Episode 26

Merci: I loved the final episode! It was interesting, moving, comical, romantic, and very sweet. For the Spaniards who are anti-Jarmandistas - I believe this episode completely vindicates Dr Mendoza in spades… As Betty used to say during the good ol’ days, “So divine!” All the actors shone… I am a bit sentimental, so one tear after another welled up, knowing that this was good-bye. I hope when you see it, you enjoy it!

Beth: this includes scenes from Spain that were not seen in the US and a little sentence (in bold) that was censored by Univisión, both courtesy of Beatríz…

Scene from Spain…

They are having an executive meeting at Ecomoda. Nicolás asks everyone to submit urgently-needed ideas for cutting costs. The first to speak up is Armando. His proposal is that they stop buying disposable coffee cups and require every employee to bring in his or her own cup. Other ideas are to buy “el cheapo” coffee rather than the “nice” coffee they’re buying now, recycle copier paper, and discontinue allowing employees to make long-distance calls, calls to cel phones, and even local calls.

Gutiérrez makes his own contribution by saying that the use of toilet paper must be reduced. Mario asks by how many squares [Beth: LOL!!] but the idea doesn’t seem all that bad to Armando.

Armando continues, saying that the employees have to work during work hours and that way they won’t have to work overtime [Beth: this seems like a completely reasonable proposal to me…!]. According to him [Beth: and he has reason to know!], the employees spend their [work] time eating “chicharones” [pork rinds - a snack food] and drinking “tintos” [coffee].

Betty cannot believe what she is hearing and berates Armando, saying that this would be just begging for unhappy employees; moreover, these proposals would only save them around 10%. According to her, the biggest costs are produced by the payment of fees, transport, surveillance, storefront rentals for points of sale, and the purchase of new machinery. Her proposal is that they purchase the locales in order to avoid renting, and repair the machinery that is not being used so that they don’t have to buy [more].

Nicolás says Yes, these are some real proposals, because with these they would save some 250 million pesos [Beth: something like $106,000].

The words that Mario Calderón directs to Armando at this point say it all: “I think you’ve just been steamrolled, so I’ll just keep quiet.”

Everyone congratulates Betty for her proposals.

The U.S. episode started here…

Álbum 1

In the conference room, a meeting is ending and we see Kenneth and Gabriela arrive. Gutiérrez is babbling in his typical fashion, praising the job Betty has been doing; he finally leaves. Gabriela and Kenneth explain to Armando and Betty that the famous Mr Stevenson from Fashion Group is anxious to receive their proposal for the upcoming year’s alliance between the companies. Betty says that she and Armando are going to work on that… Gabriela says she needs to fax it to Mr Stevenson first thing tomorrow morning. Calderón makes several remarks about Armando and how he shouldn’t go starting to have opinions. When Betty announces that the current meeting is over and asks Armando to come with her to her office, he looks angry; she asks him if anything’s wrong - he tells her no.

The Cartel is in the bathroom, doing its usual thing - which is to say, gossiping instead of working. They are complaining about Armando’s proposed austerity plan… What nerve! He’s dared to say they can’t make any more long distance or cel phone calls; that they talk too much and work too little (Bertha is totally offended by Armando’s commentaries - how will she be able to continue gossiping?); there will no longer be overtime pay - instead, they will have to work very hard during the eight hours they are there… But, to their delight, Betty decided not to accept Armando’s proposal. According to the Cartel - she creamed him! [Beth: imagine how confused we in the US all were before we knew the contents of the deleted scene here!! most annoying. and on another topic, i think we can safely assume that the Cartel was eavesdropping on the executive meeting. and while i can certainly see Betty deciding there is no need -yet- to curtail long distance or cel calls (especially since the Cartel doesn’t seem to know anyone not in Bogotá anyway, altho it’s certainly possible other employees do…!), if EM is paying the Cartel overtime for work that they both could and should get done during the regular work day or -worse!- to hang around and gossip, well… Betty’s too good a businesswoman not to see the practicality in having a rule like All Overtime Must Be Approved in Advance or words to that effect, and particularly if Ecomoda is having to ‘tighten their belts!']

In Betty’s office, Armando explains that he’s neither offended nor hurt, that he understands that Betty’s economic proposal is better than his. Betty tells him her plan for the future relationship between Ecomoda and Fashion Group is for Ecomoda to expand into the European markets. Armando is horrified!! He thinks the idea is too risky. He proposes a more realistic and moderate plan - expand into the logical market: the Caribbean. Betty thinks this idea isn’t visionary enough and she asks, “Monstris, do you want to rumba or to work?” He replies to his Monstris that it will be easier to multiply the gains in the Caribbean, while Europe means a large and risky investment. Betty says they have to think big. Armando thinks that it would be like jumping off into nothing - that everything could go “kaput” very easily; he tells Betty not to be an innocent [Merci: uy, these two are really arguing!]. Betty tells Armando he’s just being pessimistic. He wants to do something more safe, but Betty doesn’t feel that Europe would be that big a risk - especially since they would have Fashion Group backing them financially. Armando is afraid that if the European plan doesn’t work out well, they could lose the support of Fashion Group. And since he used to be the president of Ecomoda [Merci: well, and we all know what that meant to the company…], he knows what he’s talking about.

Álbum 2

Wilson and Freddy get off the elevator together; Wilson says that his shift is over and he wants to know what plans Freddy has. Freddy tells him he has to work. What’s more, he has to give Armando Camila’s baby monitors so he can take them back home now that they’ve been repaired. Wilson [Merci: poor guy - it’s just that it looks as if he’s spent so much time standing outside of Ecomoda that his neurons got all used up] doesn’t know what the monitors are for and Freddy explains they’re a transmitter and a receiver. You put this big one in the baby’s crib and keep this other, smaller one with you as you move around the house so you can hear any noises the baby makes. Wilson doesn’t get it, so Freddy hands him the receiver and heads around the corner to play at being Camila, making cooing and farting noises. Hearing the sounds coming out of the receiver, Wilson -who still doesn’t quite get it- excitedly holds it up to his head and tries to talk into it as if it’s a phone, to Freddy’s great disgust. The Cartel comes out of the ladies’ room as he snatches the receiver back from Wilson, Freddy and Aura María [so refreshing!] exchange loving words, and Freddy asks where Armando is…

Armando and Betty continue in their discussion, calling each other Monstris, and each insisting his or her proposal is the better plan. In the middle of this exchange, Gabriela enters and offers more information about Ecomoda’s points of sale and boutiques, in case it might help them with their proposal. They explain to her that they’re having problems since each has a different proposal and they can’t agree on one. Gabriela thinks it’s good they have two proposals since that way Mr Stevenson will have more options from which to chose - two proposals are better than one. Gabriela leaves… Armando and Betty decide that maybe Gabriela’s got a point and two proposals are better than one. They exchange a little kiss of reconciliation and Armando heads off to his office to work on his, while Betty continues working on hers.

Freddy tries to get Aura María to tell him what the Cartel was talking about in the bathroom, but she refuses, saying it’s “women’s stuff.” He attempts to invoke their marriage vows, saying that there shouldn’t be any secrets between them now they’re husband and wife, but although she agrees with him, she says it doesn’t apply to what she and the Cartel talk about. The Cartel moves off towards their various desks, and Freddy tells Wilson he wishes he knew what they were saying in there.

Freddy and Wilson head for Betty’s office as Armando leaves for his own. Armando asks them what they’re doing and tells Freddy to hang onto the baby’s monitors until he (Armando) can take them home that night. He also asks Wilson what he’s doing there. Wilson explains that his shift is ended and he’s off to change. Armando replies that he should exchange [Beth: ex-change - get it?] for something else. After Armando leaves, Freddy resumes his lament about not knowing what the women discuss in the bathroom. Wilson, who has finally grasped the concept of the baby monitor, has the brilliant idea of using it to listen to the Cartel’s bathroom chats. Freddy, horrified, replies that that would be like putting the monitor in the confessional [Merci: but you all know they’re going to do it anyway…].

Aura María enters Betty’s office and hands her some papers Betty has to review and sign in order to issue some checks. She notes Betty’s troubled expression and asks her if something is wrong, and Betty tells her yes, that now she has to present a proposal to Fashion Group but Armando has a different one and it’s become a competition between Armando and herself -a contest which one of the two is going to lose. Thinking Betty is looking for reassurance, Aura María tells her it’s obvious that Betty’s plan is the one that will win. Betty will eat him [Armando] alive! Betty replies that Armando’s plan is also a good one. Aura María can only remark that it’s obvious that Betty adores Armando [Merci: of course!].

Wilson and Freddy emerge from the ladies’ room and with false nonchalance tell Bertha, Sofía and Aura María that it’s ok for them to use it now because they [Wilson & Freddy] were able to fix the problem [Merci: yes - the problem of installing the monitor!]. The women are astonished as they were not aware there was a problem. Seeing their somewhat dubious expressions, Wilson nervously starts making up a story about water dripping downstairs, but Freddy drags him away, telling him to stop explaining so much or he’ll give the game away.

Álbum 3

Armando leaves his office, headed for that of Betty, and we hear him thinking that he cannot allow a competition between himself and “my Betty” [Merci: didn’t i tell you he’s DIVINE?]. Distracted, he asks Bertha and Sofía if Betty has already left. They reply no, and he asks if she’s in her office - they look at him with surprise, given the question, but answer in the affirmative. Armando heads for Betty’s office and Bertha remarks, non-plused, that he’s a bit batty. Armando enters Betty’s office and asks her how it’s going. She replies that she hasn’t gotten started on her proposal yet. He suggests that they go home and work together, first on her proposal and then on his. That way both proposals will be from both of them. Betty laughs and he asks her why - does she think he’s going to lose? She replies that they’d never finish discussing the proposals. He asks her if she’s convinced that hers is the better proposal. And if she really is, then they should just forget about his proposal; she says the same about hers. Another impasse. In the end, Betty says, “Let’s see, baby:” The Caribbean would mean just one clothing line, very tropical; on the other hand, Europe would mean several different lines… Armando continues to argue that the Caribbean is much less risky, while Betty points out that they will have Fashion Group’s financial support if things should be difficult in Europe; but it’s obvious they’re not going to agree on this. Finally, they decide to see who “wins.” Armando leaves the office, a bit annoyed, and heads back to his own office to work.

Watching him heading back to his office, Bertha remarks that there must be some sort of “tragedy,” given his comportment: Armando was clearly annoyed when he left Betty’s office. The Cartel calls a special meeting, since Aura María had already told them about the competition over the proposals.

Armando arrives in his office, which space Calderón apparently also considers his own. Calderón asks the “Baby” what’s happening - “Does your widdle bottom hurt…? [Merci: the idiot censors at Univsión won’t let the word “culito” -which means little ass or little bottom- be heard!] after all that your wife gave you in the conference room?” Armando says no, what’s wrong is that he and Betty were discussing the proposals and their two objectives are quite different from each other. Calderón can’t believe Armando thinks he can compete with Betty - he suggests that the best thing Armando can do [for his proposal] is to go ahead and give it a proper burial. And he calls him “Mr Thatcher,” comparing him with the husband of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who lives in his wife’s shadow and whose first name nobody even knew. Armando snaps that he knows who Margaret Thatcher, The Iron Lady, is, but neither of them (Armando or Mario) know her husband’s name [Merci: his name is Dennis Thatcher!]. Armando, according to Calderón, is just the same - “Mr Pinzón.” Calderón asks Armando to sit at his “throne” and he’ll explain how when a guy like Armando marries a woman like Golda Meir, Margaret Thatcher, or Indira Ghandi, he is always going to be in his wife’s shadow. He recommends that Armando repeat the following mantra: “I am inferior to my wife, my wife is superior to me; I should not utter stupidities in front of Betty…” Mario continues making little digs and takes away the title of “Tiger” from Armando - now he’s “Tigger,” the friend of Winnie the Pooh! Armando categorically rejects all this and tells his friend “Winnie the Pooh” that he (Armando) is very secure about himself, that he used to be the president of Ecomoda and he knows what he’s doing, and that moreover, people respect him… As he’s saying this, Calderón [Beth: who had been wearing his classic mock-serious, of- course -i-believe-you face] stands and approaches the door to the conference room, from whence strange noises can be faintly heard.

In the conference room, Wilson and Freddy are hunched over the table listening very attentively to the Cartel’s bathroom meeting via Camila’s baby monitor, while the women all talk, laugh and exclaim at once. Armando and Mario open the door and catch the two red-handed… Armando asks [Merci: well, he shouts], “What are you doing, idiot?!” at Freddy, who timidly explains that they’re listening to the Cartel’s conversation. Armando reminds him that this sort of thing is completely illegal, and that a president of the United States had to resign for doing that exact thing (Nixon)… Armando says that Wilson and Freddy are a couple of pigs, real boorish types! Then his ear is caught by his name, and he overhears the Cartel talking about his meanness [Beth: as in stingy, not as in cruel], his lack of intelligence for wanting to compete with Betty [Merci: they call him a brute, poor thing], how Betty is going to pulverize him with her proposal. They laugh at Armando, saying they’ll have to see him tomorrow when Betty wins… and how he’s “Armando de Pinzón!” [Beth: note on married names in many Spanish-speaking countries -many women keep or actively use their maiden names and just add “de [husband’s last name], thus instead of becoming Beatríz Mendoza when she married Armando (or Beatríz Mendoza née Pinzón, as they used to do here), Betty would be Beatríz Pinzón de Mendoza. however, it does NOT work in reverse, with the husbands adding on the wife’s maiden name, so the Cartel’s doing it here is definitely a put-down]. Sofía [Merci: who never learns], says the next time Armando comes to give her an order she’s going to call him “Armanda” [Beth: note the feminine ending!] and tell him to go be with his wife - or, i should say, with his husband! ARMANDO IS LIVID… He rages that they’re all a bunch of witches and he wants to kill them all. Calderón and the other two men restrain him [Beth: Freddy even tries to remind him that Nixon had to resign his presidency for eavesdropping…! LOL!]. Armando kicks Freddy and Wilson out of the conference room. “Damn it!” says poor Armandito…

Álbum 4

Armando and Betty arrive at home and find Lina, Camila’s nanny, waiting for them. Lina tells them the baby is (feeling) better and is asleep in Armando and Betty’s bedroom. They tell Lina they’ll see her tomorrow [and send her home]. Betty and Armando decide they’re both going to work in the study, so Betty asks Armando if he has Camila’s baby monitor. He apologizes, saying he forgot it at Ecomoda. Betty heads to the bedroom to check on the baby, and Armando pours himself a whiskey…

Back at Ecomoda, Freddy and Wilson are trying to retrieve the transmitter part of the monitor from where they hid it in the bathroom [in a basket of what looks like potpourri on the sink]. Unfortunately, before they can make their escape, the Cartel troops back in, forcing the men to hide behind the doors of a pair of toilet stalls. The rest of the Cartel is driving Inesita crazy because they want to try on a couple of Hugo’s new designs…

Once again back at the Mendoza-Pinzón household, Armandito has made a nice little cup of coffee for his wife [Merci: the best coffee in the world, remember!] and he wishes her the best with her proposal; she wishes him the same for his. They settle down to work - Betty at a desk and Armando on a sofa in front of the stereo and TV, etc. Armando decides to put on some music so he can “concentrate” better [Beth: he puts on loud rock ‘n roll…], then starts to play and sing along with the music [while pretending he’s working, but he’s not really fooling me, at least], and generally drive Betty distracted until she tells him what he’s really doing is “boycotting” her [being unfair] and he has to turn the music off. Armandito sulkily complains that now she ’s being unfair to him by not letting him listen to the music that would help him work better. She reminds him they’re not adversaries in this and he briskly tells her to please not interrupt him any more!

Back in the Cartel’s conference room, Sandra opens one of the stall doors and is unpleasantly surprised to find Freddy and Wilson cowering there. Trapped, the men confess to the whole monitor caper and are kicked out of the bathroom by the women (literally)…

These scenes are from Spain…

Armando sings with a pencil in his mouth while he works on his project. In the background, Betty, seated at her desk, works in silence. Armando is proud of the results he’s getting and says, “Papá, not only did they make you gorgeous but also a truly incredible genius.” Afterwards he calls Betty’s attention to tell her everything he has put into the fashion sector in the Caribbean. She makes her dialectic counter-attack by expounding on everything she’s inverted in Europe. Armando replies, “Of course, you are the economist and I am a simple industrial engineer. Everything you say is always going to be the truth. You are always going to be right.” Betty tells him that she’s not underestimating his abilities, he was president of Ecomoda and she but his secretary, his assistant, and that she knows everything about him. The baby starts crying. Betty goes to check on her and Armando starts to spy on Betty’s computer. “Arrrgghhh!! This is excellent!” Betty catches him red-handed and asks if he’s spying on her. He tells her no, that he is weighing it, praising it, and accepting that she is absolutely spectacular. He hugs and kisses her. Armando and Betty give each other pats on the back (or on their buttocks? can’t tell), he goes to look in on the baby, and she starts to look at his project.

Betty is just back from checking the baby as Armando continues working on his proposal.

Armando: The baby, how is she?Betty: Fine, my love. I gave her her pacifier and she settled down.Armando: I’m going to check…

Betty: Ay, no! This isn’t good. But Armando, why did you write this? Ay, my love ! Poor guy!

Armando: My love, my heart, Camilita - you have to go to sleep. Please, sleep! Papito has to work and if you don’t sleep I’m not going to be able to work. I am in a really serious, serious, serious mess. In the office they are calling me “Mister Thatcher,” my love, and they have never, never told me I am Mr Thatcher. Do you know why they’re calling me “Mister Thatcher?” Because I am married to a very intelligent woman. Exactly, your mother - you guessed it!! But of course, I am competing with her … And should I, should I lose the competition with your mother they are going to continue making fun of me . They’ll kill me. And if I lose the competition, in any case, it won’t hurt me so much… You know what? This would confirm that I am a man who is singularly blessed, with a wife as lovely and as intelligent as is Betty. But, my love, in any case I have to make my best effort: I have to work. I have to work because she has to feel just as proud of me as I feel of Betty, my love. That is very important. We can’t lose sight of that and for that reason you have to go to sleep. And if you go to sleep right now, Papito will be able to work, but before that I’m going to change your widdle diaper , we are all going to be very happy and go to sleep. Okay? Widdle diaper… . Yes, with Henry - you remember?

Armando : Aargh! I am wiped out, my God, my love!! And the worst is that we have to work tomorrow.Betty: Ay, I am dead-tired too, my love. I almost didn’t finish. Ay, we only have two hours [before we have to get up again]!Armando: Only two hours?? Betty : What are you laughing at, my love?Armando : I have uncovered a piece of breaking news, my marvelous love…Betty: And that is…?Armando: Nothing, just that the tariff duties in the Caribbean are M-A-R-V-E-L-O-U-S for us .Betty: Well, the EEC also offers us very good tariffs .Armando: Yes , but no matter how good their tariffs may be, they are never going to have what I have in the Caribbean, my life . And it has to do with shipping costs. The thing is the shipping costs. The thing is the shipping costs. For example, tell me: In Europe, how much are the shipping costs? and I will happily tell you how much it costs in the Caribbean. Hmmm?Betty: But you can’t look at this from just one angle. You have to also look at the cost-volume benefit. What’s more, in the Caribbean you can’t ever match the volume we would have in Europe. Armando : How’s this? The Caribbean… Europe…Betty: Shall we go to sleep?

Armando: Well yes, let’s go to sleep.

[Beatríz: Just imagine…]

The U.S. show continues here…

Álbum 5

The next morning we see Betty and Armando arrive at Ecomoda. Gabriela asks them for their proposals so she can fax them to Mr Stevenson right away. Betty tells her they still have a few little details to finish up and will send the proposals to her office shortly. Gabriela apologizes for pouncing on them before they’d barely had a chance to get in the door. Armando heads for his office, and Betty towards hers, while the various members of the Cartel remark to each other that of course Betty will win. She tells them that Armando’s proposal is also very good. Betty asks Aura María to go get Armando’s proposal and bring it to her in her office. Once there, with Armando’s proposal in hand, Aura María asks Betty to give her her proposal as well, so she can deliver them both to Gabriela at the same time. Instead, Betty asks Aura María to hand her Armando’s proposal. As she opens both the proposals, she makes Aura María swear, on Freddy and her son, that she won’t tell ANYONE what she’s about to see Betty do. Looking a bit worried, Aura María dutifully swears she won’t say anything. Then she watches as Betty exchanges the cover sheets of the proposals [i.e., she puts the sheet with Armando’s name on her proposal and the one with her name on Armando’s]. Aura María doesn’t understand why Betty would do such a thing. Betty explains to her that Armando’s proposal is excellent, but it isn’t what the Fashion Group wants to do. She doesn’t want Armando to lose, nor does she want people to keep on talking badly about Armando, as if they don’t believe in him. Aura María wants to know how Betty plans to resolve things [with Armando] when they pick her proposal with Armando’s name on it. Betty says she’ll worry about that later.

It’s the end of the day. Gabriela asks Bertha and Sofía if Armando and Betty are in Betty’s office. The women in turn want to know if Mr Stevenson has made a decision yet. Gabriela tells them yes, he approved one of the proposals. The two Ecomoda women are very pleased and they ask Gabriela to wait to make her announcement, since the employees had bought something to celebrate with. Gabriela tells them that they [Beth: i’m assuming by “they,” Gabriela means she and Kenneth] had also bought two bottles of champagne and asks the women to let her know as soon as things are ready so the announcement can be made in front of all the employees. Sofía and Bertha tell Aura María what’s happening and ask her to call Betty and “El Inútil” (loosely, “Mr Useless”) as soon as everything is ready [Merci: those two overstepped themselves!].

Betty and Armando are in her office, talking to each other very lovingly. Betty tells him it doesn’t matter which proposal is chosen - they both end up winning. And if neither is chosen, the world won’t end tomorrow. Aura María opens the door [Merci: Without knocking, as is customary in Ecomoda] and asks them to accompany her. They do, although Armando does so a bit reluctantly… They find all the employees waiting for them. Gabriela reads a letter from Mr Stevenson in which he explains that they have chosen Betty’s proposal [Merci & Beth: which is to say, Armando’s proposal]. Armando [Merci: who has won first prize for Mr DIVINE of the Year] smiles happily and hugs Betty -who is in shock- and tells her that he knew her idea was the better one and he loves her very much. There are kisses all around, everyone applauds, everyone is happy… [Beth: except Betty, who looks almost sick]. As this is going on, Hugo arrives and petulantly asks what they are all celebrating without him. Inesita explains that Fashion Group chose Betty’s idea, to which Hugo remarks “What idiots! no, what an IDEOTA!” [Beth: this doesn’t really translate - it’s one of Hugo’s usual plays on words, here combining the word for idea (idea, pronounced ee-day-ah) and idiot (idiota, pronounced ee-dee-OH-tah), to come up with a new word, ideota (pronounced ee-day-oh-tah) that presumably is meant to be understood as both a stupid idea and a stupid idiot at the same time]. Hugo mocks Armando for thinking he could compete with Betty. He tells him he doesn’t have neurons, he has sperm [for brains]. Mario tells “Hugay” not to bother his dear “Mr Thatcher,” and congratulates Armando for his “honorable second place” win. Armando is fed up with all these little commentaries and mockery at his expense. He says he is very proud of his wife [who has a stricken, sick expression on her face that no-one seems to have noticed yet]… Gabriela says there is more to Mr Stevenson’s letter. She continues reading and drops a bomb: The Caribbean plan is a wonderful idea and exactly what Fashion Group was looking for at this time [Armando is astonished when he hears these words]. As for the European idea - although it is also very good, it would be better to leave it for two years from now.

Everyone is still celebrating and they want to toast Betty and “her” idea, but Betty can’t stand it any longer; she demands everyone be quiet and listen to her - there won’t be any toast. She tells Aura María to explain to everyone what she saw happen in Betty’s office that morning. Aura María reminds Betty that she’d made her swear not to say anything. Betty authorizes her to break her word, and Aura María tells everyone about the exchange of cover sheets for the proposals. Armando wants to know why Betty would do that… Hugo announces that this is total chaos, typical idea theft. Betty -speaking more to Armando than the group as a whole- says she didn’t do it for that reason [i.e., she wasn’t trying trying to steal Armando’s idea]. She did it to protect Armando, but she’s an imbecile… Crying, she runs to her office.

Álbum 6

[Beth: Merci did summarize this, but Beatríz in Spain provided the actual dialogue, so, with all due respect to Merci, i have substituted the dialogue for the text…]

Betty: My God, please just open up the earth and let it swallow me. My love, my love, the only thing I ask, my love, is that you don’t think that I was trying to appropriate your idea, my love…

Armando: But I already know that - you don’t have to explain that to me. I know that you did what you did out of compassion, because you didn’t think that my idea was the best one - you thought that it was a bad plan. I know you were trying to avoid my being embarrassed in front of all the Ecomoda employees, in front of the whole world. I know you believed in your idea, that you believed in yourself. I know…

Betty: But now you realize that I’m doubly stupid, my love… Because your proposal is the best. And I only wanted to avoid a misunderstanding with everyone, but in the end I made you look ridiculous. What a horror!

Armando: No, no, hush, hush… What would’ve happened if that fax from the Fashion Group had said something else? If it had said that I had won with a proposal for the… European market? What would have happened?

Betty: My love, we both would have triumphed. Because I felt I had to reinforce your image in the company, I have been feeling like it is a necessity…

Armando: Don’t mistake me, Beatríz: I would have killed you…

Betty: But my love, it’s just that it seems really unjust that they don’t value your work, that they don’t value everything you have done for Ecomoda all these years…

Armando: I don’t want that recognition. And what’s more, I don’t accept that recognition.

Betty: My love, my love… I heard you, last night, talking to the baby. I felt your sadness… My love, I felt that- that if you needed that recognition , I would do it for that . If my proposal had won with your name on it, for me it would have been a way of paying you back for everything you’ve done for me, my love. Because if I am here it is because of you. I owe everything to you. I owe you the daughter we have. I owe you that happiness you give me every day [Merci: this is where i started sobbing]. I wanted to give it back to you in some way. It’s just that I now don’t know any way to show you how much I love you…

Armando: No, you don’t have to do that, my love, you don’t have to do that, you don’t have to do that, you don’t have to do that… I know how much you love me. But It’s just that I can’t live with your compassion. You have to understand that. I cannot live with your compassion. My biggest triumph is having you at my side, ok? It is my biggest triumph. All I want is for us to be together. That every night we sleep in each others’ arms. That every morning I wake to your kiss. And you return me to life! That every time I arrive, you and Camila smile to see me. You give me your smile because it is the only way to let me know that I am the best person, that I am the best man, that I am alive… My love, there is something I haven’t told you…

Betty: What?

Armando: That the only person who hasn’t congratulated me for my proposal is you… There, you see that the Caribbean tariffs are better than the European ones? I knew it!!

Betty: No, please - no!

Armando: What do you say about the glasses? They were the best!! I won! I won! I won!

Betty: Ok, ok, it’s fine! it’s fine! I give… Please, don’t punish me, Doctor, please!

Armando: No, no, of course I have to punish you. I have to beat you with the whip of my indifference . I have to do things to you that no-one else would do except me. What’s more… the torture starts NOW, Doctora…!

[Merci: and the punishment began right away - it was such that they both ended up without their glasses on…].

Armando and Betty leave her office to rejoin everyone else, and Armando says cheerfully that they all look like they’re at a wake, not a celebration. Hugo starts to state that he thought Armando had killed Betty, and Armando interrupts him [Merci: FINALLY!] and tells him he neither hits women nor has any reason to kill Betty. She tells him that the day Armando leaves her she’ll die… Armando tells her [Merci: and here the two get rather cloying, but we forgive them] she must let him know before she dies so he can go with her… And here is where our story ends, with kisses, hugs, applause, and bottles of champagne popping open…