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Modern Family Watch: Season 3, Episode 16 - Virgin Territory

Modern Family delivers another solid episode this week, though I can’t help but feel like they missed a few opportunities.

The group is quite splintered this week with Luke and Manny being the most intriguing option right off the bat. They have been planting these anti-Lily seeds for weeks now and it looked like they were about to sprout. Cam instead falls for their Lily trap and takes advantage of his supposed injury from the accident to search for a Tupperware he has long suspected Claire of stealing. The twist of Cam faking his injury came out of nowhere and made me laugh quite a bit, but they didn’t do anything else with it and that is a shame.

Back to those boys though, who were the best thing about this episode. When Manny and Luke get together we usually get some pretty good humor and I loved what they did with these guys this week. Manny’s crush of the week lives down the street from Luke and Luke decides to help Manny impress her. The boys borrow a car and the visual gag of Manny rolling in front of his girl’s lemonade stand made me laugh harder than everything else this week. The look on Manny’s face as he went back in reverse was almost as good though. Like last week, it is nice to see them do something different with Manny for a change and pairing him up with Luke was a nice way to keep the character fresh.

Everyone else’s stories were actually rather dull thinking back on them with none of the pathos hitting like they intended. Phil accidently discovers Haley isn’t a virgin anymore and after a quick scene of the two speaking about the issue without really saying the words and everything is good. I don’t think Phil would handle this revelation so well and there was a lot more of an opportunity for humor here based on the character of Phil they have created.

Gloria and Claire are put at each other’s throats as Claire seems to be avoiding Gloria, pushing her away from hanging out at every turn. Gloria doesn’t give up though and Claire ultimately reveals her stress releasing secret, the shooting range. I don’t know what the take away from this revelation is supposed to be. Is she envisioning her family? Are they really that stressful? Seeing Gloria finally shoot a gun after all of the talk of her past is a nice treat, but again I didn’t get a whole lot out of it.

Lastly, Mitchell reveals a secret that Jay’s long bragged about hole-in-one was actually the result of Mitchell kicking it in the hole. When Jay goes to confront his buddies with the truth he decides to let the legend live only to have Mitchell show up to spoil the secret himself. This is supposed to lead into a heartwarming moment between father and son when the whole truth and the moments Mitchell forgot come out, but again things fall flat and they rely on a call back that doesn’t work either.

All in all, there were a consistent number of laughs in the episode, but a lot of potential seemed to be wasted. Thankfully the Manny and Luke stuff worked extremely well and they more than made up for the weird and completely off Companion Doll plot line; I mean seriously, WTF. While a lot of the plotlines might not have taken full advantage, they all still had laughs and that is the main point of a comedy, right? Anyways, a solid episode and bit above average for Modern Family.


-I like how intent Jay is focused on translating for Gloria.

-Luke has got it out for Lilly.

-"I haven't paid for lemonade in years."

-"This ends today."

-"a dream, wrapped in a wish, stuffed into leggings."

-"I'm familiar with Claire."

-Quite an elaborate trap.

-"Accent optional."

-"Works with dolphins and blind models."

-What the hell is this doll shop?

-Haley has had sex?!

-Hahaha, nice little revenge twist with Cam.

-"Which means he might never find out."

-"That's why I said surprise."


-What happened to the Lily takedown?

-This doll doctor bit didn't work, at all.

-Neither did this

-Get it Manny! Best Manny beat in a long time.

-A shooting range? Hmm, I don't know how to take this revelation. Pandering to red states?

-"This had a lid."