Phil is in the doghouse with Claire, Gloria sings like a dog, and nice voice, Jay!

By Lynette Rice
Updated February 24, 2011 at 06:00 AM EST
Adam Larkey/ABC

Here’s what happens when a husband doesn’t listen to his wife: The broccoli’s shredded like confetti across the kitchen, the fire extinguisher (which secretly sprays whipped cream) is sprayed across the walls, and the door comes off the fancy stainless-steel microwave. Smooth move, Phil!

Sadly, the only thing remotely chuckle-worthy about that silly fight between Claire and Phil was how he recapped it to Gloria while she trimmed his hair. Since Phil couldn’t figure out what had set off his wife — he even muttered a “happy Valenbirthiversary” in a desperate attempt to make things right — Gloria laid it on the line. No cracks about her driving! No air bunnies! No buying the wrong vegetable at the grocery store! No being the typical Phil … or else suffer the consequences! “We wait,” Gloria says, with her scissors near his neck. “When you least expect it, we make you pay.”

The listening (or lack thereof) theme played out a little better between Mitchell and Cameron, who was planning a big fund-raiser in their tiny living room to upstage a nemesis named Andrew (who Luke referred to as “she”). In this case, Mitchell was the guilty party: Though Cameron manages to pick up every word when his partner mumbles a shopping list, Mitchell didn’t carry out Cam’s request to mail the party invites six weeks early. DEFCON 1, people! The only attendees, Cameron yelled, were anger, betrayal, terror, and sadness. Mitchell better fix it! He did, of course, by inviting the family.

The cutest part of the episode was when Alex tried to expose how her sister Haley wasn’t working at a restaurant, but Claire and Phil were too preoccupied with their fight to notice how their eldest daughter wasn’t wearing a name badge or reading them the specials. Otherwise, the episode mostly evoked smiles, but not a ton of laughs. I was, however, totally impressed by Jay’s closing moments with the karaoke machine that he regretted giving Gloria. Ed O’Neill, you ol’ charming troubadour! Have you considered releasing a single?

So did the episode leave you singing a happy tune?

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