Ugly Betty: "Smokin' Hot"

    Betty really asserts herself during Fashion Week when she discovers a new designer and pushes to get her line in the Mode show. We’re continuing to see how Betty fits more cleanly into the Mode framework, while at the same time she attempts to maintain her identity.

    Considering the question of Betty’s style, it’s interesting that this is the first time she deliberates on vamping up her wardrobe as a legitimate career choice. Her style is no longer just a catalyst for Marc’s and Amanda’s snide side comments. Betty is actually feeling pressure to really look the part of a Mode editor. I personally feel that Betty’s wardrobe accurately reflects her personality—the bright colors and cutesy accessories (and can anyone say butterfly?)—but at the same time, she’s become markedly more groomed since season one. Along the way, she’s trademarked some signature Betty pairings—the socks plus heels combo is one of my favorites—that might not be exactly trendy but are overall quite unique. As Willie puts it, “Taste is having the courage of your own convictions.” Rumor also has it that Betty’s braces are coming off this season, which could mean major maturity points for our gal.

    This week’s episode, culminating in the Mode show at Fashion Week, is full of pretty clothes. That the new designer’s dresses are accidentally burned in the Suarez house fire (and we’ll get to that, too) is indicative of both the absurdity of fashion and of the return of the “distressed” trend. (Another great thing about Ugly Betty is how the clothes on the show reflect actual current trends.)

    The sloppy but hilarious Helen has me a little confused. She initially seemed to be nothing more than a foil character to help motivate Amanda not to end up like her, but now that she’s living indefinitely in Marc’s and Amanda’s apartment, I’m wondering what larger purpose she’ll serve, or fail to serve. She seems to be full of the most random and funny life experience. For instance, that a past tryst with an Amish man (Nebediah with the “soft beard”) has produced Helen’s sewing skills is pretty awesome.

    Another new and intriguing development occurs when Tyler, the illegitimate child of Claire Meade and Cal Hartley, shows up at Fashion Week and gets drafted as a model. Oh, those Meade boys and their impeccable genes. I have to say, I’m kind of looking forward to the scene when Claire drops the bomb on everyone else. It’ll be the Daniel-and-Matt-share-a-brother scene, essentially, and it should be pretty juicy.

    The Suarez house fire brings success to Betty’s new designer, and anxiety-slash-relief to Hilda, who, having complained about the costs of her salon pre-fire, now finds herself having to start over once again. Maybe this’ll turn into a positive do-over for Hilda. I’d like to see her working in a big-time salon, doing Beyoncé’s hair or something.

    The montage of scenes at the end of the episode totally freaked me out. When Justin pulls out a box of cigarettes, it’s like the end of innocence. What’s going to happen there? Do we have some piercings and rebellion in the near future? They grow up so fast. Sometimes I just yearn for the days when things were simpler.


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