The Season 3 finale of Ugly Betty wasn't kind to Daniel Meade: His new bride, Molly, died of cancer. Eric Mabius, who plays the grieving editor-in-chief of Mode, explains how Daniel is coping with his loss, how he ends up involved in a cult and whether he thinks Daniel and Betty will ultimately be together.
TVGuide.com: Is Daniel coping with Molly's death?
Eric Mabius: Daniel is kind of losing it this season. There's a bunch of funny stuff that happens, but it's sad at the same time. For quite a few episodes, we see him lost and sort of little boy-like. He's grasping at straws, and he's having serious anger issues, which he's trying to get a handle on. Daniel's lost because this was the first mature love of his life. He's completely not over Molly and doesn't know how to process it.
TVGuide.com: So what does he do?
Mabius: Things eventually get so bad that he starts going to a support group that winds up being a cult whose leader promises the hope of reuniting with lost loved ones. It gave us a great opportunity to bring in some amazing guest stars, like Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Dylan Baker. You start thinking it's going to be like Fight Club because Jamie-Lynn plays this dark character, but it goes down a completely different track.
TVGuide.com: Things must be tough at Mode with all this going on.
Mabius: With Daniel losing control in certain areas of his life, he's trying to grasp harder at others. Matt is pained over the rejection from Betty, and it's very clear there's some jealousy. So Daniel really tries to rush to Betty's aid, and it ends up creating a whole bunch more drama for her in the workplace. That's what brings Daniel to punch out one of his co-workers in a fit of rage in Betty's defense. It's always one step forward and 10 steps back for Daniel.
TVGuide.com: With Daniel and Betty constantly rushing to each other's sides, do you think they will eventually become a couple like they have on versions of the show that have aired in other countries?
Mabius: I never know an answer to that question. People feel attached to the bond between Daniel and Betty because it's complex. Sometimes she's the older sister to the younger brother, or it's the reverse. It's always fluctuating — even though it's some form of Betty saving Daniel's ass. I think having them get married would really speed up the inevitable end. Having Matt there gives Betty her own identity separate of her relationship with Daniel. I think they will eventually come together, but not in a romantic way. It's kind of like Joanie and Chachi. You think you want to them to get together, but after that's achieved, it's like bad chocolate. You're left feeling a bit dissatisfied.
TVGuide.com: How long before Daniel snaps back to reality?
Mabius: He'll try to get back on the horse. We just shot some scenes in the Bahamas where he and Marc go to hit on guys and girls together. Marc can't get lucky because apparently there are no gay people in the Bahamas, and Daniel can't get lucky because apparently he lost his game. They sort of help each other out and it's really funny and sweet.
The new season of Ugly Betty airs Fridays at 9/8c on ABC. Catch encore airings Thursdays at 7/6c on TV Guide Network.