Modern Family might have churned out its best episode of the third season this week as the episode rattled off laugh after laugh.
The main through line for the episode is the possibility of Claire donating an egg to Cam and Mitchell to mix with Cam’s sperm to have a half Pritchett, half Tucker baby. The problem is that all of these promises were made over an insane night of wine drinking.
I am getting ahead of myself though as the first act was all set up for the final two acts. At first it all seemed a bit out there having the Dunphy kids set loose in their house, but it came together really well for a nice little story consolidated into the opening moments. Claire is rushing out of the house and Phil is pulled away to show a house to friends of Cam and Mitchell, but the state of the house is in serious flux with only the kids left behind. Alex and Haley are stuck in the kitchen cleaning with a disastrous situation on their hands and Luke is attempting to resurrect a squirrel among other issues. Once Claire puts the pieces together that no one is home to take care of the mess she races back to find everything to be perfect. The kids took care of everything and are peacefully resting in the kitchen, allowing for a nice moment with Claire realizing how great her and Phil’s kids are. This is the seed that makes her think she should give her brother one of her eggs.
Cam and Mitchell are feeling a lot of pressure from their friends Phil is helping out to go the surrogate route. The couple is getting sick of waiting for another adoption and their friends are rubbing their new “Swirl” surrogate in Cam and Mitchell’s face. So when Phil and Claire invite Cam and Mitchell out for a thank you dinner to celebrate Phil’s sale to their friends, that is where things get out of hand. As the wine starts flowing the lips start flying and the group is concocting a Pritchett/Tucker baby before the night is out. The drunken montage seems to try a bit too hard leading each cut into one another through dialogue, but the forced nature of the set up is totally worth the payoff.
Once the couples wake up the next morning the regrets quickly begin to settle in; except for Cam, he’s still on board. While Cam is making baby mash ups of him and Claire, everyone else involved wants to pull the plug ASAP, setting up for an extremely awkward Sunday brunch at Jay and Gloria’s. The show affectively uses some of their old tropes to get the comedy across, but it is so sharp and funny that I can’t complain one bit.
Gloria, Jay and Manny didn’t really fit into the bigger plot line, but they managed to have a number of laughs themselves. Jay tries to get Manny into football and he takes to it quite nicely. Unfortunately, Manny gets hurt and the strings Jay pulled to keep Gloria and Manny available for football come back to bite him in the ass. The results are Manny in a Rascal scooter and a pissed off Gloria taking it to Jay. Manny and Gloria have had a long running game of collecting lucky pennies to buy a lottery ticket and this is how Manny got hurt in the game; picking up a penny. Manny’s poor driving of the rascal was a comedy highlight of the night and the ending to their storyline was a very sweet moment for Jay and Gloria.
My favorite episode of Modern Family in weeks, and possibly the best of the season, this week’s episode was Modern Family at its best. Using old tropes for the show to their maximum effect and just plain old good writing took this episode a long way and it helped even further that they didn’t play the characters to their show stereotypes. If Modern Family can keep up this level of quality it will be all the better for us.
-“it only makes the lice angry.”
-Manny playing football, this could be good.
-Why did Jay address the camera?
-And now Phil, they don’t ever look in the camera.
-“Rocco or cocoa?”
-No way Manny sees that penny.
-“Or, we’re all dead?”
-How are they going to ruin this family bliss?
-“Skating on thin egg shells right now.”
-“That game exists, it’s called alcoholism.”
-Claire is going to donate the egg? This drunk commitment isn’t going to stick.
-“I think we are all having a baby.”
-“Sweet potato fries!”
-“That would be four for four.”
-Cam made a baby mash up!
-“Say hi to your aunt Mommy!”
-“Not cute, Appalachian.”
-“My mom will yell at you about it later.”
-“You’re going to have Cam’s baby to keep it from being weird?”
-“Why, because Lilly’s a mess.”
-Gloria’s reaction was priceless.
-“No it’s a freak show.”
-“Just say baby or no baby.”
-I like the “under the table” signal.
-Nice little moment there to make up to Gloria.
-Lily’s scream! Worth that easy joke.