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Modern Family recap: Season 3, episode 4

Claire gets political and Mitch shows his tough guy side

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Richard Foreman/ABC

Modern Family

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
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This wasn’t the best episode of Modern Family I’ve ever seen, but the lovely thing is that even on a so-so week, Modern Family still had more laughs than several episodes of some so-called comedy shows combined. And while Papa Dunphy has lately been the MVP of LOL (< please let me get away with that. I've been saving it.), it was Gloria who took front and center tonight in an ep that found her trying to be a valuable voice of reason. Also an honorable mention? Dunphy Jr. who stole the show tonight — and he didn't even have a prominent storyline! But we'll get to Luke in a second. First..

We spent much of the episode watching Claire struggle with the idea of giving up her position as ruler and overlord of the Dunphy household so she could run for city council. As it turned out, she lost her petition to get a stop sign placed at the intersection of (near) death and was angry about being dismissed by reigning leader Duane Bailey (guest star David Cross). And as we know, angry Claire = determined Claire = adorably supportive Phil = adorably incapable Phil. In this case, it was Phil’s Mr. Mom ambitions that proved to be more challenging to achieve than he originally thought.

At Jay’s, Gloria was feeling unwanted after both Jay and Manny rejected her advice. Jay had been dealing with a difficult, entitled young client, played by Freaks and Geeks alum Samm Levine, and Manny had been struggling to add some flash to his report on the mafia. “I have all the answers,” she claimed after being dismissed. (Gloria = Google?) Personally, if my mom had ever suggested handing in a horse head with one of my school reports, I would have given her the award for Mom of the Century. But I’m twisted that way.

Meanwhile, Mitchell was annoyed that Cam was showing more and more of his aggressive Fizbo side —  minus the Fizbo. It all started at the theater when Cam yelled at a man who brought his kids to what Cam and Mitchell thought was an age-inappropriate film. (Mitchell’s almost-comment about Gwyneth Paltrow led me to believe it was Contagion.) In reality, they’d accidentally walked into The Muppets, which can be terrifying to some, I suppose. But graphic? Well, probably not, but don’t quote me. We all know what can happen when Danny Trejo gets involved in something. There’s usually a gun or machete involved.

Cam’s brazen side also peaked out from his paisley after he and Mitchell were involved in a hit and run accident. Mitchell wanted to call the police, but Cam opted for a more immediate action and started chasing after the car that hit them on foot while screaming and holding his arms in the air like a “Y” missing the “M,” “C” and “A.” At this point, I’d be willing to say that running and screaming Cam is the “That’s what she said” of Modern Family. It’s a simple gag that never fails to have me in stitches.

In other happenings this week, Haley was going around asking her siblings for handouts (yes, she’s that person in the family) after being scammed out of $900 by some guy who was going to get her and her friends fake IDs. Alex was broke — for some reason, the smart ones always are — and Luke was secretly loaded but didn’t share that piece of info.

As I mentioned before, Luke didn’t have a whole lot to do this week, but in the time he did have on screen, he definitely proved to be one of the most hilarious characters. Every subtle look and deadpan line is always spot-on. That said, I’m not sure that means I want more of him. At this point, I think part of his appeal is that he’s used so thoughtfully in storylines. Do you agree?

NEXT: The week’s best lines