There were a lot of different perspectives causing tension for our favorite modern families in tonight’s episode, “Two Monkeys and a Panda.” Jay and Gloria argued over how they want to be buried, Phil and Claire argued over day-to-day responsibilities, and Mitch and Cam argued about Lily’s (non) hyphenated last name. In the end, they all learned it was nothing that a coffee can, a day at the spa, or two monkeys and a panda couldn’t cure. I usually like episodes that intertwine the families somehow, yet this episode had three very separate yet very strong emotional cores that brought plenty of laughs and insecurities.
Jay and Gloria: In the Pritchett household, Manny is dating a younger woman (by 13 months) while Jay is worrying about his younger wife’s marital status after he bites the big one. Jay is determined to sell Gloria on the idea of a mausoleum crypt for when they die, but this only brings up Jay’s insecurities about what will happen when he (almost) inevitably dies many years before Gloria—will she ultimately remarry and want to be buried with her next potential husband? I thought this was a good—and more serious—point for this couple to address. Death is a major part of life, and when you have that big of an age difference, it brings its own complications. But lucky for us, it also brings up some fantastically morbid and funny moments:
- Manny regarding dating a “younger” classmate: “I feel like a 5th grader again” and “Today I made a joke about The Wiggles, and it went right over her head.”
- Jay and Gloria arguing over burial arrangements and Gloria hating the idea of a mausoleum wall crypt, or as she refers to them, “file cabinets where God cannot find us.” I must say, my ‘nanny’ and ‘pop pop’ had the same argument before they passed away—he refused to be buried in the ground and so insisted on the wall mausoleum. Ironically, since he passed away first, he was put in the bottom, which is actually below ground.
- “You’re not being rude, I AM very much younger” (Gloria to the elderly couple whose crypt Jay wants to buy).
- Manny playing the role of a bartender with a sympathetic ear for Jay, and reassuring him that his mother met her match in Jay.
- Jay deciding to be cremated and kept in a coffee can so that he can always be with Gloria—and drive her next husband crazy!
Phil, Claire and the Dunphy daughters: Claire is stressed out as always, with barely enough time to put down all of Phil’s ideas. Phil is determined to not let an expiring spa certificate go to waste (because then the money would just be going to charity!). So, Phil decides to make use of the spa himself and ends up being just ‘one of the gals’ getting his nails done and sporting a facial mask. Even better, he gets lots of advice in how to be a supportive husband from the other ladies. Meanwhile a frantic Claire is running around town trying to find a replacement sweater for Hayley since Alex accidentally ripped it while borrowing it. I absolutely love any scenes between the Dunphy daughters with their clashing personalities and great put-downs for each other. I could seriously watch a spin-off show of just Hayley and Alex.
- “Oh please that was an honor for your sweatshirt…it was the first time the top half got any exercise” (Hayley about previously borrowing Alex’s sweatshirt).
- “Maybe it’s all the creams, but that just made sense girlfriend” (Phil in a facial mask finding insight in how to give supportive husband responses to his wife…and then him running through scenarios like when Claire doesn’t order off the menu).
- “I wish you were never born” (oldest daughter Hayley); “They were trying to make one with a brain” (Alex)
- Phil completing his transformation into a woman after his spa date, asking Claire if she notices anything different about him and feeling hurt when she doesn’t.
The Tucker (-) Pritchett household: Cam is trying to give positive reinforcement to the word “adopt” around Lily, and so he decides to make an adoption book about two monkeys (because he can draw monkeys) and a special panda from Asia (Lily). In the process, he takes a closer look at Lily’s birth certificate and realizes his last name (Tucker) is listed as the middle name and not hyphenated with Pritchett like he thought. He accuses Mitchell of doing this on purpose—after all, Mitchell is a lawyer and did fill out the paper work. Cam eventually apologizes to Mitch for overreacting, but Mitch admits that he did make her name that way on purpose—out of fear that a panicked Cam would get too overwhelmed and abandon him and Lily. As you might expect, Cam does not take this news well and I don’t blame him. That is just not cool what Mitchell did…and I would be pissed a lot longer than Cam was. But, it was very funny and it did lead to Mitch writing his own apology version of Two Monkeys and a Panda.
- “Once upon of time there were two monkeys who loved each other very much, but there was something missing…” (Mitchell); “A hyphen?” (Cam)
- Lily actually clapping at the word adoption!
- Mitchell stating that he is legally fixing Lily’s name…and then telling the camera he also needs to fix the title deed for their house, which is only in his name.
- Cam and Mitch discovering that their gay adoptive parents book idea has basically been done in every shape and animal form already.
Which was your favorite story tonight?