Daniel gassy) to finding a particular doctor’s phone number that Daniel wanted for Molly. Betty is chafing at putting a label on her relationship with Matt. Does that mean she’s not serious? Hmmmm. My shipper heart rejoices!
Next scene, and Daniel and Wilhelmina are courting a particular photographer for MODE and he wants his whole fee- which is going to have to come out of either Daniel or Wilhelmina’s pocket. Wilhelmina steps up and brushes off Daniel’s offer of paying. But how is she going to get the money? Poor Willie!
Next we find Betty in Matt’s home, where… not surprisingly… his mother mistakes her for one of her domestic minions. Betty is surprised. So are we! I mean, Matt was just saying that she was dying to meet Betty- so whatever could be wrong? (Christine Baranski is terrific as usual in this role. I love seeing her on the UB cast! I hope they keep her, even if it means they have to keep Matt around…) Speaking of Matt, he’s doing some fast talking. Betty is upset over some of his white lies, but he insists that he’s trying to save Betty from his mother, who is judgmental and controlling. He makes it up to her by inviting her to a party at his dear mama’s house on Friday night. Oh gee. That could only go well, right?
Marc is not overly thrilled with Wilhelmina selling off her furs and jewelry to an auction house. He tries to talk her out of it, but Willie insists that this is something that has to be done so that she can keep up with Daniel’s much more ready cash flow. She doesn’t want to be left in the dust- so selling of a couple of things here and there along with some office cutbacks will keep things in the black. We hope. The auction house lady assures Willie that they are very discrete. Riiiiiight. One of the cutbacks includes switching out her caviar and champagne for almonds. Haha. So cute to watch Marc and Willie try to be plebian.
Betty and Amanda are still great together, although part of me still thinks it’s weird that they are friendly now. Amanda approves of how Betty is handling her other little rich boy and mentions that a couple of more steps and she’ll be in the gold-digger’s hall of fame! Our Betty (naturally) doesn’t want his money- she just wants mommie dearest to like her. Yeah, good luck with that Suarez.
On a more serious note, Daniel and Molly are listening to the Oncologist, and he is sorry to say that Molly would have a very small chance of responding to his clinical study treatment- but still… a chance. Daniel panics a bit more and railroads over Molly’s protests. Of course she’s interested. Where does she sign up? Oh, Daniel. We know the big goofball is trying to help, but now he’s being less than understanding about Molly’s wishes. She doesn’t want to spend what time she has left moldering away in a plastic bubble, and refuses to sign up for the clinical trial.
Claire helps Betty find out the ‘secret topic’of Victoria’s party… Torture! Apparently at high-end dinner parties the hostess introduces a topic of conversation. Who knew? Oh dear, now I’m sure that this won’t go well…
Hilda is being set up by her well-meaning family! Wow, I never would have seen that coming. But, I get to see Ralph Macchio again and that’s always a good thing. Hilda is definitely not happy about the situation, but it looks like her family has made the decision for her. She eventually accepts an invite for a date with the handsome Archie.
Betty arrives at the battlefield… er… I mean Victoria’s apartment… Where things are tense. Matt’s mom really isn’t into Betty. After a horrible hors d’oeuvres incident involving Betty, a stuffed mushroom cap, and a priceless painting soon to be on display at the Louvre, dinner is served. (I’m sure you won’t be surprised to find out that Mommie Dearest changed the topic to… opera. Poor Betty. You can just imagine that she spent hours and hours preparing!) Matt takes the heat for the mushroom cap of doooooom, but his mama isn’t buying his story. The fact that Betty was about to admit to it certainly doesn’t help!
Willie has a moment of doubt about selling off all her goodies, and Marc finds her in her lingerie wrapped in jewels and furs, having a Why-God-Why moment on her bed. Marc snaps her pic on his camera phone. Willie doesn’t want to give away everything that makes her…Her! I can certainly understand that. But eventually she does throw them all at Marc, imploring him to ‘Do with them what you want… I don’t care anymore. Just bring me the money!’
That evening at dinner, Betty is put on the spot with The Future of Opera. Matt texts her (the table is literally that long that she’s at one end and he is at the other) and she remembers the couture of…. MODE? Yes! MODE saves the day! Betty is able to converse intelligently and wittily on the fact that ‘Opera is fashion. Opera will thrive as any art thrives….’And she’s off. She speaks so well on her topic that a columnist plans to borrow her points. Ha. Go, Betty. And okay, I find myself liking Matt a lot more as the episode progresses. That was a great save. I guess it’s not his fault that he’s not Daniel. :D
Wilhelmina comes through with the money for the photographer, Hilda and the Suarezes (that sounds like a band) are all smiles over Hilda’s budding romance with Councilman Archie, and right when we think everything is going to be perfect for Betty…. Matt’s mom steps in. Christine Baranski is phenomenal here. She’s so cold and heartless about trampling Betty and Matt’s budding relationship, that if you hadn’t seen her in other roles you might forget that she is acting! But trample she does, and after comparing Betty’s less than stellar pedigree to Matt’s, she tells Betty that, ‘I hope you enjoyed your meal tonight, but I don’t think hat we’ll be seeing you again.’Ouuu-ch. Betty who thought her performance at dinner would make Victoria like her, is crushed. Matt catches up with Betty in the coatroom, who in turn catches him up with Victoria’s ultimatum. When Victoria comes in to inform the couple that dinner is served, Matt informs her that he’s, ‘Leaving with his girlfriend.’Hmmm. Maybe Betty doesn’t want to put labels on anything but Matt definitely does.
Wilhelmina accuses Daniel of trying to always one up her, and signs her name with flourish on her half of the check for the photographer. Daniel tells her that “Life is too short.’True. Daniel then informs Wilhelmina that Molly is determined to live life on her own terms… even if it kills her. Wilhelmina takes this to heart, refusing to live without caviar and champagne. Furs can always be replaced.
Daniel vents to Betty about Molly. He’s really in love, and is frustrated that Molly isn’t takinig the treatment. Betty points out that she’s just trying to give Daniel what time she has left, and that sometimes you have to take what you get. Betty and Claire meet in an elevator, and Claire accuses Victoria of playing by the ‘Rich Handbook.'(hahah. Claire, I love you.) Betty is never going to have everyone in the world love her. Claire tells her to give as good as she gets. Daniel comes into Molly’s apartment and tells her that, ‘Every free moment of every day is going to be spent with you.’Aww. He doesn’t want to waste the time that they have left, whether that meant going to the beach in February or riding subway cars all day. They go to go play in the snow.
Betty ends the episode with meeting Mrs. Hartley. They both refuse to apologize for how they think. Betty takes Claire’s advice and tells her straight out, that she isn’t going anywhere either. Yess!! Take that you old bat! She’s all smiles when she sees Matt and they decide to walk, embracing the beautiful day.
P.S.- I’m sorry for how long this took to get up! I promise a recap in a much more timely manner for this week’s ep!