None of the family stories intersected on tonight’s episode, “Mother Tucker,” but each one was strong and true to character for the respective families. If you want to stretch a theme, you could say that there were some touchy-feely circumstances that popped up in each story: Jay lacked tender loving care when suffering from a physical ailment; Hayley and Phil experienced the pangs of a breakup; and Mitchell complained of too much touching and feeling from Cam’s visiting mom.
In the Pritchett household, Jay claimed to have stomach pains, and Gloria being a tough Columbian thought he was just being a baby. I mean, she never went to hospitals for silly things like dislocated shoulders! Her “toughen up” attitude was perfectly played, as was Jay using Manny as his own personal WebMD (i.e. “crazy doctor website”). It was only fitting that our favorite man-child Manny looked up symptoms online and tried to diagnose Jay’s medical issue—even when on call while playing the round of his life (at mini golf!). When Jay finally snuck off to the hospital, the real doctors (sorry, Manny) determined Jay had appendicitis and needed emergency surgery. That is when Gloria’s original lack of sympathy turned into soap opera-level guilt thinking she was a horrible wife for “always trying to kill her husbands.”
At the Dunphy house, Hayley had a new tutor and Alex had her usual wonderful smirk and zingers for her dimwitted sister. Apparently, Claire was paying this tutor to make out with Hayley—well, they would only kiss when Hayley “got one right.” Upon learning this, Claire seized the opportunity to encourage Hayley to break-up with Dylan and date this new tutor boy since he was markedly smarter (not a bad plan, especially given that Alex is not on board with the notion that one day she would need to support her sister). Phil took the news harder than anyone, which made perfect sense since we have always seen his strange affection for Dylan. I equate their bizarre little relationship to be a lot like The Office and Michael Scott’s affinity for wanting to hang out with and/or behave like the younger Ryan Howard to soak up some of the cool factor. Phil went so far as to hang out with a distraught Dylan and encourage him to pursue a new passion (NOT a bobcat). In a nice little twist, Hayley happened to walk by the café right when Phil went to the bathroom (although he had left his girly sweater at the table). Hayley immediately became jealous and tried to reconcile with Dylan, before he decided to take Phil’s advice and “date himself” for a while. You will be missed, Dylan, not just by Phil and Hayley, but by me too! You and Hayley brought such a great level of teenage drama to the house.
Finally, Cam and Mitchell received a special visit from Mother Tucker (ha!), Cam’s overly touchy mom. Mitchell, we all know, is not comfortable with overt affection—neither public displays nor from family members (remember the world’s most awkward father-son hug earlier this season between Jay and Mitch). So, clearly Mitchell is not OK with Barb’s excessive touching and kissing, but he also knows he cannot raise the issue with Cam. Instead, he purposely tries to put himself into these touchy situations just so that Cameron can see the inappropriateness. The plan backfires when Cam confronts Mitchell on why he is “displaying like a baboon.” When Mitchell comes clean, Cam hilariously acts like a child therapist and tells Mitchell to show him on Lily’s doll exactly where she touches him. In the end, Barb apologizes and all seems well, until she then comes in to the bathroom where Mitchell is bathing in the tub to continue the apology. And then she drops her bracelet in the tub. And then Cam enters to take a photo. Face it Mitchell—this is one issue you are not going to win…but it is funnier this way.
Lots of great lines tonight…I give thanks for Modern Family humor this year:
- “The key is to take a lot of little break so you don’t get frustrated and want to quit” (Claire); “OK, mom” (Hayley); “I was talking to David [tutor]” (Claire)
- “Missouri is a lot more cosmopolitan than you give it credit for…it has a very vibrant cowboy poetry scene” (Cam defending, sort of, his home state)
- Mama Tucker: “She raised 4 kids, 2 barns and a whole lot of hell” (Cam)
- Mitch gets uncomfortable with her touchy-feely tenderness (which is consistent with Pritchetts)
- “What do smart girls get?” (Alex lamenting that smart guys go for dumb girls too); “Cats, mostly” (Phil)
- Hayley ends things with Dylan via text….and he response: sad face emoticon!
- “It was like she was blind and wanted to know what my thighs looked like” (Mitch about Cam’s mother and her touching)
- Dylan sees Hayley’s face everywhere he looks—to be fair, he is in her house.
- “I guess I better get going so I can be alone forever” (Dylan to Phil)
- Cam tells Mitch to “Show me on Lily’s doll where she is touching you.” Then, when Barb overhears Mitch’s complaints, Cam says, “Let me show you where you stabbed my mom” [pointing to the doll’s heart].
- “I never play dumb” (Dylan)…yep, he certainly never plays
- Phil: “We’re just friends” (him and Dylan)
- “Why, why do I always almost try to kill my husband” (Gloria when Jay really does need surgery for appendicitis)
- Phil tosses his girly sweater when an actual girl walks by wearing it; while on the phone with Dylan who fulfils his dream to go to Graceland (NOT an amusement park to his dismay).