Recap

‘Modern Family’ Recap: Caught In The Act

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Jan 20, 2011 | 6:47am EST

‘We were, as they say, having sex.’

S02E13 I know last week I spoke of my disappointment with Modern Family over its use of mis-communication to not only drive the plot but also the humor. And I know how hypocritical it would be of me to say that I enjoyed this week’s episode more despite the fact that it used mis-communication predominately again. But hey, that’s comedy.

Your sense of humor is one of the most personal attributes you have. And you can’t help it either. If you think something is funny, you think its funny. Nothing I can say or do will change that, hopefully we just agree on what's funny. That’s one of the fundamental problems with critiquing comedy - I can’t tell you if something is funny or not because what I consider “funny” might be conceived to you as “gross and misleading the public’s image of my client,” but I only quote a letter I received.

That being said, I can only critique the show as a television show. And for the most part I thought this episode worked and was extremely funny. But that’s just me.

‘ANJELICA HUSTON!’

Because I believe in saving the best for last, lets start with the worst storyline. Unfortunately it's once again Cam and Mitchell's. I'm not saying that it wasn’t a good storyline for them, it was just too predictable (that being said, their typical story line is often funny as it was this week). After being fed up with their neighborhood’s restaurant options, they find a way to scheme into the hot new local spot. As usual it involves using Lily and setting up play dates. Man, if babies are so good for networking I should invest in one. They find the owner of the restaurant to be a terrifying woman and when they accidentally spill strawberry juice on her $50,000 carpet they panic. Eventually they lay the blame on her kid, but when she is about to stab his chest with a pen they blurt out the truth. Gotta love Tarantino homages in prime time sitcoms.

What really worked was Rachael Harris, the shrew that had Ed Helm’s balls in a vice grip in The Hangover. She has a perfect blend of a pleasant facade hiding an IED ready to explode at the tiniest misstep. Basically what I’m saying is that she’s my kind of woman.

‘Turn around the car.’

The other two families were basically mashed into one storyline, even though they started off separately. They came together soon enough and it was delightful. Gloria and Jay are heading off to Vegas when Gloria accidentally sends an email to Claire telling her off about how she handles running a bake sale. Rightfully terrified of Claire’s reaction she forces Jay to turn around so she can go apologize. But when she gets there she finds Claire is mortified. Why?

Well, it's Phil and Claire’s anniversary and they were celebrating the way most couples do - by bumping uglies. But their kids wanted to surprise them with breakfast in bed and caught them red handed. Both sides were equally mortified, with the kids retreating out of the house and Claire and Phil worrying about what they’ll say to them.

Eventually everything gets settled, but not before Gloria tries to explain herself, to which Phil and Claire misconstrue as an epic sex adventure (much to Phil’s shock). Gloria erases the email after Jay steps in saying it was naked pictures of Gloria (causing Phil to sit down). Claire and Phil talk to the kids; they just sit there and smile after they decided that having parents who have sex is better than parents that argue.

‘Did you guys notice that Dad had the same look on his face as when he smells a new car?’

The interesting part of this episode was that for the first time in a long while we saw all Dunphy kids interacting with each other. I’m guessing that at any given time they can’t have one kid on set considering Manny was absent this episode (a first, I believe?). But it was nice to see those dynamic relationships between siblings for a while without the supervision of parents. Kids are different when they’re not around their folks and even more so when they’re siblings. Those three are some of the best child actors I’ve ever seen and I really hope Modern Family keeps putting them together.

And because this was one of the funniest endings of a Modern Family episode ever, relive the magic:

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