Let’s be honest, this episode was really same old, same old. Well, Modern Family usually does the same old, same old, but comes up with different ideas and twists to make the same old, same old funny to the very least. This week’s episode was nowhere near as impactful as Hayley’s going away to college a couple of weeks back or as memorable as some other episodes throughout its 4 seasons. As the same old, same old goes: Jay tries not to hurt Gloria’s feelings by lying to her, Cam and Mitchell lie to each other about how great they’re at handling the other’s responsibilities, and Phil and Claire trying to figure out what their kids are up to. The one thing that made me happy though was there was more attention geared towards Luke, my personal favourite of the three Dunphy kids! Who’s yours? Maybe you’d like to see more Lily or Manny or Alex episodes?
This episode starts off with a bang, literally! We find out that Luke’s new hobby is magic (which includes minor explosives, of course) and this makes Phil infinitely happy as his only son is following in his footsteps. Luke is the only one that follows their family’s escape route protocol and this just might foreshadow him becoming a big boy, as he’s usually known for being not so smart but a special and cute kid nonetheless. I was definitely expecting more time to be focused on Alex and Luke since Hayley left for college. It was comforting to know she’d still be taking part of the show through webcam but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want more of the season to be focused on the other kids in the family, especially Luke. I was super excited to see that Luke got more attention in this episode and hopefully the upcoming season!
For some reason, Alex is having a mean phase. She’s a little rude and almost bullies her mother and brother. She’s obviously acting out and going through something. Meanwhile, Luke comes to his mom with his troubles (a sign of growing up!) and tells her that he doesn’t want to disappoint dad but he really wants to quit magic – reason unknown at this point. Phil puts Luke to a test by getting him to perform one of the hardest magic tricks known as the Butler’s Escape. Phil will admit defeat and allow Luke to give up magic if he can do it because then Phil will know for certain that Luke isn’t giving up just because magic got tough. A good lesson embedded flawlessly into this week’s episode might I add! Luke escapes within minutes from being tied up in chains. Then, Claire helps Phil set up the trick so he can give it a try himself. Phil talks about how the whole key to the Butler’s Escape is balance; the whole thing is based on the idea of opposing forces holding each other in check. Claire learns all Alex needs is an opposing force to get her back to normal – Hayley! They webcam and it’s the same old sisterly fighting between these two.
Luke talks to Phil as he’s still trying to get out of the chains and admits some kids at school are giving him a hard time about magic. Phil understands completely and teaches him that the minute he stops caring what other people think is the minute he will feel free. Luke instructs Phil on how to get out of the chains and that’s another sign of Luke’s growing up, ended off by a loving fatherly son hug!
In the Pritchett household, Gloria is snoring like a water buffalo! Anybody could sympathize with Jay as nobody, and I mean NOBODY can fall asleep with someone snoring beside them while they’re trying to sleep, especially when you’re old like Jay. If you can, I applaud you! She constantly flaps her arms over to his side of the bed and eventually tries to take over in her sleep. Trying to be the considerate husband of his hot pregnant wife, Jay gently nudges her back into her place but finally decides he cannot take it anymore. As he hurries downstairs with his pillow and blanket, Manny and Stella already have claimed the couches. With no other choice, he endures another sleepless night. We always see something like this happening between Gloria and Jay. Remember the high heels episode at the amusement park, or the Gloria can’t drive episode, or maybe the Gloria’s accent episode? It’s been done before and it always ends the same way.
There was very little family interaction in this episode, which I did not enjoy. One out of the two family interactions included Jay talking to Claire on the phone about Gloria’s snoring. Claire urges Jay not to bring it up and just to suck it up! We all know this isn’t going to work with Jay’s blunt and honest personality. On a funny note, Claire can’t keep asking how much weight Gloria’s gained…25, 30, 35?!
Jay ended his meeting in San Francisco early and didn’t even have to stay the night. He returns back home unseen and decides to slip out to a local hotel to hopefully finally get some sleep. Manny just so happened to see Jay check in! Gloria calls Jay to surprise him that she’s in San Francisco and Jay frantically tries to escape the local hotel to return back to San Francisco. As he walks out of the elevator, he gets a huge slap across the face from Gloria! Obviously the first thing she suspects is an affair but finds out that Jay really just needed sleep! She’s not angry at the fact he pointed these things out but what really hurt her feelings was him keeping it from her. He doesn’t want to be yelled at but that’s what it’s like being married to Gloria and he should really know that by now. She thinks he’s tough enough to take it and that’s what makes their marriage so wonderful! As a funny twist, she seduces Jay to stay at the hotel and swipes the key to sleep there herself for the night and orders Jay to make some pasta for Manny!
Or Tucker-Pritchett, whatever floats your boat. This family’s story was probably the least appealing to me of the three. It’s really getting a bit old how Cam and Mitchell constantly pretend to be fine with new responsibilities but fail miserably and try to hide it from each other. I think they would have learned honesty is the best policy by the third or fourth time? Like the time Cam worked and Mitchell was a stay home dad or maybe the time when Cam gets sick and Mitchell sneaks out for the Lady Gaga concert. I was really hoping their characters would have grown much more by now.
Cam has gotten a new job as a music teacher at the school Luke and Manny attend. Both Lily and Mitchell can sense his anxiousness as he won’t stop backseat fathering Mitchell with his added responsibilities with Lily. Do you ever have those moments when you want to pause or stop a show before a character embarrasses themself immensely and it’s too hard to watch? That’s what Cam’s music class felt like. He was filled with enthusiasm before he left the house and was hoping to be slow clapped out of the classroom due to the love from his new students. The class was a train wreck and ironically he gets slow clapped out of the classroom by a little Goth-looking girl in spite of his epic failure. Cam has a horrible day at school as not only being not liked by his students; none of the teachers will sit with him at lunch either.
Meanwhile, as usual, Mitchell gets overwhelmed as he has to take care of Lily and has no idea what time to pick her up or what groceries to buy, etc. Mitchell pretends everything was taken care of when Cam returns home and Cam is thoroughly impressed. We find out in the background that Claire (the second and last family interaction of the episode) had helped with all of the tasks and chores. As Mitchell quietly waves Claire to leave discretely so he can take all of the credit of the work, Cam breaks down and Claire ousts Mitchell. Surprisingly Cam isn’t mad at all and instead gives Mitchell a big hug to sympathize over enduring Claire’s bossiness and harsh words!
All in all, this episode was not as exciting and memorable as I’d like it to have been. The main idea behind the story line is pretty much the same and this week’s funny moments didn’t do enough for me to consider it a twist on the same old story line. With that said, I’m glad they’re exploring Luke’s character more and hopefully continues to do so with the rest of the kids on the show. It’s only the fourth episode of the season and I definitely can’t wait to see the characters grow even more throughout. Which family’s plot did you like the most this week and why? Who do you want to see more of in the future?