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Modern Family recap: Fizbo, Interrupted

Cam reconnects with his clown side following the death of a friend, while Phil vies for the listing of a lifetime

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Peter "Hopper" Stone/ABC

Modern Family

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:

Gather round, kids. It’s showtime! Our party starts on a sad note, as we mourn the passing of Professor Ringmaster Al Uzielli. One step below Piemaster General, and he still received a proper clown’s funeral, complete with the inclusion of dynamite, dirt and a banana pie in his open casket. Don’t follow? In addition to being a Leap Day baby, Cameron Tucker is a proud graduate of Clown College and very much connected to his former self, Fizbo. Attending the ceremony in full clown attire, Mitchell acted as his (straight) shoulder to cry on for once in their relationship, while pretending not to find humor in the life choices those around him had made. As Cam reminisced with old friends, he was brought nose to nose with his former partner Louis (Bobby Cannavale), with whom he changed the scope of clowning forever (or at least children’s parties).

Despite being at the top of their game (in children’s parties) Cam ultimately chose love, disbanding Fizbo & Louis and Lennon-ing his own McCartney by running off with a red-headed Yoko. As a wise man once said, it’s hard to maintain a relationship in industry. Between whoopee cushions and squirting flowers, when does the laughing at you stop and the laughing with you begin? But unresolved disagreements are nothing when old friends are concerned. Seltzer under the bridge; drinks all around. Mitchell watched in confusion as Cam and clown people of all shapes and sizes squeezed into a Mini Cooper to catch up, perpetuating just one of the many stereotypes they face daily. The other of course being perpetual single life and irrational love for Stephen Sondheim.

Continuing to stake his claim in the California real estate world, Phil went out and bought a brand new suit to help seal a potentially huge deal. Like, so big he and Claire couldn’t get it on the night before, which he promises to make up for when they’re sleeping on piles and piles of cash. All he needed to do was secure the listing from the prospective buyers, and real estate agents would soon be studying the heralded Dunphy Method for years to come. People are good! Trust people! Ding, ding, ding!

Except when they’re not. The brief taste of success does not come without its respective obstacles. At the listing Phil ran into his nemesis Mitzi Roth, played by the ageless Ellen Barkin, a notorious Freddy Krueger of the local market who knows just how to take advantage of nice guys and their dumb belief that people are innately kind. Phil’s excitement (and accompanying jazz hands) at the possibility of landing the massive deal that could pay for Haley’s college and get him out of eternal condo hell was quickly smashed when Mitzi began playing dirty. Shoving a woman in some shrubbery? Anger problems? Clearly the clients don’t know Phil that well if they believed he’d stoop so low, yet Mitzi’s below-the-belt attempts at sabotage proved only to be a sampling of her quasi-jedi realtor tricks to come.

NEXT: Manny’s friend has a wandering eye and Claire just wants to friend you