After a five-week hiatus, Ugly Betty takes back its Thursday perch tonight with the first of five all-new episodes. To mark the occasion, series creator Silvio Horta — who on Monday was honored with the Courage Award from the Point Foundation (great organization, check it out) — gave me permission to interrogate him about all things Ugly, including Henry’s return, Christina’s exit, Justin’s sexuality, and, yes, Betty’s braces.
Are you looking at Matt and Betty as a long-term couple?
SILVIO HORTA: As long-term as it gets in TV. As with any romance, there will be obstacles as well as some misunderstandings before the finale, and it’s going to lead to some juicy stuff next year. Matt’s going to be around and their relationship is going to be changing and growing.
How significantly will Henry’s return threaten their relationship?
HORTA: They’ve both moved on, but they obviously are still an important part of each others’ lives and that’s going to become a complication. There’s going to be feelings of insecurity on Matt’s side, and there are some unresolved things between Henry and Betty.
Speaking of Betty’s exes, might we see Gio again?
HORTA: Potentially, but there are no plans at this point.
Will the issue of Justin’s sexuality be addressed next season?
HORTA: Yeah, we’re going to explore stuff. He’ll be going to high school and getting older, so we’ll definitely be exploring that.
Will Marc find love after Cliff?
HORTA: We’ve been discussing it. We haven’t started breaking the exact stories for next year, but that’s one of the things we’ve really talked about. We want to see [Marc and Amanda's] love lives.
How would you characterize Ashley Jensen’s departure? Was it mutual?
HORTA: It was mutual. She’s amazing. From the get-go, we found some really good stories for her, but we never found enough to service her character the way we wanted to and the way she wanted to. She wanted to do more, but it was [difficult] with a large ensemble like this to give her more. I hope in the future she’ll come back. She’s an important part of the show.
Will Christina get a satisfying send-off?
HORTA: She will. Next week’s episode will [set things in motion] with Wilhelmina’s baby – or her supposed baby – and it’s going to lead to a lot of complications.
Ana Ortiz gives birth in June. Will we see less of Hilda at the start of next season due to her maternity leave?
HORTA: We may write her a little lighter in the beginning, but we’re not writing her out or anything.
Who is Rachel Dratch playing in the finale?
HORTA: She’s playing a dual role. She’s playing Penny Meadows, an editor at Mode, and she’s also playing Mindy Meadows, her twin sister. It’s a one-time guest stint, but she was great.
The most asked Ugly Betty question from my readers: When is Betty getting her braces off?
HORTA: Her braces will be off by the end of next season. Next year, there’s going to be a progression in her look overall. It’ll still be Betty, but you’ll see some growth in that direction.