Summary 1

Once upon a time…

The perspective of the first few scenes is Betty’s. We don’t see her, but see the world’s reaction to her. She arrives at EcoModa for her job interview. First she runs into Wilson and tells him that she has a job interview. She then meets Aura María who tells her to go on up to Presidencia. There, she runs into Patricia who looks at her with an “I can’t believe THIS” look; then she makes the mistake of going to Hugo’s lair, where he pretty much tells her to get out and never come back. She tries to explain that she’s looking for Presidencia and he tells her where it is. Berta calls for Patricia Fernández and Beatriz Pinzón, to meet with Gutiérrez and another executive. He asks them the same questions since they’re both interviewing to be the President’s secretary. Patty explains that even though she has zero experience as a secretary, she did finish “six semesters in Finance at San Marino University.” Betty also says that she doesn’t have experience as a secretary, but that she did graduate from university with high honors and has undergraduate and graduate degrees in finance and economics, and also worked as an assistant at Banco de Montreal.

Gutiérrez asks them about their foreign language skills and Patricia says that she knows a bit of English. Betty answers that she speaks English and French, and a bit of Italian. In addition she lists the other things she can do and knows about, which impresses everyone… Inappropriate as always, Gutierrez asks them about their marital status. Patricia explains that she is separated from Mauricio Briggman (and Gutiérrez of course says that he knows him!). Beatriz answers that she is single, to which Gutiérrez says, but of course. Gutiérrez asks Betty why she didn’t include her photograph with her résumé. Betty explains that she’s been to so many interviews that she ran out of photos. Gutiérrez tells them that he will get in touch with any news, but as they’re leaving the office, he pretty much offers Patricia the job right in front of Betty. Betty literally runs into Berta, who is carrying a trashcan that flies out of her hands. At that exact moment, Armando and Roberto exit the elevator, and Berta begs Betty to help her pickup the mess, because she doesn’t want the bosses to see it. Armando notices the trash and starts scolding and yelling at Berta, and doesn’t even notice Betty, who looks at him in total shock because of his ranting and raving.

Gutiérrez tells Armando that he’s found his secretary, and shows him Patty’s paperwork. Armando gets mad at him and asks him how he’s going to get through to him, that he didn’t ask him to hire Sharon Stone, that he asked for someone efficient who spoke two languages. And, Armando is especially upset because Patricia is Marcela’s best friend. He asks Gutierrez if he didn’t pre-select any other candidates and asks him to get him the other résumés for him to look at. Betty gets home and her mother asks her how the interview went. She says okay and Nicolás arrives. She tells him that she went to a fashion house to interview for a job as a secretary, because she doesn’t dare apply for assistant or executive positions because of her looks. And, that they practically hired “a pretty one” in front of her. She reminds them that people are always impressed by her résumé, but when they see her she never gets hired — that it’s simply a problem of “casting.”

Meanwhile, Armando, Roberto, and Gutiérrez are walking around EcoModa’s production area (we see Armando with his famous “stress ball”), talking about the various applicants. When Armando and Roberto see Betty’s they are duly impressed and ask Gutiérrez why he didn’t hire her on the spot. He answers that she’s got a little problem — she’s very ugly. They call Betty’s former employer at Banco Montreal, to ask about her work there. They give her a glowing recommendation, saying that she’s an exceptional woman, that she’s got all the educational qualifications and can work circles around anyone. Roberto tells Armando that it is his choice to make, hire a pretty woman or hire a qualified one.

Julia shows Betty and Nicolás a copy of the magazine Jet Set, where there is an article about EcoModa. Betty reads it aloud, explaining that the article is about Roberto’s last collection as President of EcoModa. We see pictures from the lanzamiento party and are introduced to each of the key players at EcoModa — Roberto, Margarita, Armando, Daniel (who for a change are having AN ARGUMENT!), Marcela, Patricia, Mario, Hugo… Daniel is very upset that Marcela voted to make Armando President, and that it was obvious that Armando proposed marriage to buy her vote. Patty begs Marcela for help getting a job because she’s so broke that the next time she sees her will be in jail, where she knows Marcela won’t go visit her. Patricia says that she doesn’t want to be a secretary, to which Marcela tells her that it’s the only job available, that she’ll make more money than a secretary, and that she needs her there to keep Armando in line. During the lanzamiento, again setting the tone for the rest of the novela, Marcela and Armando argue about setting their wedding date. He finally gives in and announces publicly that they will be married in September. We see Margarita crying from joy, Hugo is thrilled for “Marge,” as is Patty, while Mario looks like his best friend has been condemned to die a slow death by torture. Daniel looks unhappy to say the least. Nicolás has already noticed Patricia and is “in love.” As they are talking, Betty gets a call asking her to go back to EcoModa the next morning at 9:00 a.m. to meet with Armando.

Armando tells Marcela that he doesn’t want to be stuck with Patricia as his secretary, especially since he knows she is going to just be spying on him. Marcela says that she’s the right and most qualified person for the job. He answers back that there is someone truly qualified whom he’s asked back for another interview. Just then, Roberto’s secretary opens the door and shows Betty in. Marcela and Armando see her and are taken aback by her looks. Roberto arrives and ignores Betty when she extends her hand to shake his. Betty tells them about her educational and professional backgrounds, and Marcela, Armando, and Roberto can’t help but be impressed. Armando asks Betty if she’s sure, with her qualifications, that she wants to be a secretary. Betty says yes, that she wants to learn about how to run a fashion business and wants to work with people such as them. They ask her to wait outside, and Marcela says that there’s no way Betty can be Armando’s secretary, that she’s too ugly and can’t be allowed to work in a fashion house. That Patty is THE choice because she’s beautiful. Marcela asks Betty and Patty to come in and places them side-by-side like in a cattle call, so Armando and Roberto can make their choice. Afterwards, Armando scolds Marcela for how he treated “that young woman.” Marcela and Patricia proceed to make fun of Betty. Because of Marcela’s manipulation, he has to hire Patricia but also decides to hire Betty. When he tells her to go sign her paperwork and start work first thing next morning, Betty is beyond excited. Roberto formally transfers power to Armando. Betty comes home and tells her parents the great news, but lies when she tells them that she was hired to be an assistant to the President, rather than her real position of secretary.

Mario scolds Armando for announcing his engagement and wedding to Marcela in public, and begs him to change his mind. Armando tells Mario that he had a fight with Marcela because he hired a secretary that Marcela didn’t agree with. Mario assumes that Armando has hired a “90, 60, 90,” airhead, to which Armando responds no. He’s hired an ugly woman, with a horrid hairdo, weird voice, braces, but who has more brains than the two of them put together (es fea, tiene voz, con un peinado espantoso, brackets, y tiene más cerebro que usted y yo juntos, y es FEEEEEEAAAAA) and she’s UGLY!!! Mario tells Armando that he’s going to fry in hell for hiring an ugly woman, to which Armando responds (sounding like a little kid) —“no te escucho, soy de palo, tengo orejas de pescado” (this makes more sense in Spanish — I can’t hear you, I’m made of wood, and I have fish ears). Betty tells Nicolás about Armando standing up for her in front of Marcela. At the same time Mario makes fun of Armando for standing up for Betty.

The next day is Betty’s first day at EcoModa, and right before going into the building Betty stops, takes off her glasses, and dabs her eyes — she can’t believe she’s got this job! Wilson doesn’t want to let her in and calls to confirm that she’s indeed Armando’s new secretary. Patty and Marcela arrive and can’t believe it when they realize that Armando actually hired Betty. Armando arrives and shows Patricia where she’ll be sitting and takes Betty to her new office — THE CAVE. A cleaning lady is heard screaming, and tells Armando there’s a spider. Armando’s answer is — well, kill it then! He apologizes to Betty for the musty smell of the “office,” explaining that this is where his father kept the company’s old files. But that in 15 minutes it will be ready since he’s gotten her a desk, chair, lamp, a computer connected to the office network, as well as two phone lines, including his private line. He tells Betty to go see Gutiérrez to finalize the paperwork. Betty runs into Roberto and Margarita and says hello. Roberto tells Margarita that Betty is Armando’s secretary. Roberto is upset about Armando’s decision to put Betty in the cave, saying that it is inhumane. Berta and Sofía see Betty’s photograph and can’t believe Armando has hired her, that maybe he’s lost his touch. Berta says “welcome to el cuartel, honey.”

Armando, who will call Betty Emperatriz (empress) a few times because he can’t quite remember her name (jerk!), tells Betty and Patty what their duties will be. Patricia tells him in no uncertain terms that she should be re-classified as his assistant since he already has Betty as his secretary. He says that if anyone should be his assistant it’s Betty since she’s extremely overqualified. He tells Patty that Betty will handle his personal calendar, dealing with the banks and other business contacts. That Patty will be expected to take care of answering the phones outside Armando’s office and getting coffee as needed. Patty is, needless to say, not happy. Mario flirts with Patty but she blows him off. Mario congratulates Armando for hiring Patricia, to which Armando responds that he’s hired Betty as well. Mario peeks in to see Betty, who says “good evening.” Mario’s only reaction is “¡uy cosa fea!” (how ugly!). They both laugh. Patty whines to Marcela about Armando “treating her badly,” and especially that Betty seems to be over her in “power.” Marcela is very upset to hear that Betty will be handling Armando’s personal agenda and tells Patricia that she’ll take care of setting Betty straight, but that anyway Betty won’t be at EcoModa for too long. Meanwhile, Betty is alone in Armando’s office, grabs his jacket and says “tan divino.”

During Betty’s first day on the job, there’s a fashion show for buyers and distributors being held in EcoModa’s show room. The cuartel is sneaking in to watch. Armando and Mario go to Hugo’s office and are seen flirting with the models. Armando has asked Betty to bring him his wallet, which he left in his office, and she is by seeing the models (especially the guys!) in their underwear. Betty volunteers to bring Armando a color chart from the stockroom. As the fashion show is about to begin, Betty (poor, poor, clueless Betty) walks on the catwalk calling out Armando’s name… With gritted teeth he says “I’m here, I’m here” as he tries in vain to “disappear” in his chair. Betty falls off the catwalk (¡pobrecita!) and is helped to her feet by two men. She apologizes (all this while the fashion show is going on behind her!) and goes to Armando to give him the chart. She wants to make sure that this is what he asked for, and he yells at her that it is. Mario tells her to move (“muévase carajo”). Betty joins el cuartel in the back and watches the fashion show with them, very excited about this new “world” she’s getting to know.

When the fashion show is over, Hugo has a hissy fit and complains to Armando about Betty’s behaviour and tells him that he must ensure that Betty never again sets foot in his office. Marcela didn’t go to the fashion show, instead she went out to dinner with Patricia, to whom she confides that she’s okay because none of Armando’s former model flings participated in the fashion show. When Armando comes back to his office, Betty apologizes profusely for her faux pas, explaining to him (duh, as if he hadn’t noticed!) that this whole “world of beauty” is completely foreign to her and tells him that she’s got his briefcase and jacket ready for him to go home. Very rudely he tells her to just leave his jacket in his office. When Betty leaves to go back to her office he says to himself, “what a cross to bear, my God, what a cross to bear” (“que cruz, Dios mío, que cruz”). Armando and Mario plan to go out on the town with the models but their plan is thwarted by Daniel’s arrival looking for his sister. He catches Armando with one of the models, which leads Armando to decide to go home to avoid any trouble with Marce. Betty leaves EcoModa alongside the cuartel but goes home alone. Armando tells Mario that he isn’t really sure that hiring Betty was such a good idea, especially after the fashion show fiasco. He says that he doesn’t think Betty will last long at EcoModa.

The next day, Freddy plays a cruel joke on Betty, making her believe that he’s one of EcoModa’s executives, and gets her in trouble, even yells at her. Armando arrives and Betty notices that Freddy was pulling her leg when she realizes that Freddy is the messenger. Armando talks to Betty and tells her that he’s going to entrust his personal address book and calendar to her, which includes the telephone numbers of women with whom he’s been “close” in the past, and that under no circumstances can she give it to anyone (no se la puede entregar “a nadie, pero a nadie, ni aún a Marcela que va a ser mi esposa”), not even to Marcela, his future wife. From her office, Betty hears Armando arguing. Marcela is upset that Armando gave his personal address book to Betty, and that he’s giving her too much access. She also chastises him about still having his old model flames fluttering by. At that very moment, one of these old flames, Karina Larson, arrives looking for Armando. Betty tells Armando about this and he begs him to get rid of her and to make sure that she goes nowhere near Marcela. Karina is adamant about seeing Armando and Betty is forced to go meet with her at the reception desk to make sure she comes nowhere near where Armando is. This is very funny, because Betty has been in her office all this time while Marcela has been arguing with Armando. When Marcela realizes that Betty is in her office, she is quite upset with Armando. Betty, who’s very smart, catches on to the whole Karina Larson thing and asks Armando to come to her office because of some “personnel problems.” She covers for Armando by telling him that he’s forgotten about an appointment - this allows him to sneak out and talk to Karina. She also enlists Mario’s assistance to make sure that when Marcela calls Armando at his “appointment” he is actually there! This is only the FIRST of many times that Betty will cover Armando’s butt!

This is only Betty’s second day at work, and she’s already having to play interference for Armando. Patty notices that Karina is hanging around and proceeds to tell Marcela, who is furious that Betty covered up for Armando, and goes to her office to demand that she give up Armando’s address book, that she’s nobody to deny her access to her future husband’s stuff. Betty pleads with her, that she just can’t do it, and Marcela threatens to fire her. Armando takes Karina to a restaurant, where he calls Betty to ask what’s going on with Marcela. Again, since Marcela is in Betty’s office, Betty covers for him and in code tells him what’s going on. Marcela calls Armando’s cellular while he’s arguing with Karina, and he turns it off. Armando makes it to the place of his supposed appointment and calls Marcela… They argue again… Marcela has Gutiérrez fire Betty because of insubordination to Marcela! This will mean that Patty can get her grubby paws on Armando’s agenda book before he gets back. However, Betty isn’t going down that easily… Armando arrives just at that moment and tells Betty to make sure she doesn’t give anyone anything and has another argument with Marcela, confirming that he told Betty not to give the address book to anyone, including her.

Armando scolds Gutiérrez for firing Betty, who wants to leave to prevent any more problems with Marcela, but Armando asks her to stay, and caressing her chin tells her that she’s the woman he needs, and that she has accomplished in two days what he expected her to accomplish in two months, so her status as a temporary employee is over. Mario makes fun of the way Armando talked to Betty, and tells him to be careful of how he talks to the ugly one, because a caress like that is going to make her think that he’s ready to marry her. Armando tells him that there’s no way Betty would think that. In the meantime, we see Betty walking outside remembering Armando’s touch.

Marcela talks to Margarita about the fight she had with Armando, and Margarita tells her to act cool and calm, and especially in front of Betty, the most insignificant of all the women who surround Armando. On her way home, Betty runs into Román and his gang, who tell her that they want her to go out with them, that if she wants to go she should just ask her dad for permission. They’re doing this just to pull Betty’s leg since they know her father would never let her go. Betty tells Nicolás about her day at EcoModa, and how Armando stood up for her. She also tells him about the invitation from Román. Nicolás is worried that Patricia may have gotten fired because of the problem Betty had at the office, but Betty assures him that before Patty is fired Armando would be out the door. She tells Nicolás to wake up and smell the coffee, that women like Patricia are looking for a rich man who dresses well, has the looks of a movie star, at least two platinum cards, a BMW, the best clothes, memberships at the most exclusive clubs… Nicolás is oblivious to all this and hopes that Betty will introduce him to Patricia ASAP. Betty and Nicolás talk about their plight because they’re ugly and no one cares for them, and Nicolás asks Betty if she’s planning on staying single all her life, to which she responds no, that she will be a spinster in a few years! Mario shows Armando a computer program he’s put together that will let Armando know which of the many beautiful women in it is best matched to him. Well, lo and behold, who’s picture should pop up but Betty’s — and Armando says “murcielaguín”? I think Gaitán was dropping hints about the ending of the show from the very beginning!

Armando tells Mario that Betty would be the last woman he’d marry, because with so many beautiful women to pick from, why would he pick an ugly one. Román calls Betty to see if her dad gave her permission to go out. Betty asks her dad to let her go, but he tells her no and she runs to her room crying, complaining that she can’t go out, can’t get to know the world. Doña Julia tries to comfort her, and reminds her that Don Hermes has always been this way, making sure she went to a convent school, never letting her socialize much, with the exception of Nicolás, whom he considers like a brother to Betty. She reminds Betty about how much she suffered when she fell in love with Juan Ramón, a classmate from the university. Julia plays interference and is able to convince Hermes to let Betty go out. A happy Betty calls Román to tell him she can go and that she’s waiting for them to go out.

Armando gets to Marcela’s apartment, where he finds a rather “kinky” set up, with Marcela in a black teddie, ropes, special lighting, etc. She tells him that he may be happy with his ugly secretary at work, but that at home she’s the woman for him. They reconcile for the umpteenth time. Román and his friends stand Betty up, and she still hopes that they’ll come for her, but her dad tells her to go to bed because it’s very late and she needs to go to bed. She starts crying while her dad tries to comfort her after scolding her, and promises that over the weekend the whole family will go out to eat and a movie. Hermes tells Julia that they have to accept the fact that Betty is going to be a spinster. Betty starts writing in her diary about Armando and remembers when he told her that she’s the woman that he needs and especially his caress…

The next morning, Freddy asks for Betty’s forgiveness for the prank he played on her. Betty finds a picture of Armando in his office and keeps it. Armando tells Mario that he will marry Marcela, and tells him about Marcela’s behaviour the night before. Nicolás asks Julia about Betty’s outing with the neighborhood gang, but Julia tells him that they stood her up. Nicolás is upset at the way they treated Betty and tells Román to apologize to Betty. Román and his gang make fun of him and hit him. Hermes goes to talk to Román and beats him up. Betty suggests to Armando that he let her automate his schedule and address book and store it with passwords to prevent others from gaining access to it. Armando asks all the other executives for reports about their departments and that these reports be forwarded to Beatriz. He asks her to put the reports together in folders and include her business plan, and a copy of the past year’s numbers. Betty asks Aura María for a recommendation of a good place to have lunch. She tells her to go to el Corrienzato. The cuartel en mass is eating lunch there and Betty sits by herself. Inés asks the others to invite Betty to join them, but they say that even though they get called ugly, the new secretary is uglier and would further erode their standing.

Julia calls Betty at work to let her know that Nicolás and her dad had a fight with Román, and Betty tells her Mom that she’s going to be late getting home because she has to prepare a report for the next day’s Junta where Armando will officially become President. Patty overhears this conversation, who tells Marcela about it since she doesn’t want Betty to outshine her. Armando and Betty work out how to handle his personal calendar to make sure that Marcela doesn’t have access to it.

The cuartel calls a 911 meeting since Aura María is crying because one of her beaus broke up with her. Betty works until late to surprise Armando with the report, and is on her way out the door of her cave, when Armando and Marcela walk into his office and are about to get romantic (very) when Betty opens the door to leave. Betty wants to make a good impression at the next days Junta meeting, and wants to look extra nice (poor girl). Her dad and Nicolás want to go with her to the office, but she tells them she wants to go by herself. She runs into Román and his gang, who start mocking her, but she gives them a piece of her mind. Everyone is ready to start the junta, and Betty is in a hurry to finalize the report, and in her haste, runs into Daniel. She tells him that she’s Armando’s secretary and he wonders how she knows who he is. She says that she’s seen him in business and society magazines, his response is that Armando is wasting money having two secretaries. Betty is on her way to deliver the reports, but Marcela tells her to give them to her and go ahead to lunch and to just goon to lunch, that Patty can deliver them. Betty overhears Patricia deliver the reports with the implication that she prepared them. Betty is furious when Roberto praises Patricia for such a good report. Daniel argues with Armando because he has two secretaries, and says that if Patricia can do such a good job with reports, plus display an “image,” then why have “the other one,” is it because she’s pretty? They all make fun of Betty.

Betty goes to eat lunch at el Corrientazo and the cuartel asks her to join them at their table since there’s nowhere else to sit. Each of them introduces herself. Berta, living up to her sterling reputation, tells Betty that she’s replacing Mireya, Armando’s old secretary. Betty asks why Mireya didn’t just move positions to work for Armando when he became president. They explain that she resigned because she fell in love with Armando and decided to leave because she couldn’t stand being in that situation anymore, and that Armando never realized Mireya’s feelings for him. They warn Betty not to fall for Armando, and she gives them a nervous answer saying how could they think something like that…

The cuartel brings Betty up to date about how Armando was able to become president, as well as about his sister Camila, who made the mistake of falling in love with a poor man and married him behind her parents’ backs, which is why she’s somewhat distant from the family, and only is in real touch with Armando. She separated from her husband and moved to Switzerland with her son. They also brief her about María Beatriz, Marcela and Daniel’s sister, and tell her that she’s had so much plastic surgery that even she doesn’t remember what she used to look like. In the meantime, don Roberto officially passes the baton to Armando during the junta. He explains that if within a year Armando is unable to meet the goals he has set for himself, Daniel will become president. Daniel responds that he hopes that there will be a business to run, since he thinks that Armando’s business plan will lead them to ruin. Sofía lets Betty know that it was Marcela’s vote that assured Armando the presidency, and they all say that Armando is paying a high price for that vote. They say that Marcela and Armando have been dating for over two years and that he cheats on her left and right, but Marcela always forgives him and takes him back. Sandra says that Marcela better be careful because one of these days some woman is going to come and take him from her. Aura María says that both Mario and Armando only date beautiful women. That Armando stays with Marcela, and Sandra says that maybe that’s not the woman that he’s really looking for, that he may want a different kind of woman, different from those Hess used to (hmmm, another Gaitán freebie foreshadow!).

At the end of the junta meeting, Daniel leaves, and Mario talks to Armando and tells him that maybe Daniel is right and Armando’s plan is too risky. The cuartel and Betty comeback to work and run into Daniel, Betty literally, and he yells at her. Roberto tells Armando that he and Margarita are going to Switzerland to visit his sister and nephew and will later settle down in London. Betty confronts Patty about making the junta believe that she had prepared the report, and Marcela butts in to say that one measly report that Betty prepares isn’t going together a promotion. That she’s a secretary and that’s all shell ever be. Roberto talks to Armando and gives him advice about how to run the business, to make sure that his pride and ego don’t interfere with how he runs the company him to do something for which Hess going to be sorry (hey, another soothsayer), to make sure he doesn’t get into any shady business. Betty tells her Mom over the phone that she wants to resign and tells her about what Marcela and Patricia did with the report. The entire EcoModa staff says good-bye to Roberto and Margarita.

Armando asks Betty and Patty to come to his office, and since Hess sure that Betty is the one who put the report together, he asks Patricia for the original reports, to which she responds that Betty has them. Mario congratulates Patty for doing such a good job an asks her out on a date to celebrate. Armando asks for a business plan and asks who wants to do it and Patty jumps in to say that Betty can do it, but she says that since Patricia did so well with the first report to the junta it’s only right that she should do this one as well, so Armando tells Patty to do it and tells her that it should be a snap for her to put together this plan after what she pulled off in just one day. In Betty’s office, Armando asks her about who really did the report. Betty responds that he will know who did it once he reads Patricia’s business plan. Armando and Mario realize that their business plan is totally wrong. Patty tells Marcela about her “problem” and admits that she cant do what Armando has asked her to do and decides to take Mario up on his invitation to go out, so that she can get HIM to help her, so she invites him to her apartment. Betty says good night to Patricia, like “good luck with your little project, honey,” since she knows that Patricia is way over her head. Betty gets home and asks Nicolás to work with her to design a business plan because if she doesn’t get it ready before the next morning, its going to be her job on the line. Julia asks Betty what’s going on, and Betty ends up confessing that she’s actually a secretary not an assistant. Julia asks her to tell her father the truth, but when he gets home with one of his friends he’s had a few too many and tells his friend how proud he is of his daughter and her new position, and Betty loses her nerve.

BIG HINT AHEAD — Armando and Marcela start talking about their wedding, and Armando is adamant that it’s not going to be a church wedding, something that saddens Marcela to no end and they can’t reach a decision. Patty wants Mario to help her put together the business proposal, but he starts kissing her and they end up in bed. So, obviously no business plan was put together! In the meantime, Betty and Nico are working on their business plan proposal. Nico asks Betty if she’s doing this because she’s worried about her job or because of Armando. She answers that it’s for both reasons.

Betty and Nico pull an all-nighter, which makes Betty be late for work. At EcoModa, we see Armando ranting and raving in full petulant mode because Mario, Patty, AND Betty haven’t arrived. When Betty is almost at work, she falls, hurts her leg, and breaks her eyeglasses (pity Cata wasn’t there for this one!). When she gets to Armando’s office he starts in on her, asking her whether there was a death in the family, or she broke something, or her bus broke down, to which Betty has to respond “no señor,” and even though she’s trying to explain to him why she’s late, he won’t let her. He wants to know where Patty and Mario are, and Betty further enrages him by asking if they’re together, to which Armando says — what do I know, I’m not their mother! He then tells Betty to find them, and pleads with her to do something for him (“haga algo por mi”). Betty grabs Armando’s stress ball and gives it to him, and he’s furious (yes, this is a pattern with our beloved bello bobo) and he bounces it on the floor saying, why are you giving this to me, I don’t need it !

Armando grabs a strand of Betty’s hair and leads her to her office as if she were a puppet, and when she tries to talk he tells her to , and to stop limping, or is she making fun of him… When poor Betty goes into her office, Armando does one of his “que cruz Dios mío, que cruz”. Betty calls the cafeteria to ask for a super double cup of coffee, black, no sugar, and when they ask her if she’s the cute blonde secretary, she says no, that she’s the one in the cave, “yo soy Betty, la fea.” Hermes calls Betty to ask her if she was able to finish the project that she and Nico were working on, and he hears Armando yelling at Betty, which bothers him to no end and he runs off to go confront Armando, because he’s not going to let anyone treat his daughter that way. Mario gets to work and Armando reads him the riot act, and also tears into Patricia, especially after she tells him that she didn’t do the business plan. Armando decides that he’s going to have to put it together himself. Betty repeatedly tries to talk to Armando to give him the business plan she and Nico put together, but he won’t let her, and keeps treating her like dirt — he’s just rude, rude, rude.

Hermes gets to EcoModa and asks to speak to Armando, but Betty intercepts him and says that he’s actually looking for her, and convinces him to please go home.

Marcela, surprise, surprise, has another fight with Armando, complaining about his foul mood, and starts complaining about Betty again, to which Armando answers that he’ll get rid of her to make Marcela happy. Aura María notices that Betty is limping and calls a 911 so that el cuartel can tend to her leg. Marcela and Patty are pleased beyond words at the news that Betty is going to be history soon. When Betty gets back to her office, Armando fires her and tells her to collect her things and go. She goes into her office, crying, and after collecting her things she stops by to tell Armando why late. He again doesn’t let her explain, and in a terribly rude way tells her to get out. However, Betty stands her ground and tells him that shell just give him the reason why she was late. Armando reads the business plan and is overjoyed. Mario comes into Armando’s office to ask if Hess ready to go to lunch and Armando says they’re not anywhere because they have to work on the business plan. Mario asks him where it came from and Armando tells him that Betty put it together, and asks her to give him another copy and to just go ahead and go to lunch, after which she should come back to brief them about the plan. She tells him that he fired her, and he apologizes (as much as Armandito can do at this time, no getting down on his knees and crying for him right now), and asks her to stay.

Betty goes out to lunch with el cuartel, but before leaving they witness a fight between el Cheque and Sofía, who later tells Betty how someone stole her husband at the supermarket! El cuartel asks Betty why Armando is in such a bad mood, and she tells them about what happened with Patty — that she didn’t put the report together and was late on top of that. Patty tells Marcela that she went to bed with Mario and that she’s sure he’s going to marry her (yeah, dream ON patico!). When Betty gets back from lunch, she finds a “new” Armando who treats her in a civilized manner and congratulates her for the business plan she put together. Marcela and Patty (another pattern we’ll see repeated) are astonished to see Betty is still there, and ask Armando what happened with firing her. He tells them that Betty took care of the business plan, and tells them that Betty is pretty much running things in his office and pretty much shoos them out of the office because he has to work with Betty. Betty tells Armando and Mario what was wrong with their proposal and that she can work out things to enable them to meet their goals (as we hear the bells tolling a song of gloom and doom! RUN, BETTY, RUN!!!).

Armando asks Betty once again about the report that Patricia presented to the junta the day before. She responds that he would know that Patricia did it once he read Patricia’s business plan, which means that Patricia didn’t do it. Armando tells Mario that he figures that Marcela played a role in helping Patricia pass the report as hers, because there’s no other way that it could have gotten into Patty’s hands. Mario asks Armando about what he plans to do, and Armando says that Betty is in charge now. Daniel arrives at EcoModa and Olarte (VPFinance) tells him that Armando’s business plan is not well presented and that this will cause it to fail. Daniel goes into Betty’s office and finds her asleep, and she apologizes, and he tells her that he wants to confirm an appointment for the next day. Mario and Armando arrive and ask Betty for the report, to which she says that she’s somewhat behind because she’s had no sleep. Armando tells her to go home and they’ll get together first thing the next day. Aura María asks Betty to give her glasses to Freddy so he can fix them. Freddy starts playing with the glasses. Armando arrives from the elevator and scolds Freddy for playing with the glasses, and warns him not to break them because those glasses are very important to EcoModa.

After work, Betty is waiting for her bus to go home when Armando comes out of the garage in his car and offers to give her a ride home. He tells her that since she’s his assistant, she needs to get a car, and she tells him that with her salary she can’t afford to get a car. He tells her that from now on he’s going to take her home every night. He turns on the radio and the song just happens to be a favorite of both of theirs, which makes Armando somewhat amorous and he invites Betty to go listen to a jazz band at a favorite watering hole. He says that they’re always talking about work and he’d like to get to know her better. Betty reminds him that she has to finish the report, but Armando says that they can go out, and then go to his apartment and finish the report together. He holds her hand and tells her that he’s very happy to have her with him. Just at that moment someone yells out Armando’s name, and it’s one of the models who’s leaving EcoModa – time to wake up from your daydream dear Betty! The model asks Armando for a ride, he starts his car, which he stops when he sees Betty to tell her to remember to do the report. When she gets home she tells her mother and Nico that Armando will name her his assistant at a meeting the next morning.

Marcela complains to Margarita and Roberto about all the responsibility that Armando is giving Betty. Nico tells Betty that she should be proud of all the responsibility that Armando is entrusting her with when she’s only a secretary. Nico tells Betty that she should also be proud that with all the women lusting after Armando, she’s the one that’s making Marcela nervous. At the same time, Margarita is telling Marcela that she can’t believe that she’s fighting with Armando over a girl as ugly as Betty, because she just can’t fathom that anything could be going on between them. Marcela laughs since of course Betty is so ugly, and Armando has much better taste in women than that. Betty tells Nico about having to doctor the report to the Junta, and he tells her that she’s treading on dangerous ground and someone can find out what she’s doing. She tells him that all the information is password protected on her computer and that only a real computer genius could access the information. As Beatriz is saying this, Olarte is in her office with EcoModa’s computer guy trying to access said password-protected files. Computer guy tells Olarte that the files are inaccessible. Patricia asks Mario to promote her to his assistant AND that he also make their personal relationship known. Mario tells her that this is not the appropriate moment for either of her requests. Betty tells Nico that it looks like Patricia and Mario are an item, and that if Nico aspires to anything with someone like Patricia, he’s going to need a lot of money for her to notice him!

The next morning, Betty is running late and has another of her encounters with Wilson, who tells her that he’s going to report her late and is going to get in trouble. To which Betty, way to go Betty!, tells him that she’s just going to go back home and that he can tell Armando where she is and that if he needs the report she prepared he can come get it. Wilson begs her to stay because this could lead to Armando firing him, and even gets down on his knees to beg her to stay. Patty arrives and makes fun of Wilson, and Betty asks him how come he’s not going to report Patty as arriving late.

Olarte and Patricia agree to mess up Betty’s PC so she won’t be able to make her report to the Board. To do this they get her out of her office using some lame excuse and Patricia does the deed.

Armando talks to Hugo and Marcela to ask them to not mention the issue of the fabric being used for the new designs. Marcela talks to Armando about his relationship with Beatriz, saying that it is negatively affecting theirs because for him Beatriz is perfect. When Betty goes back to her office and turns on her PC, she realizes that she can’t access any of her files. Armando is all over Betty to get her to fix the problem and scolds her for not keeping backup diskettes with the information. They call the PC guy to fix the computer, but he says that he has to take it with him to look at it. Armando goes on one of his famous tirades and yells at Betty. She starts yelling back, telling him that he’s making her nervous with all the yelling. He’s taken aback by Betty’s reaction and tells her to follow the PC guy and stay with him until the PC is fixed.

Everyone is gathered at the Board room and Armando tells them that they can’t have the meeting because the report is in Betty’s damaged computer. Olarte tells Daniel that he took care of screwing up Betty’s computer (he calls her “la doble fea,” or the “double ugly” kind of the opposite of triple-papito!). Daniel is not very happy about this and tells Olarte that he doesn’t want his name associated with it. The PC guy tells Betty to cancel the meeting because he’s not going to be able to get the PC fixed just then and asks her for her passwords. Before the Board members, he says that the PC broke down because it was being misused, and Betty tells him that this is impossible because she’s an experienced computer user. Daniel scolds Betty for her failure to have back-up copies of the files and she is left looking like a fool in front of everyone. Daniel is about to leave, but Margarita asks him to stay for lunch. Roberto tells Armando to give up on trying to promote “la feita” (“the little ugly one”) and to just let Patricia take care of the meeting. Armando says that he won’t promote Betty after all. Betty is in her office and Armando arrives to get a video and again yells at her. She starts to cry and he asks her not to cry because she’s making HIM feel bad (hello! Mr. Selfish Jerk!!). When the cuartel finds out what happened to Betty, they go to her office to try to cheer her up and she tells them the whole story. Aura María calls a friend who’s a computer guru and has Betty talk to him. He tells her that this is not a big problem and that he can get it fixed in an hour.

In the meantime, Roberto calls a “confidence vote” on Armando’s behalf and says that the next board meeting will be held in two months. Daniel says that he wants to audit the company because they can’t let so much time pass without knowing how the company is running. Armando is opposed to this, but they tell him that this is his fault for not having the report ready and he has to acquiesce.

After lunch, the Board members go to Hugo’s to see the designs. The cuartel asks the PC guy to give them back Betty’s computer so that someone else who can actually fix it quickly can take a look at it. He refuses, but Betty talks to Armando to let him know what’s going on. The cuartel goes at it with the PC guy, including Sandra who hits him! Armando tells Mr. PC guy that he has 15 minutes to straighten things out, while the cuartel stands guard because they don’t trust him. He gives Betty the report and the cuartel wants to get the PC away from Mr. PC guy, who starts roaming through the computer to find out what secrets they’re guarding so closely. Betty tells Armando that everything will be ready for the report in 15 minutes, and he tells her that she’s the only one who can make the presentation to the Junta because she’s the only one who’s familiar with the information. He has to give her a pep talk to convince her, and she agrees. She also tells him that she has to get her computer away from the PC guy. Olarte asks PC guy to make him copies of the reports from Betty’s computer.

Armando tells everyone that the report is ready and that the meeting will take place after all. Daniel is upset because he won’t have the chance to do the audit he planned to do. The cuartel helps Betty to put everything together for the meeting, and kind of fix her up so she’ll look better at the meeting. They rev her up for her big moment with words of encouragement. As Betty starts her presentation, Marcela gives her one of those “if looks could kill” looks and keeps staring at her to make her nervous. But Betty is cool as a cucumber and tells everyone that Armando’s first two months at the helm of EcoModa have been successful and stable. Sandra, who lost an earring during her fight with PC guy, goes back to his office and notices that he is hiding something and tells the cuartel about her suspicions. Since they know that Betty told him not to touch anything, they go back to try to get the papers away from him. Daniel reviews Betty’s reports and asks her questions to try to trip her, which he fails miserably at because Betty is able to answer everyone of his inquiries and comes out of the inquisition smelling fresh as a rose. The cuartel want to give Betty the copies that they took away from PC guy, before he realizes, but since Betty is still with the Junta, they elect Berta to deliver the reports to her. Patricia makes fun of the cuartel because she says none of them are dressed appropriately to go into the Board meeting. The PC guy realizes that the cuartel took the reports he’d printed out.

Roberto congratulates Betty for her report and presentation, and Daniel says that she should be the President (another BIG clue here!). Armando tells the Junta that Betty will be promoted to assistant to the President and Robert agrees to this. He says that the next meeting will be held in September, right before Armando and Marcela’s wedding. The cuartel fills Betty in on the latest developments and give her the reports. As the Board members are leaving the room, Roberto congratulates Betty on her new position which makes Patty furious. Betty tells Armando about the PC guy’s actions and the fact that the cuartel took them away from him.

Betty and Armando go to see the PC guy and Betty tells Armando that the guy has copies of all her files. Armando pressures the PC guy to tell him why he’s so interested in those files. He threatens him with dire consequences if he doesn’t get the whole truth out, about who’s behind the whole thing. The PC guy admits that Olarte told him to do it. Armando fires the PC guy and tells Wilson to check him over to make sure he’s not taking anything he shouldn’t be taking. Olarte tells Daniel that Armando knows that they messed up Betty’s computer, and Daniel reminds him that he wants his name out of it. Armando asks Olarte about the problem with Betty’s PC, and he says it is because Betty is trying to take away his job and he wanted her to look bad with the Junta. Armando asks if Daniel is involved and also for the name of the person who actually messed up Betty’s computer. Olarte doesn’t say anything and Armando fires him. Since the Board members were still taking care of some business at EcoModa, Armando gets them together again and asks Betty to join them. He tells everyone about Olarte’s actions and his plot against Betty.

Daniel says that they should sue Olarte, and that he will make sure that someone is selected to replace Olarte. Armando says that he’s not going to hire anyone who isn’t his own choice. He stands up for Betty in front of everyone and says that he wants to name her Financial VP, but the Board is dead set against this. He says that then she will be his assistant but that at the next Board meeting the issue will be addressed again. Daniel tells Patty that he knows that she’s the one that messed up Betty’s computer and tells her that he’ll be waiting for her in his office. Armando congratulates Betty for everything she did at the Junta, gives her a big hug, thanks her for all her help, and tells her that he’s giving her a raise. Betty tells the cuartel about her promotion. Armando tells Mario that he’s sure of Patricia’s role in the situation with Betty’s PC. Sofia and Berta tell Betty that the only person who had been around her office had been Patricia, who spent quite some time there, which must mean she is the one who messed up her PC. Armando says that he’s worried about Daniel and Patricia’s strange relationships, and asks Mario to take care of her and keep dating her. Marcela tells Patty that Beatriz keeps getting more powerful, especially now that Armando had said that he wants her as Financial VP. Betty tells Mario and Armando that it is impossible to reach the goals they’ve set for the company.

Betty tells Armando and Mario that to be able to reach their goals, they need to lower the quality of the fabrics used for the designs. That they have to reduce costs to be able to increase production, but that even doing that it isn’t sure that they’ll be able to meet their goals without putting the company at risk. Betty tells Armando that it is best if he talks to the Junta and face them by telling them that he won’t be able to meet his goals. He’s against giving up the presidency, and with Mario’s support decides to put it all on the line. That night, Armando asks Betty to join him to close a deal with RagTela because he wants her to review the contract prior to signing it. She tells the cuartel that she is going to a cocktail party with her boss and asks their help to look better. She also calls home to say that she’s going to be late because of a business meting. In the bathroom, the cuartel congratulates Betty and joke that Armando is going to fall for her, since he gives her rides and takes to cocktail parties, something he never did with his old secretary. Inesita gets an outfit from Hugo’s atelier and they fix Betty up.

As soon as Armando sees her he tells her that she looks “divina,” and Mario and Armando tell her she looks great. However, as we all suspected, this is only one of Betty’s daydreams. The cruel reality is that Armando doesn’t pay attention to how she looks and just tells her to get ready to go. Since Betty isn’t used to wearing high heels, she runs into Armando a few times, and to avoid falling holds on to him, which makes him mad. Aura María flirts with Mario and when they say good night, Mario kisses her on the lips.

At the cocktail party, they run into Claudia Elena Vásquez, and Armando doesn’t miss the chance to flirt with her, leaving Betty alone, who again stumbles and falls, much to Armando’s chagrin. Patricia goes to Daniel’s office, where he treats her like dirt and asks her for sex in exchange for not letting everyone know what she did to Betty’s computer, since this would make her look bad to the Mendozas and Valencias. He also tells her that he needs her to spy on Armando. Patricia is offended by his request.

Patricia agrees to spy for Daniel in exchange for his keeping quiet about her role in damaging Betty’s PC. Mario and Armando close the deal with RagTela, buying lower quality fabrics and are told by the RagTela reps (Diana and Miguel Robles) that they can also buy other supplies from them. Miguel, who handles EcoModa’s account, notices that Betty has Armando’s complete confidence and asks her if she is the one that reviews the contracts before Armando signs them. Armando hatches a plan with Mario to be able to meet Claudia Elena Vázquez and starts flirting with her. But, his reputation has preceded him and she knows who he is and that he’s engaged to Marcela. Miguel gives Betty the samples for the other supplies and asks her to review them and tells her that they can also buy these from RagTela and that he will call her the next day to maybe get together for coffee. Betty tells Armando that everything is ready for signing the contract and since he is flirting with Claudia Elena, he gets upset with her and acts in his usual rude way. Betty calls home to tell her parents that she is on her way and Hermes gives her the third degree because it’s so late. He asks if Armando is bringing her home and she says yes. After the contract is signed, Betty wants to talk to Armando, to ask if he needs her to stay, but again he’s trying to woo Claudia Elena and tells Betty to just go. Marcela calls Armando on his cellular and asks him why he isn’t home yet. He decides to play it safe and goes home.

In his car, Armando is moaning about how he had to let Claudia Elena get away, that Mario is right, that he can’t get involved with women from the fashion world, he needs to get involved with unknown women and starts asking himself where he could find such a woman… At that very moment he notices Betty walking on the sidewalk down this dark and desolate street. He stops his car and asks her why she’s there by herself and she tells him that she was trying to catch a cab and thought that she’d have better luck if she walked down to a main road. He offers her a ride, which she doesn’t want to accept, but he insists and she agrees.

When they get to Betty’s house, Armando tells her that he needs her help to be able to make things work. Hermes scolds Betty for getting home so late. Marcela questions Armando about his latest conquest, and he answers that it is Betty, and Marcela can’t help but laugh since she was asking him about “another woman” not Betty. Oh, Marcelita, reality bites!! Betty writes in her diary about Armando, that she is happy that he is confiding his innermost thoughts to her, that he stands up for her against everyone, and that he needs her because of work, but she needs him because she loves him.

The next day, Hermes tells Julia and Betty that he’s on the verge of unemployment because his company went bankrupt. This is of great concern to Betty and she tells Hermes that she’s getting a raise at work and will be able to take over the expenses at home. She also remembers, to herself, about the RagTela guy’s comments. Nico asks Betty to help him find a job at EcoModa. Miguel calls Betty to ask her out to lunch. Patricia complains to Marcela about her financial woes. Armando asks Mario to be attentive with Patricia, to make sure that she doesn’t start spying for Daniel.Episodes 43 and 44

Betty goes with Armando to all the banks to register her signature as an authorized EcoModa signature, in addition to Armando and Mario. Betty tells Armando that she has a person in mind for Olarte’s job, her friend who is an economist, and he tells her that he can’t decide just yet, to just give him his résumé and he’ll let her know later. The cuartel ask Betty about the previous night’s cocktail party, and they want to know if he noticed how nice she looked, but she tells them he paid no attention to her. Betty tells them that she has other plans for lunch and can’t go with them. They ask her with whom, but Betty says nothing. Armando tells Marcela and Hugo that he wants Claudia Elena to model in the next launching, which makes Marcela jealous, since Armando mentioned that he’d seen her at the cocktail party the night before.

Patricia sees when Miguel picks Betty up to go to lunch. Armando tells Marcela that he, Mario, and Marcela will travel to the United States and that Betty will be left in charge while they’re away. Hugo and Marcela are completely opposed to this idea. Miguel asks Betty if anyone knows that she’s going out to lunch with him and she says no, but that she also wants to know why he is being so mysterious. He tells her that since she has so much influence with Armando, he needs her help to get him to buy the rest of the supplies from RagTela, and that if this happens she’ll get a commission of up to $80,000. She tells him that this is unethical, that she doesn’t agree, and that she’s not going to risk her job for it. Miguel tells her to think about it because he could give her a 10% discount on the sale. Betty leaves the restaurant very preoccupied.

Berta and Sofia subject Betty to an interrogation about her lunch date, and Betty is still tight-lipped, and they ask her if she had lunch with Nico, her platonic love, because they are eager to meet him. Sofia asks Betty if they’ve given her a pay raise now that she’s assistant to the President, and when Betty says they haven’t, Sofia tells her to talk to Armando. Betty says she wouldn’t dare. Julia calls Betty and tells her that her dad’s situation is pretty bad at work.

Armando, Mario, and Betty are meeting to figure out the expenses for the new launching, and they’re cutting costs. They ask Betty for copies of the supply samples and Betty adds RagTela’s proposal to the pile, which takes Armando by surprise. She tells him that Miguel gave her the samples and offered them a 10% discount. Armando asks to cut corners even more, but his friend asks him not to do it because the cheaper materials are really low quality. But Armando only wants to lower costs so he can meet his goals and doesn’t listen to Mario’s advice. Betty has to do an analysis of the proposed expenses and has to select the best provider. She mentions San Remo and RagTela and reminds them about Miguel’s offer of a discount, so Armando tells her to contact RagTela to negotiate the sale.

Daniel meets with Patricia at her apartment, where she tells him that Armando went to all the banks with Betty, and tells him that while Armando is out of town on business, Betty is going to be at the helm of EcoModa. And also tells him that she saw Betty with Miguel, adding that this was very suspicious. Daniel tells Patricia that he doesn’t care about Betty’s whereabouts, he wants to know what Armando is up to. But Patricia has planted the seed of doubt, so Daniel talks with Olarte to ask about who is well known for offering bribes and asks him to find out if Beatriz is being paid under the table by RagTela. Daniel and Patricia go to bed, after which he just leaves her and she feels used.

Betty gets home and is very worried to find her dad drunk and sad, since he is definitely going to be laid off. Betty tells Nico about not being able to get him a job at EcoModa and also to please not show up there because she told her friends that she was in love with him. He is surprised to hear this and asks her when this happened. Betty tells him not to be an idiot, that she is not in love with him, she’s just using him as an excuse since her co-workers are either married or dating. And that he also can’t show up because she’s described him to them as tall, strong, a real Casanova, with money and power. Betty tells Nico about the bribe offer, which she says would be her salvation. She also tells him that RagTela is offering the best prices, that there’s nothing underhanded about their offer. Nico advises her against taking the bribe. Mario offers to give Aura María a ride home, but they end up at a hotel where they sleep together. Betty confides in her diary that she could accept the bribe without feeling guilty because she knows her family needs the money, but she also feels that doing this would be to betray Armando, but on the other hand she needs to help her dad and it hurts her to see him suffer. So she has to decide between being loyal to her boss or helping her father. She decides to help her dad. She dreams with Armando and is about to kiss him when her mother wakes her from her dream.

Armando asks Betty to get him in touch with RagTela so they can close the deal. Olarte visits Miguel and gets him to talk about the dealings with EcoModa. Freddy gets upset when he finds out that Aura María never made it home the night before and especially when he realizes that she spent the night with Mario Calderón. Armando asks Mario about why he is late getting to work and Mario tells him about his evening with the receptionist. And, he tells Armando that maybe he should go out with Betty, but they both decide this isn’t even possible because Betty is so ugly.

Mario, Armando, and Betty meet with RagTela to close the deal, and Diana tells Armando that she’s pleased that they’ve decided to buy everything from them. He says that they should thank Betty since she’s the one that included them in the group of bids. Betty is obviously uncomfortable, but Miguel and Diana thank her for her help.

Armando is worried that the new line won’t be a success and he tells Mario that they need to establish a phantom company with which to do all their business dealings, and which could put a lien on them prior to the banks doing so. And, that since this would entail a complete take over of EcoModa, they need to have someone running the company who is completely and absolutely loyal. Armando immediately thinks of Betty. Miguel calls Betty and tells her that the business deal will net her $87,000 and that he needs to find out how he can get the money to her. She tells him that she’ll call him later. Olarte calls Miguel from Daniel’s office and tapes the conversation, during which Miguel tells him that thanks to Betty the deal with EcoModa came through and that he’s going to give Betty a commission for her assistance.

Betty goes to lunch with el cuartel and they are talking about how Aura María has landed a rich boyfriend, and they say that it’s obvious that she will be the only one who will be able to climb out of poverty. Aura María tells them that the only one will actually be Betty, since she’s the one with the degrees, with the boss who thinks she walks on water. Sofía tells them that Betty has a boss that won’t even give her a pay raise and that Betty will never have that kind of money, to which Betty responds… who knows what could happen? Betty remembers her conversation with Miguel and starts to dream about what she would do if she had a lot of money (if I were a rich gal…).

Betty is still at el Corrientazo with el cuartel and is dreaming about what she’ll do with the money from the RagTela deal. We see her arriving at EcoModa in a chauffeur (Freddy) driven Mercedes Benz. She is dressed in a Chanel-type outfit in black and white, with a ridiculous hat and huge Bette Davis-like sunglasses. She invites the cuartel to lunch at the club and they all pile into the Mercedes like in some old movie where you could just fit tons of people into a car with no problem. They have lunch at the club, and are joined by Armando and Mario, who are fawning all over Betty. After lunch, Armando and Betty take a stroll through the club’s grounds, and in the distance we see the cuartel and Mario actually FROLICKING, with Mario doing a cartwheel! Betty introduces her parents and Nico to Armando, telling Armando that Nico and Hermes run a business that does the accounting for large corporations. Julia is wearing a tennis outfit, while Nico and Hermes are dressed to the nines in golf outfits. Armando tells Betty that he’d like to take her out to dinner that evening, but as usual, she wakes up and realizes it’s all ONLY A DREAM! (especially the part when Marcela and Hugo are actually civil to her).

Betty gets a call from Miguel, who tells her that the shipment with the supplies is on its way and that he still needs to know how to get the money to her. Betty tells him that they’ll talk in 10 minutes. She then calls her dad and tells him what’s going on with RagTela. Her father is furious that she’d even consider taking a bribe to help him. Betty tells him that this is exactly what she needed to hear from him, and that she’s at peace and will not take the bribe.

Daniel gets to EcoModa ready to rumble with Armando to give him the news about the bribe. Armando is about to talk to Armando when Betty asks if they can talk in private about something very urgent. She tells him about RagTela’s bribe. Marcela walks in on them and starts asking Armando why he’s making Daniel wait, and Armando tells Marcela about the bribe offer. Daniel joins them (Betty is not there at this time) and plays the tape that Olarte made of his conversation with Miguel. Betty is about to walk back into the room and overhears the tape. Marcela tells Daniel that they already know about the bribe from Beatriz. Armando argues with Daniel about the tape, and asks why he’s so intent on getting Betty in trouble. He defends her and reminds Daniel that Olarte DID accept bribes all the time. Marcela and Daniel leave the room obviously annoyed with Armando’s reaction and defense of Beatriz.

Armando goes back to his office and finds Betty who tells him that she overheard the argument and feels terrible and wants to resign. Armando gets upset with her and tells her that she did the right thing by letting him know ahead of time about the bribe and that she can’t resign just when he needs her the most, that everything is okay. Betty tells him that she should have told him about it as soon as she knew of the bribe and that she actually was quite tempted to accept the bribe because of the problems at home. That she was about to betray him and her family, and that this is why she needs to resign. Armando tells her that he trusts her implicitly and that she is a human being that has weak moments like everyone else. That he’s never expected her to be a perfect woman, but just a human being who faces her weaknesses and is able to make the right decision. And that because of this he cannot accept her resignation. He hugs her and helps her dry her tears. Daniel tells Marcela that Armando stands up for Betty more than he does for Marcela herself. And that if things go on this way, Betty is going to end up as President of EcoModa (ding, ding, ding, ding — and Daniel wins the GRAND PRIZE!). Mario tells Armando that Betty may be as ugly as hell, but that she’s an exceptional woman for having fessed up about the bribe and for having refused to be bribed. Armando tells him that Betty’s behaviour has shown him that she is the right person to run the business they have to establish to save EcoModa.

Marcela tells Armando how upset she is that he doesn’t count on her when he’s making business decisions, but he relies on “la fea” for everything. Armando calls Diana at RagTela and scolds her for having tried to bribe Betty. He demands that they still give EcoModa the 5% rebate that was part of the bribe, making the discount 15%. Mario tells Armando that Betty is definitely a woman in love because to not only have rejected the bribe and missed the opportunity to have all that money, but also have confessed that she had been bribed, is not only a sign of loyalty but of love. Armando tells Mario that she has principles, which both of them lost long ago, and also tells Mario that Betty didn’t take the bribe even though her family is going through financial straits. Armando goes to Betty’s office and asks her why she hadn’t reminded him to give her a salary increase. She tells him that she felt bad about reminding him. He tells her that she’s getting a raise, which makes her very happy. He then puts his hands on her shoulders and thanks her for all her help and tells her how important she is to him. The door to Betty’s office opens and Mario arrives with Catalina.

Catalina greets Betty very affectionately. They leave Betty’s office, and when they close the door Mario and Armando make some snide remark about Betty (hello, what’s WRONG with Armando!?), and Catalina tells them not to mock Betty. Armando tells Cata that they’ve called her to hire her to do the public relations for the first launch under his presidency and they go to Hugo’s lair to look at the designs. Mario tries his best to flirt with Cata, who pretty much blows him off and tells him that after two divorces she’s had enough with men, although she tells him that she’s dating someone else. Hugo greets Catalina in his usually effusive manner and is overjoyed to hear that they’ll be working together.

Armando asks Betty to establish a new company, which will be in her name only. She is taken completely by surprise and thinks that Armando is pulling her leg. He tells her that he needs this phantom company to be able to deal with any problems that come up. The capital for the company will be $160 million pesos (I think this converts to $80,000, but I’m not sure). Marcela complains to Margarita and Roberto about Armando’s behaviour with Betty. Roberto stands up for Betty, saying that she’s a good person. Marcela keeps complaining, saying that if things keep going the way they are, she wouldn’t be surprised (ha, ha, ha!) if Betty ended up running the company as President, since she has gone up in the company by leaps and bounds. Margarita says that only a Mendoza or a Valencia can fill the presidency and that “that woman” could only become President if she took or bought the company from them (no, she’s going to be GIVEN the company!). Mario confirms with Armando that the capital for the new company is the bribe money from RagTela. Armando tells him that he doesn’t want Betty to know where the money is coming from. Armando finally convinces Betty to set up the new company and tells her that she cannot mention it to her family, to his family, or to Marcela and Daniel. He also gives her free rein to run the business (investments) as she sees fit.

Catalina wants to get detailed descriptions of Hugo’s designs to be able to draft press releases. Armando asks her to please not make any mention of the fabric being used for the designs because they are of lower quality than usual. Catalina asks Armando to get Betty out of her cave-like office. Armando tells Gutierrez that he needs to set up Olarte’s old office for Betty’s use. However, Betty asks Armando to let her stay in her office because she wants to be near him (no kidding!), if he doesn’t mind. Armando tells her that he doesn’t mind at all and that if that’s what she wants, he’d rather have her near because he needs her, which makes Betty very happy. When Betty gets home, she tells her parents about her pay raise. Later in her bedroom, she tells Nico about the new company.

Betty hires Nico to help her run the new company, and he gladly accepts. Betty tells him that her boss trusts her completely and talks about Armando in a very loving way. Nico tells Betty that it’s obvious that the new company’s capital is coming from the bribe money and to be careful of her boss. He also notices that Betty is obviously in love with Armando. Patricia is harping on Mario about moving in together. Mario asks her for a month to think about it, which he does to keep Patricia happy – he needs to keep her away from Daniel, although he has no intention of moving in with her.

A few days later at EcoModa…

It’s the day of the launch and Armando is his usual out-of-control self, screaming at everyone, and getting even more upset because Betty is nowhere to be found. He asks everyone he sees whether they know Betty’s whereabouts, but no one does. He is very nervous because this is his first launch as President and he wants to make sure that everything goes well. Armando tells Mario that he wants the models to wear the clothes that were made with the RagTela fabrics because he doesn’t want to lie to the buyers (Armandito is being, gulp, HONEST?). So, they have to make sure the models don’t wear the one-of-a-kind outfits made by Hugo, but the clothes made in the production line.

In the meantime, Betty and Nico are on their way to the Chamber of Commerce to register the new company, called TerraModa, and also go to the Banco Montreal, where Betty meets with her old boss, and open an account for TerraModa. Betty arrives at EcoModa and everyone warns her that Armando is looking for her and is fit to be tied. When she goes into Armando’s office he scolds her for being late but she answers back that he’d given her permission to be late since she had to take care of setting up TerraModa. Armando calms down and asks Betty to please help him to make sure everything is set for the launching.

The models are in the show room and Freddy is doing his “I’m an executive” act, and starts to model in his typically Freddy Stewart Contreras way. Betty, Sofía, and Berta are watching him and are amused by his antics. However, Hugo, Armando, Mario and Cata’s arrival puts a damper on Freddy’s performance. Betty asks Armando for permission to start investing TerraModa’s capital and he tells her to do with it as she sees fit. Gutierrez asks Armando about what is expected of him while Armando, Mario, and Marcela are out of town for two weeks – obviously he thinks he’s going to be in charge – but Armando tells him that Betty’s the only one he will let fill in while he’s not there.

Armando is very upset and has an argument with Hugo. Marcela asks Cata to help Armando relax and they go to his office where Cata gives him a massage. Since Betty can’t see what they’re doing, only what Armando is saying, she thinks the worst and thinks that there’s something going on between Armando and Cata. When she leaves her office she realizes that it’s only Cata giving Armando a massage. Inesita shows Hugo the designs that the models are going to wear and when he realizes that these are the clothes made with the inferior fabrics, he says that he won’t let the show go on. The cuartel tells Betty that they want to go out to celebrate her new position and salary increase, as well as the fact that she’ll be running EcoModa during Armando’s absence. Armando asks Betty to stay until the fashion show is over.

Hugo tells the models that there will not be a show, and Marcela asks him why. He tells her about the fabrics and they call Armando, with whom they have an argument. Armando orders Hugo to begin the fashion show, telling him that he’s the President of EcoModa and he gives the orders – they almost come to blows over this. Hugo refuses to go out on the catwalk and be associated with the inferior quality fabrics. Inesita tells Armando that it would be a mistake to go ahead with the fashion show without Hugo, and Armando’s response is to yell at her and order her to get the models ready. Marcela asks Hugo to please participate, and after much pleading she convinces him. Back in his office, Armando is a nervous wreck and Betty cheers him up – she daydreams that she’s able to hug him and tell him how she’s always going to back him up, and how much she loves him, and he tells her that her hug makes everything better, and thanks her for her support… Marcela’s knock on the door puts an end to the dream.

The fashion show finally takes place. The cuartel sneaks in to watch, but Marcela sees them and shoos them away. They sneak into Armando’s office and watch from there. Roberto is not very happy because he can tell that the fabrics are not up to his standards. The cuartel goes down to the reception area to wait for Betty and Inesita so they can go out to celebrate Betty’s new job, raise, and upcoming two weeks at the helm of EcoModa. After the fashion show, a very important French buyer asks Catalina to see the designs up close, and when he feels the fabrics, he tells her that they’ll have a very hard time selling the collection because of the poor quality of the fabrics.

Marcela tells Armando that he must apologize to Hugo for the way he behaved before the fashion show. Armando refuses and says that Hugo had to do his job, and that if Hugo wants to quit, that’s fine with him – that there are plenty of good designers out there to pick from. He keeps attacking Hugo, who stands by his actions. Hugo tells Armando that he is going to go to the press and will tell them what happened. Marcela is so upset at Armando that she also quits and tells him to run EcoModa however he pleases. The cuartel is still waiting for Betty and Inesita, when they see a very handsome gentleman arrive. They all start flirting with him and he very kindly tells them how nice they all look. They’re just overwhelmed by this guy! However, at that very moment, the elevator opens and Hugo exits to burst their bubble – this hunk of a man is none other than Rolando, Hugo’s “checito su merced.”

Catalina tells Armando about the French buyer’s comments and tells him how hard it’s going to be to be able to sell the new collection. She also advises him that this is not the time to be on Hugo’s bad side because he’s going to need him. Betty asks her dad for permission to go out with her friends, explaining that she won’t be able to do it afterwards because she’ll be running EcoModa in Armando’s absence. Roberto goes to Armando to ask him about his poor judgment with the fabrics, telling him that this is very risky behaviour. But, he tells him that he is confident that things will turn out okay and that he’s leaving for London and won’t be back until September’s Board of Directors meeting and of course Armando’s wedding to Marcela. Armando apologizes to Inesita for yelling at her.

The cuartel tells Inesita and Betty about Hugo’s beau. Freddy realizes that the cuartel is going out to party and wants to go with them, but they don’t let him. Catalina talks to Mario and Armando and convinces Armando to try to mend fences with Hugo, telling him that Hugo is a great designer and he needs him on his side, that this is not the time to have Hugo going to the press. She also advises him to make up with Marcela because she’s very good at what she does. Armando goes off to find Hugo since he’ll need to get things straightened out before he leaves on his trip. Marcela’s sister María Beatriz tells Armando where he can find Hugo and he leaves. Betty and the cuartel get to the bar where they’re going to be celebrating. Betty says that she has to go make a phone call and her friends start to kid her that she must be calling Nico. She says that she has to call her dad to let him know where she is. She says that she doesn’t bother Nico, who has a lot of dates already. Nico is actually out with the neighborhood crew, who asked him to join them at a bar just to take advantage of him and have him pick up the tab. Betty reaches her dad to let him know where she is and give him the phone number of the bar, but ends up having to give him the address of the place.

The cuartel starts toasting Betty and especially how this is going to make Patricia feel. Armando gets to the place where Hugo is hanging out, which just so happens to be a gay bar. Armandito has to deal with men who are hitting on him, and even worse he runs into Miguel from RagTela, and is surprised to find out he’s gay (wonder what Miguel thinks about seeing Armando there!). Armando is getting just a tad nervous to be “surrounded” and wants to get out of there ASAP, but at that very moment he sees Hugo arrive. Armando tells Hugo that they need to talk, that they need to clear things up, because Armando is leaving the next day and that they just can’t leave things like that because Armando needs Hugo. To the unknowing ear, this exchange sounds like a lover’s quarrel and Armando has to actually chase Hugo down to the men’s room to make him listen to him. In the meantime, the cuartel is pretty much getting wasted.

Armando chases Hugo all over the bar and finally gets him to listen to him. El cuartel is drunk and Sandra, Mariana and Aura María start dancing, and force Berta, Sofía, and Inés to join them. Betty, who’s very drunk by now stays put, but the cuartel finally makes her stand up and dance. Betty thinks that she’s looking sexy with her dancing, unfortunately, she’s not! The cuartel finds out that el Cheque and Jenny are on the dance floor as well and Sofía starts yelling at him, saying that he’s out there spending the money he should be giving to his children. Jenny and el Cheque leave. The cuartel tells Sofía to forget about el Cheque and find herself another man. The cuartel starts flirting with a table of men, who ask Mariana, Sandra, and Aura María to dance, and Berta gets up and starts dancing by herself. Sofía goes off to the bathroom crying, leaving Inesita and Betty by themselves. Inesita, noticing her friends’ highly intoxicated state, asks Betty to get everyone together so they can go home.

Armando, after talking and talking to Hugo is finally able to convince him to stay at EcoModa, but has to agree to a bet that if the new collection fails he’ll have to dress up in a drag queen outfit and go out in public to a party with Hugo. If Hugo loses the bet, he’ll have to keep using the poor quality materials. They hug and the crowd applauds because they’ve “made up”!

The cuartel, totally and completely bombed, goes to the bathroom where they find Sofía crying. Inesita is worried about her friends and has called Freddy to help her. Betty goes to the bathroom and is feeling quite dizzy, splashes some cold water on her face, and faints since she’s not used to drinking. Freddy arrives and carries Betty out of the bar. Betty opens her eyes and says “don Armando” to which Freddy answers that she’s delirious. Betty is dreaming that Armando is carrying her off and she almost faints again and wakes up as she hears her father yelling. Don Hermes is furious that Betty is in such a state and has had to be carried out of the bar. Betty denies that she’s drunk. Betty asks her mother how they ended up at the bar (in pajamas!), since they knew that she had a ride to get home. The cuartel and Freddy can’t help but laugh at the whole situation of Hermes going to pick up Betty. Betty gets home and her dad keeps at her. Finally, she’s in her room alone and starts writing in her diary about how she’s so in love with Armando and doesn’t know how she’ll be able to handle being apart from him for two weeks.

The next morning, on her way to EcoModa…

Betty tells Nico about her night out with the girls and that this was the first time she’d ever been drunk and how her parents showed up in pajamas! The cuartel has a major hangover and Freddy makes them a special potion to make them feel better. They all ask Betty about her “Don Armando” comment after she fainted. Armando gets to EcoModa and talks to Betty because he wants to make sure that Betty is ready and able to be at the helm of EcoModa while he’s away. Betty assures him that she is.

Armando tells everyone that he, Marcela, and Mario will be traveling to the USA and that Betty will run EcoModa in their absence. Hugo starts making fun of Betty, and Marcela joins in by laughing at Hugo’s behavior. Patricia asks for leave because she doesn’t want to be at EcoModa while Betty is running it. Marcela tells Armando that she’s going to take advantage of the trip to the US to buy stuff for their wedding, but he tells her that he doesn’t have time to worry about the details for the wedding and that he trusts her to take care of everything. Betty is sad to hear that the plans for the wedding are going ahead. Armando tells Betty that he’s leaving and that he’ll be in touch with her so she can update him about the goings on at EcoModa. During this conversation Betty has one of her daydreams and imagines that Armando hugs her and tells her that he doesn’t know how he’ll be able to spend so many days away from her. They’re about to kiss when the phone rings and Armando snaps her out of her daydream. He leaves without even saying goodbye.

Patricia tells Marcela that after the trip, she and Mario are going to move in together since he told her that when he comes back they’ll settle their relationship. Aura María goes to a hotel with Mario before he leaves on his trip and asks him to formalize their relationship. He tells her that he doesn’t plan to “settle” with anyone. The cuartel is hanging around the lobby after lunch and this makes them late coming back to their desks. Patricia makes a big deal out of their being late and tells Gutierrez about it so he will take action against them. The cuartel runs to Betty to ask for her help, since she’s “boss” now. Betty is in her office, staring at Armando’s screensaver on her PC (ha, ha, ha – how many people who are NOT Betty have JEArmando screensavers on their PCs?). Gutierrez also goes to Betty’s office to punish el cuartel, but Betty tells him that they arrived early from lunch but that she gave them permission to hang around the lobby afterwards. Gutierrez is all mad because he can’t do anything about the situation.

Days later…

Sofía holds on to Patricia’s paycheck to teach her a lesson since Patty is always saying that she doesn’t need to work to live. Patty complains to Gutierrez, who tells her that he can’t do anything about it, that she must go talk to Betty. Patty goes to Betty, who is preoccupied waiting for the sales reports and pays her no mind. Armando calls Betty and she tells him to come home because of the problems with the sales reports. Hugo asks Sofia to draw up the contracts for the “fitting” models and he has selected some models who charge very high hourly fees. Sofia asks for Betty’s approval, since Armando said that he didn’t want such expensive models hired. Betty tells Sofia to tell Hugo that Armando’s orders are the law. Sofia tells Hugo, who goes to Betty’s office with the models and Betty reiterates that they can’t be hired. Hugo resigns, again, and he and the models make fun of Betty. Patricia also makes fun of Betty, telling her that she’s “queen for one more day” and that her horse-drawn carriage is going to turn into a pumpkin pulled by mice.

That evening, at Betty’s house.

Nicolas tells Betty that they’ve made quite a bit of profit in the stock market and that they’ve increased the seed capital for TerraModa. Hermes asks Betty why she and Nicolas are always on the Internet, and she tells him that they’ve been playing the stock market with Armando’s money, and that both of them are getting paid for it.

The next day at EcoModa…

Yesterday’s models are waiting outside EcoModa and when they see Betty they mock her again. A bank manager is looking for Armando, and Patty takes the opportunity to flirt with him and tell him that she’s Armando’s assistant and that in his absence she’s running the company, and asks Sofia and Berta to get them some coffee and bring it to the board room. At that very moment, Betty arrives and the bank manager recognizes her and asks if they can talk. Betty asks Patricia to get them some coffee (!) and to also get her the list of phone calls to return, which makes Patricia absolutely furious. And, Betty adds insult to injury by asking Sofia if Patty’s pay situation has been fixed, since she’s the President’s beloved secretary. Betty makes fun of Patricia, telling her that as long as Armando is away she’s the boss and that the horse-drawn carriage hasn’t changed back to a pumpkin and mice, which makes Patricia even madder. Betty straightens things out with the bank manager.

Armando and Mario come back to EcoModa. Betty has placed some flowers and other things in Armando’s office, as a way to welcome him, but Armando hates them and tells her to get rid of them. She tells him about all the problems with the new collection. Armando asks Betty for a loan from TerraModa, to be ready to protect themselves from the banks. Beatriz calls Nicolas to ask him to bring her TerraModa’s check book.

Patty complains to Armando about the way that Betty treated her, especially treating her as if she were Betty’s secretary, and also that she still hasn’t been paid. Armando gets mad at Patricia for complaining to him and tells her that it was her duty to work with Betty and support her. Patricia complains that the only thing that she didn’t do was to fix her hair every morning, and Betty (who’s in on the conversation) tells her that all she needed was Patricia’s support since she couldn’t do everything by herself. And, that she also told Patricia that if she couldn’t do it, the other secretaries were available to help. Patricia keeps complaining, and Betty, who’s standing where Mario and Armando can’t see her, starts making faces at Patricia, pulling at her eyes, flattening her nose, and sticks her tongue out at Patricia.

Armando talks to Hugo to resolve the problem of his resignation, and Hugo tells him that he will come back when Betty is no longer running the business. Nicolas comes to EcoModa to give Betty the checkbook and almost faints when he sees Patricia walking out.

The cuartel is at lunch at El Corrientazo, and are hatching a plan to get back at Patricia. Berta says that she’s going to find a dress just like Patricia’s because Patricia is always making fun of how she dresses. They also talk about how close Patricia is to getting Mario to move in with her, which drives Aura Maria up the wall. Aura Maria also decides to do something to get back at Patricia. Armando asks Betty to sign the check for TerraModa’s loan to EcoModa. Armando tells Mario that the loan is to prevent any problems with the banks and to allow TerraModa to take over EcoModa before the banks do.

Aura Maria goes to Mario’s office and starts necking with him so that Patricia will catch them in the act. This results in Mario firing Aura Maria. She starts crying and the cuartel scolds her for behaving in such a way. Patricia is very upset and goes to ask for her check again since she plans to resign. Hugo comforts Patricia when she tells him the story about Mario and Aura Maria. Gutierrez calls Aura Maria to his office and tells her that she’s fired, but takes advantage of the situation to tell her that they should go out for a drink to see if he can do something to rectify her firing. Armando also scolds Mario for the problem with Aura Maria. Betty tells Aura Maria that she’s going to talk to Armando about her to see if she can fix things. Daniel asks Gutierrez if Patricia has handed in her letter of resignation, since he asked her to resign because she is not going along with his demands to have sex with him and also spy for him. Gutierrez tells Daniel about the problem between Aura Maria and Patricia.

Armando tells Mario to apologize to Patricia since they have to prevent at all costs that Patricia will spy for Daniel. Betty asks Armando to help Aura Maria, and tells him that by law Aura Maria can sue them for unjustified termination. Armando asks Betty if Aura Maria has threatened with a suit, but Betty tells him that she just wanted him to know what could happen. Gutierrez asks Armando what’s going to happen with Aura Maria and Armando tells him that all she’s going to receive is a verbal admonishment. But Gutierrez relays the message as saying that it is up to him to decide what will happen with Aura Maria’s future and that they’ll need to get together that evening to discuss it.

Hugo and the fitting models go to Armando’s office to arrange the contracts, but he tells them that he can only hire two of them. Armando asks Betty to ask Sofia to draw up the contracts and to place a Help Wanted ad in the paper for another one. Hugo stops Betty as she’s leaving Presidencia and makes one of his world-famous rude jokes. Freddy and el cuartel don’t want to let Aura Maria go out alone with Gutierrez, but he tells her that it’s just the two of them or she’s fired. Aura Maria tells Betty that Claudia Bosch is waiting to see Armando in the lobby, and also to let her know about her upcoming meeting with Gutierrez. Betty tells Armando about Claudia’s arrival and asks him about his final decision regarding Aura Maria, to which he responds that all she’s going to get is a verbal admonishment. Betty tells Freddy about Armando’s decision and asks him to tell Claudia to come up to Armando’s office.

Mario helps Armando set up his office for the conquest, with music, vintage wine, and candles. Armando asks Betty to leave, but she tells him that she’s got a few things to finish and can’t go home yet. He tells her that she has to stay in her office until he tells her that the coast is clear. Betty can hear what Armando and Claudia are talking about and is saddened to hear that they’re apparently going to spend the night together.

Freddy calls Berta at home to ask for Gutierrez’ phone number since he wants to protect Aura Maria. Meanwhile, Aura Maria is at a disco with Gutierrez who’s on the prowl. Patricia calls her dad to tell him her financial woes, including that she’s out of a job. Betty calls home to tell them that she’s working late. Claudia asks Armando if he’s sure about getting married, and he tells her that marriage is not that big a deal, it’s just another event in his life. Mario goes to Patricia’s apartment to apologize about what happened at the office and to make up with her. Patricia takes advantage of the situation and puts conditions on a reconciliation, including getting married and that he has to fire Aura Maria. Mario tells her that he can’t do either of those things and that they can get back together but with no strings attached. Aura Maria wants to go home after talking to Gutierrez but he asks her to stay so they can dance, and later go to a quieter place. Just then, Gutierrez’ cellular phone rings and it is his wife, so he has to go to the bathroom to talk. Aura Maria takes the opportunity to call Freddy but they can’t hear each other well because of the noise from the music. However, Freddy is able to at least find out where she is.

Betty gets all her work done, is exhausted and wants to go home, but when she goes to open her door, she realizes that Armando and Claudia are still there. She’s stuck. Armando and Claudia start necking and when things get a little bit “hot,” she tells him that she doesn’t want to do anything in the office and invites him to her apartment. Betty doesn’t know that they’ve left because Armando leaves the lights and music on. Gutierrez is dancing with Aura Maria when his wife catches him trying to kiss her. She grabbed him by the ear and dragged him home! He leaves Aura Maria to pay the bill, and Freddy, who has just arrived to “rescue her,” has to leave his watch behind to secure payment. Betty calls home again to say that Armando asked several employees to work late so Hermes can’t argue with her. Betty is very sad in her office, thinking that the love of her life is off with someone else. Freddy tells Aura Maria about Armando’s decision regarding her firing, and also that he’s the one that called Gutierrez’ wife.

Patricia goes to Daniel’s apartment to beg him not to make her resign because she needs the money. He again sets down the law about wanting her for sex and information. He then stands up and tells her to undress that he’ll wait for her in his bedroom, she acts as if she’s going to leave, but decides to go ahead and do it. Freddy takes Aura Maria home and she thanks him with a kiss on the lips, which is like heaven to Freddy. After having sex with Patricia, Daniel calls a taxi and tells her to go, tells her not to forget to close the door behind her, and goes to sleep.

The next day at EcoModa:

Berta is worried that Gutierrez is going to fire her for giving out his home phone number. Armando goes to his office and is upset to see that the lights are on, the music is on, the wine glasses, and mess he left behind is still there. He opens the door to Betty’s office and finds her asleep at the keyboard. He throws the cork from the bottle at her to wake her up and starts yelling at her for being asleep at the office. He asks her why his office is a mess and why she’s sleeping at work, asking her if she had a bad night or is sick. She tells him that she had a terrible night because she was up until 3 am waiting for him to tell her that it was okay to go home, and fell asleep, but that she woke up at 6 am and since she still could hear the music she fell asleep again. Armando is crushed to hear what he did and asks her if she spent the whole night in her office. Betty said that all she did was follow his instructions to stay in her office until he told her that it was okay to come out. She also tells him that she heard and saw nothing. He tells her that he didn’t do anything, that he left at 2 am and forgot to let her know. Betty gives him the report she’d prepared the night before and calls a cleaning lady to pick up Armando’s office. Armando feels guilty for what he did to Betty, apologizes to her, and tells her to go home to rest.

Mario goes to Armando’s office and when he notices the mess asks him how he could be so dumb to leave the evidence in full display. He also asks him for all the details about his evening. Betty listens in on the conversation, during which Armando tells Mario that the women he’s been with recently, including Marcela, just don’t do anything for him. That he sees them and desires them, but then when he’s close to them he just doesn’t feel anything. That out of all the women in his life the best one is Marcela because she represents stability. Mario tells him that this must mean that he’s leaving the door open for a woman to come in and fill his life with love, but Armando tells him that he doesn’t even know what love is. This fills Betty with hope. Mario tells him that it is possible that this woman could still arrive and teach him about love, but that hopefully she’ll find him before he gets married, but Armando tells him that he’s too close to getting married and that the woman that he’s going to love will not arrive after all. Betty comes out of her office and tells Armando that she can clean his office, but Armando refuses to let her do it. He asks her again to go home to rest, and apologizes again. We then see Mario and Armando in the executive bathroom washing glasses and talking. It’s very funny, Mario washing, Armando drying…

Armando tells Mario that he did the worst thing he’s ever done to anyone by leaving Betty in her office all night. Mario tells him how he could behave as if Betty didn’t matter, that she’s St. Betty. Armando tells him that Betty is a wonderful woman, that he’s never met anyone like her, because she’s loyal, obedient, honest , and is the one person he trusts implicitly. When Betty gets home she runs into Nicolas and tells him about the loan from TerraModa.

Gutierrez comes to work looking like he’d run into a pack of wild cats, and calls Freddy and Berta to his office to ask them for their letter of resignation since they caused this problem for him at home. The cuartel goes to see Armando and ask him to help Freddy and Berta. Armando asks Gutierrez what happened, to which Gutierrez responds that his cat scratched him. Armando reminds him that he doesn’t have a cat. Gutierrez has no other choice than to let Berta and Freddy be. The cuartel thanks Armando for his help.

Patricia comes to the office and Armando and Mario are dismayed to find out that she’s back. Armando says that she’s like the Terminator, that you think she’s gone and comes back again and again. Patty says that Daniel asked her not to resign, which Armando doesn’t want to hear. Betty is in her room, writing in her diary, saying that she prays that Armando’s business plan works out, that she would feel guilty if he fails. She also says that she’s scared about the money he borrowed from TerraModa, and that she is glad to know that she is the most important person in Armando’s life, more than his own fiancée, but that for him she’s not a woman, that she spent a hellish night locked in her office and he didn’t even think about her, that he only sees her as an employee. She heard him say that he’s waiting for the woman of his dreams, but he doesn’t realize that she’s there, just a few feet away from his desk. That she doesn’t have the way to show him that she’s the woman he needs, and that he’ll never know it that only a miracle would make him realize how she feels, and she doesn’t believe in miracles anymore, and much less now that he’s so close to getting married.

Betty tells Nicolas that she’s going to ask Armando for permission to set up and office for TerraModa, because she wants her dad to do the books for the company. And, she also tells Nicolas that they need to have plenty of cash available in case Armando wants to ask for another loan. Armando is very worried because his business/sales strategy was a failure. When Betty gets to work he asks her for another loan and puts EcoModa up as collateral. Mario tells him that this means giving Betty complete control over EcoModa. Armando says that this is exactly what he’s doing and tells Betty that since sales were so bad and cash flow into the company was minimal, the banks are going to want to dismantle EcoModa. Betty tells him that she can hold off the banks until the next collection comes out, but Armando tells her that they need more time, so he needs for TerraModa to sue EcoModa so the banks won’t. Betty is completely against doing this because even though this would be legally correct, it’s unethical. Armando tells her that this is the only way he can pay back the companies debts, begs her not to abandon him, that he needs her help, and actually questions her loyalty to him!

Betty goes to her office to think about it and starts thinking about how Armando has always supported her, encouraged and motivated her, stood up for her with Marcela and Daniel, and believed in her. So she decides to help him and tells herself that she cannot leave him stranded. Betty tells Armando that she is completely loyal to him and that she will do whatever he needs her to do. He tells her to go ahead with the suit over EcoModa and thanks her for her assistance.

Marcela comes home from her trip to the US and goes in to see Armando and tell him that she’s already bought her wedding trousseau and fabric for her wedding dress. She says this in front of Mario and Betty, who doesn’t take the news very well. Marcela shows Hugo the fabric for her dress and asks Mariana for the sales reports, and is very concerned to see how badly it has gone. Hugo tells her that it was due to the poor quality fabrics they used. Marcela goes to the board room where she finds Armando, Mario, and Betty and asks them for an explanation. Marcela blames Armando for being so stubborn about using the poor quality fabrics and asks him how much money they’ve lost… She then aims her guns at Betty, who’s standing, to tell her since she must know them by heart. Betty says nothing. He tells Marcela to calm down, that EcoModa is sufficiently strong to handle this drawback, which is all it was. Armando asks Betty to please sit down… Marcela gives her one of those if looks could kill looks and tells Armando that for once she’d like to have a conversation in private, meaning without Betty around, since she’s not a stockholder. Armando tells Marcela that Betty is for all intents the Financial VP and that he needs her there. Marcela sarcastically gives Betty a hand and blames her for the financial disaster, but Armando stands up for her saying that Betty was just following orders. Betty says that she’d rather leave and go out to lunch and let them talk in private.

After some more arguing, Armando, Mario and Marcela decide that they have to launch a new collection as soon as possible. So they tell Hugo to get going, and Hugo reminds Armando, mockingly, about the fact that the fabrics must be top quality. Hugo has asked Inesita to find select the new fitting model from a group waiting in the lobby. Without realizing it, Inesita selects Jenny, Sofia’s husband’s mistress. The cuartel comes back from lunch and Freddy tells them that he’s seen a model tailor made for him, referring to Jenny, and Aura Maria is very jealous. Hugo reminds Armando about their bet and the fact that he has to dress up in drag. Mario tells Armando that it’s obvious they’re not going to meet their business goals and it’s time to come clean with the board. Armando tells him that he’s not going to hand the presidency and his head in a silver platter to Daniel. Sofia has a fit when she sees Jenny and starts asking for her not to be hired. The cuartel tries to calm her down, but she goes to Hugo’s atelier and tell shim that he can’t hire Jenny because she took her husband away from her. Hugo, just to be contrary, tells her that right that moment he was hiring Jenny. Sofia goes to Armando to tell her about her problem.

Armando asks Hugo not to hire Jenny, but Hugo just to spite Armando and Sofia hires her. Armando tells Sofia that he can’t do anything about Hugo’s decision, and Sofia goes off crying. Marcela didn’t want Jenny to be hired from the first moment she saw her, and when she finds out that Jenny is Sofia’s husband’s mistress she is even more against it. She tells Armando that they can’t do that to Sofia, but Armando tells her that he already tried to reason with Hugo and couldn’t. Armando asks Marcela not to tell her brother or his parents about the failure of the most recent collection, and Marcela doesn’t like it. Betty explains to Armando the consequences of the loan that TerraModa has given EcoModa and that she will have to register the business situation with the Chamber of Commerce. Marcela tells Sofia that Hugo won’t budge on hiring Jenny. Patty tells Marcela that Aura Maria took Mario away from her.

Betty tells Armando that she feels terrible for the problems at EcoModa and also that she feels it’s her fault that the collection failed since it was her economic analysis that led to buying the cheaper fabrics. Armando tells her that she shouldn’t feel bad because it was his decision since he accepted the conditions to be able to meet his goals, and he knew that she had told him that she didn’t know anything about the fashion business – that all the responsibility is his. Betty tells him that she’s there for him and will do everything she can to prevent having to have TerraModa take over EcoModa. Jenny calls Efrain (el Cheque, Sofia’s husband) to tell him that she’ll be working at EcoModa, but he asks her to leave immediately because Sofia is going to kill her. Sofia talks to Efrain as well and demands that he make Jenny leave EcoModa. Freddy arrives and asks if they already hired the new fitting model because she is a “remamita,” which infuriates Sofia, who slaps poor Freddy.

Armando tells Betty that TerraModa was established with a seed investment of $160 million pesos, but that she was able to lend EcoModa $200 million pesos – how did she accomplish that? She tells him that she invested the money in the stock market. Armando congratulates her but also asks her how come she always uses the pronoun “we” when talking about TerraModa. She explains that a friend from school, Nicolas Mora, is helping her out, but makes it clear that Nicolas is not aware of anything about why TerraModa was established, that he’s just an employee. Armando reminds her that no one can know the real reason behind TerraModa, only she, him, and Mario. Freddy tells Aura Maria that Sofia slapped him because he made a comment about the new fitting model, and Aura Maria tells him that Jenny is Sofia’s husband’s mistress. Efrain arrive to pick up Jenny, who is making every effort to drive Sofia up the wall. Inesita tells Sofia that it cannot be a coincidence that Jenny just happened to show up at EcoModa, that it has to be Jenny’s way to pay Sofia back for all the things she told her when they ran into Jenny and Efrain at the bar the night they all got drunk.

Betty gets home and tells Nicolas about how badly things are going at EcoModa, and also tells him Armando’s plans to protect EcoModa by having TerraModa take over it.

Armando arrives at Marcela’s apartment and asks her what will happen if she tells Daniel and his parents about the failed collection. He tells her that if she talks to them, he’ll back out of the marriage, and that if she helps him with the company he’ll “do her the favor” of marrying her… However, at the same time he approaches her and starts kissing her passionately and Marcela tells him that she will help him, but only if he promises that he won’t do anything crazy. Nicolas tells Betty that with the paper that Armando signed for the loan, he practically handed her EcoModa on a silver platter. Betty tells him that Armando did it to protect the company and that eventually TerraModa would put a lien on EcoModa to protect it from its other creditors. Nicolas tells her that if she’s going to participate in this set up, she has to be aware that it may be legal but not ethical. She tells him that she feels like she owes it to Armando to do this, and also makes him promise that he won’t say anything to anyone because she promised Armando she wouldn’t tell anyone either. And, that for the time being they won’t be able to set up a formal office, but that since Armando told her to run the company as she saw fit, she wants to hire her father to do the books for TerraModa.