Grin and Bear It (Ugly Betty)

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"Grin and Bear It"
Ugly Betty episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 4
Directed by Tucker Gates
Written by Veronica Becker
Sarah Kucserka
Production code 204
Original air date October 18, 2007
Episode chronology
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"Betty's Wait Problem"
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Episode chronology

"Grin and Bear It" is the fourth episode in the second season of the comedy-drama TV series, Ugly Betty. The episode was written by Veronica Becker and Sarah Kucserka and directed by Tucker Gates. It is the 27th episode overall, which aired on October 18, 2007.


The episode begins in an auditorium, a student is reading his love story. Betty is crying, impressed, and starts to cheer as he finishes. Everyone in the class looks at her like she’s crazy. The teacher asks Betty what she liked about the piece (mockingly). Betty replies that it was sweet, and that she felt his pain. The teacher says “This is what I felt”, and runs his nails down the chalkboard. He then goes on a tirade about “finding your voice” and opening old wounds. “If you have nothing to write, try killing yourself”, he says. He assigns a 1000 word essay on “Your most defining moment”.

Back at the Suarez home, Ignacio is preparing breakfast, and tells Betty her story was great. She tells of her plans to get published, get promoted to editor, then run her own magazine. Betty tells her dad that she had sent her story to Daniel for evaluation. Justin walks in the room, dressed in a leather jacket and with a snarly attitude. He tells Betty he flunked his math test, and doesn’t care. Hilda defends him.

At MODE, Daniel is arriving with Alexis. She has too much makeup on, and is wearing her top very low-cut without a bra. She is having trouble walking in heels. Amanda sees her takes her to the ladies' room to help her out.

Marc sneaks into the love dungeon and sees Amanda there with Halston. Amanda has been having no luck at all in the search for her birth father, so Marc suggests she look at old issues of MODE, which always had pictures of Fey at various parties – to see which men she socialized with at the time.

Wilhelmina is leading a staff meeting. Daniel and Alexis walk in as Wilhelmina continues, but Daniel asks her to move so Alexis can sit down. Wilhelmina obviously feels disrespected but does so. She reminds everyone that she is leaving MODE to run Meade publications, and the Meade family. Wilhelmina comes to talk to Bradford about her future, only to have Bradford tell her she can run any magazine she likes, but MODE (Claire owns that). Wilhelmina later meets with all the other editors of all the other magazines in Meade publications: including an extreme sports magazine, a cooking magazine, and a men’s magazine. She doesn’t like any of them, then tells Marc that her plan has fallen apart.

Back at the staff meeting, Sheila says they may have lost Winona Ryder (for the cover) to a movie. They weren’t sure if she’s making one or just going to see one. Alexis then embarrasses the staff by suggesting Anna Nicole Smith. Daniel later finds her crying (her face is streaked with mascara). Daniel consoles her, and reminds her she’s in the men’s room.

In another part of the building, Henry is listening to a new rap recording by Kenny, a fellow accountant with a “street” attitude. Kenny sees Betty and reminds Henry that he has "Betty her," and has a "babymomma" back home. Betty then asks Henry to tutor Justin in Algebra, and he agrees to do it.

Hours later, Daniel gives Betty a group of female empowerment articles – he’s too busy with a hot date. He tells Betty that he read her story and loved it, then gives her a thumbs up, but Betty tells Christina that he hates it and explains that whenever Daniel does this, he’s lying. They then flashback to several scenes of Daniel giving the thumbs up: telling Amanda he would “call her later”, telling his dad he read the “Quarterly Competitive Analysis”, and telling a dominatrix he was “ready”.

Back at the writing class, the teacher is ripping into everyone’s writing, then looks at Betty and says, “you’re up, crappy!” Betty drops her purse and everything spills out. She starts reading, and reads a line about her own blood dripping off a bear’s teeth. Betty realizes she’s reading one of the female empowerment stories (this one by Marsha Worthington), instead of her own. The teacher tells her to go on, he’s actually interested. Betty has a decision to make: she continues reading the bear attack story, claiming it as her own. Betty then finishes “her” story with a line about being pregnant with her first child. The class loves Betty’s story, so does the teacher. He asks the class: why can’t the rest of you get attacked by a bear?

Later that night, Betty is in her bed, tossing and turning. Poquito, her teddy bear, starts chiding her about how she cheated, then attacks her (it was a dream). Betty is feeling guilty, she cannot even look her pink bunny in the one good eye. Professor Barrett calls and says he wants to see her about her essay. He tells her he’s sent her article to the "New York Review." Betty tries to back out, but can’t.

The following day, designer Luke Carnes, who owns Atlantic Attire, is speaking to Daniel about the upcoming advertising spread. He tells Daniel that he wants him to fire Alexis because he worries about the image of advertising in a magazine “run by a cross-dresser”. Daniel tells Alexis about this, and of course Alexis is hurt, causing her to have a meltdown. She also says she is tired of high heels, and throws one, which hits Marc square on the forehead. Wilhelmina laters advises Daniel to lose the account with Luke. Daniel then proceeds to tell Luke to get lost. As Daniel goes to the men’s room, Alexis comes in to hug and thank him for standing up for her. At this time, Daniel confesses that he "caused" the accident. Alexis is understanding, and hugs him.

Unfortunately, behind the scenes, Marc tells Wilhelmina that all of MODE’s advertisers are thinking about pulling their ads, know that they’ve heard about Atlantic Attire doing so. He gathers that Wilhelmina was the one who spread the rumor. Wilhelmina reveals that she’s trying to destroy MODE so she can start a new magazine: SLATER.

Later on that day, Amanda is looking through old magazines. Halston paws at one, and sees an article about Fey and her assistant “Wanda” at Studio 54. She feed the photo into Photoshop, does some editing, and discovers that it is Wilhelmina. “Ugly Willie”, as she says. Wilhelmina hears this and confronts Amanda by threatening the receptionist. Amanda swears she’ll never mention it again, saying she’s just trying to find her father. Wilhelmina tells her about April 26, 1981 at Studio 54. Fey got lost in the crowd, then “Wanda” found her in a tryst, the only thing she saw about the man was the Tweety Bird tattoo on his behind. Amanda is pleased that she was conceived at Studio 54. Wilhelmina tells how, in exchange for her secrecy about the pregnancy, Fey paid for her transformation into Wilhelmina, supermodel, then says to herself, “If I can’t have MODE, no one else can.” because she has dedicated everything for it and no one has worked harder. Wilhelmina then gives Amanda the guest list at Studio 54 for the night Amanda was conceived. At the love dungeon, Amanda says “Hi, Daddy!”, and looks at a picture of Ted Kennedy, then a photo of Warren Beatty, and Ricardo Montalban. She has a whole wall full of photos of men who were cool in the early 80’s.

The man at the "New York Review" tells Betty he can’t believe she’s turning down their offer to publish her story. The legal department calls and says they need him to check the story by checking her ear. Betty says she can’t publish the story in their magazine because she works for MODE. As she’s leaving, the editor says, “You’re carrying low – it’s going to be a boy.” As Betty returns to her desk at work, a woman is sitting there and tells her, “I hear we have a lot in common”, and pulls her hair back to reveal a mangled ear. The woman had gotten a call from her agent telling her that her story ended up at the "New York Review" with Betty’s name on it. As she’s trying to explain, Daniel walks in and tells the woman the mix-up was his fault, and offers to publish her story at double the normal rate. Daniel and Betty take turns giving each other pep talks and have a very sweet, platonic moment.

As Henry is trying to teach Justin algebra using fashion flash cards, Justin get bored with it and ends the session early. Henry tells Betty that he sucked as a tutor, but is not giving up. Henry later comes over to the Suarezes to tutor Justin again and finds him making out with a girl and drinking beer. Henry is freaking out over Justin’s behavior. Betty tells him to calm down and asks him why he’s getting so worked up: he reveals it’s because he’s going to be a father. He had known the results from the paternity tests, but didn’t want to tell Betty because he still wanted to be together. An upset Betty tells him to leave.

The next day Betty reads her real story to the class. The other students laugh but the student from earlier looks at her approvingly.


This episode once again served as a spotlight for Becki Newton's comedic talents, as she took over the role of playing a young Fey Sommers in the flashback scenes. In the first season Christine Jones played Fey Sommers as an older woman. In addition, it introduced viewers to another new recurring character, Kenny, played by John Cho.

If you look closely, a picture of Salma Hayek hangs on a wall in Kenny's cubicle when the camera pans to Henry's office. Hayek is an executive producer of the show and starred in the first season as Daniel's former love interest, Sofia Reyes. This is the second time that a poster of Hayek has showed up in the series, the first being "Queens for a Day" where it can be seen at the beauty shop that Betty was getting the makeover.

For the role of Mr Gallico, Judith Light's real-life husband, Robert Desiderio, was cast.

Music notes[edit]

The song played at the end of the episode is "A Sigh" by Crowded House from their album, Time on Earth.


In a review from TV Guide's Amiee Deeken: "Wilhelmina was in her full glory tonight. My favorite scenes were Pretty Willie (as Meade Publications' cochair) being introduced to some of the company's other publishing treasures, and Ugly Wanda weaving us through her evening at Studio 54 as Fey's mousey assistant, spying on her boss entwined with Amanda's mystery dad with the Tweety Bird tattoo on his back. Priceless!" She also noted Victor Garber's guest shot as his best performance and expressed hope that the producers would bring him back in the future.[1]


The episode was watched by 9.8 million viewers in the United States, off slightly from the previous episode.[2] 5.1 million viewers watched this episode in the UK, with a 15% audience share, coming in third in its timeslot.


Also starring[edit]

Guest starring[edit]