Warning: there are plenty of spoilers about the Spanish drama Velvet ahead.
Fashion Insight: Going through swatch books.
Ross and Rachel of the Week: Ana and Alberto
Spanish Culture Clue: The terrible treatment of women in this era.
Language Point: The dialogue plays off “igual” and “desigual” in several places.
Doña Gloria knocks on the door of the guestroom at Marquez Manor. When no one enters, she walks in. Ana is gone, but the ring is there. Oh, happy day!
Back in the dorms, Ana is sobbing. Alberto says that he won’t marry Cristina just so that people can keep their jobs, but Ana says the he must, and so he reluctantly agrees.
Alberto goes up to his office, where Christina is waiting. She wants to support Alberto after his father’s death.
Luisa is sneaking out of the dorms when she runs into that sleazy Don Francisco. His wife is upstairs buying a dress, and so he is free to put the moves on Luisa. Then, he goes upstairs and tells Don Mateo to rehire her. Don Mateo goes downstairs to tell Doña Blanca this, and she tells him that the fabric shipments have been delayed. This is not good.
Don Alberto is up on the roof, drinking. Mateo finds him and gets to listen to him whine. Oh, how he whines! Mateo isn’t having any of it. Cristina is pretty, fun, wants to marry him, and the marriage will save the business. What’s the problem? “I fall in love every five minutes!” Mateo says. Alberto goes down for a meeting with Don Gerardo, who points out that Cristina has had many suitors from good families, so Alberto should get his act together.
Alberto calls a meeting of the staff and informs them of the Otegui Family’s investment. He asks everyone to keep working. Patricia and Gloria look sad, but no one else does. Oh, happy day!
Back in the staff area, Don Emelio asks Doña Blanca to smile, you know, because she’s a lady. An ad for a new executive secretary has been posted, and Pedro tells Clara to apply.
Rita and Ana go back to their room. Rita tells Ana about kissing Pedro last night. Was it only last night? Velvet is like the discussion of the Genesis story: Is God so mighty that he could create a day that lasted a million years? Because that’s what He seems to have done with Velvet.
Clara goes up to the offices to apply for the secretarial position. Don Alberto is gone, but Don Mateo is hanging around and ready to flirt. Clara says she has little experience but much interest in learning. She goes back downstairs and practices typing as Pedro dictates.
A million years or so have passed, and it’s now the next day. Don Emelio is conducting interviews for a new sales clerk. Doña Blanca is in the atelier looking for a red dress from the first collection that, unbeknownst to her, Alberto gave to Ana. Alberto is chatting up a business reporter who is working on a story about Galerias Velvet. Alberto tells him that he will be putting on a tribute to his father and that the store will be entering a new era.
Don Mateo is upstairs testing secretarial applicants. He calls Clara in last, and like a good perv who is certainly on a Shitty Men in Retail list somewhere, has her type a passage about brassieres. She doesn’t do well, but she tells Mateo that she will practice typing and that her knowledge of Velvet and its business is unmatched by any other applicant.
Back on the sales floor, Rita sees Pedro and apologizes for the kiss. He tells her that it’s okay, because Clara’s sister is the same as his sister. Just then, Clara arrives to tell him that she received the job.
Don Alberto is in the jewelry department looking at rings as Don Emelio interviews a devastatingly handsome candidate – who demonstrates his skills by selling Patricia a dress. Patricia and Emelio agree that he should be hired.
Cristina arrives to meet Alberto for dinner, and she is dressed to kill. Her dress gets caught in the elevator door and rips. Don Emelio sends her to the atelier and asks Ana to fix it. As Ana sews, Cristina tells her how happy she is that life has given her a second chance. Clearly, she doesn’t know who Ana is.
Cut to Alberto and Cristina at the restaurant, which seems to set in the same place as the bank. Cristina shows off the “movie star smile” she has practiced. It’s pouring rain outside, so of course Ana decides to walk through the rain and show up at the restaurant just as Alberto is about to propose. Alberto looks up and sees her, and she runs off. He chases her, in the rain, just so that we know how doomed the two of them are. He returns to the restaurant, but the moment for proposing is off.
Ana returns to the dorm, where Don Emelio tells her that he always knew that things with Alberto would end badly. He tells her to leave Velvet or she will end up sewing the wedding dress for Don Alberto’s bride. He has a friend with a tailoring business in Barcelona who needs a cutter.
The next day, the red dress has returned to the shop floor. Don Gerardo wants to know why Alberto hasn’t proposed and suggests that it happen at the tribute to Alberto’s father.
Ana is packing for Barcelona and finds a paper airplane from Alberto with a note asking her to meet him on the roof. There, Alberto tells her that his plan is to drag out the engagement until Velvet makes enough money to pay back Gerardo. Then, he will cancel the engagement and marry Ana. What a coward! Ana, of course, thinks this is a fine idea. Much kissing ensues.
The Devastatingly Handsome Maximilio goes to the workroom to be fitted for his uniform. When he opens his shirt, Doña Blanca sees his medal. She becomes upset, but why? Could Devastatingly Handsome Maximilio or Doña Blanca be hiding a secret?
Back in the office, Alberto is considering the ring and trapped by the prison-bar shadows formed by the window shades, just so that we understand the gravity of his situation. Mateo tells him to go through with the engagement. The pair go down to the tribute. Alberto tells the assembled guests that he will modernize Velvet, and then he proposes to Cristina. Cut to Ana, leaving for Barcelona. Of course, all of her things fit into a tiny suitcase that is not at all heavy. She gets on the train.
But then! Alberto arrives at the office and sees Ana. She couldn’t leave. We get some hot office sex and promises that they will never again be apart.