Modern Family. Be normaler.

I will admit that I was a little underwhelmed by last night’s Modern Family, but it was still a pretty good episode. Each of the four story lines had their moments, but here are some judgments: Phil & Claire’s was the most interesting (Hello, Greg Kinnear), Alex & Haley’s made me laugh the hardest (Hello, Luke), Cam & Gloria’s was the cutest (no thanks to Manny), and Jay & Mitchell’s was the least interesting (I can’t even remember, nor can I be bothered to google the name of the DJ). Overall, I think the episode was really well put together. And I would totally watch a Betty Luke spinoff.

So let’s start with Jay & Mitchell, since that was my least favorite story line. If you’ve been watching this show for any amount of time, you know that Jay and Mitchell have a sort of on-again-off-again acceptance and love relationship. What I mean is, there have been a few episodes where they butt heads on some level for some reason, usually because Mitchell doesn’t believe that Jay loves him the way he loves Claire (presumably because he’s gay). At the end of said episodes, Jay always confirms that he does love Mitchell. Jay is basically a really great dad at the end of the day, even if his methods and actions were questionable in the past. Anyway, that’s exactly what happened tonight.

Mitchell is a lawyer, as we know, and in last night’s ep, Jay can’t stop making dumb lawyer jokes at him. We find out that Mitchell is going to meet a client, who happens to be a former Big Time Radio Personality whom Jay always loved. He apparently practically invented the prank phone call bit. Cam encourages Jay to stop by the meeting Mitchell and the DJ are having at a diner, and he does, butting into the conversation and generally embarrassing Mitchell. While the DJ is on the phone, Mitchell kicks Jay out of the diner. The DJ is basically all, “so having someone around to make me feel good is a bad thing?” The meeting does not seem to be going well.

But later, back at Jay’s house, Mitchell tells Jay that he realizes he takes himself too seriously, and Jay insists that “mockery is the sincerest form of flattery.” He tells Mitchell he is extremely proud of him, and then makes one last lawyer joke: “So if I say ‘what do lawyers use as birth control?’ and the answer is ‘their personalities,’ I want you to know I’m not referring to you. You don’t need any birth control.” And Mitchell laughs! Cute. Anyway, so then Jay gets a call that his car was stole and that a kilo of cocaine (I’m assuming) was found in it, and that somehow his Colombian wife is implicated, but when he gets outside, it’s the DJ playing a prank on him. And yay, I guess?

Next we had the Cam and Gloria story. Cam and Mitchell’s house is being fumigated, so the trio is staying at Jays’ house. This is a story of great misunderstanding. Cam is trying to be a nice guest, but in the process continually puts down Gloria’s homemaking abilities, like cleaning, dusting and reorganizing her entire kitchen so that “it makes sense.” Meanwhile, it seems that this is all spurred on by the fact that Lily is paying an (in Cam’s eyes) exorbitant amount of attention to Gloria. And when Gloria buys Lily a leopard print coat, that’s like the last straw. There is a dancing duel, sort of, in the kitchen that night as Cam and Gloria both make dinner. There’s music and they are literally dancing around each other in an overdramatic, but actually quite hilarious way. When Cam turns the music off, Lily comes over with a present they forgot to give him earlier – Gloria and Lily had gotten Cam a leopard print apron so that he matched their coats. It was very cute. And thus Cam and Gloria see the error of their ways, and they’re BFFs again and work together like a well-oiled machine. I love them.

Oh, and weaved in this whole thing is Manny trying to get them to make up by giving them an allegory about a girl he likes, but it backfires on him – the adults think he’s actually got this crazy friend who is trouble and is only trying to come between him and his puppy. Whatever. Butspeaking of Stella – this episode had a WOEFUL lack of that puppy. I NEED ME SOME STELLA.

Ah, that's better.

Okay, so let’s next visit Phil and Claire. Phil is trying to impress a potential new client, whose name is Tad, but whom I shall just call Greg Kinnear. Because it’s feaking Greg Kinnear. And I like writing Kinnear. When he comes over to the Dunphys’ for dinner (and Phil made him salmon, steak, chicken and shrimp), Phil is trying to impress him by bragging about how often he has to put up the For Sale and Sold signs in front of his properties. As Greg Kinnear leaves, he kisses Claire full on the mouth. She is shocked, but when she tries to get Phil to be shocked too, he hadn’t even noticed. She explains that the kiss lingered, and Phil tries to rationalize it by saying that Greg Kinnear is a world traveler and spent time in Costa Rica and that’s probably just how they do it down there. Claire is skeptical. I think the most important bit of information we get from this conversation is that Phil thinks that people in Costa Rica travel by Zip-line.

The next day, GK is at their house when Phil comes home from work. He came to fix their wobbly table, and tell Phil that he wants him to represent his property. To discuss the details, he invites him and Claire over for dinner – and kisses her full on the mouth again before he leaves. Man, I would love to be her right about now. I will not even front, yo. Claire gets frustrated that Phil doesn’t believe her about the inappropriate kissing. He thinks it’s because she just wants to be complimented. “The other night, when you put make up on, I was like ‘there she is!’” Oh, Phil. Jesus. Wow. Just… I have no words.

So they go to Greg Kinnear’s house, and the son answers the door. Phil makes a show to Claire of how he noticed how the boy was looking at her, and he’s ready to kick ass if he needs to. But then Greg Kinnear shows up, and Phil is back to self-promotion and tries to show him that he is a details-oriented guy. You can’t get anything past him, supposedly. Meanwhile, Greg Kinnear is kissing everyone on the mouth: the elderly babysitter, his ex-wife, his daughter, his son. Claire, who we all know isn’t a very touchy-feely kind of person, is horrified. And it’s hilarious.

In the living room, Claire apologizes for over-reacting to the kiss and assigning meaning where there was none. But then when Greg Kinnear comes in and tells a story about a monkey infestation in Costa Rica, and Claire laughs, well that’s crossed a line. Phil makes an excuse and ushers Claire out of there. In one of the most awkward talking heads ever, Phil explains:

You can kiss my wife; you can take her to bed, but you cannot make her laugh. I want to go back. You can kiss my wife, but only I can take her to bed and make her laugh. I want to go back. Only I can take her to bed, comma, and make her laugh.

HA! Oh, god, Phil. I hadn’t even noticed the slip until he corrected it.

Anyway, outside Claire says he’s jealous, but she likes it because it makes her feel special even though it makes him feel really awkward. He admits that “sometimes I really don’t understand you,” and Clare assures him that no one makes her laugh like he does. Awww. Then Phil says, “You can fake anything you want with me, but not your laugh. I’d like to go back.” I love you, Phil.

That was the main story line, but I wanted to end with the one that made me laugh the hardest. It was short and sweet, but it pitted the Dunphy siblings against each other, and those stories are usually enjoyable. Haley wrote on her college applications that she was a Big Sister, so Claire made her actually volunteer for the organization. Alex seems jealous of the attention Haley’s giving to her Little Sister, Annie. After the way Alex redeemed herself in my eyes in the heinous wedding episode, I am totally on her side on this one. In the end Alex and Haley reconcile with a shared memory of torturing Luke, but there were two moments in this story that were absolutely amazing, and just reconfirm how much I love Luke (and Nolan Gould, the actor who plays Luke):

  • When Alex confronts Haley and Annie in their room, Annie goes downstairs to avoid the argument. On the way down the stairs, she passes Luke and says, “I think your sister is mad at our sister.” The fucking LOOK on Luke’s face. I need a gif. I NEED A GIF! HBC, help me out!
  • When Alex and Haley are arguing, Luke, who I am now convinced is the genius of the family, tells Haley she’s being a crappy big sister, and Alex is being a crappy little sister. And that they’ve always been crappy big sisters to him. Then he tells them to “be normaler.” Oh, Luke, I love you so much.

And just when I thought this story line couldn’t get any better, we get this:

Everyone, meet Betty Luke.

Favorite Quotes/Moments:

  • “He got divorced and his whole life opened up. He’s living the dream.”
  • “Did you see that?” “A handshake that almost became a hug? Yeah, I saw it. I lived it!”
  • Mrs. Haley Jonas Brothers (Recapper’s note: This was a throw-away line that you might miss if you weren’t paying attention. And it was genius. It sums up Haley’s character SO WELL.)
  • “As far as you’re concerned all a lawyer does is walk into a bar with a rabbi and a polar bear.”
  • “Just thought I’d drop by with that tool your wife needed.”
  • “It doesn’t look very vacuumed down there. I’m surprised he kept his pants on.” Phil is a special, special kind of man.
  • “Tea, mug, kettle, you’re welcome.”
  • “Oh I’m sorry, were you trying to read.” “You’re the one who tries to read.”
  • Luke, trying to get away from Alex: “I WILL BURN THIS HOUSE DOWN!”
  • “Your apology is apology enough.”
  •  “You were laughing like it was ‘Who’s on first’.” “What?” “What’s on second. Don’t try to cheer me up.”

So, what did you guys think of the episode? If you had to grade it, what would you give it? Did I leave out any of your favorite quotes? Could you watch a show based around Betty Luke? My DVR cut off the last moments of the episode. Everyone tell me what happened in the comments. And also tell me that I’m not crazy for wanting to make out with Greg Kinnear.

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  • 37ft2in

    Betty Luke was the best part of the episode. “Betty Luke, sit down while your father gets the camera”

  • clrumbaugh

    @37ft2in Lately I feel like Luke has been the best part of every episode.

  • Andrea T

    I heard Nolan Gould is like, MENSA smart in real life. Seriously.

  • clrumbaugh

    @Andrea T Yeah, he is! He’s a member of MENSA and everything. So obviously HE’s a genius, but Luke is very, very different from him. He’s just so dumb, but… the things he comes up with are just so smart in really simple ways, you know? Like his “frozen assets” he kept in the freezer. Just… I love Luke, haha

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