S2E14: Ah, another Modern Family Valentine’s Day episode. I guess its a little unfair to say that considering there has been only one other - ah forget it. IMAGINE ME NAAAAAAKED!
This was a fantastic episode, but the reappearance of Dylan on the flatbed truck, with full band in tow and a new song dedicated to Haley? Icing on the cake, my friends. Combine that with Phil and Claire getting it on, Jay and Gloria riding wild on their new bike, and Cam and Mitchell celebrating a quiet evening all at the same time? Glorious.
What made it so perfect, besides being hilarious, was that each family represented a different aspect of the same theme. As we’ve seen, when every family is connected (even by the smallest thread) it makes the episode better as a whole. The theme this week, at least for me, was what makes being in a relationship awesome: Dylan showing Haley romance through theatrics, Phil and Claire showing it by getting it on, Jay and Gloria by trying to make the other happy, and Cam and Phil by just being content with each other. It was sweet, totally unnecessary, flamboyant, heartwarming, and funny. Basically what Valentines Day is really all about.
Before getting into the individual story lines - I just have to point out the reservation at Ibiza’s. Each couple used the SAME reservation, all at different times, and each for different reasons. And if we think the coda where Cam and Mitchell order take out is from Valentine’s night, then no family actually ate at the restaurant. It's a little thing, but it separates Modern Family from the rest.
"I’m usually good at catching things from women in bars." -Phil
Phil and Claire start off this year’s Valentine’s Day doing the opposite of what they did last year, i.e. trying to keep the passion going. They make reservations at a swanky place but when they’re surrounded by old people (and Phil takes off in a Jazzy) Claire decides to rekindle the spark. So once again out comes Julianna and Clive Bixby. And once again, Phil messes everything up. He doesn’t understand the subtleties of Claire’s ruse but in Phil’s defense, I wouldn’t want to upset Claire either so his actions are sorta justifiable. But he grabs the wrong key and ends up in some lady’s hotel room. Hijinks ensued.
"It defeats the purpose of Valentine’s Day if you make it into some silly competition." -Jay
"Shut up, I win." -Gloria
Jay and Gloria started off the weaker story this week (turns out there weren’t any weak stories this week), but by the end it redeemed itself. Jay wanted to trick Gloria into thinking he had forgotten and flubbed up Valentine’s Day when he had actually catered a fancy dinner back at the house. The reservation screw up was just a red herring. But when they get back, the dinner and show weren’t set up. Turns out Gloria had turned one on him and set up the dinner in the garage. And also bought him a motorcycle. Take that, Gloria’s dress, and her line “Shut up, I win” and we have one of the stronger Jay and Gloria stories this season.
"‘Well pick out china and move to Vermont." -Mitchell
Cam and Mitchell was another surprisingly good story this week. Cam is initially jealous of Mitchell’s new assistant who Cam thinks has a crush on Mitchell. Mitchell denies it but secretly enjoys it. But then Cam comes to the office one day and realizes that the assistant actually has a thing for him. Or so he thinks. They get into a petty argument (again) about who is recipient of the crush and they’re about to drive over to the dude’s house when he texts Mitchell his resignation. Of course, he doesn’t make it clear who he had the hots for but it was a sweet ending. Also, the return of Cam’s bike shorts? Still one of the best dick jokes on network television.
"She’s had the romantic. She’s had the intelligent. Now how about all that in one little brown package?" -Manny
Then we come to the kids. I’ve just about come to the conclusion that each week will have one kid missing and probably for child labor law reasons, but this week we actually see every kid but Luke doesn’t say anything! HOW CAN YOU TEASE US LIKE THIS MODERN FAMILY? NOT COOL, BRO.
Anyway, Haley breaks up with her latest BF, the nerd. She’s feeling unsure about this but luckily the doctor of love himself, Manny, is there to swoop in and sweep her off her feet. Haley is apprehensive at first but eventually listens to his advice, but then Dylan shows up with the flatbed and she runs right back into his arms. Awwwwww. Then a very odd thought popped into my head. I know Manny’s relationship to Haley is supposed to be like a boyhood crush, but Manny is Haley’s uncle. Step uncle, but uncle still. Which makes Manny a well articulated creepy uncle. You’re welcome for that thought.