Mitch and Cam, Modern Family

The good news about Modern Family‘s hilarious second episode is that it proved the show isn’t going to just be a one-hit wonder. The not-so-good news? I kept having to rewind my DVR to catch lines that got drowned out by the sound of my husband and me howling from our couch. MVP for this episode, which might as well have been been titled “The Sins of the Father,” was definitely Ty Burrell’s Phil, who got himself into all kinds of bizarre trouble by going against his wife’s wishes and buying a bike for his irresponsible son. It was funny (and ridiculous) enough for Phil to “steal” the unattended bike as a “lesson” to Luke, but the subsequent mishaps — Phil loses bike while helping neighborhood lust object Desiree with a household task, Phil surreptitiously buys replacement bike, Phil discovers “stolen” bike was not his son’s — took the storyline in brilliant, unexpected directions. By that climactic scene, with Phil gripping Julie Bowen’s Claire in a romantic-turning-to-painful embrace, then preposterously attempting to shield her eyes from the site of hot divorcee Desiree coming up the driveway with Bike No. 3, I was literally convulsing with laughter. I also loved the opening Phil-Claire-Desiree encounter (embedded below), from Phil’s shifty body language and nervous outbursts (“fun!” and “I’m a real-estate mogul…what?!”) to Claire’s ice-cold “Phil, that’s creepy” after he told the forbidden divorcee “bet you’re lovin’ that steam shower.”

Moving on to the other Modern households, Mitchell’s desire to blend in with the straight couples — or rather, his desire to have Cameron blend in — at Lily’s play date yielded pretty ingenious results, including a quotable quip before they’d even left the house: “Wow. Paisley and pink. Was there something wrong with the fishnet tank top?” And as much as I loved Cameron’s struggle to tamp down his natural gifts and dance like a straight guy, his best line of the night (and perhaps the best line of the episode) was one so subtle I had to play it twice to confirm what I’d actually heard.

Playgroup Employee: “We’re all over here taking turns blowing bubbles.”

Cameron: “Well, how nice for…the babies!”

Way to sneak one past the network censors, Modern Family! And interestingly enough, the show’s gruffest character, Ed O’Neill’s Jay, once again proved to be its squishy emotional center. Sure, his attempt to install a ceiling fan/ bond with his stepson yielded half a dozen awkward zingers, but it was that detoured limo ride to Disney (after Manny’s dad failed to show up) that came thisclose to bringing a tear to my eye. “Ninety percent of being a dad is just showing up,” Jay surmised. Here’s hoping viewers keep showing up to Modern Family, ’cause this one’s a keeper, folks!

What did you think of Modern Family‘s second episode? Did you enjoy it as much as the premiere? And what was your favorite line? Start the sharing process in the comments section below! (And follow me on Twitter @EWMichaelSlezak.)

Episode Recaps

Mitch and Cam, Modern Family
Modern Family

Parents just don’t understand… and neither do kids or spouses in this hit ensemble comedy

  • TV Show
  • 10
  • Wednesdays at 09:00 PM
stream service