Secretaries' Day (Ugly Betty)
|Ugly Betty episode|
Betty riding the bull to win money for her fathers flight ticket
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Victor Nelli, Jr.|
|Written by||Henry Alonso Myers|
|Original air date||May 3, 2007|
||This article's plot summary may be too long or excessively detailed. (September 2015) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)|
Betty and Hilda struggle with a dilemma; Ignacio needs to return to Mexico and apply for his visa so he can re-enter the country legally, and apply for citizenship. However, the cheapest fare they can find is $1200. Betty is also juggling with the task of planning MODE's big assistants week, "Administrative Professionals' Day", as she prefers to call it, since "Secretaries' Day" hasn't been used since 1998. Betty has planned the party at a medieval-themed restaurant, aptly called The Middle Ages. While at the cosmetology school, Hilda is having problems with the teacher, who tells Hilda to lose the engagement ring and cut her long nails, since it's an impediment to doing the job. She tells Hilda that she needs to show her commitment to beauty.
Later, at MODE, Betty receives a small "World's Best Secretary" trophy with the word 'secretary' taped over the actual 'notary' word on the trophy. Betty also talks to Daniel about his problems with his sexual addiction and tries to recommend ways for him to seek help. Betty brings in Tyler, a writer for Psychology Now (on the 14th floor), to help him, but Daniel will have none of it, saying that he is not a sex addict. Tyler tries to convince Daniel to go on a sexless date with a model he's seeing that night, after Daniel admits he doesn't remember her last name. After failing with a sexless date, Daniel turns to Tyler afterwards, who admits he was also a sex addict, and passes him some pills to take every time he is tempted to have sex.
Everyone is looking forward going to The Middle Ages so they can "make fun of the common people" as Betty explained to Hilda. Amanda, however, is not interested in going to the event and shows her displeasure by walking around the 28th floor eating other peoples' food and harassing the MODE staff because she isn't a personal assistant. When Marc asked why she wasn't going, Amanda told him how she used to be an actress before she came to work at MODE. After making him promise to never tell anyone, she shows him her acting reel, consisting of a soap opera cameo, a phone chat line commercial, and finally, as a featured performer in the commercial for The Middle Ages (where she was performing as the "Serving Wench"). Amanda says she can't go there because they play the commercial on a loop near the entrance, and she's afraid the other assistants will make fun of her. But when they arrive, Amanda sees that she's been replaced in the video by a new Serving Wench, who is a younger actress. This upsets Amanda, who goes on an eating binge to take out her anger. Later on in the evening, the young actress sees Amanda, then comes up to her to say her performance is a homage to Amanda's.
Meanwhile, Betty tells Christina that she has to get the money for Ignacio's ticket after she gets a call from Hilda, who says Ignacio is flipping out and Betty needs to come home. Betty is going to sign up to ride the mechanical "steed", but Henry decides he wants to do it for Betty. He is distracted by a phone call from Charlie, whom Henry had been arguing with during the day. As Henry's name is called, he can't hear it, so Betty takes his place and gets on the steed, but as she rides it, and is near to winning the money, Nick, who was upset over Betty taking his yogurt at work earlier in the day, throws an object at her and she is knocked out. When Henry comes to her rescue, he sees Nick laughing and he challenges him to a jousting. Unfortunately, Nick wins and Betty comes to Henry's rescue. Right before Henry passes out he looks at Betty and says "I love you." Betty slaps Henry to wake him up, asking him what he said. Charlie shows up and sees Betty comforting Henry. Upset over this, Charlie tells Betty that there's a reason fairy tales don't have two princesses. She is Henry's girlfriend, tells Betty to back off, and takes Henry home. Christina tries to console Betty, who is certain she heard Henry say he loved her, but Betty wonders how he can say that and then choose to leave with Charlie. Christina tells him that he's probably just being honorable and staying with her since she flew 3000 miles to be with him. Betty is upset because she feels like it was so nice to have someone come to her rescue for a change. Christina tells her that she can take care of herself. Nick is bragging to his friends and yells "Secretaries' Daaaaaay!" Betty responds by sternly correcting him that it is "Administrative Professionals Day", to which he responds and asks her where her "dorko in shining armor" is. As he turns around to joke with his friends, Betty takes one of the jousting stalves and whacks Nick hard upside the head, saying "I can defend myself!" The following day at work Betty gets a lot of respect from everyone at work after putting Nick in his place.
The same night of the party, Alexis ponders about whether she should start taking up Rodrigo's offer, as she starts falling hard for him. Seeking advice, she visits Claire at the correctional institution, where she gives her daughter her blessing to follow the man she loves. When Alexis asks Claire about a bruise on her face, Claire says that she got it from "Yoga", though she doesn't tell Alexis that Yoga is the name of one of the inmates. Later on that evening as Alexis visits Rodrigo, she accidentally picks up his phone and overhears him talking to Bradford about their deal. After Rodrigo returns, she tells him she heard him on the phone with her father. He claims Bradford and he were just talking business, but she tells him she knows Bradford paid Rodrigo to seduce her and get her out of the country. Rodrigo tries to stop her from leaving, but she twists his arm behind his back and tells him that although she may be a woman now, she still knows how to hit like a man. As the door to Rodrigo's hotel room shuts, she collapses, sobbing, on the floor. The next day, Alexis makes a phone call to ask about a problem she needs "eliminated", as she tears up a picture of Alex and Bradford.
Meanwhile, Hilda prepares for her final exam to determine her future at cosmetology school as her teacher criticizes her techniques, which prompts her to quit. But thanks to advice from Justin and Ignacio, she returns to school, faces her teacher for her exam...and she passes!
Finally, Wilhelmina prepares for her future plans to take over MODE and Meade Publications, so she also visits Claire at the prison, until Claire threatens her as she now knows about Wilhelmina sleeping with Bradford by looking at her well-done feet. Later in the evening Wilhelmina takes advantage of Claire's threats. To do this, she calls Marc to come to Meade Building. At the stairways of Meade Building, Wilhelmina asks Marc to punch her till she get bruises so Bradford can divorce Claire and thinking that she's a terrible person. At first, Marc isn't sure about this, until Wilhelmina gets frustrated. Marc still not sure, till Wilhelmina admitted that she is the one who cuts his vacation time, denying him raises for 2 years and finally hacking into his computer and cancelling his subscription to DudeCruse.com!. Marc was angered and punch Wilhemina...very hard. They catsratch each other, which ended when Marc punches Wilhelmina, causing her tumbling down the stairs. The next day, she told what happened to Bradford, with the story that Claire had hire 3 thugs to beat her up. Bradford decided to divorce Clare! At last!
The day after the party, Daniel surprises Betty with first class tickets to Mexico for her whole family, saying he was a thoughtless boss. Betty tries to give the tickets back, but Daniel refuses, saying she's always there for other people, and wants to be there for Betty now. Betty is overcome with emotion and thanks Daniel with a hug. After Betty tells the family the good news, a model arrives, and smiles at Daniel, who takes a pill, as it appears that he may have moved on to a new addiction.
This is the second episode in which stuntperson Anna Mercedes Morris would appear as a stunt double for America Ferrera's character in the scene when Betty was riding the mechanical bull. In addition, viewers hear Henry's last name, Grubstick, for the first time. Also, Lorraine Toussaint starts her recurring role as Amelia "Yoga" Bluman in this episode.
The episode also offered another showcase for actress Becki Newton who was interviewed in TV Guide the week this episode aired. Another clarification would be her character's last name. Originally thought to have been 'Tanner', Amanda's last name is revealed to be 'Tanen', as shown on the computer screen during her acting reel that she shows Marc. In addition, The Middle Ages restaurant commercial is also a reference to Newton appearing in an Olive Garden commercial, which she did before joining "Ugly Betty." The Middle Ages is also a spoof of the Medieval Times chain.
In a review from Entertainment Weekly, Tanner Stransky wrote "Week after week, Ugly Betty continues to top itself. I mean, you gotta love an episode that features an Administrative Professionals Day party at a medieval-themed restaurant in Times Square (complete with a robotic horse); footage of Mandypants (a.k.a. Amanda) as a phone-sex operator, a bar wench, and a slutty nurse; and Claire Meade dishing with her transsexual daughter about the hotness of Brazilian men. It's like the guts of three Lifetime movies smashed together. But witty! And pretty! And addictive!"
The Recapist also echoed the same sentiments in their review.
The episode was watched by 10.7 million viewers in the United States, an increase from the previous episode.
- Judith Light (Claire Meade)
- Christopher Gorham (Henry Grubstick)
- Jayma Mays (Charlie)
- Max Greenfield (Nick Pepper)