It's time to clean the winter closet at Mode and everyone wants the Gucci Bag.
In the office, Betty explains to Christina that she’s come back at night to pack her belongings to depart for her new job so she doesn’t risk crying. Christina reminds her that there isn’t much swank at NYW, and Betty picks up her handbag, slings it over her shoulder, saying, she’ll definitely miss the perks. Christina looks at her handbag, with disdain, asking if it’s the ‘knockoff’ sold by the guy on the corner. She takes it and smells it and immediately knows it is. She asks Betty what happened to the “Gucci”, and Betty tells her, ‘nothing… nothing bad…” then relates a story, starting with what she recalls as a “stampede’ four months prior.
Betty is standing in the hallway, clutching a stack of magazines when all the models race past her. Christina is posting a notice for signups for discards from the winter closet, and everyone is hurrying for the goodies. Daniel appears as Wilhelmina is explaining to process to Betty. The fashion stock needs to be cleaned to make room for the spring arrivals. Wilhelmina encourages Betty to sign up, saying they might have some socks in her size. Betty takes the slam well, with a simple okay and turns her attention to Daniel, who questions Betty about what she has in her arms. Betty explains it’s the stuff on Oshi, the fashion magnate, including his interview and biography.
In Daniel’s office he and Betty are watching a TV newscast of designer, Oshi, with the reporter posing a question about whether or not Oshi will hit it off as well with playboy Daniel, as he did with his good friend and former Mode editor, Fay, who was killed in a tragic auto crash. Daniels flicks off the set, shaking his head, and Betty tells him Oshi will like him just fine. But Daniel fears having nothing in common the man. He doesn’t speak Japanese nor has he ever eaten a whole shark for dinner. Betty gives him the information on the dinner reservation at a fine restaurant, along with a Japanese customs and phrase book, then tells him that his credit card was rejected. He questions why she used his personal one rather than the business card, then remembers his expense report and asks why she hadn’t gotten to it. It’s due today. She should have received a memo, but she didn’t. Daniel starts out of the office, and she calls after him, asking for receipts. He tells her that he got an extension, and she has until 10:30 tomorrow to get the report done, then dumps a foot-high stack of papers on her desk. Betty has a dismal look on her face, but when someone announces, “Payroll” they bolt to fetch their first paychecks, receiving them with an excitement that soon turns to dismay.
In Bradfords, office, Wilhelmina is back-stabbing Daniel, talking about how he runs through his money, insisting he needs stronger supervision. Evidently, he tried to buy an island and Jay-Lo for his 28th birthday. Bradford insists Daniel has turned a corner, and questions why Wilhelmina wants a publisher’s title since she’s so creative. She insists she wouldn’t give up that side of her life, just add publisher to it…better to keep Daniel reined in. Bradford wants her to focus on helping Daniel establish relationship with Oshi. She guarantees Daniel will make an impression, and leaves with a conniving smirk
Marc exits the elevator, claiming that the “Gucci” bag is his. Amanda is following behind, arguing, but he reminds her that she is last on the list. Betty overhears and questions why he would need a pocketbook. Marc explains that fashion is currency, and she probably doesn’t understand because she’s very much in debt, the Gucci bag can be traded for favors when needed. He makes an inference that it’s something she desperately needs. Betty eyes the picture in the magazine that Marc tosses in front of her, and proudly hikes her ‘knockoff’ handbag onto her shoulder, but before leaving she asks for help. She explains she’s late in getting to Daniel’s expense report, that somehow she didn’t get the memo from accounting. Amanda expresses fake concern that it must have been lost in the mailroom, just as Wilhelmina comes in and hears the conversation. Marc and Wilhelmina both feign helping her, and then Marc, of course, is quick to remind Betty that this means an unnamed favor in the future. As Betty leaves with the information, Marc looks down at his desk and notices Betty’s copy of the memo. He and Amanda snicker as he crumples it up.
Betty enters the elevator already full of women, and one comments on her bag, saying it’s so “Juan Valdez.” Amanda snobbishly inquires if it came with a mule. Snickers ensue. Christina boards, to an overture of compliments, and immediately makes an announcement that no one is moving up on the giveaway list, and glances over her shoulder, including Amanda in her declaration. When Amanda protests that she was late signing up because of her job, Christina says, “we all know what kind of job you were giving…uh, doing.” Christina turns to Betty and asks where she was during the signup, but Betty tells her that there is nothing in the lot over a size six.
Christina and Betty are out on the street, with Betty explaining that she just isn’t into fashion. At the mention of fashion, Christina asks Betty if she got her paycheck. Betty says yes, but she spent half of it on a slice of pizza, complaining about how many deductions are taken. Christina encourages her to sign up for the closet goodies, considering them as part of her wages. They stop at a street vender when Christina spies a handbag. It makes Betty reminisce about the one her mom gave her when she was three. Betty carried her crayons in it.
At Betty’s house, the table is littered with tons of paper, and her father is disbelieving that it all has to be done by morning. He’s looking at receipts and questioning the exorbitant amounts while Betty explains Daniel’s important position. Most of the tabs have no expenditures listed and Betty is filing them under miscellaneous. She starts looking at Wilhelmina’s report, and her sister comments on the one for $25,000 in travel. She asks about Betty’s check, and when Betty presents the stub, her sister is stunned. Ignacio tells Hilda that Betty isn’t doing it for the money, she’s doing it for the opportunity, and Hilda suggests that Betty might need another job to support that opportunity. When Ignacio and Justin leave the table, Hilda pulls up and chair and speaks in a lowered voice, telling Betty that they have to make some serious cutbacks. The pharmacy wouldn’t fill Ignacio’s prescriptions because the HMO doesn’t cover them. Betty is shocked. He could die. The scene fades with a worried look on Betty’s face.
Betty’s recollections begin with Walter stalking her. She's walking down the street and he pops out from behind a sign. She turns and confronts him, telling him to leave, but he insists he has a gift for her. She tells him she doesn’t need anymore batteries, but he holds up a universal remote. Betty rolls her eyes and tells him that they only have one TV. Although she pleads with him to leave her alone, he insists that he’s going to get her back. She begs to differ. Not by stalking, and she reminds him that he cheated on her. She tells him, “I don’t care what you give me, there’s no winning me back.
She goes to see Maria at the pharmacy. Maria tells her that Ignacio’s prescriptions will not be filled until the investigation being conducted about him has been concluded. Betty explains her father’s delicate condition, but Maria's hands are tied. Betty senses Walter behind her and turns, yelling at him to put the product back he is holding and get out, saying, “you don’t have feminine itch.” Without the money needed for the medication, Betty turns to leave, spilling the contents of her purse all over the floor. Maria leans over and sarcastically says, “Can you blame him for cheating with Gina Gambarro?”
Betty has wandered back to street vender and is fingering the purse she saw earlier with Christina, looking sad. She hears her name and turns to see Bradford Meade summoning her from a car window. He needs to see her in his office at 10:30 sharp. He doesn’t want anyone to know, especially Daniel. His auto drives away.
Back at the office, Betty enters with a smile to find Daniel studying the book she gave him. She has his expense reports ready for his signature. They discuss the upcoming evening with Oshi, and Wilhelmina enters in time to give some unsolicited advice about champagne and the red flowers that Betty had on order. Wilhelmina insists he hates color. She is nicely reminded by Daniel that it is his evening and his decisions. As she leaves, she questions Betty about Marc’s help with the expense report and can’t resist making one last suggestion—that Betty make sure that Oshi’s stretch limo is white. Daniel reminds Betty to get the expense to report to accounting, requesting a bagel and coffee. She has to pick up the tab as he is short on cash.
Scene switches to fight over leftover fashion goodies, and Amanda is tugging at a boot that someone else has on. The place is chaos, and Marc rushes in wanting to know where his Gucci bag is. Christina has no idea where it is and becomes enraged when Marc won’t pick anything else. The phone rings and Christina answers, pulling her hair and claming to be in Hell. It’s Betty looking for Amanda to cover Daniel’s phones, but she’s still involved in doing battle over boots. Marc swears he’s going to club someone with the big while go-go boot he’s holding if they don’t cough up his Gucci bag. Betty begs Christine to send Amanda up to the office.
Betty’s recollections continue with running into the accounting office and Henry’s desk. He mentions how she likes to cut deadlines close, and she questions why she didn’t get the memo. He tells her she was on the list. She eyes the coffee and bagel on his desk, asks if he takes his coffee with sugar, and then grabs them and flees; calling back that she’ll make it up to him.
In Bradford’s office, Betty enters carrying the coffee and bagel, explaining that a crowded elevator made her late. He assumes the food and drink are for him, and she hands them over. He asks if she knows why she is there, and she takes a deep breath, saying, “Sir, it was just a pack of post-its, and I swear I’ll bring it back. I love my job.” Bradford gives her a strange look and tells her it’s not about post-its, it’s about physical responsibility. People are questioning Daniel’s ability to handle finances, and Betty assures Bradford that having just turned in Daniels’ expensive account, he is doing a fine job. Bradford asks her to protect his son, and she agrees. He wants her to keep it a secret, reminding her who signs her paycheck. Betty can’t help it. She has to tell him, “Yes sir, but you sure take a lot out of it.”
Betty runs back toward her office, passing a beaten and scratched Amanda who is holding an ice pack to her cheek. She tells Betty that Daniel has been calling around for her and he isn’t happy. Upon walking into Daniel’s office, Betty is looking at the back of someone sitting in a chair. Daniel is behind the desk and demands to know where she has been. She uses the bagel and coffee excuse, and her face falls when the Henry from accounting turns around and asks her if she found any cream cheese. She tries to explain, but Daniel erupts, telling her it isn’t about bagels, it’s about the expense account. Henry rejected $20,000 in miscellaneous expenses and Daniel is responsible. He questions how she could list everything as miscellaneous, and Betty explains she used Wilhelmina’s report as an example. Daniel is concerned about how he will look to his father, and Betty questions if Bradford gets a copy. Henry tells her yes, that he is copied on any credit suspensions. Daniel is shocked to hear his card is suspended. The dinner with Oshi is in question. The phone rings. Betty answers, “Yes sir, I’ll tell him.” She turns to Daniel, saying, “Your father...”
In Bradford’s office, he is questioning Daniel about his miscellaneous expenses, telling his son that yesterday he had defended him to Wilhelmina Slater. Now he thinks that Daniel has gone soft on the company money, but is willing to eat the twenty grand and call it an accounting error. Daniel is quick to thank him, but stunned to learn that for the next month any money he uses will come from his own pocket, just to show how responsible he can be with his own cash.
We switch to Betty relating the story to Christina and then back to Daniel’s office. He’s splayed out on the couch, defeated, while Betty can’t believe he only has $327 in his account. He admits blowing through his trust fund like he was Michael Jackson. His paycheck barely covered his loft payment and he’s been living on his credit card. Daniel is bemoaning the arrival of Oshi and he this whole situation will make Daniel look irresponsible to his father. He imagines that Bradford will make her the editor in a snap. He swears Betty to secrecy, and she replies, “Okay…sure we can work our way out of it. We’ll think of something.”
Marc and Wilhemina are standing next to each other looking like the cat that ate the canary, and Marc says, “I just don’t know how that phony expense account got into my files.” She tells him, in a kidding manner, that she’s furious with him, and warns him to never let it happen again.
Betty finally makes it down to Christina’s area where they are just a few items dangling from hangers and littering the floor. Christina is glad Betty came, assuring her there are a few goodies left. She pulls out the Gucci bag and gives it to Betty, who tries to refuse it. But Christina insists because fashion is good for the soul. Betty is awed, saying it’s the nicest thing she ever owned. Christina tells her not to put her crayons this one.
Back at Betty’s house, she is passing out a few other goodies to her family members. Ignacio comments on her handbag and recalls the same one Betty did. The share a poignant moment before Betty explains the pharmacy costs. He takes the news in stride, comments that his new watch is wonderful and she has a beautiful new bag.
Switch from the kitchen to Betty’s room, where she is laying on her bed looking at the bag and a picture of her mother. She grabs the bag to her chest and the scene fades to black.
Back in the elevator, this time the same woman is impressed and wants to touch Betty’s new bag. Marc gets on and sees the Gucci hanging on Betty’s arm, and looks at Christina with rage. She simply claims to have found it, but he’s not buying it. He argues that Betty doesn’t deserve the bag. She doesn’t know what to do with it, that it’s touching polyester. Yuk! When Christina disagrees and say’s Betty is wearing it very nicely, Marc swings around and clunks Betty in the head with the large orange cylinder that he’s carrying. His ‘oops’ isn’t very sincere.
Daniel is on the phone trying to apply for a new platinum card, saying there is some sort of problem. He gives his name, mentioning Mode Magazine, and then bargains down to silver, and gold, and finally hangs up. He looks at Betty and makes the statement that his credit rating is lower than that of most convicted felons. He notices her purse, and comments. She explains it came from the closet and pulls from it a list of 300 things to do in New York City for under $300. Marc is yelling in the background that Oshi is here, and the fashion magnate enters, dressed all in white, with a complete entourage behind him. He’s fanning himself. Marc is standing with his hands clasped, awed by the man’s presence. Wilhelmina comes up behind Marc with a reminder to get the champagne. Daniel faces Oshi and says something in Japanese, while bowing. One of Oshi’s men translates for him, saying Oshi is very thirsty. Betty pipes up, offering fresh coffee, while Oshi’s shock is displayed on his face. Of course, Wilhelmina chooses that very minute to walk in, followed by Marc who is carrying a tray of filled champagne glasses. Oshi greets her warmly. They toast, and the translator reveals Oshi’s plans to return tomorrow evening to display his spring collection for them, using the tube entry at Mode as their runway. It seems Oshi has planned everything, including being taken out for a wonderful meal. Daniel’s face falls when he sees what is expected of his pocketbook, and Wilhelmina offers to treat, but only if she is invited to attend. She walks away and Daniel and Betty return to his office, with him claiming that Wilhelmina knows he is broke. Betty argues that it isn’t a good idea to let the woman pay for the dinner because it would make him look like he lacks control. Daniel has a dilemma. Either way, he appears to be financially incompetent. Betty whips out her list of three hundred ideas and starts reading, naming taking Oshi to the movies, riding the Staten Island Ferry, and other ridiculous suggestions. Daniel’s shoulders sag in defeat.
In the cafeteria, Betty and Christina are discussing Daniel’s financial status and the underhanded way the expense accounts are handled. Amanda, holding her own food tray, confronts Betty on her way to a table, saying that the girl that got the boots she wanted would love the Gucci Bag. Amanda will trade season opera tickets for the bag to get the boots. Christina laughs, saying Betty lives in Queens, and if she wanted to hear a fat man singing, she could open her window. The brush past Amanda and take table. Betty questions Christina about the bag’s worth and is shocked to hear it’s about $4500.
Betty is walking along the street, followed by Walter, and she begs him to go home. She enters the pharmacy and shows her bag to the girl behind the counter.
Betty enters her house without the bag and with her father’s medicine and fifteen refills authorized. Justin notices the missing bag and asks; her father realizes what she has sacrificed. Betty explains that it doesn’t matter and quickly leaves the table
In her room, she’s looking at a photo of her and her mom when Hilda comes in. Betty asks if she remembers how mad Hilda got when their mom gave Betty her purse. Hilda remembers the crayons, and Betty is in tears, finally remembering that her mother gave her the purse because she knew how it would make Betty feel. She equates it to how the Gucci made her feel. For once she felt pretty. Hilda hugs her in consolation.
Back to Betty and Christina recalling the events… Christina tells her she did the right thing, and questions how she ended up with the bag she has. Betty cites Hilda’s comments about ridiculous it was that Wilhelmina could blow twenty grand on travel while they couldn’t even afford their dad’s meds. The janitor pops in with his opinion about how Mode executives pad their expenses, and Betty says that was exactly what she had been thinking when she made her decision.
Christina and Betty are walking on the street, when Amanda approaches with one more futile try for the name-brand purse.
In the accountant’s office, Betty is replacing the coffee and bagel she took earlier. She asks Henry to see Wilhelmina’s expense report for the last issue, but he tells her that it’s against policy. She pleads, showing him pictures of the magazine, in which the woman claimed $25,000 for props and extras.
Back in Daniel’s office where the same magazine is spread on his desk, the conversation continues. Daniel agrees with Betty, but says everyone pads their account at one time or another, but she argues about the huge amount which is equal her family’s yearly rent. Daniel feels reluctant to question Wilhelmina, but Betty is insistent. Oshi is due in a short time, and if they can expose the Wilhelmina, she will never get the publishing title she is after. Daniel is still arguing that his $327 to wine and dine Oshi and his entourage is not enough, and Betty tells him to ditch the extra people. She’s certain that the amount of money he has is plenty. Daniel turns to Betty and asks, “How do we prove Wilhelmina cheated?”
A picture of a Brazalian statue flashes on screen and then to Betty in her office, with the telephone to her ear. She’s making a terrible attempt to speak Spanish with someone in Brazil, while pretending to be calling on behalf of Wilhelmina Slater. Betty is shocked when the woman on the other end asks if Ms. Slater would like to speak with the doctor.
In the tunnel archway of Mode, Oshi’s models strut their stuff. Everyone is intent on the fashions, except Wilhelmina. She’s more interested in whether or not she has been invited to the dinner. She turns and asks, Daniel who promptly turns her down. His plans for Oshi are a one-on-one dinner so they can get to know one another and discuss business. Oshi rejects his idea in grand style, leaving Daniel with a disappointed look on his face. Betty enters, and Daniel sidesteps away to meet her, with the whole modeling thing still going on in the background. She tells him that Henry is meeting with his father, but Daniel wants to hold them off. Now that Oshi has indicated that he expects to be treated royally, Daniel is seeing a need for Wilhelmina. He can’t envision his $300 feeding fifteen people. Betty still argues; she doesn’t want him to give up without a fight. Marc comments on one of Oshi’s creations, round, white and minimal, and gives Betty an idea.
The Japanese entourage along with Betty and Daniel are leaving the tubed hallway. Daniel is warning Betty that her idea had better work. She’s still babbling about white, round and minimal, when Bradford stops Daniel, asking him if he’s taking them somewhere special. He reminds his son that he’s on his own dime. In the background while everyone is waiting, Wilhelmina is yelling at the accountant fellow, wishing him good luck in returning her ass. On behalf of Oshi, his translator where they are going, and Daniel replies, “New Jersey.”
Two limos pull up and the occupants get out. Daniel’s face expresses his dismay, while the translator mouths Oshi’s words, “Where have you brought me.” Betty pipes up as the camera pans to a small hamburger joint, called, White Tassels, and she proudly announces that it’s white, minimal with round food inside. Oshi studies it for a minute, and his translater announces that Oshi likes it. Smiles all around.
Daniel and Betty arrive back at her house, with Daniel on the phone, telling his father that they secured exclusives for Oshi’s next four collections. Daniels seems pleased with what his father is telling him. He hangs up and tells Betty that his company card is being reactivated. Bradford Meade is tough but he’s fair. Daniel thanks Betty for the lesson. She assumes it’s for the “it’s not how much you have, it’s how you spend it” one, but he refers to the one about not giving up. Daniel gets back in his car, leaving Betty on the sidewalk to face Walter who approaches her holding up a knockoff of the Gucci bag. Tears well in her eyes, she takes it, and gives him a hug. The next day, she enters the office to compliments on her purse, and another attempt by Amanda to trade it for a full body wax, which Betty declines. She marches into Marc’s office and plops it on his desk, telling him she’ll trade her Gucci for a knockoff from the street vender and a favor later. Marc warns her she won’t fool anyone with the fake one, but she smiles, telling him it’s okay. She’s learning the way people work around Mode.
Back in the office, Betty is explaining to Christina how she gave the fake bag to Marc in exchange for another fake bag, plus an owed favor. The janitor butts in and asks what will happen when Marc finds out, but Christina tells him, “that’s the beauty of it. Marc would never admit to being duped.” Betty finishes packing the last of the things from her desk, tells them goodbye, and leaves, tripping on her way out, but turning to give her familiar braced smile.
Next on Ugly Betty:
It looks like a sexy party
Secrets will be revealed
Lies will exposed
And Betty gets carted off by two men in suits.