Episode 19

Beth: Merci, who as you all know writes the Spanish summaries i use for these translations, seems to have taken a break from summarizing for this episode. so instead of Merci’s summary, we have a “Valeriana” from Delta, one of the forum members. in point of fact, what follows is actually considerably more than a true Valeriana as i have come to understand the term, since altho it is shorter than those Merci usually does, in my opinion it is detailed enough to constitute an actual summary.

Well, in Episode 19, we see Freddy helping out all the men at EcoModa because [he says] it’s Men’s Day, but the whole world corrects him saying it’s not “Men’s Day,” but “Men’s Night” [by which they mean that all the women should stay home while the men go out on the town].

That morning we see Betty and Armando arrive on the elevator [Delta: so lovely…], very loving with each other, and Armando is also congratulated [Beth: Delta doesn’t say by who or for what reason, but i’m going to guess that it’s Freddy, greeting Armando on the occasion of the supposed Men’s Day]. Then there is an Executive conference or a meeting or something, and before it all the men are deciding if they want to go out to party somewhere. Gutiérrez, Nicolás, Freddy, Kenneth, and Mario are all up for it and later they all laugh at Armando saying he doesn’t have permission to go out [referring to Betty]. [Delta: The truth is it’s sad to see him in that situation, [lacking] the force our Armando used to have.] Just then Betty arrives, overhears everything, and tells him to do whatever he wants to do, but if it’s up to her she would rather he goes out with the guys. After the meeting, Armando goes to speak with Betty and asks her if his going bothers her, and Betty answers that what bothers her is that she has this reputation [as a bitch], and that everyone says he’s her slave. Armando tells her not to pay attention to such stuff, and not to worry because these just-the-guys outings are about cars, or sports… And, Betty adds, about women, about sex… Armando approaches her, hugs her, and says that if it were about those things he wouldn’t go, and after a few kisses and such [Delta: what if someone caught them] he tells her he’ll be home at 1a on the dot.

Finally, all the guys get together to go out, but beforehand Gutiérrez is talking on the phone with his wife, who won’t let him go and he makes Armando get on the phone to tell her to let her husband go with him!!

Well, they arrive at a bar and are all being very cautious, but it turns out that Mario has bet Armando that he’s not capable of remaining a “virgin” that night [i.e., that he cannot remain faithful to Betty and his wedding vows]. Well, they all end up wanting to talk to women -all except Armando, who is having a really bad time- so while Armando goes to the men’s room, Mario goes to the bar and starts to flirt with some willing women, and ends up bringing them back to the table (but not before first telling them to ‘tempt’ Armando a bit, since the poor guy has a really fierce wife…].

Once at the table, the women start to mess around with everyone, who are all enchanted by the women (all except for Armando, of course), one of the women tells him to let her realize her dream, which is to caress a man without his moving a muscle or doing anything. Our Armandito is more than a little annoyed, but since the rest of the guys start to make fun of him [Delta: well, they call him “eunuch!"], he says that he’s got everything just the opposite in his place, only the thing is, it’s for private use only. In the end, Armandito gives in and lets the woman caress his face [Delta: i’m jealous!] and even brush his mouth.

Well, then these women say some girlfriends of theirs who just arrived in Bogotá are staying in a house, and if the guys want they can all head over there. Everyone’s delighted with the idea except poor Armandito who starts calling Betty -who is very bored watching TV at home- on his cel phone, but Calderón stops him and asking if he’s not capable of remaining a “virgin” until 1am [without help from his wife]. As our Armandito is more than an idiot, he again lets himself be overruled by Calderón and they all go to the other women’s house.

Well, this has now become a real mess, because the women are the man-eater types, and all are happy about this and dancing up a storm, except for you-know-who, who is sad and accosted by the chick who is playing with him constantly. Each time she goes just a little bit further, and starts giving our hero little kisses on the neck, then suddenly she bites him!! Armando leaps up and away, saying she’s a witch and he’s going home but then they tell him that Betty will kill him because she’s going to think he’s been with another woman and it’s better if he lets them put some makeup on his neck [Beth: that must’ve been some bite!!]. While the witch is making up Armandito’s neck, Gutiérrez goes upstairs with a woman who’s invited him, and Nicolás Mora is about to do the same but Armando stops him, and tells her that Nico is leaving with him. So Nico tells him to have some compassion for him since it’s been two years since he’s… [Delta: i would guess since the affair with Blondie-Barbie] so Armando gives him 15 minutes, because now it’s almost 1am. All he’s [Armando’s] doing is depressing everyone and saying he’s going home, but neither Calderón nor the women are letting him leave. As this is going on, we see Gutiérrez, who is in a bedroom with the woman who went with him, and she asks him to let her handcuff him. He, fool that he is, is practically drooling with everything and the woman says she’s going to look for another girlfriend…

We go back downstairs, and see Armando now hysterical about going home to his Betty. So the witch who bit him stands in front of the door, takes out a pistol!! and says that no-one is leaving there. So Armando, thoroughly angry, tells her to stop trying to seduce him, and the chick tells him what’s going on is a robbery!!

Well, and that’s where the episode ended…

*loosely, a “valeriana” is code for a short summary - something to put you out of your misery while waiting for the Real Thing, to calm you down so you don’t go crazy from not knowing what happened. i presume it’s so named for the herb Valerian, which is said to be soothing to the nerves. i first encountered this particular usage of the term in reference to summaries on the Betty La Fea forums toward the end of the BLF run here in the United States (and other parts of the world), when Telemundo, the network broadcasting BLF here, stopped showing previews for the next show each night and instead ran a general promo for the finale. the closer we got to the end, the more “Valenrianas” i saw as, of course, speculation was rife as to what specifically would happen and people got more and more desperate to know. people who knew people in Colombia or who were reading Colombian summaries, or who were seeing the show from Colombia or Peru or somewhere on the web, or even -during the final days- were simply in other time zones where they saw the show earlier than those of use who were in Arizona or California, would post something brief -sometimes not more than a sentence or two- to let the truly addicted, who could no longer stand the suspense of wondering what would happen next, know what to expect.