TV Recap

''Ugly Betty'': Kiss Daddy Goodnight

Amanda meets her father, Gene Simmons; meanwhile, Betty is assigned to write about an obnoxious dating expert, and Daniel goes out with Wilhelmina's sister

IT'S IN THE GENES Amanda inherited her dad's tongue
Image credit: Bob D'Amico
IT'S IN THE GENES Amanda inherited her dad's tongue

''Ugly Betty'' finale recap: Amanda meets her dad

Tonight on Ugly Betty, Daniel played Betty with a guilt trip straight out of Phil Roth's disgusting girl-getting tome Tap That: How to Score with Hot Bitches. But I can't help feeling we all got played, too.

Just think back to last week's teaser: We were promised a ''showstopper'' that was supposed to ''rock their world'' — that world being the love triangle between Gio, Betty, and Henry. ''Game on!'' shouted Henry, in what was touted as a love-fueled smackdown between the adorable accountant and the upstart sandwich guy. But what'd we get in this episode? Nothing but a lame phone-number-getting contest between the pair that served as research for Betty's article about Roth.

I really hate being disappointed in one of my favorite shows on television, but that was a nasty trick. Or maybe I just feel stupid for spending my week envisioning Gio throwing egg-salad sandwiches at Henry while Henry puffed himself and lobbed extra-sharp pencils right back. I was expecting trademark Betty ridiculousness! To be fair, the way it played out was hilarious at some points: I loved it when Gio said to one girl, ''Cute outfit. You know, some people may call it slutty, but I think it really works on you.'' These lines are Gio. Henry, ehhhh, not so much. And — come on! — there's no way Henry would have scored more numbers than Gio. But in Betty World, as evidenced by the devil impregnations and sex changes, anything is possible.

At least the rest of the episode was quite satisfying. My favorite story line — and I think this is probably a consensus among all you TV Watchers — was the denouement to Amanda's quest for her father. Seeing as how she's the most fabulously douchey girl ever created, it was appropriate that the world's biggest douchebag, Gene Simmons, did turn out to be her long-lost father. (But until they get a DNA test, I'm not going to totally believe it. Soaps live and breathe by parental mix-ups, you know.) But seeing Amanda and Gene wagging their tongues at each other — priceless!

Aaaaaand...that performance! Using the Britney rip-off ''It's Mandy, bitch!'' as the opener made me do an instant rewind on my DVR. (I'll admit I often repeat, ''It's Tanner, bitch!'' to myself just for fun.) Just like when Amanda performed Kelis' ''Milkshake'' at Wilhelmina and Bradford's wedding, Becki Newton brought it big time on the stage. What do you think: Was this turn by Amanda better than when she did ''Milkshake''? I'd almost vote for the ditty she put on while practicing with Marc in the secret sex room. (This doesn't translate well in print, but the staccato line ''I just want the chance to call you my faaaaather'' was especially amusing.) But any act that features lines like ''Breathing fire, spitting blood/Making sweet love to my mom, Fey Sommers'' while the singer does flamboyant, sun-salutation-esque arm movements is the hands-down winner in my book, so I'll go with her onstage tribute to Gene. I just wish the producers had used his guest spot better. A Gene-Amanda duo on stage? I might have just died.

Elsewhere on the show, another guest star — a delicious-looking Gabrielle Union — was bopping around with Daniel. I must say I enjoyed the pairing of these two characters. Since Sofia, we haven't been treated to the details of Daniel's romantic life, and this plotline actually brings Wilhelmina back into the Mode fold more organically. But besides pissing off her sister, Willy, what is motivating Renee — or should I say Rhonda — to date Daniel? (I can definitely understand the need to piss off a sibling. Hi, Tiffany, Tyler, and Tucker!) I hope the intention — before the writers' strike ended production — was to bring Gabrielle back for a few more episodes to explain the supposed secrets that Willy claims she's hiding. Right now all I can guess is that she got some sort of supermodel makeover akin to when Wanda became Willy. Or maybe she's a transsexual, like Alexis. Oh, that'd be just too ironic for Daniel, who initially struggled with that change.

NEXT: The last sound bites of the season

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