Burning Questions (Ugly Betty)

"Burning Questions"
Ugly Betty episode
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 15
Directed by Matt Shakman
Written by Henry Alonso Myers
Production code 215
Original air date May 1, 2008

"Burning Questions" is the 15th episode in the second season, and the 38th episode overall, of the American dramedy series Ugly Betty, which aired on May 1, 2008. The episode was written by Henry Alonso Myers and directed by Matt Shakman.


The episode begins with Betty and Daniel staying up late to arrange his appointments and schedules for the next day via the phone, but the conversation is interrupted by Renee, who is worried that he is not at home and wants to talk to him. The next morning Betty's family, is concerned about her busy work schedule while juggling the plans Renee wanted to make with Daniel. While Hilda fixes Betty's hair, Betty mentions that she has reconciled with Gio without Henry's knowledge, for fearing that Henry will be jealous of Gio.

At Mode, Betty tells Daniel that it is difficult to fit in Renee's constant want to spend time with Daniel with the tight schedule Daniel has this week, but Daniel tells her to try to work things out as he loves Renee. Henry stops by and tells Betty that Charlie has to stay in New York due to a panic attack, as her baby might be experiencing difficulties and might be force for an early labor.

Wilhelmina consults a psychologist about her sister's condition, which has symptoms such as paranoia, jealously and mood swings. When she asks to put Renee in to the asylum, the doctor declined unless she poses a threat towards other people. After the consultation, Wilhelmina asks Marc to pamper Christina and decides to make Renee's condition resurface. Wilhelmina then arranges to meet Renee for a lunch to trigger her past illness, including bringing a lit birthday cake and meeting her at the restaurant where Renee and her ex-boyfriend Professor Greg Larson dated.

Things reach breaking point when Renee goes into Betty's desk to reschedule Daniel's appointment, and tears the schedule apart while they are fighting for it. When Daniel interrupted the fight, Renee asserts that Betty was in love with Daniel.

After the fight, Betty talked to Christina on the phone about Renee's erratic behavior, and decided to investigate Renee. Christina then overheard Wilhelmina and Marc talking about Renee committing a murder. Christina and Betty found her medical records, saying she had murdered Professor Larson in a fire. Betty tried to call Daniel to warn him, but instead Amanda received the call and told Betty that the meeting with Christian Siriano has ended long ago and Daniel was heading home after an argument between him and Renee.

Daniel is affected by Renee's assertion when he dreams about Betty trying to seduce him, and acting uncomfortable when he is interacting with her. When Daniel consults Amanda about Betty's crush on him, Amanda advises him to be sensitive to people's feelings. Henry overhears Amanda saying that Gio is in love with Betty. He confronts Gio at his deli and asked him to stay away from Betty, and Gio challenges him into a fight. At first, Henry is nervous, but eventually punches Gio on the nose. However, it turns out that Gio has just been trying to scare Henry. Henry confesses that he was stuck in his situation (being the father of Charlie's baby while in love with Betty), and Gio tells him to spend more time with Betty since he has very little time with her.

Meanwhile, Hilda's new client at the beauty shop turned out to be her ex-neighbor and lifetime nemesis Gina Gambarro, who returned to Queens to rub her fabulous life and wealthy doctor husband, chiropractor Larry Goldfarb, in Hilda's face. The designer clothes Gina wears made Hilda envious, so she rushed to Mode's closet to grab some designer clothes to compete with her. When Hilda discovered that Gina was wearing fake merchandise, Gina stormed off angrily, and her husband told Hilda that her life must be sad when she spend all her effort just to make her cry. Hilda realized that at least Gina had someone who loved her, and returned Mode's collection to Betty.

Daniel finally learns about Renee's condition, and discovers that she had actually set the fire to murder her ex-boyfriend's assistant, but instead Professor Larson got trapped in his home and killed. Worried that Betty might be in trouble, he calls Betty while she was in his apartment, but is interrupted by Renee. Daniel, Wilhelmina and Marc rush back to Daniel's apartment to stop the situation becoming worse.

Betty rushes to Daniel's apartment as she is worried Renee might murder him, but instead finds Renee there, with many lit candles. Renee accuses Betty of keeping Daniel away from her, which Betty denies. Betty tries to explain that nothing had happened between her and Daniel, and she herself has a romantic life with Henry, but fails to convince Renee. When Renee aims a knife at her, a scuffle ensues and a candle is knocked over and the apartment begins to catch fire with Betty and Renee still fighting. Betty begs her to see reality and tells her that Daniel really loves her. Renee finally realizes what she is doing and breaks down, prompting Betty to help Renee escape the burning apartment. When Daniel, Wilhelmina and Marc reach the apartment and break through the door, they find Betty has managed to extinguish the fire. Renee and Daniel apologizes to each other before Renee is taken to the asylum, even as Wilhelmina tells Marc not to say anything about the pills they switched in Renee's purse several days earlier and instead, consoles Renee.

Back at Mode, Daniel finds himself wondering what went wrong as Betty, who decides to return to work of her own accord, enters in to console him over Renee. Daniel asks Betty if she had feelings for him, only to have Betty say that she only loved Daniel "as a friend" and that her heart is with Henry, and when Betty sees him, they embrace each other after everything happened to them and that everything is fine for now.


This episode marks Gabrielle Union's last appearance as Renee.

In addition, Christian Siriano designed most of the outfits featured in the episode. He is the second designer to share a guest star/wardrobe credit in the series, the first being Vera Wang in "A Nice Day for a Posh Wedding". Also the scene in which Amanda showed off her outfit, which was designed by Siriano himself, was also available for auction on the website for The Clothes Off Our Back Foundation, which auctions off clothes donated by celebrities to help children's charities and agencies.[1]


"Don't Get Meds, Get Even" was one way Entertainment Weekly described this episode, which had their take on Siriano's appearance: "Sure, I loved seeing Christian (fabulously draped in a Count Dracula-esque cape) prance in with a gaggle of models wearing his Project Runway designs, too. But really, was that all? Sheesh. If you want the definition of buildup without payoff, I think we witnessed it right then. The best part of that sequence was Amanda furiously voguing with the models only to quickly get the hook by a very irritated Alexis. Oh, and Christian telling Alexis she was a hot tranny mess was spot-on. I mean, the phrase is totally overdone, especially after the uproarious SNL parody, and you could see it coming a mile away, but I'll admit: It was appropriate and funny."[2]


Although the numbers were down from the previous episode, "Burning Questions" did help Ugly Betty retain its second place showing against first-place Survivor: Micronesia, scoring a 5.6/9 in the US Nielsen ratings.[3]

Also starring

Guest starring



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