Modern Family: Season 4, Episode 15 — “Heart Broken”

KIP MOONEY: In relationships, sometimes you have to try new things. You’ve got to break up the routine, do a little role-playing or be totally spontaneous.

And so it was with this week’s episode of Modern Family. Not just with the characters, but the show itself. Instead of cutting back amongst all three stories, this episode just showed each one from beginning to end. That said, there was nothing groundbreaking in this episode, despite a development that’s interesting but might have nowhere to go in the coming weeks.

So let’s just knock ‘em out in order. First we had Phil and Claire doing their annual Juliana-Clive rendezvous, which gets interrupted by Claire having a “heart episode” that sends her to the emergency room. Turns out she has hereditary arrhythmia, which she’s never even mentioned to Phil. Now, one of these characters developing a medical condition has the potential to be very interesting and rewarding, but I’m afraid the writers aren’t going to know what to do with it, except maybe end with Claire having a heart attack at the season finale, which would just be the worst gimmick I could possibly imagine. What I did like about this story (and about all three in general), is it showed both partners having a healthy interest in sex. Unlike so many shows that are all affairs and hook-ups, or couples without intimacy, I found it refreshing that each mate wanted to get it on as badly as the other.

Then we move on to Jay and Gloria’s post-partum honeymoon. After waiting the requisite six weeks, Jay and Gloria are both ready to jump each other’s bones. Gloria lets everyone explicitly know that she was never into Jay for his money (which the show never had to, and besides, this is Southern California; if Gloria wanted a rich guy, there are plenty of wealthier options). She finds him sexy, and never more so than when he’s crossing off every item on the to-do list in a snazzy suit. Yet there was still time for a sweet little Manny story. Jay debates whether to follow Manny to a party he surely believes only exists as humiliation, but he lets him go and finds Manny returning even more giddy than usual, his secret admirer being very real indeed.

Finally, the least interesting story of the bunch. Cam and Mitch wake up from their valentine’s shindig to find a wrecked house and a new roommate (Dylan). I dug that even when they’re drunk, Mitch and Cam’s shenanigans are as ridiculous and fabulous as they are. Between a pink cat, stolen Christmas decorations and still hanging around Pepper, the writers find clever ways for this duo to get into hijinks. I would like to see the show develop these two a little more. They’ve been a little adrift since their second adoption fell through, and I want to see some of the layers of how they’re throwing themselves into things (musicals, hobbies, parties) to avoid dealing with their sadness.

Phil, on why Claire had a mild heart attack: “I think I may have been too sexy.”

[Lily interrupts Jay and Gloria’s make-out session.]
Jay: “And I’m losing it.”
Lily: “My daddies kiss a lot.”
Jay: “Flatlined.”

Manny: “They said bring your hat with the feather in it. And I said, ‘Which one?’”

About Kip Mooney

Kip Mooney is a recent graduate of UNT's Mayborn School of Journalism and big-time opponent of going to grad school. Working as a freelance writer in the DFW area, he's always ready to go in-depth with his opinions on film, television, music, religion and the sorry state of politics in America. He continues to work independently, as each of his non-college jobs has resulted in the company experiencing serious financial troubles once he leaves, including Blockbuster and the trashy restaurant D's Country Kitchen. (The lesson here is hire him, but don't let him leave.) His literary heroes include Roger Ebert, Donald Miller and Matt Taibbi. Kip has written for The Dallas Morning News and Pegasus News and served as editor-in-chief for the North Texas Daily, but he is perhaps best known as the inspiration for Christian Lander's well-known blog Stuff White People Like.
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