Giving Up the Ghost
"Giving Up the Ghost" is the ninth episode in the second season, and the 32nd episode overall, of the American dramedy series Ugly Betty, which aired on November 22, 2007. The episode was written by Charles Pratt, Jr. and directed by Gary Winick. The episode is the last appearance of Alan Dale on the series.
|"Giving Up the Ghost"|
|Ugly Betty episode|
Betty speaks at Bradford's funeral
|Episode no.||Season 2|
|Directed by||Gary Winnick|
|Written by||Charles Pratt, Jr.|
|Original air date||November 22, 2007|
The story begins at the Suarez home, where Betty is sitting down at 2AM eating empanadas. As she goes to get the milk from the refrigerator, she is spooked by seeing the head of Bradford Meade inside. After she closes the door, Bradford is standing behind her and tells her that he is her subconscious and that he asks her why she turned down Daniel's offer to return to work. Betty tells him that she doesn't think she's ready to return. He then disappears after he tells her to think about what Bradford told her before he died.
The following day at the burial of Bradford at the cemetery, Claire is allowed to attend but arrives wearing an orange prison jumpsuit and is in shackles. Amanda ponders about whether she would be next in line to take over at the company, but Sheila, who arrived late and hears this exchange, tells her that two years as a receptionist doesn't qualify. As Betty is delivering a eulogy, Wilhelmina and Marc show up, hoping to make her last remarks. After Wilhelmina comments about Claire's uniform, Claire trips Wilhelmina, causing her to fall into Bradford's empty grave. Wilhelmina is fired by unanimous decision of Claire, Daniel, and Alexis.
Fumed by her termination from the company, Wilhelmina returns to her office at MODE to remove her belongings but before she goes, she deploys a computer virus called "Medusa X", featuring a motif similar to the Versace logo, but with Wilhelmina's head replacing Medusa's, that removes all files pertaining to the upcoming issue. When Henry notices the virus in his office, he calls Betty, who was helping the family plan their annual Christmas tree decorations at home, to inform her about what happened. As she leaves, she gives directions to Hilda, Justin and Ignacio on how it's normally decorated, although Hilda and Justin think that they should make changes to the tradition.
Daniel and Betty lead the effort to resurrect the issue with an all-nighter work session. Betty says she is back just for the night. But before they can start on the emergency issue, Wilhelmina and Marc interrupt the work session to announce their new magazine, SLATER, and recruit many MODE staff. Wilhelmina also makes her feelings known about Daniel and Alexis, prompting Alexis and Betty to try to contain their desire to knock her out. As Wilhelmina leaves, Marc tempts Amanda to defect, but she turns him down, thus ending their partnership.
In the all-night chaos, Daniel places Sheila in charge and in turn finds replacements to do new articles, with Henry being tasked with writing a food column and Amanda volunteering to write the "Hot or Not" section. Unfortunately Sheila is not happy about having Amanda on the team, even as she sees the receptionist eating at her desk and not giving her an article. When Amanda sees a pizza delivery guy's uniform, she finally comes up with one, but as she shows off her design, Sheila walks up to her and tells her that she actually knew, worked and "made out" with Fey Sommers, and that Amanda is "No Fey Sommers," and scraps Amanda's article. At the love dungeon, a distressed Amanda tells Christina that she hopes that when she finds her father, maybe she'll know what type of talent that she might actually have.
Meanwhile, at the Suarez home, the family decoration plans start to go awry when Hilda trips on a string of Christmas tree lights, knocking the tree over and starting a small fire. As Betty is scrambling to help Daniel at work, she calls Hilda about its progress until she figures out what has happened after hearing Justin and Ignacio in the background.
Alexis takes on the task of getting the printers to extend their hours, but as she goes to the printer's office in an effort to charm him, she discovers that he has left the business to a dwarf-like successor, Harvey Milfree. After the two bicker and bluff all night, they end up discussing how both are 'different' and how their fathers treated them. Once the conversation is over, Harvey agrees to keep the presses open, much to the delight of Alexis.
The deleted magazine issue also erased the cover spread featuring Cameron Ashlock, a famous actress and singer who has been making a lot of headlines. When Daniel decides that he is going to break her out of rehab, Betty tags along. At the centre where Cameron is staying, the two find her among candles and chanting and after much persuasion, they succeed in convincing her to do a reshoot. Unfortunately, that doesn't go as well as planned as Cameron goes ballistic on the set after Daniel told Betty the only way to do it is by giving her alcohol, which Betty thought was a bad idea. As Cameron is escorted off the shoot, Betty learned that Daniel never gave Cameron a drink, which is how she lost control in the first place. Daniel told Betty he couldn't do it. Unable to reshoot the cover, Daniel opts for a solid black cover in tribute of the late Bradford Meade with an "In Remembrance of Bradford Meade" theme. Betty and the staff are impressed with this cover as a way to honour the late publisher. Betty then tells Daniel that she will return to MODE permanently, and as Daniel walks away, she sees the spirit of Bradford for one last time by sending him to his final "resting place."
Later, at Wilhelmina's apartment, she tells the defected MODE staff that she will have the new magazine up and running soon. After they leave, Wilhelmina meets with her father, Senator Slater, to ask for a loan to get her new magazine established. He refuses, saying that the daughter he once knew and loved as Wanda has changed into someone else. After he leaves, Wilhelmina and Marc ponder other options on how to get the financial backing.
Finally, knowing that Christmas is a time for family, Betty buys a pink artificial tree to replace the burned-up one. As they finally decorate the new tree, Ignacio places the angel on top as a remembrance of his late wife.
The episode's original title was "Inherit the Sin", but was changed two weeks after it was announced.
The head of Bradford Meade in Betty's refrigerator was a parody of Friday the 13th Part 2, where Jason puts his mother's head in the fridge before he kills the last survivor, Alice Hardy, from the first film.
This episode officially marked the final appearance for Alan Dale, whose decision to leave the series was entirely his own. "Ugly Betty has changed, because originally it was to be a drama with humour, and in the end it has become an hour-long comedy," notes Dale. "So I won't be with the show for very much longer, because my character doesn't do comedy, really." He went on to add that "They're going to go a different way, so I'll be moving on," Dale said. "But it's a fantastic show, breaking new ground, really. We'll see what happens next pilot season, but I'm surprised there aren't a lot more comedies just imitating it."
The episode received excellent praise, especially among the cast and performances. TV Guide cited Judith Light's Claire role in the funeral scene as her best yet, while Entertainment Weekly's Tanner Stransky cited it as one of the ten reasons for being thankful about this episode.
The episode pulled in more than 7.49 million viewers in the United States, but came in 50th in the Nielsen ratings, the lowest so far this season. 2.7 million viewers watched this episode in the UK, with a 9% audience share, ranking fifth place in its timeslot.
After Wilhelmina launches Slater, Alexis covers her eyes, Betty covers her mouth, and Daniel covers his ears, symbolising three wise monkeys.