This week's cold open is particularly delightful. Marc -- in costume as Betty, complete with poncho and eyebrows -- comes bursting into the office. "HOLA!" he yells, "HAPPY HALLOWEEN." Amanda brays with delighted laughter. Wilhelmina strolls past this sensitive tableau and shakes her head. "That is the absolute cruelest thing I've ever seen," she announces. Marc turns around and brushes his wig off his shoulder, like Jack McFarland doing his imitation of Cher. "SOMEONE'S getting a raise," she finishes with a smirk, and walks off toward her office.
Meanwhile, in Queens, Betty comes tromping down the stairs in her jammies and robe. Her dad is yelling at her that breakfast is ready! He's been waiting forever! She gets caught in some Halloween decorations -- namely, faux spider webs strung around the stairwell -- but manages to extricate herself and storms into the kitchen, where she finds her father, reading the newspaper. She announces that she really needs to talk to him! Ignacio has no response, so Betty pokes the newspaper, and it falls aside, revealing a skeleton sitting behind it. "I told you, I've been waiting FOREVER," he says, creeping up behind her with a (fake) snake draped around his shoulders. You know, like Britney Spears. "GOOD ONE," Betty snaps irritably, before laying into him about the fact that, according to the Social Security people, he's 117 years old and dead. She is steamed, but he is totally blasÃ© about the entire thing. He's rescued from further haranguing by his other daughter, who tells him that she'll be taking a short day on the Herbalux tip so that she can help him decorate the outside of the house. Ignacio reminds her to get some good candy, since he doesn't want to be known as "the raisin house again." I hear that. When I was a kid, I lived down the street from my orthodontist. Every year, she gave out toothbrushes. This was not popular with the neighborhood kids, all of whom already bore the orthodontist a grudge because she was (a) a total sadist with the wires, (b) prone to yelling at you if you left the house without your headgear. She's lucky none of us egged the place.
Justin comes into the kitchen, dressed as a sailor. It is a testament to my dorkitude that I realized his costume was Gene Kelly right off the bat. What can I say? I love a good tap dance. Hilda gently suggests he tell everyone at school that he's just a plain old sailor. "Fine, but I'm a sailor who can sing and tap," Justin says, and launches into "New York, New York" (the "helluva of a town/the Bronx is up/and the Battery's down" version, not "these vagabond shoes"), Ã la Mr. Kelly in On the Town. Which means that I will have this song in my head for the next three weeks. In fact, the last time I was in New York, I had this song in my head the entire time. It did, however, help me recall which direction the Bronx was. Betty and her father look pleased by Justin's song-and-dance skills, while Hilda just seems bemused. "And...dance break!" Justin says, shuffling off to the living room. "Better hope he can sing and tap and throw a punch," Ignacio mutters. Hilda smiles, and asks Betty if she and Walter have plans for the evening. Apparently, they're passing out candy and going to a midnight showing of Saw. Hilda thinks this is sweet. "You did the right thing taking him back. You would not want to watch that movie alone," she says. Betty shrugs that they're just dating, and then fills Hilda in on all the drama about Ignacio's social security issue. "DAD!" Hilda says, turning to their father, who's carving a pumpkin at the kitchen table. He reacts by screaming and leaping up, fake blood pouring out of a "cut" on his arm. Both girls look totally blank faced. I suspect this is not the first time he's pulled this trick, much the way my own father pretends to trip over his own feet every single time my mother tasks him with holding a baked item. Because she is a good wife, however, she pretends to fall for it every time, while my sister and I -- like Betty and Hilda -- just roll our eyes. Ignacio "dies" a very dramatic, bloody death, but finally crawls out from under the table. "Come on! That was good stuff! I tried it on the paper boy this morning and he peed himself." Be that as it may, both girls have to go to work. Betty tells her Dad to go down to the Social Security office and prove that he's alive. "They think I'm crazy."