Episode 7

The episode starts with the last scene from last week, when EcoModa and Fashion Group reach an agreement to work together and decide to meet later that day to finalize everything. Outside the conference room we see the Cartel and Freddy. Freddy is chatting with Inesita, telling her he’s worried about the presence of the gringo at EcoModa. Inesita berates him for not getting serious and proposing to Aura María already. Freddy comes back with the ol’ song and dance about how they were all fired. Inesita points out that he can get married if the deal works out. So Freddy tells Inesita he still has the engagement ring to give to Aura María and asks her to have Aura María ready for him at 6pm, when he will finally give her the ring.

Betty, Armando (who has his arm around Betty’s waist), Kenneth, and Gabriela emerge from the conference room, and Aura María asks how everything went. Armando replies that things went well, they’re going to do a deal. Kenneth announces he is moving to Colombia for a good while, which news causes Freddy to tremble. Hugo comes out of the conference room and won’t let Gabriela and Kenneth leave until he can show them his designs. Betty heads for her office with an annoyed look on her face as Armando turns back into the conference room. The members of the Cartel comment amongst themselves that it looks like the arrival of the Mexicana (Gabriela) is rain on Betty’s parade. They also note that things will be good for Aura María since the gringo (Kenneth) is staying. And of course, Bertha suggests going to gossip with Betty…

They open the door to Betty’s office -apparently without knocking, the cheeky things- and Sofía asks Betty if they can come in. Betty tells them yes, and adds that the situation has been resolved and they can return to their jobs. The Cartel tells Betty they are worried about her. Betty says that Mario Calderón is the Devil reincarnated and she detests him. Inesita comments that maybe Dr. Calderón has changed, but Betty replies he hasn’t, and tells them the story of how he met Gabriela Garza in Buenos Aires.

Over in Armando’s office we see Mario Calderón seated, very much at his ease with his feet on the desk, chatting with “Margarita” and saying how much he’s changed - how he no longer drinks whiskey but instead “dry martinis.” He says he’s been dreaming about her and asks if she still has a ying-yang mole on her hip. He agrees to meet with her at 7pm. During this conversation, Armando enters the office, hears what Mario is saying, and leaves again with an exasperated look.

Back in Betty’s office, she’s still talking with the Cartel, telling them that Mario expects to hook up again with his buddy, his accomplice in infidelities, his party pal…. Inesita tells her that Armando’s a responsible married man now, a father -he’s no longer the young wastrel of old.

We cut back to where Mario is now talking with “Rosa” [Merci: it looks like all his girlfriends are named for flowers…], telling her the same things he was saying to Margarita, although instead of asking about the mole he tells her how he’s dreamt of kissing her long neck. Then he asks if they can go out… Armando comes back into the office again and sits in front of the desk while Mario finishes his conversation by telling Rosa to find someone to go out with his best friend, Armando Mendoza! Armando gives Mario a look saying he’s got some nerve… Mario tells him they have a very full schedule: The Mole at 7pm, the Neck-Bite at 9pm, and who knows what else at midnight. Armando replies that Mario’s going to have to party by himself because he, Armando, doesn’t need girlfriends, and tells Mario he’s a sick man (Mario is).

Back with Betty and her friends again, the Cartel tells Betty to have faith in Armando. She replies that they’ve been married for nearly two years and she has no complaints. Sandra says that Armando doesn’t look at other women, that it’s like she’s married to a gay man. They all agree Betty should trust Armando.

It’s like a Ping-Pong game - now we’re back with the Merry Men again… Mario tells Armando he doesn’t see the harm in his (Armando’s) going out with a few “girls.” Armando replies that he has a baby daughter and is happily married - and he shows Mario his wedding ring. Mario says, “Unhappily?” and Armando reiterates, “Happily married.” Mario asks how many years he’s been married and Armando replies nearly two. Mario comments that the sofa in Armando’s office is the same one that was in the President’s office when Armando was President of EcoModa. Mario says since he’s only been married for two years, they’re still in the era in which Armando thinks Betty is a princess. Then he asks when they’re going to get divorced… Armando asks Mario what he’s talking about, and says he got married for life, that it’s like the priest said: “Until death do you part.” So Mario asks when Armando will become a widower, then. Armando replies that it seems he must be speaking with someone sick in the head, and that if, God forbid, Betty should die, then he, Armando, would die with her. Hearing this, Mario asks Armando how he could do that to his daughter and says the he (Mario) would be a good godfather to Camila (imitating Marlon Brando’s manner of speaking from “The Godfather”), he could take care of the little girl and the business after Armando and Betty die.

Freddy is talking to himself, saying that there aren’t going to be any more evasions - he cannot allow the gringo to walk off with his darling queen. The phone rings and Sandra answers, but not before berating Freddy for not answering (since she was in Betty’s office gossiping…). It’s Wilson calling to announce that the mariachi group from last night is there to get their payment from Freddy. Freddy, who is broke, asks Sandra not to let them up, but they’re already on their way. And the Cartel can’t help him out with the money, either…

Gabriela and Kenneth are on their way to the elevator and Gabriela addresses Freddy as “Dr. Contreras.” They tell him they are starting to believe in the company again, and Kenneth says they are “very happy” and that his serenade was a big hit with Gabriela. The elevator doors open and the whole mariachi group is there asking to be paid. Gabriela and Kenneth get on the elevator… Freddy complains that it was a lackluster serenade, but the group leader replies it was a really good one and looks at Gabriela; she and Kenneth leave. Freddy tells the group he doesn’t have any money, and the give-and-take continues. So the mariachi leader tells Freddy to give him the engagement ring as a promise of payment, but Freddy says no. Just then Jenny arrives and starts flirting with the members of the mariachi group. She sees the ring, takes it from Freddy, and puts it on a middle finger of her left hand. And of course, once on she discovers it’s too small for her and she can’t get it off.

Back in Armando’s office, he is stretched out on the sofa while Mario asks him questions about what he’s been doing in the two years since they’ve seen each other. Hasn’t he had any other woman? Armando says no, no “90-60-90s” [Beth: that’s 36”-24”-36"s to the metrically challenged among us… in other words, shapely women]. No erotic dreams either - Armando tells Mario he’s 100% devoted to his wife. Mario asks if Armando is going out with Hugo Lombardi. Armando replies that he’s faithful, he’s in love with his wife, that maybe Mario can’t understand, but he is happily married, he has a wonderful family life and a daughter he loves. This doesn’t mean to say that he’s sexually castrated. The interrogation ends and Armando thanks “Sigmund…” Then Mario changes the subject (almost) and asks what Armando thinks of Gabriela Garza. Armando says she seems like an important executive. Mario won’t drop the subject and asks Armando how he can say this, didn’t he notice the legs that never quit, the green eyes… didn’t she seem like a “bombón” (piece of candy)? Doesn’t he wonder what it would be like to be with her on a beach, putting sun tan lotion on her back, kissing her neck, looking into those emerald eyes? Armando, who has had his back to Mario, turns and tells Mario he didn’t come from Buenos Aires, he came from Hell. Mario replies that beneath that lamb’s skin he’s still the same fierce wolf.

We return to Betty, who is telling the Cartel that the minute Gabriela saw Armando her voice changed, she was giving him some major looks. That she wasn’t vulgarly flirtatious but it was obvious that she is attracted to Armando. So the Cartel asks if Armando flirted back and she tells them no, that he was very diplomatic and it was more like he was uncomfortable. They ask if anybody had explained to Gabriela that Armando is married to Betty. She said that nobody said anything, and that she wasn’t going to introduce him as her husband [Beth: …idiot!]. Bertha stands and says that she should pay attention to the many bachelors they have in the office, starting with Nicolás Mora and ending with Freddy [Beth: wow, some selection…]. Aura María gets mad and asks them who gave them permission to say that Freddy is available. Then they comment that the gringo is going after Aura María, which surprises Betty. Inesita tells them that Freddy is very worried about the gringo and at 6pm he is at last going to ask Aura María to marry him and give her a ring. Aura María is very pleased with this news.

Outside we see Freddy trying to get the ring off Jenny’s finger… Just then the Cartel comes out of Betty’s office and asks the two what they’re doing. He tells them he and Jenny were fighting over the money for the mariachi group, that Jenny didn’t want to help him. Inesita tells Freddy that it’s 4:30pm [Merci: These people haven’t done ANYTHING all day long!], he’d better get a move on.

Aura María throws kisses at Freddy. He is dying because of the ring and Jenny, and even more now that his proposal isn’t going to be a surprise since Inesita told him that it’s time to be serious, not for surprises. Freddy goes to Hugo’s workshop to try to get the ring off Jenny’s finger, but no luck. The Cartel comes in and he hides behind a chair. Jenny tells them she has a headache; Sofía replies that it’s nice she found out what she has a head for. The Cartel leaves, and Freddy puts on some pieces of cloth and tries to escape from the mariachis, but has no luck with that, either.

Just then, Armando arrives and asks what the mariachis are doing there - the people from Fashion Group are about to return. Sandra tells Armando they’re there because they want to be paid. Armando wants them to leave and is going to tell them so but the group leader confronts him and Armando goes back to wherever he came from. He tells Sandra that he’s not going to get involved, because he’d end up shouting at them - better to get Wilson to get them out of there.

Armando goes into Betty’s office and she immediately rises from her seat and turns to do something on the computer. Armando asks if she likes the deal they made (with Fashion Group) and she replies of course -otherwise she’d never have agreed to it. Armando remarks that they haven’t spoken since the deal and she tells him she’s been very busy. Armando sits down and tells her yes, he was talking with Calderón, that it’s been two years since they’ve spoken and they were getting caught up on their lives. Betty, very astutely, asks about Calderón’s jokes about their married life, about Armando’s being married to her, about the baby, and how much he asked about their family life. Armando lies and tells her that Mario has changed, that he didn’t make fun either of him or of her, or of the baby either. But Mario will be around because of the deal. In the “cave,” Betty is looking at some books and tells Armando that this means Mario wants an office at EcoModa. Armando tells her no, that Mario has other deals, but he will be visiting EcoModa regularly. Betty compares Mario to Nero, Attila the Hun and Hitler [ouch!]. Armando tells Betty he adores her, that his life is Betty and Camila. He gives her a kiss, and she embraces him and tells him that while she trusts him implicitly, she doesn’t trust Calderón in the least. Betty sits down, Armando gives her another kiss, and she tells him to go take care of his friend…

Wilson tries to get rid of the mariachis but they don’t pay him any heed. Wilson asks Freddy to help but he won’t. Inesita tells Aura María it’s 5:30pm and she has to get ready. When Aura María realizes that the mariachis want money, she goes to them and tells them Freddy can’t pay them but that they (the Cartel) will go ask for a loan from the President of EcoModa and tomorrow they’ll pay the group. The group flatly refuses unless they have some sort of guarantee against payment, like the ring. Aura María tells them no, that that’s her ring. One of the mariachis replies that that ring belongs to Freddy’s girlfriend, the Mexican woman. Gabriela and Kenneth arrive just in time to hear this and Gabriela doesn’t like it in the least. She gets mad, and Kenneth realizes that Aura María is Freddy’s girlfriend; moreover, she tells him, they’re going to get married. The mariachis continue to insist they be paid, and Gabriela asks how much they want - she will pay them. Freddy goes as if to pay but, as before, his pockets are empty. The mariachi leader says they’re owed 350,000 pesos and she asks how much that is in dollars. They tell her it’s $150. She gives them $200 and they leave, happy. Gabriela tells Sandra that she and Kenneth want to speak with Armando, Betty and Mario. Aura María gives Freddy a kiss and leaves with Inesita, Sofía, and Bertha to get ready. Jenny continues to wear the ring. She runs into Freddy who asks her if her finger is less swollen and she tells him it’s like a sausage. He looks at her craftily and tells her that he has a solution…

Spoilers for next week: Armando asks Betty’s permission to go out that night. She tells him she trusts him, but not Mario. The announcer says that Betty falls into the trap and Armando succumbs to temptation. We see Armando, Gabriela, Mario and one of his girlfriends toasting each other in a restaurant. It looks like Armando’s going to step in it, big time…

Teasers for next week: We see Betty tell her friends that Mario thinks he can come back and hook up with the old Armando. Mario tells Armando they are going out with some girlfriends! What will happen? When will we see Camila again? And Dr. Valencia? Hopefully Armandito doesn’t mess it all up…