”Ugly Betty” recap: Lessons in love
Claire Meade is a freakin’ genius. On tonight's episode of Ugly Betty — an action-packed installment that saw the continued crumbling of Betty’s wretched relationship with Henry — she made more sense than she ever has before. A rational Claire Meade? Yes, my TV Watching friends, believe it! I speak, specifically, of when she reprimanded our bespectacled heroine on the ridiculousness of her doomed situation with Henry: ”Wake up, Betty!” Claire intoned, after pinching the confused girl — really hard. ”This relationship you are in has no future, and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you’ll get back to living your life — instead of planning baby showers for your boyfriend’s ex-girlfriend.” Betty, this is a woman you need to listen to, for she spooled out some very sage advice.
Now, I realize Mrs. Meade and I are both being hard on Betty. She’s a lovesick girl, one who hasn’t seen much romance in her life. So I can understand that she’s been swept off her feet. Henry is undeniably loyal, charming, cute, and all that. But the situation she’s in — with Henry’s ex-girlfriend Charlie having just given birth to the former couple’s son — is heinous: How can Betty and Henry even consider moving forward with their own romance with such a cloud over them? I sat there and watched as Henry showed up minutes before the baby shower (the one that Betty, in an attempt to bury the hatchet, was putting on for Charlie, no less) and told her he wanted to be with her forever. How dare you, Henry! How dare you! The idea that they could continue their pathetic coupling while being 2,439 miles apart (thanks, Google Maps!) — he in Tucson, she in New York City — is laughable. Every other weekend together (his friend works for an airline, hallelujah!) — honestly? That’s your solution? How about just leaving her in peace? Sure, folks attempt long-distance relationships all the time, but get real: Most New Yorkers can’t even make it work across borough lines. (The trek to Brooklyn from Manhattan is killer!) And the illegitimate baby doesn’t help much, either.
In this situation, my concern is squarely for Betty: Is the girl even considering her own happiness? She’s the one having to make the concessions if this arrangement goes forward. Since the new baby needs his father around, Henry will have to be away — all the way in Tucson. But if Betty and Henry are going to be together forever, one would assume that they, too, would have children one day. What happens then? Does Betty have to move to Arizona so she can raise a family near Henry? Leave her own family and career behind? Or raise her children alone? Or would she and Henry wait 18 years until this new little tyke heads off to college and Henry can come back to New York? Thankfully, I think Betty realized all this at the episode’s heartbreaking end — she cried and hugged Ignacio as Henry gleefully held his new son at Charlie’s side. Just as her heart was being ripped out, mine was, too. But Betty knows what she has to do, which is, without question, break up with Henry. And from the looks of the teaser for next week, it’s a-comin’. She should take comfort in the fact that Claire Meade is always around if she ever feels like backsliding into Henry’s arms.
NEXT: Daniel on the couch