‘Modern Family’ Recap: Election Day!

Modern FamilyS3E19: “Election Day is America at its finest. The people speak, and the government listens,” Jay explained to Manny on last night’s Modern Family. (If only if all the action leading up to America’s 2012 election day was as refined! Oh, the things we can learn from you, Jay.) The long-running plot surrounding the city council election continued last night, with Claire running against Tobias Fünke Duane Bailey. The entire extended family stepped up to the plate ballot box (or at least tried) to ensure Claire a victory. It didn’t exactly go well: She lost a tooth, and a newspaper reporter didn’t even recognize her as one of the candidates. American ignorance about politics? In that patriotic spirit, we invite you into our situation room, where we broke down all the situations on MF last night, Election 2012-style.

Mitch and Cam vs. Sandie, Lily’s teacher

Everybody’s favorite uncles decided to help out Claire by driving around in the Clairemobile (read: an old taco truck) shouting out campaign slogans over the dispatch. “We’re here, we’re Claire, get used to it” “You don’t have to be Claire-voient to know who to vote for. Vote Dunphy for town council. Claire Dunphy.” “I’m sorry if that wasn’t Claire.” With support like that, how could she lose?

Unfortunately, our favorite duo got a little power-hungry, and couldn’t stop using their newfound Wizard of Oz voices (apparently, people listen to what they hear over loudspeakers) for petty revenge by calling out businesses. “Totally free checking? Don’t bank on it.” “Best pizza in the city? Not even the best pizza on the street.” Even worse, right when they were getting around to actually helping Claire, they saw Lily’s preschool teacher out with her fiancé and started to gossip about how he’s obviously gay — like one Mr. Hugh Jackman, who they also had some strong feelings about. (Don’t we all?) And yup, she definitely heard them. They had to spend the rest of the afternoon reassuring her about her super-straight fiancé. Cam explained to the camera: “We probably did more for Hugh Jackman’s career [today] than Claire’s.”

Ballot cast: Mitch and Cam — the truth hurts, but sometimes it needs to be said (said the gossip about the gossips… ). Sandie went through with the wedding, and her fiancé did the flower arrangements. To quote Mitch: “Gregory did the flowers, which is perfectly normal for a straight guy.”

Jay vs. Dottie

After his speech about American elections, you might think Jay would be first in line to cast a vote for his very own daughter. You’d think wrong. He panicked when he saw ex-flame Dottie running the voting center — the last time he saw her was right after he ended things with his ex-wife, sneaking out of her house before breakfast. Ouch.

Ballot cast: Team Dottie. Sure, she went a little crazy by essentially refusing to count his vote, but come on. “I’m just trying to get my ballot in the box… I shouldn’t have said that.” No, you shouldn’t have, Jay. Next!

Haley vs. College

So, occasionally we check in with Haley and her progressing senior year. (Side note: What is the show going to do with her next year? If she goes to college, and that is a big if, she can’t live away from home, can she? Not having her around might throw Phil into a tailspin… not that we’d want to miss that.) But I digress: After sharing with her parents that she was rejected from a college, she decided not to tell them about any more letters unless they brought good news. Unfortunately, she had since been rejected from four more, with only one more chance. The last letter arrived on Election Day.

Ballot cast: Team Haley. Ugh, poor Haley. I remember the college application process, and everything about it sucked. So when she goes to comfort her mom (Spoiler alert: Claire lost), she wound up explaining her college conundrum, and then, surrounded by her whole eavesdropping family, found out she’d been waitlisted. Or, as Claire exclaimed, “We’ll take it!” Phil: “Our daughter might be going to college!” High five.

Overall winner: So Claire won’t be on the city council. But props to Phil for the best gag of the night, stealthy changing the “Congratulations Claire” sign to one that read “Condolences Claire” by removing a piece of paper with “Gradulation” on it. But all was not lost. Thanks to Duane, she did get the stop sign that started her campaign in the first place. So she really did make a difference after all — now if only she could get some speed bumps installed.

Top Quotes:

“We regret to inform you…” “What? Don’t leave me hanging” –Alex reading aloud another rejection letter to poor, poor Haley

“There’s only three people, and nobody has a gun” –Gloria is used to Columbia elections, and doesn’t understand why Jay wanted to high tail it out of there

“Turns out we had a lot of axes to grind.”? “And a hybrid, so there was virtually no stopping us.” –Mitch and Cam

“She feels great about her chances. Her spirit is high. The whole family is high—there’s your headline.” –Phil being Phil (I’m surprised the reporter didn’t mention the viral debate video)

“You dated a Dottie after a Didi?” “You’re focusing on the wrong thing here” –Gloria and Jay

“Pick the wrong box and next thing you know I’ll be married to a guy” –Walt, vastly overestimating the stakes of a local election.

“She sounds drunk” “That’s not her drunk voice” –Gloria and Luke

“Hugh Jackman is straight. I said hello to him once in a restaurant and there was zero chemistry.” –Cameron, giving all of us a new way to brush off celebrities not coming on to us

“I don’t think I convinced anyone to vote for Claire.” “I don’t think I even voted.” –Gloria and Jay aren’t going to win Most Supportive Family Members 2012