Friday, February 13, 2009

Ugly Betty and The Office - The Courtship of Betty's Father and Lecture Circuit pt.2

I have to say, I think last night's episode of Ugly Betty was one of my all-time favorites! What with Willie telling Connor that she loves him, Molly and Daniel and their terminal cuteness, Ignacio hooking up with Elena and the sweetest couple of them all: Daniel and his mom, Claire.

I've been a fan of Judith Light since her time on One Life to Live as Karen Wolek--doctor's wife by day, prostitute by night. Or was it the other way around? Anyway, Light has the most expressive eyes which can well up with tears in the blink of an eye. And when her eyes welled up, so did mine.

I'm such a mush.

With the episode title being The Courtship of Betty's Father, it wasn't hard to see the connection between him and Elena coming. Of course, when Betty catches them making out (nothing more than some passionate kissing thank goodness 'cuz THAT wouldn't have been too cute...), it freaks both her and Hilda out.

Even cuter was Willie getting coaching from Marc on her relationship with Connor. She ends up bird-sitting Connor's parrot while he's on a business trip to London. Unfortunately, Olivia Newton Bird has a nasty habit of squawking "Pretty Molly" over and over. Marc asks Willie why she didn't just offer to water the plants and she replies, "I guess people in love do stupid things." Marc gloats over the admission, but Willie cautions him that "no-one will know that I love Connor outside this office."

Except now Oliva Newton Bird has a new catch-phrase to squawk: "I love Connor." Wilhelmina tries frantically to teach the bird another phrase so that Connor won't know about her feelings. When that doesn't work, she orders Marc to throw the parrot out the window. "But that would be BIRD-er!" Marc gasps. He tells Willie that "Waiting for someone to say I love you first doesn't mean you're more powerful, it just means you're afraid."

I'm really loving Marc this season. Michael Urie is doing a fabulous job!

When Connor returns home, Willie blurts out that she loves him before the bird can. What a great passionate kiss that Connor planted on her!

Daniel is feeling insecure about his relationship with Molly--especially after hearing her reminisce with Connor about their many years and many adventures together. He tries taking her to an exotic Tibetan restaurant in order to forge some memories of their own, but he gets queasy after drinking fermented yak butter tea and rushes to the bathroom. Later, he confesses to Molly that he lacks experience in the relationship longevity department and he's afraid he's going to screw things up. "I won't let you!" Molly tells him and says, "Last night might not have been perfect, but it was memorable."

But the most touching story was Claire's. When Claire is detained for shoplifting at a drugstore, Betty bails her out but expresses her concern to Daniel about his mother. They decide that Claire's erratic behavior is due to her impending 60th birthday and that the remedy is to throw her a surprise party complete with tribute video.

Since Daniel's home movies of his mom consist of her mainly being drunk, Betty decides to interview Claire's friends. But their reminiscences are less than flattering. "She's a fun drunk," says Liz Smith and Claire's other friends. "How's the Claire Witch Project going?" snarks Amanda. In desperation for material, Betty turns her video camera on Claire who shoplifts while they're out. When Betty attempts to stop her, she's the one left holding the bag.

But Claire comes back to explain she was the one who stole the thong. She tells Betty that she's been feeling invisible lately. The store manager releases Betty, but holds Claire. But it's not the police who show up to pick her up, it's Daniel. She starts to apologize for her behavior, but Daniel apologizes to her for not being a good son. And instead of the big surprise party for Claire, Daniel arranges a private little dinner for just the two of them.

Sniffle. Such a sweet moment!

I wonder though: With everyone so happily ever after right now, what kind of soap opera is this anyway?

Part two of Lecture Circuit started with Angela proudly showing off the newest member of her family: a $7k cat. Seems she sold Andy's engagement on E-bay to afford Princess Lady. She shows her office mates her beloved via a nanny-cam. But when one of her lesser cats starts humping her precious feline, she races home to intervene.

But the nanny-cam is still broadcasting and Oscar and Kevin watch in horror as Angela starts cleaning Princess Lady with her tongue. She realizes the nanny-cam was still on when she returns to the office. "I was looking at pictures of food on my computer," Kevin lies. Oscar is traumatized by the sight. "And I'm pretty sure she coughed up a hairball," he says.

Jim and Dwight continue to bumble through planning Kelly's party. When Jim returns to the office, he finds Dwight interrogating Kelly about her stint in juvie. To lighten the mood, he attempts to distract Kelly with the news that he got her cake. When he shows it to her, her response is "I hate it." She asks Jim and Dwight, "What's the theme?" Baffled, they mumble "Birthday...frosting?" "There's always a theme!" insists Kelly as she storms out. "There's always a theme," agrees Phyllis staring at the two disapprovingly.

Dwight and Jim start to bicker and Jim tells Dwight, "Next time I'll let YOU get the cake and I'll get to scream at the birthday girl!" They brainstorm themes for the party and come up with things like beer, fights to the death, cupcakes, charades and horse hunting. Dwight has never had a birthday party, but Jim reminisces about his favorite birthday. His father took him to New York to the Museum of Natural History and afterward bought him a small plastic triceratop.

"You know what's even cooler than a triceratops? Every dinosaur that ever existed." Dwight sneers.

Kelly's birthday consists of gray and brown balloons and a birthday cake with her name misspelled. "What's the Chicklet for?" Jim tells her she can choose an hour of television or an hour-long nap. Kelly is stoked and chooses the nap. Crawling under the conference room table with a blanket and pillow, Kelly giggles, "I'm too excited to sleep!" After an hour, Dwight wakes her up by clanging two garbage lids together.

Michael and Pam arrive in Nashua to get closure, but when they arrive they find Holly is away on an HR retreat. (Damn, I was looking forward to seeing Amy Ryan!) They also find out that she has a boyfriend in the office named A.J.

Poor Michael!

Pam gives him a pep talk so that he will do the presentation. She tells him that everyone will tell Holly how awesome he was. "And she'll move back to Scranton. And her boyfriend will die..." Michael muses hopefully.

But Michael loses it during the seminar and ends up crawling out of the conference. Pam gamely (or lamely) attempts to finish the presentation--but Pam doing Michael is so much worse than Michael doing Michael. "I have a chainsaw!" Pam says brightly.

Michael forlornly walks into Holly's cubicle and snips the arm of the sweater she left hanging on her chair. He sees a file titled "Dear Michael" on her desktop and loads it onto a flashdrive. He tells Pam about it and she tells him that he can't read it because it would be a violation of Holly's privacy. "I could read it," she offers. So Michael scurries out to the car to retrieve his laptop. Pam reads the letter and tells Michael that it's not over--Holly still has feelings for him.

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