It’s Halloween for our favorite Modern Family, and we learn that Claire loves the holiday and anything scary…except when it is a scarily sexy costume worn by daughter Hayley. Always the control freak mother, Claire takes her Dunphy House of Horrors to new levels of OCD perfection, making her a Halloween freak. Meanwhile, Mitchell battles his own freak flag at work and the family finds Gloria’s attempts at speaking “proper English” just plain freaky.
Claire’s obsession to turn her household into the perfect haunted house of horrors involves the entire family coming together, despite Hayley’s lack of a non-sexy costume, Alex’s homework, Cam’s horrible Halloween memories, and Gloria’s anger at being made fun of. Claire tries to battle these challenges one at a time, from telling Hayley to change into an old costume (which results in her wearing an inappropriately small nurse outfit suitable for picking up Japanese business men) to assigning Alex “cage duty” so that she is trapped in a house of horrors (“right, so why do I need the cage?” is Alex’s brilliant response).
Like his sister, Mitchell also enjoys going all-out for Halloween. He is excited to hear some co-workers at his new company discuss some “epic” Halloween costume ideas and therefore thinks this office encourages dress up. Watch out world, because Mitch transforms into Spiderman….squeaky suit and all. We all know things will not work out well for poor Mitchell at work, but that doesn’t make his scenes any less hilarious. From pulling up in his car and realizing this office definitely does not dress up (“The only three people in the office dressed in costumes are a tool, a douche and me!”) to having to throw on his dry-cleaning over his Spiderman outfit. Things continue to go downhill quickly for our hero Mitchell, as he is pulled into meeting after meeting without a chance to change, all the while squeaking from his outfit and sporting a very tight suit. He ultimately ends up trapped in the bathroom stall with his suit wet from the toilet and his shirt taken from him. Putting his Spiderman skills to use, Mitchell is forced to climb out the window and down the drainpipe out to his car. Our hero almost makes it to safety, and then is caught by car alarms. Meanwhile, Cam has his own struggles with the holiday, thanks to a secret painful memory from his childhood…dun dun dun!
Gloria and Jay also arrive at the Dunphy House of Horrors in not the best of moods. Gloria is upset that she takes a lot of flak for her accent and mispronunciation of American phrases. I loved the mix-up of Gloria ordering baby cheezits for Jay and him getting Baby Jesus. I also loved Manny serving as the official carpool interpreter for his mother (Drop-out? “She means drop-off”). At the Dunphy house, she is so hurt that she overdoes it on imitating an “English” accent…resulting in many quizzical stares from the family (and lots of great jokes). Eventually, Jay convinces her that he loves her AND her accent. Then, she accidentally punches scarecrow Mitch in the nose.
It is no surprise that the house of horrors is not going according to Claire’s plan thanks to everyone’s issues that day, and Claire snaps. In a truly funny speech, Claire exclaims that Halloween is HER holiday and everyone needs to shape up. Her reasoning? Well, thanks to Gloria’s Columbian traditions, they now have fireworks on Christmas. And, thanks to ‘the gays’ taking over Thanksgiving, instead of regular roasted turkey they now eat whatever turkey craze is popular on the Food Network in a given year. Enough is enough—Halloween is sacred for Claire the control freak. And just when all hell is about to break loose, the family comes through to create a scary “hell” for visitors.
There were so many devilishly good lines in tonight’s episode…I have to give the writers and actors a (severed) hand for their efforts:
- Jay explains why his costume last year failed: “I didn’t even know who Snoop Dogg was…I thought he was a dog detective.”
- Dry-cleaning in the trunk of the car to the rescue: “Yesterday’s lazy cures today’s crazy.”
- The neighbor whose wife just left: “I don’t even remember what her laugh was like”; Phil’s response: “Claire can do it.”
- “Dog-eats-dog” world versus “doggy dog world” – yes, Gloria, the latter really does sound sweeter.
- “Don’t push me away—I’m not Judy” (Phil trying to help his neighbor)
- Hayley’s final attempt at a costume that might please her mother: “I’m Mother Theresa back when she was hot”
- “I will pay you $10 to put on more clothes” (Claire to Hayley); “I bet that’s the first time you heard that” (Alex…love that girl!)
- “Timmy didn’t play by the rules…that’s what I liked and feared about him” (Cam regarding the friend that made him hate Halloween).
- “Gloria—since when do you speak English?” (Claire to “bruja” Gloria)
- If you looked closely, Alex was doing homework in her cage. Again, love that girl.
- “With all the fog you may not be able to see what’s…a head” (Hayley’s big line in the house of horrors, just before she reveals Cam’s head on the tray…only to have Cam reveal his horrifying Halloween memory bit by bit).
What were your favorite parts? Whose costume did you like the best? And, did you ever think you would see a sexy Mother Theresa outfit? I have to give major props to Hayley the past few episodes for creativity—first she Shawshanks her family by carving a phone out of soap, and now she manages to reveal Mother Theresa’s “hot youth.”