Season 3, Episode 14
Although this was not a Valentine’s Day themed episode and there were no appearances by Clive Bixby as in years past, tonight’s new Modern Family did take a stab at jealousy. But jealousy didn’t rear its head in the traditional sense, and that was refreshing!
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?
Phil is desperate to impress a potential real estate client named Tad. No offense to anyone named Tad out there—but let’s just say that Greg Kinnear played this egotastic tool to a tee. Claire and Phil do a good job putting up with his stories and wine snobbery, but Phil fails to notice that Tad is also prone to kissing Claire on the lips when entering or leaving. Blame it on Phil’s man crush or his complete preoccupation with making a good impression. Claire does her best to let it slide (not easy for her) until they visit his home and she realizes he pretty much kisses all his female relatives like that. Just as she starts to loosen up and relax, that’s when the jealousy cranks up in Phil….but not for what you might think. When Claire starts laughing a little too hard at Tad’s jokes, that is crossing the line in Phil’s book. Humor is Phil’s manhood—don’t make him a cuckold by laughing at another man’s jokes.
- “He got divorced and his whole life opened up! The guy’s living the dream….[pause] his dream” (Phil gushing about Tad)
- “You can kiss my wife. You can take her to bed. But you can’t make her laugh” (Phil has to re-punctuate that one a few times)
- “You laughed like it’s who’s on first” (Phil); “What?” (Claire); “What’s on third” (Phil going for the infamous wordplay)
- “You can fake anything you want with me, but not your laugh” (Phil, of course)
Who’s the Boss?
With Cam, Mitch and Lily crashing at the Pritchett-Delgado home while theirs is fumigated, mother-hen tensions rise and things get a little noisy for Jay. By far my favorite moments in tonight’s episode involved Cam and Gloria each being offended as the other infringed on their territories. Cam takes full charge of homemaker duties and rearranges Gloria’s kitchen so it “makes sense.” Meanwhile, Gloria gets the chance to be live-in mommy to her darling little Lily. She “fixes” her hair and buys them matching mamma & baby leopard-print jackets. Cam and Gloria clash so much because they are actually two peas in a pod (or two divas in a household)—who give identical complaints to the camera and identical eye rolls. Their conflict comes to head as the two attempt to cook in the kitchen, and an intense tango of emotions ensues. Ultimately, they each realize that the other was actually being considerate and they were simply jealous.
- “Kinda like The Help, except Delilah was white and was actually herself quite the racist” (Cam talking about his grandma’s maid)
- “Oh let me fix your hair” (Gloria to Lily); “I didn’t realize her hair was broken” (Cam to the camera)
In other family news—and in the lesser stories of the evening—Jay kept pestering Mitchell with lame lawyer jokes while Mitchell prepared for a very important business meeting. This story didn’t really add much to the overall episode or give us any new take on the characters…other than Jay telling his son he really is proud of his law skills (but it’s safe to say we all knew that). The Dunphy children were busy with their own squabbles as well, since Hayley had to actually volunteer as a Big Sister (after she filled out college applications having capitalized the “B” and the “S”). As Claire hilariously put it—this is definitely “BS.” This led to Alex feeling jealous when Hayley actually liked her Little Sister and was eager to spend time with her. Their fighting led to poor Luke feeling disappointed in all the big and little sisters and—to his horror—being subjected to another round of dress-up time. Smile, Betty Luke!
- Mrs. Hayley Jonas Brothers (apparently how Hayley used to cover the backs of drawings and notebooks as a pre-teen)
- “That’s mean!” (Alex’s response upon learning that not-so-bright Hayley is helping her Little Sister with homework)
- “I think your sister’s mad at our sister” (Little Sister Annie to a confused Luke)
- “Be normaler” (Luke tries to get his sisters to behave like sisters again)
This recap wouldn’t be complete without a shout-out to Manny, who flew under the radar but provided a very valuable and insightful service to multiple family members: conflict resolution. As a kid of divorce, he knew that a personal story—true or not—that shares similar details to the problems of others can go a long way to opening people’s eyes. Or not. I give Manny an “A” for effort—and humor.