"The Courtship of Betty's Father" is the 14th episode in the third season, the 55th episode overall, of the American Dramedy series Ugly Betty, which aired on February 12, 2009. The episode was written by Peter Elkoff and directed by John Terlesky.
The story begins with Betty helping out her family at breakfast, when all of a sudden she gets a phone call from Claire: It turns out that she has been shoplifting and she wanted Betty to bail her out by paying the $24.00 she owes the store. Betty is stunned over what Claire did, but after she talked to Daniel about the incident, Daniel told Betty that in a few days Claire will turn 60 and somehow feels like the family has left her alone.
This prompts Betty come up with a way to surprise Claire, and after seeing past home videos of an Angela Bower-like Claire celebrating the family while drinking at Christmas, Betty gets the idea taping a video tribute for Claire's 60th birthday by putting together a collection of clips from people who know her in a revealing way. Unfortunately, Betty's pet project would turn into a fiasco; first by confessions from Liz Smith and two of Claire's friends, followed by Amanda's not-so-happy congrats to Claire.
But the real shocker comes when Betty accidentally leaves the camera on at home and discovers some revealing footage about Ignacio, which she discovers the following day at work after Daniel sees Ignacio grabbing Elena's butt, which he shows Betty. At home later that same day, Betty tried to convince Hilda about what happened but Hilda left that doubt open, so the sisters split up by talking to Ignacio and Elena separately with Betty walking with Ignacio while Hilda spent time at home with Elena. However the two assured the sisters that there was nothing going on.
Or so they thought; at work Betty convinced Claire to talk to Ignacio and they do, but later that evening at the Suarez home during dinner, Hilda asked Betty to get Ignacio and Elena to come downstairs to eat when Betty looked at the front door window and sees Ignacio and Elena kissing! It turns out that Ignacio has fallen for Elena and are now a couple. This revelation not only upsets Betty and Hilda, but also causes Elena to end this romance, resulting in a devastated Ignacio to blame his daughters for not allowing him to do something he has not done since Rosa died - to start dating again.
When Betty asked Claire about what she told Ignacio, she explained that to Betty that she should let her father date again. At the same time Claire asked Betty to go shopping with her now that she knew of what Betty was planning for her birthday, where told her that for once that she would like to spend more time with Daniel. After that conversation, Betty discovers that Claire was planning to shoplift again, but this time its Betty who gets caught after she grabbed the item out of Claire's hands. Claire would then return to clear up the mess with the store manager and Betty was free to go but this time around it would be Daniel who would pay the store after Claire was forced to stay there. After a long mother-son conversation, Daniel surprised Claire with a birthday dinner as a way to spend some time together, which included reliving those home videos featuring the two along with Alex.
Later that afternoon, Betty went over to Elena's place to explain why Elena dating Ignacio shocked her and Hilda. Betty then returned to the Suarez home with Elena that night to apologize over not letting Ignacio date another woman who would replace Rosa. A surprised Ignacio told his daughters that even though they still think of their mother, he assures them that Elena will not replace their memories of Rosa. Despite this, Hilda, who thought of Elena as a friend, feels slighted over Ignacio dating his nurse.
Meanwhile, Daniel and Wilhelmina have difficulty adjusting to the new significant others in their lives. At the Rockefeller Plaza skating rink, the rivals, along with Connor and Molly, ran into each other. After the foursome talked about what has happened after the events of the previous weeks, Daniel and Wilhelmina discover Connor and Molly talking about their past relationship, thus leading to Daniel and Wilhelmina to come up with a way to keep the new love lives with them.
For Daniel, he hoped that doing something for Molly that Connor didn't do for her would work in his favor. Unfortunately, that would prove to be a failure; it turns out that some of the ideas, like taking Molly to a Tibet restaurant, remind Molly of Connor. However, Molly later tells Daniel that despite this, she still tells him that the only person she wants in her life is Daniel.
As for Wilhelmina, as Connor prepares to take a trip to London for a meeting, he asked Wilhelmina to keep an eye on his parrot, "Olivia Newton-Bird" (named after his childhood idol). Wilhelmina is not so keen about keeping the bird around and when Marc asked her about her true feelings about Connor, she blurted out "I Love Connor" and the parrot repeated it, upsetting Wilhelmina. But in the end, as Connor returned from London, she would say those same words, and Connor planted a long kiss on her.
Ashley Jensen was absent from this episode.
Despite a strong showing from CBS' Survivor: Tocantins — The Brazilian Highlands, the episode placed second with a 5.0/8 overall and a 2.3 among 18-49s, with 7.44 million viewers tuning in. Nevertheless, ABC did score another Thursday night win.Grant Bowler as Connor Owens
Sarah Lafleur as Molly
Lauren Velez as Elena
Liz Smith as herself