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Pilot is the first episode of the first season of Ugly Betty.
In this story we are introduced to Betty Suarez, an unattractive but highly educated woman in her twenties who is mysteriously hired by publisher Bradford Meade to be the personal assistant to his womanizing son Daniel, who was chosen as editor in chief of Mode magazine over Wilhelmina Slater, who wanted that job.
For Betty, landing this plum job should be a breeze, but her appearance is somewhat of a turnoff and she is shunned by the other coworkers, except for the in-house seamstress Christina, who becomes fast friends with Betty.
Daniel isn't impressed with his new hired help so he plots to get her to quit. And when she gets wind of it from Christina she ends up making a fool of Daniel by dressing up in front of a photo shoot to prove her theory. He realizes his mistake after learning that the cosmetics campaign he is trying to land is in danger (when in actuality it was being sabotaged by Wilhelmina) that he needs Betty, who not only returns to the company but saves the campaign and Daniel's job.
Meanwhile at home Betty finds herself dealing with family problems. Her sister Hilda thinks that she should go work with her at Herbalux but Betty doesn't want anything to do with her sister's company and is worried about her father's heart condition. She also gets shocking news from her boyfriend Walter—he is dumping her for another girl (Gina), who in turn dumped him after she used him to get a discount on a plasma TV (which Betty later breaks after slamming the door).
However, there are other mysterious questions surrounding the reasons why Daniel and Betty got their jobs in the first place. It turns out that Daniel's predecessor, Fey Sommers, was killed in a hit-and-run. But Bradford has suspicions about how she died because he went to her funeral and noticed that her casket was closed, prompting him to hire a detective to find out if there was anything she had on him, as well as whether she did finally meet her maker.
And while Bradford tries to find out about Fey's death, we learn that Wilhelmina is paying a visit to a mysterious person whose face is wrapped. It appears that the two are plotting an attempt to take over Meade Publications, which explains the sinister reason Wilhelmina wanted that top job in the first place. The wrapped-faced individual is also aware of Betty and wants to keep an eye on her each and every move.
Behind the Scenes
Allusions and References
- In one scene Marc mentions "Its a bizarre version of Sex and the City," a reference to the former HBO sitcom.
- Hilda's employer Herbalux is a real alternative medicine company, which is based in Poland.
- (After Betty returns home, believing that she was disappointed at not getting the job at Mode)
Ignacio: So, how was your interview?
Betty: Um…I think it was really good. I mean, they were impressed.
Hilda: You didn't get it.
Betty: Well they said that they had hired everyone they needed.
Ignacio: I don't understand. You're sharp, you're prepared…Someone should have begged you to work with them the day you graduated Queens College.
Hilda: Betty, have you thought about exploring other options?
Betty: Hilda, I am not going to sell Herbalux.
Hilda: I wasn't saying that…necessarily.