Jay and Gloria had a yard sale, Hayley was arrested for underage drinking and now Modern Family is back for another classic installment. All in all, today’s episode presented a balance of plot and character development. Hearts were warmed by the parent-child bonding between Claire and Alex and between Jay and Mitchell. Heads were shaken in reaction to Phil’s inability to pick up social cues. Speaking for myself at least, eyebrows were also raised at the absence of Lily and Larry the cat. To make up for their exclusion from “Mistery Date,” this episode will be recapped in part through cat GIFs.
The Dunphy family turns Alex’s Academic Challenge tournament into a mini family vacation sans Phil and plus Manny. The tournament’s hotel venue provides the perfect setup for Luke and Manny to Bar Mitzvah hop. The two teenyboppers decide to crash all three Bar Mitzvahs, Luke proceeding in the spirit of celebration and Manny doing so with the intention of re-encountering a girl who smiled at him in the hotel lobby. Manny finally finds her after many a Hora, and they take things into the photobooth.Manny as campy rom-com cat.
Cameron and Mitchell team up to give Jay and Gloria the surprise baby shower present of a wall mural. To do so, they have to get the parents-to-be out of the house while a paint crew raids the baby’s nursery. Mitchell takes Jay to the baby supplies store and Cameron struggles to keep Gloria busy with lunch and nonsensical distractions. The sneakiness all pays off when a teary Gloria exclaims to Cameron upon seeing the finished mural, “I love it. It’s just like you.”
Phil stays home for the weekend and enjoys some quality R&R. The emphasis may lean too heavily on the second R, however, when he nonchalantly invites his new friend Dave over to watch football. Unbeknownst to Phil, Dave has just decided to come back to the dating scene as per Cameron’s advice and considers the hangout to be a proper date. Phil’s accidentally suggestive comments like “I’m long overdue for a boy’s night” and “Remember Dave, it’s just a game,” certainly make Dave’s beliefs all the more reasonable. Furthering his case is the fact that Phil, being Phil, acts with a palpable awkwardness. Dave calls Cameron during this supposed date, complaining about how he thinks the vibe is strange because other guests are coming. Cameron, who is preoccupied with distracting Gloria at the moment, predicts that other guests will cancel. The other guests do cancel. They were supposed to be Cameron and Gloria. Classic Modern Family irony. Only after Dave spills his drink, takes his shirt off, embraces Phil, then dives in for a kiss does Phil realize there is a miscommunication of intentions between them.