Season 3, Episode 3
Phil on Wire
In tonight’s Modern Family, some relationships were balancing on a thin wire, and then there was Phil who actually balanced on a thin wire. We got to see our regular couples paired off for the most part, but they mostly dealt with various stages of what you are willing to do for those you love…or maybe what you are willing to put up with for those you love.
While I don’t think “Phil on Wire” was as funny has last week’s premiere episodes, I still laughed plenty. I tend to prefer the episodes that integrate the different family units more or at least bring them together at the end. But, because this show is so consistently strong, I think it works best to simply highlight my top five favorite moments or scenarios from the episode!
- Luke receiving (and consuming) all of Mitch and Cam’s junk food when they start their juice fast…or is it “Jew fast” Luke? The look on his face upon receiving this special delivery and his impending sugar addiction highs and lows were a high point for me. And it was Luke who gave his dear old dad the courage needed to follow through with a dream: to master tight-rope walking.
- Mitch knowing the stages of hungry ‘Diet Cam’, from soap actress to a rush of epiphanies to despair…and then more alarming not knowing: “The upside? Cam has never made it this far on a diet! Downside? I have no idea what stage comes next!” But the true highlight was the very end—when a starving Mitch and Cam end their diet with some tasty but different cupcakes—doggie cupcakes.
- Gloria trying to get the dog to eat Jay’s shoes instead of hers. Jay is sorry Manny had to witness this, but I am not sorry! But the real root of Gloria’s issues with the dog are revealed to be that she is jealous of the attention and priority Jay gives to the dog over her. Best Jay quip of the night was in response to Gloria’s accented whimpering that Jay prefers the dog, “I didn’t say that…you barely said it!”
- Alex and Hayley in the same math class! This is definitely a formula for hilarity, since there is just a slight age (and social and smarts) difference. “You’re a freshman! What are you doing in second year math?!” (Hayley); “You’re a senior! What are you STILL doing in second year math?!” (Alex). Any time these two sister rivals shoot insults at each other is a favorite moment for me. Even better is when, like tonight, they strike a bargain and team up to take advantage of a situation. Tonight’s devious plan included Alex getting to sit at the cool table for lunch in exchange for sharing homework answers with her older sis. It’s probably for the best they were caught, since Hayley should probably learn that 8 is not a prime number.
- Claire being handcuffed by the school parking cop. This was a result of Claire using the loading & unloading zone to unload her frustrations on “Law and Order: Special Parking Unit.” The icing on the cake was Claire lecturing her girls about lowering the standards of the Dunphy name thanks to their visit at the principal’s office (whom Claire is on a first-name basis with) while actually wearing plastic cuffs from her own altercation. Those Dunphy women like to teeter on the line between control and crazy—but turns out it is the Dunphy men who have perfected the balancing act!
Overall, this was a well-balanced episode—figuratively and literally—that gave most everyone something funny to do. But I just missed the whole family coming together in some crazy way or interacting more.