Modern Family regains some lost ground with a nice rebound after last weeks pretty rough entry with lots of laughs and characters acting more in line to what we expect. This goes a long way to making the show far more enjoyable this time around.

They split the family up quite a bit here with everybody mostly getting something to do. The biggest revelation of the episode is that the writers' room apparently can write Claire without being a giant B. She is urgent and on people's cases as usual, but she has a strong and valid reason to do so this time. Her pursuit to get 50 signatures for a stop sign at an obviously dangerous intersection seemed a bit to hard of a challenge for her, but it was totally worth it for David Cross. The scene was ridiculous silly, and seemingly out of another show, but Cross was fantastic and I hope that we get to see the city council far more often.

Gloria is stuck with another simple plot around the family dog, but the writing and her performance carry it through. Her delivery and confusing the neighbors with her accent were good for some laughs and Cam's "Streetcar" impression was a highlight of the episode. The conclusion of the two's journey was abrupt, uneventful and had no payoff, and as much as I liked Cam's moments, I don't know why he was there. The screaming match with the little girl was great though.

Phil and Luke's attempts to recreate the head ball video was easy, physical humor, but had me laughing. Ty Burrell is so game for the abuse it's a blast to watch and his positivity after getting run over in the opening was a random, and great, Phil moment. The family coming to the rescue of Claire at the end was a sweet moment for the Dunphy's and the most likable they have been yet this season.

Manny and Jay trying to sell wrapping paper is the low point for the episode. I enjoyed the twist at the end with Manny but isn't this plot thread an exact repeat of one with Jay and Luke last year? Come on writing room; give us some better Manny material.

Mitchell's character traits are betrayed in the episode, again, as well. There is no way he would ever trash his living room like that and I thought they weren't going to go there, but they did. The whipped cream moment at the end was a nice beat but I need more Lily. Also, why does Mitchell always learn a lesson and then lose that lesson the next week?

A nice comeback this week for the show, with a multitude of laughs from almost every plot line they throw at us. By no means the greatest episode for the show, but a solid entry none the less.

Bullets:

-Gossip gag didn't work for me with the girls in the car

-love Phil’s positivity, and socks

-"How good was this bread?"

-"Save the gasp."

-"Which it is, since you murdered Joy."

-"How many moms does it take to screw in a light bulb?"

-"Speed walking to Speedwagon."

-love Luke and Phil answering door in underwear

-Vergara running after the dog, "Da gate!"

-"...or hills."

-Phil supporting head ball video is right up his ally

-terrible Australian accent, appropriately

-who is the carver Claire runs into?

-the door to door montage was very well done

-Alex has a boyfriend?

-Ugh, Blind Side

-the Modern Family version of the Footloose TV spot features no sexiness or dancing? Isn't that the marketing team giving up on what the movie is all about?

-"Shut up, Mitchell would die"

-sweet moment from Manny, ohhh, he was playing Jay!

-David Cross!!!!!!!!!!!

-The ice cream cake gag was great, Cross played it wonderfully

-"I'll allow it"

-Phil and Luke's video was great; Stop, The Madness

-"Baby I can do anything in two minutes."

-Cross spitting up the cake was brilliant

-Cam's whimpering was a nice character beat

-the adoption lady showing up was a nice tag to the end of the episode, but will it have consequences?

Till next week.

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