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Emmys 2017
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Modern Family recap: The Closet Case

Dylan needs a place to stay, Mitch needs a client, Gloria needs advice, and Luke needs a girlfriend — all of which is easier said than done.

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Mitchell Haaseth/ABC

Modern Family

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:

There must have been something in the closets air this week, as each family member got a bit overheated and overeager to take care of some easily solvable problems. Is Manny not getting enough locker-decorating love from his cheerleader? Gloria better go decorate it herself with a homemade “Sexy Manny” sign! Is a girl maybe, possibly, no-really-could-she-actually-be interested in Luke? He and Manny better go to Caltech and find out themselves! Is Jay’s rival Closets Closets Closets Closets nemesis poaching Mitch away from his own family? Jay better go take out his, uhhh… his “deal”….! Gross.

Anyway, it was a little too much overreaction and too little laugh-out-loud moments. But still — for every freakout tonight, there was a resolution. Some were sweet, like Luke comforting a heartbroken Alex. Some were messy, like Claire taking the fall and kicking squatter Dylan out of the house. And some couldn’t be helped, like Cam and the baby otter he had been rooting for until nature stepped in the way. With the family all tangled up this week, we’ve got a couple of different groupings this episode, but as usual, we’ll start with…

The Dunphys

Phil has always been intent on being the Cool DadTM, from his early days of thinking “WTF” meant “Why The Face.” But when Haley asks to let Dylan — or as Phil calls him, “Vitamin D” — crash in the Dunphys’ basement, he can’t bring himself to allow the pair to dilly-dally around the house, especially after finding Haley with a V-neck-shirtless Dylan in bed downstairs. To remedy this, Phil — or as Dylan calls him, “Philibuster” — asks Claire to tag along when they confront the two. Claire, realizing Phil just wants her to play the bad guy, refuses to comply. She’s cooler than cold now; she’s frigid. And so, Claire tosses the problem back into Phil’s lap…

…and taunts him, trying to provoke him into kicking Dylan out. But just when he’s about to — the lovebirds have gotten into an annoying habit of curling up under a blanket next to Phil on the couch — he takes a half-measure and tells them to, oh let’s see, pretty please just sneak around behind his and Claire’s back so they don’t have to see their PDA? Claire, horrified, shuts it down, accepting her position as the Uncool MomTM. Well played, Phil, but Claire’s the one who gets things done. 

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Luke, Manny, and Alex

These three had their own misadventure this week. During an innocent FaceTime session in which Alex asks Luke for relationship advice (c’mon, Alex, that’s a rookie mistake), typical teenager Luke focuses his attention instead on Alex’s dorm-mate in the background, who changes and then flirts with Luke on camera. (Does Alex not see her own screen when she’s FaceTiming?) Naturally, Luke grabs onto this slight flirtation and convinces Manny to come with him to the beautiful dream land of women he just discovered, known as…college. 

When the pair arrive, they barely say hello to Alex before chasing down the girl Luke talked to for less than 10 seconds. With some coaxing by Manny (and a series of awkward jokes by Luke), the girls decide they’ll kiss them that night. Luke’s thrilled, but on his way to finding gum in Alex’s room, Alex reveals she and Sanjay finally talked — and their relationship is over. They’re one of the 86 percent of high school couples who break up, after all, and though Luke at first seems unconcerned about his older sister’s troubles, he decides to stay with Alex so she’s not heartbroken and alone. Giving up a chance to kiss college girls? That’s the ultimate sacrifice for a boy young man like Luke.

NEXT: What’s Jay’s deal?