Connor has ushered the heads of the company and the various magazines off to a woodland corporate retreat, but the scenes there are refreshingly free of the usual ropes-course/trust-fall clichés. They are not free of crazy, however: Claire Meade spends the second day of the retreat dressed as Tim Burton's brain, and nobody even notices. Wili and Daniel have left the final look at this month's issue to Betty, and just after she's approved it -- and its "fashion tornado" cover shoot -- a real actual (non-fashion) tornado rips through Kansas, killing like a billion people. PR nightmare, Peter Parker!
So Betty and Marc set out in search of Daniel and Wili to recall the issue before it goes out -- and Amanda comes along, because what is the point of this show otherwise -- in Cliff's car. Stressing about his upcoming gay marriage issue, he crashes into a tree on the way to the retreat lodge. One thing you might not know is that between the island and upstate, there's a place called Arkansas where the people all wear bib overalls and chew on hay while drunk-driving, it's a whole mess. Anyway, Betty finally hires a skywriter and gets Daniel to call her, but he and Wili make a last-minute publicity-stunt decision and send the issue out anyhow.
Betty ends up on Fashion Buzz once again, this time as the classless harebrained assistant who luxuriates in the pain of dead trailer trash, the titular "Tornado Girl," and for five seconds she's as T-shirt famous as when Winona had (as Justin puts it) her "troubles." There is a heartrending scene in which Betty fully breaks down in Daniel's office and seriously explains to him just how horrible he's treated her this time. He responds by apologizing at a press conference, taking all the blame onto himself, and selling the issue as a limited-time offer, all proceeds going to help the victims. Awesome.
Hilda continues to be really confused about basic municipal shit, and can't understand why they turned down her beauty shop permit. She and Betty go visit Karate Cutie Archie Rodriguez, for reasons that aren't really very comprehensible, and basically consist of screaming at him in the middle of his office for awhile and then wandering away like freaks, even though A) none of this has anything to do with him and B) he's not in charge of beauty shop permits and most importantly of all, he can't even pronounce the word "permit." He keeps saying perMIT, like, just to drive you fucking nuts, and nobody else does, which is tight of them. Anyway, because Hilda is gorgeous and needs to go out with Archie, they just ignore the entire lame plot that got them there and he shows up schlepping this box of, like, candles and saying that Hilda's Beauticles or whatever it is can get a permit by becoming a boutique. Meanwhile, Justin is turning into something amazing you've never seen before, like this... cross between Rihanna and David Sedaris's Mom.
You know what's stupid? They're remaking Karate Kid. Even though it's just like common knowledge that the franchise hit its apex in 1994 with The Next Karate Kid, specifically the part where Michael Cavalieri goes, "You said you had all the answers, Colonel. You were wrong." Or when they invent the pink belt so Hilary Swank will look more like a girl and less like a big old giant man.
But now what about the actual main characters, you ask. Amanda's main plotline is dressing Betty at the beginning of the episode basically, but it carries a lot of weight because Betty looks fucking awesome the entire time. Still busy and kind of insane, but not a hot mess like normal. It's like she has a personal style or something. I applaud this. Either that, or Claire Meade's crazy outfit sucked all the crazy out of everybody's outfits, except for this weird Mondrian necklace Marc is sporting.
Other things Marc's sporting include his cutest hair ever, Betty's admiration for telling her about the Daniel betrayal in an adorable noir fashion, and the total shame of having cheated on Cliff. Oh, and Amanda finds a Tiffany's receipt for their rings, which causes him to go on a serious downward spiral. Proving that you should never trust a Suarez, he takes Betty's advice and comes clean about all of it, breaking my poor Cliff's heart to a possibly unfixable degree. And you know, normally I would be stomping mad about this development, but: cutest hair ever. Now if you'll excuse me, I believe I've something in my eye.
Betty and Amanda walk to work, Betty excitedly chattering about the new Mode issue, themed "Eye Of The Fashion Storm." Amanda, noting Betty as having the look of someone with a handle on science, asks why tornados always hit "shantytowns"; she offers the possibility that God just hates poor people. Betty's not feeling that, and changes the subject back to the eye of the fashion storm, particularly the one she's in the center of: a cute T-shirt with a pink skull, high-waisted herringbone pattern skirt, a cool Chanelesque midlength jacket, a funny '30s hat, and white gloves. She looks awesome, and not in the "awesomely fucked-up" way of late, but actually like the cute girl she could be. Amanda calls her a "plus-size princess" and says dressing Betty up in the clothes from Amanda's "hefty years" is like playing dressup with a big squishy doll. She fawns all over Betty and begs to do it every day. Say yes! Amanda looks about sixteen feet tall in a big faux-fur coat and ruffly headmistress dress with puffed sleeves. Marilla Cuthbert wouldn't be impressed, of course, but Blair Waldorf would approve.
Betty, as usual, reacts negatively to the idea of dressing like an actual person and not the nightmares of clowns, and changes the subject to the big Meade retreat at Talmadge Hall. She paints a word-Bosch about some horrific doings in the woods such as "sharing ideas" and telling "anecdotes," and Amanda correctly identifies this as being fantastic in an amount equal to having a scorching herpes outbreak. Betty's phone rings and she hands Amanda her bagel, which promptly goes in the trash ("It's for ya own good!" Amanda shouts hilariously), and answers her phone. Whatever it is, it's bad news, but it also makes her smile so big you can smell the lox in her braces.
Betty runs into Daniel's office and says that the issue's final approval has to be pushed back, because there's been a problem at the printer's. Daniel is crestfallen like a boy in love, because that means he won't get to ride in Connor's awesome car and have awesome Connor adventures and be in the "fun car." You know what the "fun car" is? Whatever Claire's doing. That broad is always ten times weirder when she's bored. Betty offers to do it, in a rehearsed way, and Daniel kind of blows her off because it's a huge deal, but she assures him that, having watched him do it a billion times, she's in control. He admits she is sort of terrifyingly OCD -- she prefers "helpful," which is one word for what she is -- and he tells her to go for it, which of course engenders a total whooping freakout.