East Side Story (Ugly Betty)

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"East Side Story"
Ugly Betty episode
Ugly Betty S01E23.png
Hilda hears news that her fiancé has been murdered
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 23
Directed by James Hayman
Written by Silvio Horta & Marco Pennette
Production code 123
Original air date May 17, 2007
Guest actors
Episode chronology
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"A Tree Grows in Guadalajara"
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"How Betty Got Her Grieve Back"
Episode chronology

"East Side Story" is the 23rd episode, and first season finale, of the dramedy series Ugly Betty, which aired on May 17, 2007. After ABC had previously announced 22 episodes for the season, this 23rd episode was added for the debut season, due to the series' success.

Plot[edit]

As Betty returns from Mexico, having failed in her attempt to secure a visa for Ignacio, she attempts to call Henry. At first Betty starts hesitating, but goes through with it by summoning the accountant to the copying room. She begins to tell him that she is going to fight for him after realizing that when you find something good in life, you have to go after it. Henry tells her that he and Charlie have broken up, and says that he wants to be with her, to Betty's delight. They decide to have their first date together. As Betty is preparing dinner for her and Henry, Charlie shows up at Betty's house to reveal that she is pregnant. When Henry shows up, Betty tells him to talk to Charlie and the two leave. Betty waits distressed that night and following morning as none of her messages are returned. She finally hears back from Henry, who asks her to meet him. He tells Betty that he never had a father growing up and doesn't want to be absent from his child's life. He has decided to return to Tucson with Charlie, who wants to go back to her hometown and, after sharing their last kiss, says goodbye. Hours later at her orthodontist's office, Diane, a technician asks Betty how her date went. She tells her Charlie, his ex, is pregnant and they never had a chance to be together. Diane, who has a love for romantic comedies, asks more about this other woman who probably got pregnant on purpose. Betty tells her a little about Charlie and Diane comments Dr. Farkas has been dating a cute red-head named Charlie. Betty doesn't think she is the same girl until she notices Diane's bracelet, which Charlie gave as gifts to the staff. The ladies realize that Charlie and Betty's orthodontist, Dr. Gabe Farkas, had been dating for the past two months, adding a new twist as it is now unclear whether Charlie's unborn child is Henry's, as Charlie and Henry prepare to take off for their flight back to Arizona.

Meanwhile, Wilhelmina makes great strides in her ambitious power play by manipulating Bradford into proposing to her, as Bradford gives her a wedding ring that he made himself. However, Wilhelmina's plans for a June wedding at St. Patrick's Cathedral has been roadblocked by Fabia. It appears that she has booked it for her wedding, so she forces Wilhelmina into making an exchange: She'll give up the date for the services of "That Girl", who happens to be Marc. Wilhelmina agrees and Marc (or "Marco" as Fabia calls him) becomes Fabia's slave. However, the exchange is called off as Wilhelmina gets Marc back and moves up the wedding date to November.

It appears that Daniel has descended further in a downward spiral due to his drug addiction. After he lies to Betty about how he got a black eye by claiming that he saved a girl scout in Central Park, Betty runs to Alexis and tells her about this heroic deed, prompting Alexis to intervene and to embarrass him because his "story" was twisted, since it happened when Alex was a teenager and was the one who saved the girl. So Alexis convinces Betty to have the Girl Scouts and the press to come by MODE for a photo opportunity, and as expected, Alexis embarrasses her brother. Afterwards, Daniel comes clean to Betty, who thinks that taking drugs to cure his sex problem is making matters worse. Later that evening as Daniel goes to see Bradford, he is upset over his dad's plans to divorce Claire and marry Wilhelmina, leading him to go off the deep end. Hours later he stops by Alexis' office to say that he is resigning and then rambles on about how he wish that they were a family again. Alexis then notices that Daniel has been taking pills and drinking heavily, but as Alexis and Daniel head for the hospital to detox Daniel after he overdoses, they take Bradford's car, not knowing that the brakes were cut by the guy Alexis hired to exterminate Bradford (Daniel overhears his sister mentions this), and the car crashes, leaving the siblings unconscious at the scene.

At the institute, Claire, along with Yoga and two inmates, make plans to escape. They do so by feeding their diabetic inmate chocolate, causing the driver to stop. (Claire gets the driver to stop by saying the diabetic is having a hypoglycemic reaction -- which would actually be cured by, not caused by, giving her chocolate.) When he goes to check on the girl, they choke him with their handcuffs while Claire grabs his gun and points it at him saying, "This is happening!" Claire and Yoga are later seen running down the road, still handcuffed, as Claire sets her sights on stopping Wilhelmina from marrying Bradford.

Back at MODE, Christina sees Amanda and asks what she was doing in "The Closet." Amanda says that she has found her favorite secret spot, then opens up the "Love Dungeon". This would prompt Amanda and Christina to argue at each other, only to have the two end up getting locked inside. While inside, Christina and Amanda drink over their differences, then reveal how they ended up at MODE, with Christina revealing that she was married to an insurance agent named Stuart, but then she walked away from her family in Scotland and no one has bothered to look for her since. Amanda then tells her that after her acting career went nowhere, her father, who was handling Fey's accounts, got her the "Lifetime Receptionist" job. As they look for more alcohol, Christina accidentally discovers a safe and opening it with the combination numbers (that matches Fey's measurements), then discover an envelope containing pictures of Amanda as a chubby child, thus stunning Amanda, who recognizes the photos after she sees them. Christina then finds a birth certificate that reveals Fey Sommers as Amanda's mother, stunning Amanda even more as she now knows why she got her job at MODE in the first place.

After Justin 'accidentally' fed walnuts to his classmate who had the lead role, which caused him to have an allergic reaction and unable to perform, Justin moves from understudy to star. Betty has an idea to go and find Henry at the airport, with the intention to stop him from leaving, Before she can leave, several police officers arrive asking for Hilda Suarez. Hilda is already at the play, waiting next to an empty seat she saves for Santos, thinking he is standing up his family. Betty arrives at Justin's school to deliver some bad news to Hilda: Santos has been shot. Earlier that evening he was held hostage in a convenience store while on his way to see his son perform and shot while trying to defend the clerk. The season ends with Hilda crying out in devastation whilst the audience watch "West Side Story" in tears.

Casting[edit]

This is the last episode in which Judith Light (Claire Meade) and Christopher Gorham (Henry) were credited as also starring. From Season Two onwards they became full-time series regulars.

Arap Bethke, who played Antonio in the previous episode, is credited, but does not appear, in this episode.

Kristin Chenoweth and Ana Ortiz worked together before in Chenoweth's short lived sitcom, Kristin, but they did not appear on-screen together in this episode.

Juliette Goglia, who appeared in this episode, would return as a recurring regular in the second season.

Production[edit]

The working title of this episode was "The Number 23", a double reference to the movie of the same name starring Jim Carrey and the fact that this is the 23rd episode. It also had the working titles The Conclusion of Betty's Life or Surprises are all Around!

Other notes[edit]

  • Angélica Vale, the star of La fea más bella, the second Mexican version of Betty la fea, appears in this episode as a character who looks exactly like Lety, the character she played on the aforementioned show.
  • When Angelica walks away while Betty is at the dentist, Diane exclaims, "Back to your cage, Shrek!" The film Shrek the Third opened the day after this episode originally aired.
  • In the opening scene, upon greeting Betty's after her return from Mexico, Daniel says, "Hey, how is Dora the Explorer?" a reference to the popular children's program where the cartoon character travels the globe and teaches the audience Spanish.
  • In the scene where Wilhelmina is trying to get Fabia to change her wedding date, Fabia points at Marc saying, "I want That Girl!". Marc looks up with an open mouth, paying homage to the old ABC show's regular opening gag. In a season two episode, Marlo Thomas, (the original star of said series) did a guest spot as Sandra Winthrop.

Music notes[edit]

Vanessa L. Williams sang the rendition of "The Way We Were" that played during the montage of scenes featuring special moments between Wilhelmina and Marc. Williams performed this cover as the lead vocalist on Dave Koz's 2007 album, At The Movies. A video for the song can be found here.

Ratings[edit]

In the United States the episode was watched by 10.39 million viewers, but was second behind a CBS special honoring Bob Barker's retirement from television (14.33 million viewers).[1]

In other countries, the results were mixed. In the United Kingdom, the finale rated less than the premiere episode, attracting 3.1 million viewers with 15% share when it aired on Channel 4 on June 8, 2007. In Australia, it received the lowest rating of the year - 1.051 million, and only in the 13th slot of the night (August 5, 2007) during its airing on the Seven Network. This was predominantly because it aired in the same timeslot as the season premiere of a rival program on the Ten Network, Australian Idol.

Promotion[edit]

The Song "It's Not Over Yet" by Klaxons was used in the advertisement on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom.

Also starring[edit]

Guest stars[edit]

References[edit]