A Thousand Words Before Friday

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"A Thousand Words By Friday"
Ugly Betty episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 13
Directed by Matt Shakman
Written by Henry Alonso Myers & Sheila Lawrence
Production code 213
Original air date January 24, 2008
Episode chronology
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"Odor in the Court"
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Episode chronology

"A Thousand Words Before Friday" is the 13th episode in the second season, and the 36th episode overall, of the American dramedy series Ugly Betty, which aired on January 24, 2008. The episode was written by Henry Alonso Myers and Sheila Lawrence, and directed by Matt Shak.

Plot[edit]

During the evening at "Hilda's Beautilities" at casa Suarez, Hilda gives Betty a new hairstyle before she goes to see the rock band Henry manages, called "IRS" (Internal Rhythm Service) at a local bar. However the bar patrons are not impressed, and Betty tells Henry, who is trying to raise money to help support Charlie and his unborn child, that he should sing instead of managing. Daniel stops by to support them and meets a woman named Renee, who seems to know his name already. As she asks him to dance, he gets a message on his cell, leaving the dance to give Betty an important assignment, an interview with Phil Roth. Betty is excited, believing she will be interviewing the famous author, since she is a fan.

Daniel returns to Renee and they dance before going back to Daniel's place, where they discover Claire. Since her murder acquittal Claire has been making herself at home at Daniel's place and invading his privacy. As Renee leaves, Daniel ponders about what to do to get Claire back into the social life.

At the Slater residence, Wilhelmina attends to Christina, who has moved in. Wilhelmina tells her that she to keep her legs up, watch her eating habits, and of course, no liquor for nine months.

In the Love Dungeon, Amanda and Marc try come up with a way to reach Gene Simmons, who she has been unsuccessfully trying to contact since learning he might be her father. Marc suggests that Amanda write and perform a song about him and post it on the internet.

The next day Betty runs into Gio, who tells her he is excited she is writing an article on Phil Roth ... only to tell Betty the Phil Roth in question is not the famous author but one who write books on picking up women. Betty is unhappy at how their interview goes, as Phil Roth has a bad attitude towards woman, and successfully uses his technique on Amanda. Betty takes Amanda and walks out of the interview.

Daniel spends the day trying to get Claire to leave his apartment, but with Alexis at a transgender meeting and Claire shunning the country club set, she doesn't have anywhere to go. Daniel asks Betty to find something for Claire to do. Betty meanwhile has finished her assignment—1000 words on Hilda starting her own business, explaining she cannot write about a man she dislikes and feels is sexist. Daniel tells her she's off the assignment, adding that Phil Roth called and asked for another writer anyway, saying he felt Betty was closed-minded. Betty asks for a second chance and says she'll read his book because she is not closed-minded.

Daniel and Renee spend the night together at Renee's apartment. The next morning Daniel is shocked to find Wilhelmina in the shower, who he discovers is Renee's sister. After he leaves Wilhelmina warns "Rhonda" (Renee's real name) to stay away from him, because she doesn't want any the Meades finding out about the unborn baby. Renee responds to "Wanda" that she will date anyone she chooses and as she walks away, Wilhelmina sees Christina watching the exchange

Daniel tells Betty (who found out from Christina) what happened with Renee, and she advises him to avoid the Slaters. Alexis arrives and they argue over Claire, deciding to play "Rock Paper Scissors" (Alexis loses) to decide who should help her. After she leaves Renee arrives and tells Daniel she is not like her sister and she wants to see him again.

Meanwhile, Henry and Amanda spar over a noticeboard until they realize he is looking for a singer for his band, and she is looking for a band to sing for.

That evening at the Suarez's, Betty and Henry do research on Phil Roth's "Tap That" book and decide to try his theory at a singles bar. Henry wants to help out, but Betty suggests Gio ("He's perfect, he's a total dog"), making Henry uneasy. At the bar, Betty and Gio talk about what Gio likes in a woman. Gio agrees to help Betty with her research but is upstaged by Henry, who challenges Gio to a contest to see how many girls' phone numbers they can get. Henry beats Gio 7 to 6, but as Betty begins to tear up the numbers, Gio tells her that he's keeping them and plans to score a date with one of his catches. Henry is jealous of Gio's attentions to Betty.

Later, Daniel stops by the Suarez house unexpectedly; he's been driving around for hours and can't get Renee off his mind. Betty is understanding and encourages Daniel to "go for it," saying that she and Hilda aren't alike and neither are Daniel and Alexis, so perhaps Renee is different from Wilhelmina. The next morning Daniel walks into Wilhelmina's kitchen, having spent the night with Renee. She is infuriated and warns Daniel that he doesn't know what he's getting into.

Back at MODE, Alexis and Daniel discuss how to deal with Claire, when Claire walks in to tell her children that after spending time in knitting class and being inspired by the rest of the over-50 women there, she plans to launch a new magazine called "Hot Flash." Daniel and Alexis think their mother has gone crazy, but Claire coolly informs them she intends to proceed with her plan.

Betty catches up with Phil Roth and tells him she'll write the assignment, but he reveals he never told Daniel she was close-minded. Betty punishes Daniel by withholding a cinnamon twist from him, and he admits he played her so she would write the article. Unfortunately, Alexis pulls the article as she thought it sent the wrong message about women. Daniel tells Betty she's a good writer and that he wanted her to step out of her comfort zone when she wrote, and that there would be better assignments for her in the future. Betty thanks Daniel for having faith in her, and shares the cinnamon twist with him.

Betty visits Henry and tells him she's invited Gio to see his band perform, and he confesses he is uncomfortable with Gio being around Betty. Betty asks him not to be so competitive and he says he trusts her but not Gio. Betty agrees not to see Gio.

At the bar that night, Amanda belts out her newly composed song, "Gene Simmons Is My Daddy." The lyrics tell the story of her conception at Studio 54, including the Tweety Bird tattoo. As Marc videotapes her performance, Gene Simmons stands in his way, happy to see Amanda. When she comes off stage they meet, embrace, and leave to get better acquainted. Henry frets that the band now has no lead singer, so Betty convinces him to get on stage. He asks Betty to join him and they sing "It Takes Two," which gets the audience partying.

Finally, back at Wilhelmina's place, Renee tells her sister that she's going out with Daniel. Wilhelmina says she hopes Daniel doesn't find out about Renee's secret. Christina eavesdrops on them.

Production[edit]

"A Thousand Words Before Friday" would be the last episode that was written before the 2007 writers' strike, which resulted in the series being shut down until the strike was over. In a show of solidarity the series' cast joined the writers on the picket lines during the shutdown, which ended in February 2008.

As for the future of the recurring regulars, Freddie Rodriguez had been signed to do 12 shows but was not sure about what would happen with Gio even though he became a fan favorite,[1] while Gabrielle Union, who began her first stint in this episode as Renee, was uncertain about whether she would be a semi-regular[2] and prior to the strike was supposed to make more appearances during the second season.[3] It should also be noted that her character was supposed to be named "Dominique" but was changed at the last minute. Since the episode's airing and the interviews were made, both Rodriguez and Union's characters were written out of the series, with Rodriguez wrapping up his stint in the third season and Union leaving after "Burning Questions".

The song "Gene Simmons is My Daddy" was written by Becki Newton (who portrays Amanda) and Jeff Beal, the composer of Ugly Betty.

Reception[edit]

There were some mixed responses from this episode. Some thought that, despite a great storyline, it lacked the edge that the characters have on the show.[4][5]

Early in the episode, when showing an exterior shot of Wilhelmina Slater's apartment, a Famima!! convenience store is seen. As these stores are located only in Los Angeles, this small oversight makes the New York setting unrealistic.

Ratings[edit]

The episode pulled in a 6.2/10, but like the previous two episodes, this one also placed second behind Fox's Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?[6] and came in 23rd in the January 21st-27th, 2008 Nielsen ratings.[7]

References[edit]

Also starring[edit]

Guest stars[edit]