Episode 1

The first episode begins at Armando and Betty’s (their “casita”) is a beautiful two-story condo - very, very nice in my opinion. We see a ball bouncing down the stairs and hear Armando talking to his daughter. Then we see Armando, who is wearing a birthday hat and blowing on a noisemaker. It looks like it’s the baby’s birthday. Betty meets them at the bottom of the stairs and they go to the dinning room, where the “eternal guests” are waiting: Don Hermes, Nicolás, and Doña Julia. Don Hermes, in fine form this evening as you’ll soon see, starts making comments about all the Pinzón attributes the baby has: looks, profile, intelligence, etc., etc. Betty has to remind him that the baby is also a Mendoza.

We then go to EcoModa, which has undergone a rather incredible redecorating job… The Cuartel (except Inesita) is in the showroom strutting their stuff, wearing Hugo’s designs while Freddy does the play by play. This was kind of a boring scene in my opinion, although I guess it’s how they decided to introduce el Cuartel, Freddy, Wilson, and Hugo to Univision’s uninitiated BLF virgins. Inesita comes out of Hugo’s studio to tell them to stop playing around… No sooner does she scold them that we see that Hugo is on his way to the showroom with his dog, a cute hairy mop of a thing called Bárbara Chesai, who apparently has stomach “issues”… Hugo, also true to form, almost has a stroke when he sees el Cuartel in his designs and sends everyone packing to change.

We now fly south to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where we meet again with our dear desgraciado, Dr. Dimples himself, Mario Calderón who is arriving at a luxurious hotel to attend a fashion event. He is greeted by the event’s hostess and while he does the “eye candy scouting” routine, he zeroes in on a beautiful woman wearing a gold pantsuit. As subtle as ever, he follows her until he does the bumping into her with a glass routine. She’s not taken with his charming ways and tells him to get out of her sight. But you all know Mario, he doesn’t give up that easily. He finally corners her outside in the balcony and she gives him an up-down look and invites him to her room. Marito can’t believe his luck!

We are back at EcoModa, where the elevator opens and the prince of darkness, as yummy as ever in my opinion, Daniel Valencia, comes out with some papers in hand. He asks Wilson (whose name he can’t quite recall) where everyone is. Wilson tells him that the executives went home already and the secretaries are at Hugo’s. Daniel goes to the showroom where he finds Freddy playing with a mannequin and then walks in on the Cuartel in the midsts of changing. He asks about Armando and Betty and is told that they went home for a family celebration. You know what Daniel is going to do, of course! He’s hot under the collar about the most recent EcoModa report and wants to talk to the Mendoza-Pinzóns about it.

Mario’s new friend, whose name is Gabriela Garza invites him up to her room! Our boy can’t believe his good fortune!! In the room, she asks him to strip down and he offers to do a striptease ala Full Monty, but all she wants is his clothes. She is impressed witht he fabric, the cut, and when he tells her that it only set him back about $500, she just can’t believe it. He explains that it’s from EcoModa, where he’s a minority stockholder. Gabriela runs out of the room to show the clothes to someone who’s still at the reception and leaves Mario in his lovely Hawaiian boxer shorts and black socks.

Back in Bogotá, the phone rings at Betty and Armando’s. It’s the doorman announcing that Daniel wants to come up. Betty and Armando do not want to be interrupted, least of all by Daniel, but the father-in-law from hell who thinks he runs Betty and Armando’s household, tells Julia to have him come up. Daniel comes in and is greeted in the foyer. He tells them that he has to talk to them urgently because he’s going out of town in the morning. He asks if they can talk in the study, that is if they have one, and Betty tells him that they do but she doesn’t think it’s big enough for him so she tells him to follow them into the living room. This is a rather tense conversation, lightened up by the fact that Armando is still in full party mode with the birthday hat firmly attached to his head. In the meantime, Nicolás scolds Don Hermes for putting his nose where he shouldn’t. Daniel, Mr. Broken Record, tells Betty (who’s gotten Daniel a drink) and Armando that he wants to sell EcoModa. They tell him no, but Daniel is adamant and suggests that they sell the 40% Valencia share and the minority share to a third party. He makes the mistake of mentioning Mario’s name and Betty furiously stands up and tells him not to do it. Daniel tells her to calm down and adds salt to the wound by telling her that he won’t mention “Mario Calderón’s” name in her presence again. Armando is also very upset and tells Daniel that he can’t just barge into his house and think that it is an extension of EcoModa, does he think Armando is some sort of clown? (Daniel’s look is like, well… that hat is a good start!). Armando tells him that he doesn’t care about his trip the next morning, he won’t consider the issue addressed unless Daniel shows up at EcoModa the next morning to discuss it. Daniel walks out of the living room, and Armando tells Betty that they need to relax. She tells him that she doesn’t want to hear Mario’s name mentioned in her presence in her house ever. Daniel stops by the dining room and counts the candles on the baby’s cake - her name is Camila - and makes a stupid joke about her apparently being stunted since there are nine candles on the cake and she looks too small to be nine years old. Armando tells him that they celebrate every month of her life because of all the joy she has brought them.

Back in tango-land, Calderón has been snooping around the mystery lady’s closet and found a rather minimal excuse for a baby doll. He goes out to the balcony and tries to figure out how he can get out of there, when he hears a knock on the door. He runs back to the balcony and we see Gabriela accompanied by a man, whom she introduces as her co-worker Kenneth. There are introductions all around, and Mario finds out that Gabriela and Kenneth work for Fashion Group, apparently a big deal in the world of fashion. They are looking to make investments in Latin America and it just so happens that they’re on their way to Colombia the next day and want Mario to set up a meeting with the folks at EcoModa. He, fresh as ever, says no problem, he’ll take care of it.

Finally, the grandparents and Nicolás leave. Betty and Armando are left alone with Camila… Armando asks Betty if after all this time she really hates Mario so much. She says it isn’t hatred, it’s just that the mere thought of him makes her sick to her stomach and brings back bad memories. Armando asks her to give him a kiss and after they kiss, she walks off to take the baby to bed. We then go to Camila’s bedroom and see Betty giving her a bottle. Armando walks in and turns on the baby mobiles to help Camila go to sleep. Apparently they’ve adopted as a term of endearment Hugo’s reference to the Munster family because they refer to each other as Dr. Monstro and Dra. Monstro! Armando and Betty walk arm in arm into their bedroom and decide to take advantage of Camila being asleep to take care of some “unfinished business.” Shirts start to be unbuttoned, Betty lies back in bed, Armando tells her he’s going to turn out the light because he is so shy, they get under the covers and are rather enjoying things when… the phone rings! Armando bolts up like he just got an electric shock and runs to get the phone (it’s his cell), not before walking over Camila’s doll and hurting his foot. Of course, the noise woke Camila up and Betty gets ready to comfort her, but not before asking Armando who could be calling - he tells her that it is “Ricardo Camacho.” Do I need to even tell you who’s on the other side of the line? Mario has identified himself as Armando’s ex-friend and asks him if he’s still with his “monstrete” (can you believe this guy?)… Armando looks kind of dazed by the whole suddenness of this. In the background we hear Betty say that she needs a bottle for the baby and Armando offers to get it - Mario makes a comment to the effect that it sounds that Armando is well trained. Mario gives Armando the rundown about Fashion Group and asks Armando how things are going at EcoModa. Armando, in the kitchen preparing the bottle, reacts by pouring water down the wrong way - since EcoModa isn’t doing quite as well as it should. Armando tries to tell Mario that he can’t talk at the moment, he doesn’t want Betty to find out. Betty has walked in the kitchen unbeknownst to Armando and overhears the conversation. Mario, who is now treating Armando with the more familiar “tu” tells him that he misses his friendship, does Armando miss him? That he very much cares for him? Does Armando care for him? Does Armando love him? Since they’re using “tu,” when Armando responds by saying that he does miss and love him, it sounds like he’s talking to a woman. So, Betty obviously is taken aback. Armando hangs up with Mario and joins Betty as they put Camila back to bed. Armando stays with the baby and Betty goes to bed. When Armando comes into the room, singing a song about his sleeping baby princess, and him being the handsome dad prince looking for his other princess, Betty fakes like she’s sleeping. He gives her a kiss and tells her that he loves her very much.

It’s morning and we hear Armando in the shower singing La donna e mobile (Dr. Mendoza is now a frustrated singer, must be he caught the bug after his karaoke experience with Si nos dejan, no?). Betty is putting shoes on Camila and tells her to hear her daddy singing, that he sounds so happy, probably because he’s getting ready to cheat on her mom, because her dad is a deceiver. Doña Julia walks in the room and tells Betty that Don Hermes is waiting for them to get to work early. Armando walks out of the shower, drying his hair with a towell and asks Betty to give him his clothes. He is obviously naked and Doña Julia says Holy Mother of God! while Armando sprints back to the bathroom and reminds her not to come in the bedroom when he’s in there showering. Doña Julia takes the baby and Armando tells Betty that he’s tired of her mother seeing him naked. Betty, who’s still mad at him tells him that so is she and walks out leaving him open mouthed…

Freddy arrives at EcoModa and starts talking to Wilson. Behind them, we see Betty and Armando arriving in their new parent-mobile - a wine-colored small station wagon. Freddy says that here comes Mr. Armando Pinzón, and Wilson tells him not to talk like that, that his last name is Mendoza. Freddy tells him that Armando has lost his name and is pretty much submerged in the world of Betty’s parents and the “appendage” (Nico), plus has Betty and Don Hermes at the office as well. Armando asks Freddy if his new, and by the by ugly - as Armando points out, I mean - haircut keeps him from opening the door for them. He also asks him if he ran the errand to Color, Inc. and Betty asks if he went to the bank. Freddy responds that he was first in line at the bank. A couple of model-types come out of EcoModa and greet Armando in a flirtatious way. He greets them but in a very matter of fact way. Don Hermes’ eyes pretty much come out of their sockets, and Betty calls his attention so they’ll walk in to the office building. Betty can’t hide her jealousy at seeing the women talk to Armando. Then we see Nico arrive in Patty’s ex-Benz. When he spies the models, he whips out the cellular and starts blabbing on it as if he were talking to Sofía, trying to impress them. We see Betty and Armando arrive upstairs and catch el Cuartel doing what they always are doing - not working and gossiping. Betty asks Mariana why she isn’t in the reception area, and Mariana tells her that it isn’t even 8 a.m., yet but that she’s on her way. Betty asks Berta to ask her boss (Guti-gut) to come to the board room for the meeting. And, she asks Sandra to come to her office. Armando is following Betty to Presidencia when she turns around and tells him COLDLY that she’ll see him later at the meeting. Like a puppy with his tail between his legs, he turns around, says good morning to el Cuartel, goes to his office, and slams the door. Berta and Sofía say that there’s trouble between those two, and Berta comments that they’re on their way to separating. Inesita tells them to stope talking like that. Nico walks in, still trying to impress the models, but nothing…

Betty asks Sandra if Armando has been getting any strange calls from women. AND tells her that this is a confidential conversation between the two of them (wanna bet?!). Sandra says that no one out of the ordinary, no models, no women, have called Armando. However, she’ll be on guard to catch anyone who tries to break Armando’s good behaviour streak. Sandra is ready to pounce on whomever and make them mincepie. Betty tells her that she doesn’t want any of that, and that she doesn’t want to start acting like Armando’s “ex.” We all remember her, don’t we?

Freddy comes up with the mail and starts to regale Aura María with his usual embelished Freddy-speak, which she parrots for him since she reminds her that he tells her the same thing every day. He is kind of surprised and hurt that she knows his spiel by heart. He hands her some invitations and she asks if they’re the invites to their wedding. He tells her to take things slowly… She says that she’s tired of taking things slowly, that his behavioiur about their future together makes him seem as slippery as a bar of soap.

Betty, Nicolás and Gutiérrez are in the board room talking. Armando is in his office reading a magazine - with a picture and a note about Gabriela. Sandra opens the door and tells him that they’re waiting for him and he hides the magazine - acting like he’s doing something wrong when he’s not! He joins the meeting and they’re talking about a strategy for when Daniel arrives, when his cell phone rings. Guess who it is? Calderón, of course, chastizing him for not calling him. Armando tells Betty that it is Ricardo Camacho and goes to his office to talk. Calderón is still going on about setting up the meeting with Fashion Group and Armando tells him that yes, he is interested. They hang up and Armando comes back to the meeting, still acting like he’s on the phone with Ricardo Camacho. Unbeknownst to him, Sandra has told Betty that Ricardo Camacho! is in the lobby waiting to talk to Armando. Betty, very upset, tells her to ask him to come in. Armando is blabbing away on the phone when Ricardo opens the door… CAUGHT! Ricardo notices the awkward moment and says he’ll talk to him later. Betty stands up, calls off the meeting and storms to her office. Armando stands up and runs after her. We see Nico and Guti-gut eating donuts and drinking coffee and with full mouths saying something to the effect that there’s trouble in River City…

In Betty’s office, Armando tells her that they have to talk. She tells him that he cannot deny that this is about a woman. He tells her that yes, it is about a woman and places the magazine with the article about Gabriela Garza on her desk. Freeze frame. To be continued next Sunday…