To cop out means to avoid taking responsibility for an action. In tonight’s Modern Family episode, called “Good Cop Bad Dog,” each branch of the family dealt with their own storylines centered on the trouble we all sometimes have in meeting our roles and responsibilities. While not as consistently strong as the past few weeks, there were still some stellar scenes and exchanges that brought solid laughs.
The highlight for me was the Dunphy household (they are really gunning for MVP family this season)! Once again, we had high-strung “bad cop” Claire pitted against laid-back “good cop” Phil. But, this show finds ways to keep this duo fresh because tonight Claire was fed up with being bad cop and stormed out of the house with Luke and Manny, determined to have fun. Only Claire can make having fun so intimidating and intense (not to mention emotionally and physically damaging)! At the go-cart track she pushed Manny and Luke to their limits and practically forced milkshakes down their throats until the inevitable happened: Luke needing a barf bag in the van.
Meanwhile, Phil was initially reluctant to take on the bad cop role and make Hayley and Alex clean their bathroom per Claire’s orders. But, that was before Hayley and Alex tried to take advantage of his kindness and skip out to the mall. Big mistake. A newly emboldened Phil jumped in front of their getaway car and transformed into the wicked stepmother from Cinderella. Perched in his chair outside the bathroom, Phil the slave-driver didn’t feed the girls all day and yelled at them to keep cleaning—oh, and yank that nasty hairball out of the drain or…cut off your hair?! He didn’t mess around with any mess—when Claire returned with her vomit-stained van, Phil screeched for the girls to report to duty with their buckets. It was at this point Phil and Claire decided this role reversal was not working—it made each of them pretty scary people.
Over at the Tucker-Pritchett house, Cam was dying. OK, not really—but he looked and felt miserable. I loved the visual of Mitchell picking up Cam’s strewn tissues with grill tongs in an effort to avoid germs. Mitchell was trying to be a good husband, just not very hard. Mitch was annoyed that Cam’s sickness was going to ruin their plans to attend the Lady Gaga concert that night. He tried to drop hints that he should still go–you know, so their tickets wouldn’t be a total loss. It wasn’t until Cam fell asleep from the heavy meds that Mitchell made a run for it. Next time, he just needs to remember to remove the flashing glow necklace before sneaking home!
The weakest story of the night was Jay and Gloria. It was kind of like the writers couldn’t really think of what to do with them or how to tie the stories together, so they just went for something completely random. Hey, I get it—not every episode can bring the whole crew together. Not much to report on…Gloria brought home an odd guy in need of some help, and Jay dismissed his business idea. But, tough Jay couldn’t dismiss the guy’s puppy, who needed a new home.
All of the good cop-bad cop action gave us some great lines, as always:
- “In Europe this would not be a big deal” (Manny defending the fact that he and Luke walked in unannounced on their undressed female relatives).
- “What was good about Luke’s report card?” (Claire); “…He didn’t lose it” (Phil’s explanation for why Luke was bring treated to a day of fun).
- “Come on guys! Let’s go have some fun!” (Claire dragging Luke); “Ouch you’re hurting me” (Luc getting a dose of “fun Claire”).
- “What else would I rather be doing?” (Mitchell, sweetly comforting sick Cam) and then to the camera… “Watching Lady Gaga!”
- Mitchell making a half-ass effort to sell their concert tickets online, “But there’s that whole Craig’s List Killer thing.”
- “I’ll take them…I’m fun now” (Claire offering to take the Lady Gaga tickets).
- “Sweet and sour chicken!” (Phil discovering his daughters’ deception).
- Gloria wishing that Jay could have “sugar-jacketed” his dismissal of Guillermo.
- “Do you have a skinless grilled chicken breast?” (weight-conscious Manny making smart food choices); “What, you going to the ball Cinderella?” (Claire).
- Phil duct-taping Hayley and Alex’s laptops while they scrub down the bathroom…and then secretly gagging at the sight of the hairball.
- “I’m 12…I need limits” (even Luke knows ‘fun Claire’ is a bad idea).
- “Girls…grab your buckets and meet me by the car” (Phil).
- “Going somewhere?” (Cam, in a spooky voice, catching Mitchell heading out to the concert).
What did you think of “Good Cop Bad Dog?”