I'm Coming Out (Ugly Betty)

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"I'm Coming Out"
Ugly Betty episode
Ugly Betty S01E14 Snap.png
Wilhelmina after her duck injections
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 14
Directed by Wendey Stanzler
Written by James D. Parriott
Production code 114
Original air date February 1, 2007
Episode chronology
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"I'm Coming Out" is the 14th episode from the dramedy series Ugly Betty, which aired February 1, 2007. The episode's title comes from the 1980 Diana Ross song of the same name. It was written by James D. Parriott and directed by Wendey Stanzler.


It's Fashion Week in New York and Betty is hustling to ensure "MODE's" runway show goes off without a hitch. But to Betty's dismay, Daniel offers a now-unemployed Hilda a job helping out with the show. Betty is not too happy working alongside her sister because Hilda has taken the spotlight away from Betty. Because of their previous experiences which resulted in Betty losing jobs when they were working together, Betty tries to keep Hilda out of sight by giving her jobs where she won't be seen. However, those attempts fail miserably. On top of that, Justin wants to tag along to the event too.

At the event Henry tells Betty about the message he left with Hilda—which Betty never received—and the tensions escalate between the sisters. As Betty sees Hilda working as a hairstylist, a war of words ensues. Betty then fires her sister after a hairspray fiasco and later sees Hilda kissing Daniel. When Betty tells her the reason that she didn't want Hilda working with her, Hilda assures her that she's not interested in stealing her sister's spotlight and offers an apology for not telling Betty about the phone call. She explains that she was just trying to protect Betty but realizes Betty can take care of herself. Betty in turn tells Hilda that she might have a future in Cosmetology.

Back at the Suarez home, Ignacio is confused to see that Constance forgot to turn in his paperwork. The visit is made worse when things become more personal after Constance breaks down and starts crying, telling Ignacio about her breakup with her now ex-boyfriend. When Ignacio later tells a visiting Walter, who's an eyewitness to what is happening (after Constance shows up with groceries and cooks them gumbo) about this, Walter suggests he calls Constance's ex, and try to get them back together, to get Constance's attention off Ignacio. After the ex shows up, Ignacio learns from him that Constance has a habit of seducing male clients in order to get green cards, and suggests that Ignacio go along, which is how the ex got his.

In other scenarios, Wilhelmina is introduced to a new "cosmetic technique" (using "duck sauce") after a visiting Fabia criticizes her looks and calls her "Wrinkle-mina" as a retaliation for Wilhemilna getting the dress that Fabia wanted (and originally promised with by the designer) to wear for the fashion week. But when Wilhelmina wakes up and sees the results, she is in shock and forces Marc to be her "Seeing-eye gay." She dons a pair of black glasses, leaving her blind as a bat due to the swelling...not to mention being fooled by Fabia, who laughs after seeing that Wilhelmina took her phony advice.

As Christina prepares for the debut of her very own designs, she is miffed at why Wilhelmina finally chose her. Wilhelmina then tells her that one of the models will be changed for the finale in favor of a last minute replacement (Alexis). Wilhelmina also tells Christina that she may have landed the spot because she did a "favor," but that does not change the fact that she is a very talented designer.

Marc and Amanda resume their scheming ways in a mission to steal what will be the season's hottest fashion item. Marc is reluctant to let Amanda in, but when he is forced by Wilhelmina (who is later using Justin in place of Mark) to stay by her side he lets Amanda in on the details, leading a frenzied scramble to nab the must-have item. The two decide that it is a fur mimi skirt, and the only way to get their hands on it is for Marc to get the model wearing it to take it off.

Meanwhile, Daniel is moved by his father's decision to hand over the reins of Meade Publications, when a visit from his old friend, Beckett "Becks" Scott, coaxes him into his old ways. At the event Daniel is tempted by Becks to score with a hottie and when he sees a stunning face [Alexis] show up, he attempts to score with her. The two talk, and Alexis shocks Daniel by revealing that she used to be his brother Alex, but had gender confirmation surgery. She says that she always felt like she was in the wrong skin growing up, and tells Daniel to look into her eyes, saying "That's the only thing they couldn't change." Daniel is very upset over this revelation, as the family mourned for Alexis, and thinks about her every day. Daniel also blames Alexis's "death" for Claire's struggle with alcoholism, and a war of words heats up between the two. Daniel later takes off and grabs a bottle to calm down and is joined by Hilda after her fight with Betty. When they met they started to talk about what happened to each other, and ended it with a surprising kiss that Betty was shocked to walk in on.

As the chaos ensues among the individuals, nothing can prepare them for the frenzy that follows when the Bradford Meade's speech for the final set of the "MODE" show, featuring Christina's designs, is abruptly halted by Alex finally coming out of the woodwork to show Bradford his "daughter" and to watch him get arrested. This immediately caused Christina to lash out at Wilhelmina, Justin and Hilda to take photos, Marc and Amanda's jaws to drop, and Daniel to ask Betty what it's like to have a sister.


This is the first full episode in which Alexis Meade (Rebecca Romijn) appears. Also, this episode revealed Christina's last name, McKinney. The episode features the first appearance of the telenovelita, "Muchas Muchachas," on the family's TV set.

The episode added more background to the Suarez family. Betty notes that she and Hilda worked together at "Lemon Ice" (Mentioned earlier by Ignacio in "Queens for a Day" as being owned by Vincent Binachi's family) and points to important dates in their family time line; In 1991, Betty won a science fair and Hilda won Miss Junior Teen Queens. In 1994, Betty got straight A's in school and Hilda got pregnant.

There were also a homage to fashion designers mentioned in this episode, which included Karl Lagerfeld, Sean Combs, and Betsey Johnson. Victoria Beckham, who was also mentioned, would appear as herself in A Nice Day for a Posh Wedding. And Eternal 18, the company that Marc was going to sell Fashion Week's "hot" item to, is a spoof of a real company, Forever 21.


Michael Urie (Marc) and Kevin Sussman (Walter) are now listed in the opening credits with the rest of the regular cast, no longer as guest stars. However, by the following episode Sussman would be dropped from the cast.

This episode featured a special guest appearance by Katharine McPhee, who played herself. In the cameo, Betty mentioned that she had "McPheever", until she learned that McPhee wanted Betty to give an autographed copy of her CD to Hilda, whom Betty was still mad at the time. It also was the first of two appearances by Tim Gunn, who would appear in the following episode.


In a review from Entertainment Weekly, Tanner Stransky notes "Basically, I'm saying — as if it hadn't already been established — that this show is really hitting its stride (on the runway, too), and this was another stellar episode. Wouldn't you agree, Betty fans?"[1]


Ana Ortiz submitted this episode for consideration in the category of "Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series" on her behalf for the 2007 Emmy Awards. Gina Gershon also chose this episode for submission in consideration of her work in the category of "Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series".[2] It was also nominated for an Emmy for best costume design and hair design.

In Popular Culture[edit]

The word "Duck Sauce," which was mentioned in this episode, would later become the inspired name for DJ/remixers Armand Van Helden and A-Trak's collaboration project upon their formation in 2009.


Also starring[edit]

Guest stars[edit]