A couple weeks back, a commenter on this blog wondered aloud whether Ugly Betty warranted a spot in the TV Club. In fact, this will be the last installment of the show's TV Club blog. I've enjoyed it a lot, but heavy professional obligations have forced my hand. (So, frankly, has low readership.) Luckily, I get to go out on the season's best episode by a mile, a show as good as last week's was bad.
It always seemed odd to me that the Bradford-Wilhelmina wedding seemed so ordinary in scale, but it paid off really well here. Particularly, and surprisingly, in re: Victoria Beckham--good lord, and here I'd thought they'd be giving her lines. Instead she's a running gag and spends the ceremony locked in a closet. Nice. And Amanda's surprise rendition of "Milkshake," complete with church-organ backing, was a risk that worked--up there, this season, with Marc's sound effects on the roof of the Meade Publications building during the Wilhelmina-Betty showdown.
But it's also a tribute to the crispness of the episode itself that Bradford's mid-ceremony heart attack didn't come across as a desperate ploy--just rolled right along, another twist in a show that can't get enough of them. And this episode was full of surprises, steadily doled out: Cliff's wedding makeover; Betty moving out; Stewart, Christina's husband, returning and dying. But nothing felt rushed; each segment was paced to breathe, and the jokes were aimed perfectly.
Some older loose ends were smoothed over disappointingly: suddenly, Alexis got all of Mode's advertisers back with no explanation. (Surely an explanation is in the cards, to be dealt a few episodes down the line, a la the Sofia Reyes arc of Season 1.) And when Bradford goes down, did they really have to play "Hallelujah," the biggest musical-cue cliché of the decade? (See this excellent paper by Michael Barthel if you desire further evidence.) But I'll just end the main body of this post (the stray observations will be a quick roundup of favorite moments) by saying how happy I am the show is back on track, and by thanking you all for reading.
-Opening scene, Hilda crawling through windows--bitty but very funny.
-Posh's wedding gift, from her appearance on Fashion TV: a year's supply of her sports drink ("It's Beck-mmmm")
-Betty and Daniel talking over each other about their families--nicely handled.
-Wilhelmina to her bodyguard/lover, Dwayne: "Mama's weave can't get sweaty on her wedding day." Ouch.
-Justin to Ignacio the morning of his citizenship ceremony: "If you wear the flag tie I'm leaving the country." (The language of the ceremony itself was really, really creepy, though.)
-Betty, re: Dwayne: "The other day he said something was a mute point." Daniel: "That was me. I get it now."
-Cliff: "You're acting like a baby." Marc: "A baby abandoned in a Dumpster while mommy explores her newfound hotness." After dumping Cliff, Marc cries to Amanda, who responds: "Oh my god, it's happened. You're falling for what's inside. You're falling for an average man." They get back together, or course. They have to: they are so fucking cute together.
-Betty's little mouth-corner movements after the priest's "We haven't gotten to that part yet" = priceless.
-Finally, we'll end with the last ever Girlfriend Quote of the week: "To follow the Amanda song with him almost dying is pretty awesome."