For anyone who has struggled to break out of their entry level position, does Ugly Betty have an episode for you. I kinda loved this part of the episode.

Spoilers that can’t be seen by the cool crowd.

Stupid ol’ Amanda is being her annoying self again at home, but Betty has bigger concerns since former Mode assistant Nick Pepper has returned to his old stomping grounds (now that he’s done getting dumped by Calvin over on Greek) flush with his success as Deputy Culture Editor at a local mag. His secret: He went through the prestigious Young Editors Training Initiative (yes, YETI for short) and since then he’s been catapulting up the career ladder.

Betty finds that apply to YETI, she only has 48 hours to put together her magazine concept that reflects herself and get a sponsor letter (from Daniel, natch). At first she tries to half-ass it by doing a fashion magazine mockup, but when she discovers Marc is applying with his own fashion mag, she’s scared. Add to that that YETI only chooses one winner per magazine, and she’s dejected and gives up.

Naturally, Clan Suarez bucks her up, and she gives her presentation about B magazine — the lifestyle magazine for young women who want to be themselves and do things that matter. Lo and behold, she wins! And Marc doesn’t.

This is where Marc puts the ugly in Ugly Betty. He tells Betty that being Latina, she got in for tokenism, so YETI could meet a quota. Honestly, after his cheating on Cliff and now this, Marc has plummeted down my list of favorite characters this season. Where’s the vulnerability and love?

When YETI doesn’t quite deny that reason, Betty backs out and cedes the position to Marc. Daniel, who had left her in the lurch in her time of need, makes up for it 50-fold by calling YETI to tell them Betty also worked at Player magazine, and thus shouldn’t be canceled out. Also, he sent along a six-page recommendation letter that he had failed to write despite her request.

Touching? Yes. But you know what? He should have done that in the first place. Yeah … I’m kind of disgruntled. He was off wooing Connor’s fiancee Molly by being the guest speaker at her school. I mean really. You may be seeing her as the future mother of your children, but SHE IS ENGAGED!

The concept of engagement isn’t really grasped by Wilhelmina either, who schemes to get Connor all to herself by taking a trip with him down to Key Largo so they can do their own wooing — of a potential ad client of course. But after an intimate room service-catered dinner an copious amounts of wine, Connor holds firm and resists her sexy evil charms. The funny thing though is that he never says stuff like, "I love Molly," but instead says, "I’m engaged." Hmm …

Finally, Justin has a rude awakening when his friend Randy (remember, they tried out for Billy Elliott together and both lost out?) suddenly snubs him because the cool guys are tightening the thumb screws of peer pressure. Okay, Randy I can forgive for being weak, but did he have to be so terribly cruel in public? "Dude, stop following me around. Get a life. It’s pathetic." No sir, you’re the pathetic one.

Hilda gives the best damn speech to Justin about his being perfect and never, ever compromising who he is. I admit it: I got a bit verklempt, and having a sinus headache only made me a tiny bit more susceptible to the emotion. The Suarezes rule yet again.

Other musings and highlights:

– Marc dubs Connor the "Male-helmina"
– Man, Betty is getting bolder with her fashion this year. What’s with the technicolor dream jacket?
– It is so typical for Daniel to have asked Betty to write her own letter of recommendation, which he’ll sign. Done that. It’s so lame.
– Loved the scene where a peeved Betty texts Daniel from her computer while he’s standing right there. Damn straight.
– So much meanness this episode, and yet, so much love. Hilda’s pep talk to Justin, Daniel coming through for Betty, and I still loved that shared joy between Marc and Betty when they talk about the upcoming YETI program.
– Love how when YETI judge Francesca calls out, "Marc St. James," Marc, (Mark) Badgley and (James) Mischka all respond.
– When is Christina going to pop?

Your thoughts? See you in two weeks! Happy Early Turkey Day!

Posted by:Hanh Nguyen