Riding the wave of its series-high season premiere last week, the Emmy winning comedy returned with the most speculated-upon incident of television PDA since Ellen’s smooch with Laura Dern. That’s right, this week was all about the kiss, and while the exchanging parties were definitely expected, in true Modern Family fashion, things didn’t go exactly as we assumed they would. This week, the stories intermingled, and when that happens, we’re often treated with some extra-awkward moments.

Claire (unfortunately the owner of this week’s least funny storyline) is worried about not bonding with her youngest daughter, wry bookworm Alex. She snoops in her room, reads some private texts, and deduces that she’s been flirting with a boy. Not wanting to embarrass her, Claire enlists Hayley’s to help talk to Alex, all the while claiming a chaste and uneventful childhood. Side note to everyone but the kids-- her behavior was less than perfect, but who wants to give kids that kind of model? Better to have them fall short of fictional expectations, says Claire. I don’t blame her really, but it comes back to bite her in the end. After a revelatory chat with her sister-- “you haven’t kissed him yet? You don’t want him to think you’re a lesbian…”Alex goes to profess her like to the boy-- only to find that he’s surrounded by the soccer team.

After claiming she’s being pressured by visions of her dead grandmother, Gloria attempts to reconnect with her culture, and cooks an authentic Colombian dinner. You know, “like tacos,” but actually the small intestine of a pig. After he lets Phil takeover the wifi, Jay returns, tail-between-his-legs, and offers to make amends to Gloria by helping out-- participating in off-the-wall customs-- all of which Gloria’s made up. Meanwhile, Phil chips away at his dignity, crawling through humid attic space to solve his wifi issue. The bright side? He gets it to print! The drawback? Luke and Manny, searching for signs of the ghost of Gloria’s grandmother, mistake her photo printing as a sign, and tear it up in terror. Poor Phil, can’t catch a break.

Cam & Mitchell fight over their lack of public displays of affection (in the producers’ clever way to cover-up their lack of kissing in season 1). Sure, Cam’s probably a little overzealous when it comes to the PDA “You don’t need to kiss me every time you see a Volkswagen!” but Mitchell’s uptight reaction doesn’t help matters. Finally, the family as a whole examines the nature of Mitch’s lack of affection, and it’s attributed to Jay. Not a “hands on” dad, he hadn’t kissed Mitchell in decades and so (surprise!!) theirs was the big kiss. After his big moment with Dad, Mitchell eventually gives Cam a subdued peck, but it was certainly not the hoopla we’d expected-- which in my eyes warrants kudos to the show runners. Making their first, very publicly called-for, kiss a spectacle would have cheapened the situation a bit.

What’d you think? I felt this was a good episode, but last week’s premiere had me laughing a bit harder. Though Cam’s attempted kiss-turned-somersault got me pretty good. Again, some great quotes came this week. Here are some gems:

“He blew his lid, when she tried to contain him.”- Phil, role-playing with the Tupperware

“Two problems with that. One? Gays don’t high five. Two? Gays don’t high five.”- Cam

“Look who needs me now, Mr. hot dog fingers who can’t press print without pressing three extra keys.”- Phil

“He’s not gonna think I’m a lesbian.”
“I did!! You have the sandals for it!”- Hayley and Alex

“I tipped over a paint can and threw up a little, but I guess ‘thanks’ pretty much covers it.”- Phil

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