Swag (Ugly Betty)
|Ugly Betty episode|
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Tamra Davis|
|Written by||James D. Parriott|
|Original air date||January 4, 2007|
"Swag" is the 11th episode from the dramedy series Ugly Betty. This was supposed to be the fourth episode, which was scheduled to air on October 19, 2006, but it was replaced by "Fey's Sleigh Ride". It has been billed as "The Lost Episode" and filled in loose ends via new scenes. On the first season DVD, "Swag" is listed as episode 4 and all the scenes involving Betty moving her things from MODE (when it aired in the United States and Canada) have been removed and the scenes involving the Masked Lady were put back in. In addition, the Betty and Christina flashback scenes were not included in the DVD. For syndication purposes in the United States, the episode with the flashbacks are aired instead of the original scenes. Many critics have found it to have been uncouth.
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As Betty prepares to move over to MYW, Christina stops by to ask what happened to the Gucci handbag she gave Betty after noticing a knock-off on her desk. Betty explained that it all started four months earlier during Christina's swag lottery (which involves designer outfits and other goodies that are now leftovers), which created a cut-throat feeding frenzy among the office fashionistas who placed their name on a list to get in line for the designer closet. Amanda and Marc fight with the other assistants during the free for all and have at it to get their hands on the Gucci purse. The bag seems to be missing as Marc cannot locate it anywhere and he was first on the list. When questioned as to why he would want a handbag, Marc says he doesn't want to use it but rather kept it as a way to trade in exchange for a favor from someone later down the road.
In the flashback Daniel told Betty to have his finances done in time to be turned in to accounting, so she turns to Marc for help, which Wilhelmina agreed to, not knowing that the two sabotaged the memo that Betty never got, not to mention using the errors Marc made in their falsifying expenses. Betty also got a series of pep talks from Bradford about Daniel's spending habits, telling her to keep an eye on his fiscal responsibilities.
When Betty does finally finish the expenses and turns the paperwork in to Henry from Accounting, the results shock Daniel, who lashes out at Betty but later admits to having use the company credit card foolishly. However, it's Bradford who lashes out at Daniel and tells him that his credit card will be cut off for a week, leaving him to use what he has in his bank account: $327.00. The news comes at a time when Daniel is told by his dad that Oshi, a famous Japanese designer known for his minimalist and white designs, is bringing along his entourage of models to MODE for a series of photo shoots, which gave Wilhelmina the opportunity to upstage Daniel in her effort to take over his job by dangling an invitation over his head with her money, which he resists because it would make him look like a loser in his dad's eyes. This prompts Betty to wear herself out helping a suddenly cash-poor Daniel entertain Oshi and company by using cheaper ideas under $300.00.
But Betty still believes that there was an error when Hilda reminded her that Wilhelmina's $25,000 expenses doesn't add up either, so she looks up an August photo shoot that was done in Brazil, of which afterwards she makes a surprise phone call to a medical clinic (thanks to her impersonation, done in Portuguese), thus giving Betty an idea that Daniel awkwardly agrees to. At the presentation that was put on by Oshi, Betty tells Daniel that things have been taken care of, but Daniel isn't so sure so he gives in to Wilhelmina. But just as Wilhelmina's scheme was about to pay off, Bradford yells at her; it turns out that she is being questioned by the accounting department, and Bradford, about the misappropriation of MODE's funds after she is accused of using her company credit card expense account for a "Butt Lift" she had done while in Brazil on a business trip paid for by the magazine.
Having settled that, Daniel and Betty came up with a cost-cutting way to entertain Oshi and company: Take them to New Jersey to have dinner at "White Tassel", a parody of White Castle. The minimalness of this impresses Oshi, who agrees to a four-shoot deal with MODE. Daniel also gets a call from Bradford that his credit card will be reactivated.
Betty also recalls what happened between her and Walter, who kept stalking her. As he tried to apologize, Betty told him no, and besides she had other things on her mind other than helping Daniel. She learned from Hilda that the HMO had cut off Ignacio, pending an investigation. After learning that the pharmacist wouldn't give her his prescriptions unless she came up with money, Betty found herself stuck in a dilemma over how to pay for them, since the check she'd just received was barely enough to cover for a slice of pizza.
That's when thanks to a gift from Christina - who hid the bag from the staff - Betty found a way to pay for the pills by giving the pharmacist the handbag in exchange for her dad's prescriptions (resulting in 15 bottles' worth). When Walter sees her giving the bag up, he buys the knock-off version and later that evening shows up to give it to Betty as a way of apologizing, and she accepts.
After that flashback, Betty tells Christina that as much as she wanted to keep the real thing, she didn't want to relive the memories of her late mother, who also had the same handbag and gave it to her when she was three. Betty then said afterwards she used the faux handbag as a trade to Marc which he thinks is the real one; he agrees to buy Betty the knock-off they saw on a corner and still owe her a favor. Christina knows that Marc will do the favor for her regardless if he discovers it is a fake because he would be too embarrassed to admit that Betty tricked him. In the end, Christina understands why Betty had to give up something valuable. And as Betty walks off, Christina says she will miss her.
The deleted scenes
In the deleted scenes that aired overseas, the masked lady visits the auto salvage yard where Fey's car was found and while making a phone call to Daniel, has him listen to the car getting crushed in the background and warns him about Bradford. Betty overhears this on the other line as well. Later on near the end of the episode, Wilhelmina spots the music box in Bradford's office and secretly sneaks off with it by slipping it into her purse and after the conversation with the masked lady, gives the item to her.
In one scene where Betty confronts Walter in Queens, a Los Angeles County MTA bus can be seen on a store window's background, which means that the scene was shot in Downtown Los Angeles. The downtown LA bus reflection was probably filmed on the east side of Broadway, between 3rd & 4th Streets. The crew was seen shooting by the poetically named "El Huarache Veloz".
In another scene where Daniel and Betty are standing with Oshi, the translator, Marc, the entourage, and the models after they all have exited the limos at the "restaurant", the Translator delivers Oshi's words, "What place is this? Where have you brought me?" That line was delivered so hilariously, that the actors playing Betty and Daniel, as well as Oshi, actually broke character and laughed. The entourage featured in the episode are using their real names: Belle, Nadia, Jack, David, Jansen, Kyoko, and Gina.
The song "Bebot" by The Black Eyed Peas (a track performed in the Filipino language Tagalog) was used in this episode every time Oshi comes in. Although closed captionings had the track correctly listed when it aired overseas, the captions in the U.S. mistakenly listed the song as "Ms. New Booty" by Bubba Sparxxx featuring the Ying Yang Twins. Another track, "9 to 5" by Lady Sovereign is played whilst Oshi's collection is being shown to MODE.
In the Philippines, India, Italy, Denmark and Russia, "Swag" aired as the fourth episode, thus making them the only countries so far to air the series in its correct order. Despite being advertised to the contrary, the original version of "Swag" (without the additional scenes) was screened for the episode's Australian premiere on the Seven Network. However, as with the U.S. broadcast, it followed "Fake Plastic Snow", creating continuity problems for viewers.
In Latin America, Sony Entertainment Television aired "Swag" as the 11th episode. The episode included the additional scenes. In Brazil, SBT aired "Swag" as the 11th episode. The episode not included the additional scenes.
When the episode went to syndication in the United States, the flashback scenes were included, as it follows the US episode chronology rather than in its original order. However, when it's on Xtreampix, it only starts in the past with the deleted scene included.
In a review from Entertainment Weekly, Michael Sleazak had positive praise for the episode: "Does absence really make the heart grow fonder? Quite possibly so, considering that tonight's episode of Ugly Betty — the first to air since Nov. 30 — had me alternately reaching for the Puffs, pressing the rewind button on my DVR (so I could hear dialogue that had been drowned out by my initial hoots of laughter), and fighting the urge to stand up and cheer. All this, and I'd still rank Swag as only my fourth- or fifth-favorite episode of the Golden Globe-nominated series' young run."