A Mother of a Problem

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"A Mother of a Problem"
Ugly Betty episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 18
Directed by Matthew Diamond
Written by Bill Wrubel
Production code 318
Original air date March 12, 2009
Episode chronology
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"Sugar Daddy"
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"The Sex Issue"
Episode chronology

"A Mother of a Problem" is the 18th episode in the third season, the 59th episode overall, of the American dramedy series Ugly Betty, which aired on March 12, 2009. The episode was written by Bill Wrubel and directed by Matthew Diamond.[1]


As the morning begins, it's Saturday and Matt has joined the family for breakfast as Betty discusses meeting Matt's mother, Victoria. Hilda doesn't want to discuss being set up with Archie.

Betty meets Victoria but things do go as she expects. After a disastrous first meeting in which Mrs. Hartley mistakes Betty for hired help, Betty's determined to make a good impression at Mrs. Hartley's Friday night shindig by going through what Matt calls "The Victoria Hartley Taste Test" because of her criticism of Matt's taste in girlfriends. Through Claire's advice, Betty discovers that the topic to be discussed that night is torture, but thanks to Victoria, who succeeds by separating both Betty and Matt by placing them at the opposite ends of the dining table, the topic has been switched to the future of opera. Fortunately, Betty makes a nice save by drawing a parallel to fashion (complete with thoughts of these comparisons on the cover of MODE) and wows the guests.

Victoria still insists that Betty get out of Matt's life. Betty starts having doubts and thinks maybe it's better to just bow out, but Matt, furious over his mother's dislike for Betty, gives Victoria a piece of his mind and says that he is standing by his girlfriend [Betty]. A stunned Betty didn't want to be labelled by Matt as his girlfriend, but apparently he does. Eventually, Betty is convinced as well, even though as she meets Matt the following day, Victoria still has a dislike for Betty after they run into each other on the street. However, Victoria has realised that she wants him to be happy, so she and Betty agree to be civil.

As Betty finds herself dealing with one love interest, sister Hilda has her own romantic dilemma to deal with, as the rest of the Suarezes, along with Elena, have conspired to invite Archie to dinner, in the hopes that he and Hilda will hit it off. It's already becoming obvious to even Archie, who sees that Hilda is resistant as she tried to avoid talking to him and tried to change the subject, that this set-up would be the lamest idea ever. Nevertheless, when he asks her to go on a date as he leaves, she accepts.

For Daniel and Wilhelmina, their attempts to lure a photographer for a photo shoot falls through after the client tells them that he wants to be paid in full by Friday or the deal is off. This has Daniel and Wilhelmina trying to come up with ways to lure the client back. So Wilhelmina must resort to selling all of her luxuries that she has grown attached over the years to an auction house in order to raise money for the magazine. She even tells Marc she is doing it to get control of the company but this move has Marc fretting the future of his boss when she must downsize by all means, including having been served almonds instead of her usual expensive snacks (champagne and caviar) and conserving energy. But the sacrifice does pay off and the client signs with MODE. As she is congratulated by Daniel, it looks like Willy hasn't given up her lifestyle as she shows Marc that she can indulge in the lavish lifestyle by showing Marc the customary snacks.

Daniel must also deal with the latest wrinkle in his relationship with Molly after she refuses to participate in an experimental clinical study that only has up to a 10 percent success rate, and Daniel can't understand it as Molly tries to talk Daniel out of pressuring her to go through with the procedure and then insists that they still don't have a future. Eventually, he decides to accede to her wishes and pack in quality interaction in the time she has left by taking her out into the snow for a little recreation.


This episode, despite remaining third behind Survivor: Tocantins on CBS and Bones on Fox, managed to reverse a declining trend after the last two outings with an increase of 4.9/8 overall, a 2.1/6 among 18-49 and 7.2 million viewers in the US tuning in, a gain of 830,000 viewers.[2][3][4]

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