S02E16: Overall, it was a kind of average week for Modern Family. I thought the episode was jam-packed this week, but as far as the quality of the laughs? Eh, normal. That’s not a bad thing at all, Modern Family is still sharp when it’s firing on an average amount of cylinders, but it wasn’t anything special. The only thing that really separated this episode out from the others was the sheer amount of stuff that happened this week.
"I thought you were a raccoon!" - Phil
By my count there were five stories this week, but the family cross pollinated so often that it felt like more. Claire and Phil had the main story this week with a heavy dose of help from Jay and Gloria. But Jay and Gloria also had their own story. Cam and Mitchell had their story, but there was enough meat in their story for two. Then Haley had her own story as well and before you know it this episode was filled to the brim.
Let’s start with Phil and Claire, shall we? I particularly enjoyed them this week, if only because the writers decided to play with the story’s structure and present everything in a nonlinear manner. I guess after last week’s mocumentary burn from Community any deviation from the norm is welcome. Anyway, we learn immediately that Claire and Phil got in a huge fight and managed to trash the kitchen in the process, but Phil can’t remember why Claire was upset. But as he learns, so do we and we eventually see that it's because Claire feels he doesn’t appreciate her suggestions. Apparently Phil had tried a wedge salad after a recommendation by an idiot after Claire had been telling him to try it for ages. Women, always mad at the little things.
"You know, when you get a massage you sound like a Tiawana prostitute." - Jay
But then Gloria and Jay come in to help them and we get a mash up of the two stories. Jay tries to get Claire to just talk to Phil about it and when Claire notices that her dad might be getting soft, Jay takes offense and finally tells her that Claire sounds like a hooker when she gets a massage (which she totally does). Meanwhile, Gloria is giving Phil a haircut (complete with shoving her chest in his face - AWESOME) and trying to work out why Claire was mad at him. Her conclusion is that he is an idiot (which he is) and that it wasn’t one thing it was the combination of everything. Of course, she ended up being wrong, but it was still a fun mash up.
Also, has anyone else noticed the mother love that seeps into Modern Family? Last week we saw that Claire’s ex had a thing for her mom. Phil is enamored with Gloria, his step-mother-in-law. Dylan has a thing for Claire. Twice is a coincidence, but three times is definitely a pattern.
"One time I forgot to get Gloria a birthday present and I paid for it. Another time I remembered, but she didn’t like the gift. Paid for that. So you’d think when I remembered to buy her a gift that she loves I wouldn’t have to pay for it, right?" - Jay
Okay, so back to Jay and Gloria. Their story was fairly light (so much so it was barely a story) but it did give us Gloria singing. Now I’m not sure if that was Sofia Vergara pretending to sing horribly (she might have a beautiful voice) but Gloria cannot sing at all. Holy hell. Jay is obviously upset about it, but if Jay isn’t upset then we don’t get wonderful lines like the dogs put their heads back in the window if they drive past while Gloria is singing. Eventually Manny is the one to crack and tells his mom off while telling Jay that he is a coward for not doing the same. I’m not sure where this frazzled Manny came from, but I liked him. Man, Jay and Manny upset are two wonderful things. I hope they keep getting messed with.
"Do you want to hear the guest list for tonight? So far its anger, betryal, terror, and sadness. Congratulations Mitchell - you packed the house!" - Cam
Meanwhile back at Cam and Mitchell’s, Cam is throwing some party. I’m not really sure what it was about, it was gay and involved harps. That’ll get some angry comments. Anyway, Mitchell forgot to send out the invitations which sends Cam into a fit. It would’ve been good enough watching Cam paces back and forth past the walls, but this story had an ace up its sleeve: Luke. I’m not sure why Luke and Cam haven’t had more time together because the combination is amazing. Especially when Cam gets bothered and Luke doesn’t understand redial. Throw in some walkie talkie head pieces and you’re golden.
But that’s not everything that happened! All the kids are in play this week. Haley got a job to save up for a new car, but Alex gets suspicious and rightly so. Haley has been pretending to have a job all along and Alex finally tries to call her out on it by bringing the whole family to her restaurant. That doesn’t stop Haley though as she manages to trick her way around the whole situation. Say what you will about Haley’s intelligence, the girl has some skill when it comes to getting what she wants.
Phew, that was a lot of stuff to get through. And again, it pretty much worked. It wasn’t a great episode but it was still funny. We all got the group lesson at the end about listening which kind of made sense through the whole episode, but I wasn’t paying attention that well. And holy hell, I about forgot Claire getting another coat caught in the door and the whole fire extinguisher fiasco! Yeah, that happened too.