Season 3, Episode 12
Tonight’s episode, “Egg Drop,” wasn’t the freshest egg in the box for me. I wouldn’t say rotten, but it didn’t quite whip up the hilarious feast I was hoping for. This season Modern Family has definitely been a bit uneven—not nearly as solid as seasons one and two. But I can always count on at least a few good laughs and some fun character moments.
Phil’s Five Keys
Now that Phil is a partner in a new real estate company start-up, he decided to host a seminar for first-time homebuyers called the “5 Keys to Investing Wisely” and he needed some family support. With truly cheesy tips like “KEYp Informed,” Phil had to walk that fine line between giving solid information to help people versus getting clients. When Claire backs out, he quickly (very quickly) nabs Gloria as a replacement for ‘woman in audience with question.’ And then he has Hayley, forced to set aside time from texting pics of her toes to a dude with a foot fetish. I think I enjoyed the rehearsal of this event more than the actual disaster that took place when Gloria and Hayley arrive late because their car is towed…and trying to hail yellow cars just doesn’t work. Phil’s disappointment and anger at his family did lead to an interesting development in that for the first time ever Phil expressed anger at his sexy ‘mother-in-law’ rather than always place her on a pedestal (other than the fact Gloria was literally on a stage at first). For some reason, their awkward hug kind of creeped me out. Usually it is funny when lustful Phil gets to have physical contact with Gloria because he plays it off as a goofy crush. This hug almost seemed too real and serious.
It was good to see the show pick up the plot development that Mitch and Cam decided a while back to adopt another child—a boy! This has not come up in a while, and here they were hosting a potential birth mom. This birth mom was quite open-minded and kooky…a bit too much since she thinks dolphin meat is no different than any other sea dweller. At first Mitchell doesn’t take to her wacky zen-like behaviors and feng shui furniture rearrangements, but he changes his tune by literally singing a tune. In the funniest part of this story, the birth mom wants to hear how musical the duo is—especially after Cam expresses what a gifted songstress he is—but she is a big fan of Mitchell’s voice instead. That obviously does not sit well with overly-sensitive Cam. The woman announces her decision to pick the couple and in an effort to celebrate and prove his voice is superior, Cam’s woeful song makes her reconsider and she decides to keep her baby after all. In true American Idol style, Cam and Mitch were voted off!
Egging on the Competition
I guess it was bound to happen. It seems that no family sitcom can resist the cliché of one of the children having to do the age-old ‘build a contraption to drop an egg safely’ school project. I wonder which came first? The Chicken or the Egg Drop Project? I guess Manny and Luke are too young to remember how DJ Tanner conquered this project back in the 90’s on Full House [gasp, these boys weren’t even alive then!]. And, my favorite smart-gal Alex is not willing to help since that would be cheating. That’s OK, because it turns out Manny and Luke are wise enough to manipulate and exploit their respective parents into doing it for them! In a clever twist on this project, Luke plants the seed in Claire’s mind that Jay is helping Manny while Manny suggests that Claire is helping Luke. Knowing that there is nothing that brings out the Pritchett competitive spirit quite like some family rivalry, the boys just have to sit back and watch their projects get designed. When both projects survive the drop, Manny cracks and admits their sinister plan. Ultimately, Alex proves she is the real superior egghead (and ‘messed up’ one) by showing that her project from years ago has still got it.
Overall, I have to say that my favorite moment of the episode was the closing. Alex and Hayley are in the bedroom at night, and Alex is having a heart-to-heart with her older sister. Even though they don’t often get along or see eye-to-eye, she tells Hayley that she really does appreciate these nighttime sisterly chats. Hayley continues to offer responses. Until we realize she has actually been talking on her phone the whole time—to her foot fetish dude! I absolutely adore Hayley-Alex moments like these.
Before I let the egg drop for the night, I do want to point out one major inconsistency from tonight that bothered me. Gloria has noted several times over the past few seasons that she can’t stand the way Jay talks to his brother—by yelling and shouting insults. Jay has always explained it is just how their sibling relationship works and it comes from love. So, tonight Gloria is on the phone with her family—shouting and yelling in Spanish—and she defends it as their loving communication style. How is this any different from what she criticizes Jay for doing?