‘Modern Family’ Recap: Earthquake

Nathan Lane PepperWhat’s up with shows this week focusing on religion? First Glee and now Modern Family. I swear if Community has a “goes to church” episode, I’ll go back to church! I swear, Jesus! I’m all for television touching on the subject of religion, but seriously networks spread it out! There’s a reason people only go to church once a week, that’s how much we can handle at a time.

But luckily Modern Family wasn’t entirely about religion. Instead we find the Pritchett family recovering from an epic earthquake that shook the family to it’s core. It really rocked them and exposed their faults. But they all learned a lesson which I’m sure they are all Richter for. Ok, that last one was a stretch. Sue me. Please don’t.

Anyway, let’s check in with each family and see what happened after the quake. We start off with a typical miscommunication gag involving a threeway phone call when each family checks in with the other. Fairly funny with good reactions from Cam and Gloria. Glad they didn’t stretch it out, it wasn’t terribly funny in the first place. Except Mitchell’s reaction, more of that please.

Prior to the quake, Jay was setting up to go golfing while Gloria and Manny were getting ready to go to church. Gloria was worried about Jay’s soul or something silly like that but Jay just wanted to spend time out in nature praising the lord in his own way. Logic like that is new to Manny who decides to spend time with his step-dad. Jay is cool with it because “either way a latino kid is going to be holding my bag.”

Out on the links, Manny breaks the sacred rule of Golf Manly Time by asking the big questions about life, death, and heaven. Jay does what any good parent does when faced with life’s tough questions by saying the first thing that pops into his head. This doesn’t satisfy Manny (of course) which only leads to more and more questions which only frustrates Jay more and more. Eventually he tells Manny that he doesn’t know, all his guesses are only hunches. Manny freaks the hell out and ends with the brilliant (even here, slightly out of context) line “do you know about menstruation? Because I do.”

Mitchell and Cam were attempting to get out of a big gay brunch that their over zealous friend likes to host. “He did the impossible. He made two gay men hate brunch,” retorts Mitchell. The fabulously themed brunches (Oscar Wilde and Crazy Brunch, Studio Fifty Fourth of July, Seder-day Night Fever) are a little too much for them and they use the Earthquake as the excuse they needed to get out. But that doesn’t stop Pepper from showing up to help clean out their house. And then we get the amazing Nathan Lane.

I’m all for realistic portrayals of people and I think stereotypes are bad and we’re all just normal people (have I covered all my bases yet?) but I absolutely love it when Nathan Lane goes all out fabulous. It’s just one of life’s delights. Pepper is a former one-date boyfriend of Cam’s. Cam tries to give excuses for it but Mitchell won’t fall for it when he mouths along with Cam “we were at sea.” Anyway, Pepper flies in like a tornado and Mitchell won’t lie to Pepper any more about skipping brunch so he has Cam do the dirty work. But this falls through and Cam laterals it to Mitchell who confesses that Cam still has feelings for Pepper and that’s why they didn’t want to come. Pepper takes it in stride and understands why they won’t be at the next few brunches.

Then we get the amazing Dunphy story. Claire goes around Phil and orders a plumber to fix the tub. The earthquake happens and she and the plumber get stuck in the bathroom. The rest of the family uses this as an opportunity to get a few things done. Haley tries to sneak out but her mom grounds her for four weeks. She gets so fed up she screams at her mom to double it and make it ten weeks. Oh, Haley. Phil uses it as a time to bolt the bookcase down which he promised to do months ago. Alex notices the fib and when Claire finally gets stuck, Alex covers gracefully for Phil and they have an amazing moment. Alex can really be the coolest kid ever. And then there was luke. Poor Luke. I would feel sorry for him if seeing him run into a wall wasn’t the funniest thing ever.

All in all, a very good episode of Modern Family. The story lines were all solid and the jokes were plentiful and funny. Special award of the day goes to Manny after he runs away from the thought of butterflies in heaven. That kid would be annoying as hell to have, but man is he funny.