Naturally when there is an important family even to attend, the Dunphy clan will make sure that nothing goes according to plan. This episode was Alex’s big day as she graduates from middle school as valedictorian. While Alex is working overtime to memorize her valedictorian speech, Phil is working overtime to make sure Claire gets all of her emotions out into the open so they don’t fester. Usually she lets them fester until the next day when she explodes, but considering Phil and Claire have plans to go to Vegas (to reunite with Phil’s cheerleading buddies?), Phil needs her to get emotional ASAP through a combination of awkward hugs and Titanic references.
Meanwhile, the other half of the family seems to living in a comedy of errors, as per usual. Cam accidentally topples into a kiddie pool prompting Mitchell (and the rest of America) to burst into laughter, which Cam thinks is unspeakably rude. When Cam confronts the rest of the family about their problem, they all agree that Mitchell was rude to laugh — right before Cam walked straight into a glass door — and then straight into a screen door. The comedy of errors continues as the family becomes extremely concerned when Jay appears on the scene with what appears to be a stroke face. He reveals that he has actually gotten Botox in an effort to look young again. As the Botox has sagged over his eye, he doesn’t look young so much as he looks like a one-eyed pirate. Gloria is appropriately mad at Jay because she doesn’t think that he should feel the need to be younger for her.
The slapstick comedy continues, as the family minus Alex and Haley, who are already at the school, gets ready to leave. Naturally as they prepare to leave Jay and Gloria’s house, the gate stops working prompting Phil to pull one of his old cheerleading moves out in order to fling Claire over the gate, complete with some ridiculous cheer. Once they get onto the other side, they decide to tandem bicycle all the way to the school, only to get a flat tire. Just as they are starting to really freak out (like they haven’t been already), they decide to hitch a ride on a gardening truck just so they can make it to school on time. In order to accurately represent the absurdity of this moment, it should be noted that the gate had started working by this time and the rest of the family was already at the school. Claire and Phil get there just in time for Alex’s big moment, or just in time to tumble head first down a huge hill to catch the tail end of her award winning speech.
This episode explored the realms of slapstick comedy and combined with the unfailing clever writing, this penultimate episode was a total hysterical success. Each episode has inexplicably gotten better and better as we get closer to the finale, so I can hardly imagine the laughs in store for next week’s finale.
Alex’s speech was absolutely classic. Thank god she took notes from Haley and made the speech generic instead of honest (she was about to absolutely tear her fellow students apart). “Don’t stop believing and get this party started!” should be said at every graduation from here on out.
The entire tandem bike situation was almost too much to handle. Of course, Gloria would freely admit that she couldn’t ride it because her boobs kept hitting her knees.
Any reference to Phil being a male cheerleader (and still thinking its cool) is a highlight in my book.
“She’s the cerebellum of the ball!” -Phil, nerding it up for Alex’s big day.
“Luke, do you realize we are graduating in two years?” -Manny
“Not now I think I’m moving the ball with my mind” -Luke
“Well…one of us is graduating” -Manny
“What were you thinking?? You’re a veteran!” -Cam, accusing Jay after he gets Botox.
“If you do this you will be a social piranha” -Haley
“Yes, I will be an Amazonian carnivorous fish!” -Alex