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Modern Family recap: Phil's Sexy, Sexy House

With almost everyone there, it was more like Phil’s unsexy funhouse.

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Kelsey McNeal/ABC

Modern Family

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:

Welcome to My Best Friend’s Modern Family. Or When the Dunphys Met Phil’s Sexy House. Or maybe How to Lose a Private Space in 10 Days? Never mind, the point is: Tonight’s main adventure was a full-on romantic comedy, in that it was a comedy of errors wrapped in one big romance, complete with a photo finish of a kiss between Haley and Andy.

Because most of the clan ended up one way or another at the fancy home Phil was working on, this week’s recap won’t break it down family by family. Instead, I’m going to try to trace the way all of the events unfolded, which hopefully will be a lot easier considering this was just half an hour of time-jumpy hijinks (unlike that time Arrested Development did it for a whole season on Netflix, but I digress). 

We begin with the entire brood at the Pritchetts’, where they’re enjoying their customary Saturday feast of Thanksgiving leftovers. Everything’s going swimmingly — Joe’s being his typical adorable self, Alex can’t help herself with an astrophysics joke — until Phil starts to boast about his sexy house with the sexy security code (no really, it spells out “sexy” — and now everyone knows), and Haley gets an idea. Using some impressive espionage skills, she snaps a photo of the house’s info from Phil’s files and heads there herself to take a nice, long bath to get over eating so much Thanksgiving food and feeling down about Dylan and her love life.

Speaking of her love life, Andy shows up when she’s back at the house trying to clean up the mess she made when the bathwater failed to drain and she had, er, burned too much incense. When they try to pry it open, they end up — whoops — falling into the tub and getting soaked. And so they clean up and try to enjoy the amenities before Phil arrives. But because the remote in the living room is so confusing to operate, they end up opening the liquor cabinet, turning on the disco lights, and getting a fireplace going. In this way-too-romantic atmosphere, Haley starts to lean in for a kiss, when suddenly…

Mitch and Cam burst in to enjoy all those high-tech amenities Haley had just told Andy to stop activating. See, the couple realized after overhearing Claire and Phil’s banal conversation about the gutters that their marriage could begin to be just as boring, a fact emphasized when they get home and are overly excited about flipping Lily’s mattress. And so, at Phil’s sexy home, the two begin to get raunchy, grabbing booze and showing off some, uh, pole-dancing moves on Mitch’s part to get things going, when suddenly…

Phil arrives. He’s allowed to be at the house, of course, but the mystery of what’s really going on with Phil begins when he tells someone phone, “Don’t worry about Claire, you’ve got me all afternoon.” Well, at least Claire thinks she’s figured out what’s happening. 

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Back at the Pritchetts’, Claire had worried about whether Phil was avoiding having a conversation with her because he was still mad about the way she flipped out at him when she found him with the ducks in a tub after returning from a business trip. It made her angry and also brought us this nutty image of Ty Burrell cradling a duck in a tub:

When she brings this up to Jay, though, he points out that maybe Phil’s not annoyed by her treatment of the ducks in the tub (which, by the way, sounds like a Dr. Seuss book) but just wishes she were around more. (Of course, Jay’s totally BS-ing Claire so she doesn’t turn around and see Gloria attempting to get Phil’s wallet. But we’ll get to that later.)

Both Claire and Jay are wrong, it turns out: Phil admits to the camera that he was simply playing a medieval fantasy game he got super into and that he just needed to find a space where he could play for a few hours without interruption. Shortly after he gets to the house, he dons his virtual reality goggles and puts on his role-playing gear, when suddenly…

NEXT: Claire’s dressed to impress…