KIP MOONEY: Sometimes when a show hasn’t done something in a while, it can feel completely new. That’s what tonight’s episode did, and why I enjoyed it so much.
Instead of having Mitch and Cam bicker the whole episode like this show has done so frequently, tonight they have a common frienemy. This time, it’s a potential birth mother that could provide them with their next child. Except she’s pretty invasive, and not that bright, and thinks Mitch – who’s the worst singer since Dirk Nowitzki – has the voice of an angel. But for the sake of adopting her fetus one day, he’s willing to set aside his issues with her.
Tonight also saw the return of flustered Phil. His feathers get ruffled because everyone abandons him in his hour of need – making a dull presentation on escrow into something fabulous – and doesn’t seem to care. I hoped his seminar would turn out to be as great as that awards ceremony where he killed all those jokes, but the direction this went in works, and ended with him literally putting Gloria on a pedestal. That’s a joke many people will find too obvious, but it’s a great balance with a joke about the one time Mitch threw a ball in his backyard – the one his father wasn’t there to see. (Think about it.)
Meanwhile, we got Claire vs. Jay, as they both tried to secretively complete their sons’ science projects. This was like the good-natured fun of “Punkin Chunkin.” And the reveal at the end – that Jay encouraged Claire’s ridiculous competitiveness because he loves her and sees the best of himself in her – was genuinely sweet.
Modern Family definitely didn’t drop the egg tonight. Let’s see if they can keep it going.
Alex: “I think it could be used for unmanned space flight.”
Haley: “Keep talk like that up and you’ll spend your whole life unmanned.”
Manny: “I like this manual labor. It’s a departure from the life of the mind I usually inhabit. But really, isn’t this just a metaphor for the human condition? Aren’t we all just eggs encased in bubble wrap, hoping we don’t get dropped?”
Jay, insulting Luke’s egg-insulating device: “It’s pretty good for a kid who still needs help getting out of his backpack.”