Season 3, Episode 19
City Council election day was finally upon our modern family—and the choice was Claire. Except that she lost. But comedy was the real winner of the night, as this continuing story finally came to a head and gave everyone in the family something to do.
Every Vote Counts
The entire family pitches in to help Claire get out the vote. Or, at least, they have every intention to support her. Jay tries to vote at his polling place but runs into Dottie, the woman he briefly dated and snuck out on after his divorce. Alex is in charge of their makeshift phone bank, but with a hotheaded Gloria and naïve Luke on the lines, calls are not all that successful. Hayley is wrapped up in being rejected from colleges and is awaiting her final letter. Phil is supposed to operate the Dunphy Express and drive the neighborhood seniors to the polls, but can’t get past Luke’s friend Walt and his demands for things like “oxygen.” And finally Mitch and Cam get a loudspeaker for the car, but they let the power get to their heads while they troll the neighborhood.
A Winning Losing Smile
A stressed out Claire has to deal with final interviews while missing a tooth thanks to a few accidental hits to her fake one. Cue the slurring speech and the “drunk” comments. Needless to say, despite trying her hardest and having her family rally (at least in spirit), Claire loses the election. In a private moment of self-pity, daughter Hayley reveals to her mom that she has been rejected from all but one school and is afraid to open the final envelope. Just like her mother, she has tried very hard—well, at least in the last few months she has. The family gathers as Hayley opens the thin envelop and learns—WAITLISTED! Hey, they’ll take it!
Some “high” [spirited] moments from this evening’s episode:
- “The choice is Claire”; “We’re Claire and we’re here”…and many other lovely election puns for mom Claire.
- “At least Becky is moving Back East to Oregon” (Hayley, regarding her annoying neighbor who got into college…and simultaneously showcasing why she herself has not gotten into a school yet).
- “Her spirits are high! The whole family is high” (Phil providing quite the sound bite).
- Gloria attempting to determine why Jay is acting…like that animal…ummm… squirrely?!
- “You dated a Dottie after a DeDe?” (It just sounded really funny the way Gloria asked it).
- Mitch and Cam gossiping about Lily’s preschool teacher walking down the street, and not realizing that their loudspeaker is on.
- Luke telling people on the phone that a vote for Claire means they don’t have to pay taxes—hey, the kid has already learned that politicians don’t keep promises.
- “I’m just trying to put my ballot in the box” (Jay to his ex girlfriend and polling station attendant); “Yeah that sounds familiar” (Dottie)
I was happy to finally have a conclusion to this ongoing story. It gave us some great moments over the months, from Claire yelling her confusing “Slow Down Your Neighbors” slogan, to curbing her bad habits for the debate, to tonight’s final gallant efforts that didn’t pan out. Whenever the family units gather for a greater cause, the result is usually both funny and heartwarming. And Claire even got her stop sign, along with a snotty note from Duane. I think that this show is wise to have an arch like this to thread its entire season—any ideas for next season?