Season 3, Episode 15
It was about the be a very “modern family” on tonight’s new installment, “Aunt Mommy.” As Mitch and Cam continued to discuss options for having a baby #2, a drunken Dunphy duo sorta-kinda offered up Claire’s eggs so that the baby could be part Pritchett, part Tucker. What I think worked nicely about this episode—besides some new insta-classic lines—was that while Claire, Phil, Cam and Mitch contemplated parenthood from an very biological perspective, Jay continued to grow as a step-dad and consider how he can be a good parent to Manny.
The chicken or the egg(s)?
The best part of tonight’s egg-donor storyline was how it very quickly turned into a game of chicken that spiraled out of control. But this game of chicken only persisted because neither couple wanted to back out and hurt the other’s feelings. It all started when Claire and Phil treated Mitch and Cam out to dinner. Phil wanted to thank them for a recent home sale he made—“Commission Accomplished”—to a gay couple that is frenemies with Mitch and Cam. The “Steves” (i.e. Steven and Stephan) put Phil through the hoops in showing the home, but they leapt at the chance to buy it when they misinterpreted Phil’s call with Claire as a sign that someone else was interested in the house (for the record, ‘Luke and Leon’ does sound like they could be a trendy gay couple, except it happens to refer to Luke Dunphy and his lice-infected friend Leon).
Claire and Phil have a bit too much wine at the celebratory dinner and Claire, who for once came home to a well-mannered household of children, gushes about offering to be an egg donor for her dear brother Mitchell and his partner Cam. This way, Cam and Mitch wouldn’t have to do the “swirl” like Steven and Stephan, but instead they could ensure that their baby would be part Pritchett (Claire’s eggs) and part Tucker (Cam’s sperm). Everyone thinks it is a jolly idea! But, everyone is drunk!
The next morning, as hangovers take their toll—and Claire’s bed head pretty much looks like O’Brien from Downton Abbey—the two recall bits and pieces of the important conversation. They know this idea just won’t work for the larger good, but how can they break the news? Meanwhile, Cam and Mitch also have their doubts…but neither couple can break it to the other. Once assembled at brunch, things get out of hand as each couple overhears snippets of family conversations that make them think the other couple is so pleased with the arrangement. Leave it to Jay to tell ‘em like it is: “It’s unnatural and I’m against it.” Ultimately, Claire and Mitchell use their secret sibling signal to have a pow-wow under the table of fighting family members to have a heart-to-heart. It was a truly loving gesture, but their family doesn’t need an “Aunt Mommy.”
Penny for your thoughts
Manny and his mom have been saving lucky pennies for years as a little ritual to buy a lottery ticket. Jay thinks it is all a bit ridiculous at how much energy they give this task, while at the same time he desperately tries to convince Gloria that Manny needs to engage in more everyday boy activities like sports. When Jay finally gets Manny to participate in a football game, Manny gets tackled while finding the lucky 100th penny! But, because Jay really does care for the little guy, he steals a few coins so that mother and son can continue their tradition.
Jay may come across as gruff, but little by little he is becoming a softie. Being a stepdad to Manny—a boy who takes a “morning constitution” rather than plays neighborhood football—is cracking that hard exterior. We all know that Jay and Mitchell had their father-son issues when Mitch was young and closeted, but now that Jay is a later-in-life stepdad he seems to relish taking on a fatherly role for Manny. Usually this means that Jay struggles to change something about Manny, but by the end he learns that Manny is great just the way he is. Tonight was no different, but it was still nice to see.
A few great lines from tonight:
- “Thanks for the hat Leon, it kind of tickles.” (Luke to his lice-infested friend)
- “I cannot express to you how much this kid needs football” (Jay, several times)
- “Or, we’re all dead” (Luke believes Claire has entered the Twilight Zone when the house is in perfect order)
- “You have a problem with how Manny is being raised, you talk to me!” (Gloria); “I am!” (Jay); “I don’t want to hear it!” (Gloria)
- “Guys, I make really good babies” (drunk Claire)
- “Sweet potato fries” (Phil)
- “Besides, what are the chances your eggs even work?” (Phil, stressing his wife’s age)
- “Daddies what are you looking at? Ahhh!!!” (Lily is horrified at the web-generated hybrid photo of what a Mitch-Cam baby would look like)
So, will Cam and Mitch keep on the adoption path? Or will they go for “the swirl”? Either way, that baby—just like Lily—will be the best of both of them.