The Kids Are Alright (Ugly Betty)
|"The Kids Are Alright"|
|Ugly Betty episode|
|Directed by||Wendey Stanzler|
|Written by||Brian Tanen|
|Original air date||May 15, 2008|
"The Kids Are Alright" is the 17th episode in the second season, and the 40th episode overall, of the American dramedy series Ugly Betty, which aired on May 15, 2008. The episode was written by Brian Tanen and directed by Wendey Stanzler. The title of the episode was inspired by The Who's 1979 rockumentry film of the same name.
As the morning starts, Betty, still missing Henry after two weeks, fights her attraction to Gio, and even the family, who have come down with the cold, thinks that she should move on, especially Hilda and Ignacio. At the Deli, Gio tries to convince Betty to admit that she does have feelings and as he kissed her, Betty slapped him and accused him of being the "rebound guy". At work, the thoughts (and e-mail pictures sent by Marc and Amanda) of Gio would consume Betty as she is asked by Claire to write an article for Hot Flash.
Meanwhile, Hilda tries to get Coach Diaz to notice her, but thanks to that cold, those efforts are hampering her attempts as she tries to ask him out for a date at the middle school Justin attends. Later that evening, Betty convinces Hilda that she shouldn't go because of the cold so Hilda gets Justin to spy on the coach, but Justin needs a chaperone, so Betty takes Hilda's place. At the school, Betty tries to get interviews, only to strike out, and when she finally gets one, its Antonella who recognizes her, as she discovers that Gio is also chaperoning at the dance.
As the evening goes by, Gio shows Betty how to open up about herself and hopefully convince her that she can move on. While it may have worked wonders, it wasn't enough to convince Betty that she had feelings for Gio, even as he asked her to dance, for which she would turn him down. As Gio followed Betty to the lobby, he cheered her up by daring her to take her 1998 Good Citizen Award out of the trophy case. Unfortunately, the trophy case crashed and out come the school principal, who Betty learns still works there as he was her principal during her middle school year. As the night winds down, Betty and Gio, along with Justin and Antonella, returned to the Suarez residence. However, as Gio thanked Betty for a great evening, Gio told her that he didn't want to be the "rebound guy", he wanted to be "the guy" and he walked away, leaving Betty confused.
As for a prince, while Betty was spending her time with Gio, Hilda kept calling Justin, who told her that he was there and was chaperoning. Justin would later go up to the coach to tell him that Hilda liked him. Hours later Tony showed up at the Saurezes to see Hilda and the two agreed to a date.
In other scenarios, Amanda agreed to do a reality show with her dad, KISS rock legend Gene Simmons. As Marc stops by to reconnect with his partner-in-fashion crime, Amanda is excited to see him but after he sees the project he wants in but Amanda says no and goes as far as to keep him away from the set but to no avail, as Gene invites him onto the show. Marc told Amanda that her relationship with Gene is not as genuine as Amanda thinks. Later on, as they are taking a break, Amanda notices Gene's Tweety Bird tattoo fading off his back. When she confronts him, Gene admits that he is not Amanda's father and that the reality show was a publicity gimmick. Later that evening, Amanda stopped by to see Marc to apologize and the two made up.
Finally, the Meades learn that Wilhelmina can return to Mode because of the unborn child and therefore can own a third of Meade Publications. As the family and Betty prepare to greet the new part owner, Daniel feels the heat when Wilhelmina makes her triumphant return to Mode amid a media frenzy, prompting Daniel to become very suspicious of her and he should be: It appears that Wilhelmina is using her comeback to divide the Meades.
First, starting with a meeting to discuss the upcoming issue, when Daniel gets upstaged by Wilhelmina, who sits in and afterwards tells him that Elle Magazine already had done one, and after he returned from the bathroom to contain his composure, Wilhelmina had already done her dirty work by winning over the staff and Alexis with her concept. Even his attempt to counter Wilhelmina backfires after his appearance on Larry King Live when a picture of him shoving Wilhelmina pops up along with a phone call that exposes his true feelings about his rival. Then there's Claire, who gets a "suggestion" from Wilhelmina about having free advertisers to help with her "Hot Flash" launch. All this would come to a head when Alexis tells her mother and brother that she will reinstate Wilhelmina as creative director. The ploy of course worked as Wilhelmina later thanked Marc for leaking that doctored photo and making that fake Vermont phone call.
The song "In Love with a Friend" by electronica group Deep Dish is played at the final scene in which Gio says goodnight to Betty in front of her home. The song "Forever" by Walter Meego plays at the opening dance scene. The song "True" by Spandau Ballet, is playing while Betty and Gio are dancing at the school dance. The song "Brighton's Rock" by Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra is played when Wilhemina returns to Mode.
The episode was praised by reviewers, who were impressed by the mixing of romantic formulas and the return of dramedic elements that worked for the series during the first season. Quotes Entertainment Weekly's Tanner Stransky: "I always thought of the show as much more of a fish-out-of-water dramedy, focused on the pratfalls of a good-hearted but awkward girl. Although it's still that, last night's episode — with the love connections sparking between Gio and Betty, Hilda and Tony, and, yes, even Marc and Amanda — was so romance-tastic. What happened? Maybe it's just that Betty isn't such an oddity at Mode anymore. Maybe she's mastered her career world, so the writers feel they should explore an area — that area being love — where she's still got some awkward left in her."
TV Guide also added in its review of this story: "All in all, I thought it was a pretty good episode. I really like how Gio called out Betty on the fact that she has feelings for him, because that's been obvious for quite some time now. But I'm torn as far as who I'd like to see her with – Gio or Henry. I'm fans of both. It was really great to see Willie in the halls of Mode again and back to all her scamming in her ultra-chic office. And I can't even begin to tell you how great it is to have Amanda and Marc join their vapid forces again."
After spending most of the second season in second place, this episode would be the only one in the series to win its timeslot this season with 8.5 million viewers in the United States tuning in and scoring a 5.9/10 share overall, along with a 2.7/8 share among 18-49 demographics.
- Freddy Rodriguez as Giovanni "Gio" Rossi
- Eddie Cibrian as Coach Diaz
- Alec Mapa as Suzuki St. Pierre
- Jasmine Anthony as Antonella
- Bernard K. Addison as Principal Hayward
- Elijah de Jesus as Little Betty
- Giancarlo Rodriguez as Little Gio
- Cody Klôp as Little Daniel
- MaCall Manor as Little Amanda