Episode 6

Gabriela cannot believe what Kenneth tells her about his dinner with Aura María, the deception by the EcoModa employees, and the mess they created. She is very angry and tells Kenneth they’ll be leaving for Miami first thing.

At Aura María’s house, we see Freddy bringing her a cup of coffee and reminding her that Colombian coffee is still the best in the world [Beth: hmmmmmm, a little product placement anyone…?]. He criticizes her overly-familiar behaviour toward Kenneth while she says that Kenneth doesn’t do anything for her [liar!]. Just then Kenneth calls to tell Aura María the meeting won’t take place because Gabriela is very angry. Gabriela, who had been in her room packing her bags, goes to Kenneth’s room as he’s talking to Aura María and gives her a few choice comments about Freddy, who overhears them. After Aura María hangs up the phone and tells Freddy there won’t be any meeting, he makes a call of his own…

Gabriela is still angry about the whole problem and decides to go to bed when there is a knock on the door; she thinks it is Kenneth. Instead, it is a hotel employee telling her her boyfriend is looking for her. Of course, the “boyfriend” is Freddy Estewart Contreras who has come to beg her forgiveness and that she give them another chance. He gives her a bouquet of slightly wilted flowers that Gabriela promptly throws in the trash. She does the same with the box of chocolates that Freddy hands her. Things are going badly, obviously, and Freddy pulls out his ace: a mariachi band to serenade Gabriela to ask her not to go. She continues to act insulted but the little song seems to have softened her heart and it seems the meeting will happen after all - although she doesn’t say anything to Freddy. Meanwhile at Aura María’s apartment, we see her talking with Sandra and commenting on Freddy’s plan…

At EcoModa the next morning Wilson and the Cuartel are discussing Aura María and Kenneth’s dinner the night before. She tells them she behaved very circumspectly and that Freddy came upon her as she was saying goodnight to Kenneth at her front door - but that it was only a peck on the cheek. At this point Freddy arrives and overhears them all commenting on how much Kenneth likes Aura María, so he invents a big story about his adventure with Gabriela, including that she invited him in to her room for some wine, that she was wearing a “baby doll” (negligée), and how wonderfully it all went. However, he has to admit that the meeting still isn’t confirmed. Then we see the shameless and hateful Gutiérrez come by on a ‘tour’ of EcoModa with three very pretty young women. They are the new acquisitions to replace Sofía, Bertha and Sandra. He makes Sofía and Bertha vacate their posts and tells them they’ve been fired, although they all tell him that remains to be seen.

Gutiérrez is in full cry when Armando, Betty and Nicolás arrive, and Armando yells at Gutiérrez to stop what he is doing. Betty tells him that no-one there can be replaced until she says so and directs Gutiérrez to fire the three new secretaries [Merci: Poor Nicolás - he was quite taken with the one that was to work for him…]. Armando tells Wilson to go put his uniform on and attend the front door. Betty, Armando, and Nicolás all head for their offices. Just then Aura María’s phone rings. Bertha answers it to find it is Kenneth calling to confirm the meeting. Everyone erupts into an uproar, and Freddy is offended because no-one congratulates him for his hard work with the mariachi… Armando comes out of his office to yell at them for making so much noise (Freddy the comedian starts to imitate Armando’s tirade, and Armando tells him to cut it out), and Aura María explains to him that the Fashion Group meeting is on. Armando can’t believe it and heads for Betty’s office to tell her.

In Betty’s office, Armando announces that he has two things to tell her. She is signing some papers as he’s talking to her and telling her that the meeting with Fashion Group is still on, which makes her very pleased. Then he tells her that Mario Calderón will be coming too. This startles Betty and she damages the papers she was signing, so she calls to Aura María to bring her new copies of the documents. She also breaks a plastic cup and again calls Aura María to bring her some painkillers, some tranquilizers, and something for nausea. Betty stands and heads for her old office, which is now a file storage room; she’s obviously angry. Armando tries to calm her, he tells her he loves her and asks her to please try - they have an agreement concerning the deal and Calderón’s presence. Armando leaves Betty’s office and Aura María asks her how it went. He tells her so-so. A loud racket is heard in Betty’s office [Merci: like when Armando met Adrianita Arboleda]; Aura María asks if all is well and Betty tells her yes. Armando says to look, that everything is fine [Merci: not even he believes this…!].

Hugo, Barbarita (his little dog) and Jenny arrive. Jenny is asking Hugo to suggest her for one of the posts which will supposedly be left vacant by the Cuartel. He tells her not to play the coquette - it doesn’t work on him. He adds that she’s only good for being a live dressmaker’s dummy. Jenny tells Sofía she needs to earn more money to help out her Guñi-Guñi, who’s out of work, and therefore [she’d be helping] Sofía and her children. Jenny aspires to Aura María’s post, who asks Jenny if she can’t see she’s not leaving. Jenny tells Aura María she could do her job -and other things as well [Merci: referring to Freddy].

Outside we see Wilson eating and drinking something -typical!- and we see Kenneth and Gabriela arrive. They greet him; Kenneth criticizes him for eating on the job [Merci: Wait until they see Bertha!] and Gabriela makes a few comments on his timidity when he was playing the designer. Freddy and Aura María, along with the rest of the Cuartel, receive the guests; Kenneth continues to be very ‘simpático’ with Aura María. They lead the visitors to the conference room and Aura María goes to look for Betty and give her the medicines she’d requested. In the conference room, Gabriela tells Kenneth to leave the talking to her. She also criticizes him for his infatuation with Aura María, but he tells her there’s nothing there.

Aura María asks Betty if she’s really going to take all the (different) medicines. Betty tells her the painkillers are for the headache she got at the mention of Mario Calderón’s name; the tranquilizers are for when she sees him; and the tablets are to fight the nausea she’ll feel after he’s left. Aura María introduces Betty to Gabriela and Kenneth, and Betty apologizes profusely for the misunderstanding caused by her employees. As she does so, Gutiérrez and Nicolás arrive. The two goggle at the sight of Gabriela, and Kenneth starts to speak his mangled English at Kenneth. Betty tells them that they’re only missing Hugo and Armando [Merci: note that at no time are the visitors told that Betty and Armando are married to each other… Beth: so i’m guessing Betty was introduced as Beatríz Pinzón Solano only, and not Beatríz Mendoza or even Beatríz Pinzón de Mendoza. i wonder why not…?].

Armando arrives, goes over to Betty and puts his hand on her shoulder; she introduces him to Kenneth, and then to Gabriela, who is very “salamera” [Beth: ?? my dictionary doesn’t have this word but i’m guessing from the sound -similar to the Arabic word ‘salaam’- and context that it means something like obsequious, or perhaps effusive] and leaves him a bit at a loss for words. Gabriela asks if the suit he’s wearing is from EcoModa and praises how good it looks on him and its excellent cut. Of course, Betty isn’t very comfortable with the situation. Outside the conference room, the Cartel and Freddy are talking. While Freddy is making some very strange “morisquetas” [Beth: ?? another word i can’t find… “Morisco” refers to a Spanish Moor who converted to Christianity, but i’m not sure this has anything to do with what Freddy was doing; from past experience of Freddy and subsequent text, i’m guessing it means he was striking poses in his usual inimitable way] while Hugo is standing behind him. Hugo tells him that’s just what he, Hugo, was like before he came out of the closet and welcomes Freddy to the club. Freddy can’t believe what he’s hearing and tells Aura María to confirm he’s nothing like that. Hugo then makes his entrance to the conference room and effusively greets Gabriela. Kisses fly everywhere. Hugo is very impressed with Kenneth and announces that he got a thrill up his spine [from Kenneth]. Armando tells Hugo to be quiet [Merci: or more precisely, he shouts at him to be quiet…]. Gabriela asks after Mario Calderón and is told he hasn’t arrived yet.

Just then, AT LAST!, the elevator doors open and the so-handsome Dr. Calderón gets off. The whole Cartel greets him, starting with Sandra [Merci: it would be great if that shameless one were to reform and fall head over heels at her feet…], and he asks them all how they are. He gives Inesita a little kiss [Merci: That Inesita has all the luck - all the handsome men are always kissing her], and concludes by asking Aura María if she’s caught a father for her son yet. She tells him no, that she still only has a quasi-boyfriend / quasi-slippery-fiancé… After all the greeting, Mario has to prepare himself for the meeting with his enemy, Doctora Pinzón Solano, in the conference room.

Mario enters room and affectionately greets Kenneth [Merci: Ay! and he speaks English with an English accent!], Gabriela, Gutiérrez, Nicolás (who tells Mario that he, Nicolás, was doing fine until just a few minutes ago when he, Mario, arrived…). Hugo praises him for how good he looks since his visit to Argentina. Mario hugs Armando, who looks a bit uncomfortable, and tells Gabriela that he (Armando) is his (Mario’s) best friend. Armando tells him to let him go, to not be a cretin and to greet Betty. Mario looks like he’s going to the guillotine as he extends his hand to Betty…

She just looks at it, then asks him how he dare think she’s going to shake his hand after the way he treated her, how he humiliated her and mocked her - everyone looks on horrified. Armando asks her to please shake hands with Mario, so she gives him her hand, strikes him a tremendous blow, takes him by the neck and pins him to the table, strangling him. Armando begs her to stop; Nicolás, Gutiérrez and the rest don’t know what to do. But of course, it’s all just wishful thinking on Betty’s part… She returns to reality and won’t take Mario’s hand, though she does greet him and invite him to seat himself next to his friend.

They talk about how Mario and Gabriela met in Argentina. Mario doesn’t want her to tell the story but of course she does… Betty looks on, somewhat surprised, but ends up laughing at what happened to him - especially when Hugo guesses that Mario got in the bed and played the gallant… Then they discuss Fashion Group’s plans for EcoModa, and Betty tells them that they are looking for an investment partner. Gabriela says if that’s the case, she will stay on in Colombia [Merci: uh-oh, Betty doesn’t like that at all…] and Kenneth as well, to supervise the project. They say they will go to the hotel to call the head office, but that it’s a done deal. They will be back in the afternoon to sign the agreement. They stand to take their leave, and again Gabriela is very chummy with Armando. Mario Calderón joins the little group - Armando looks uncomfortable, Mario looks happy, and Betty is looking daggers…