Phil tries an extreme stunt, Mitchell and Cam experiment with extreme dieting, and Claire finds herself extremely fed up.

Modern Family
Credit: Richard Foreman/ABC

After being treated to an hour of Modern Family last week, doesn’t 30 minutes of programming (22, minus commercials) just seem like NOT enough? Sigh. At least the gang made the most of the time they had with an episode that found Gloria jealous of a dog, Mitchell and Cam on his-and-his diets, and Claire aiming to create an army of super-Dunphys. (It’s only now that I realize how much Claire and Klaus from The Vampire Diaries have in common. Weird.)

So, let’s start at casa del Pritchett, where Gloria’s dreams of beaches and Diet Pepsi were interrupted by the crude sounds of snoring. Being that she sleeps next to a man Jay’s age, I think she should thank her lucky peanuts that’s the only sound she was hearing at night. But it turned out that it wasn’t even Jay who was responsible for the offending snores — it was their new (completely adorable!) dog. (I could be wrong, but I didn’t catch a name.)

Meanwhile, Cam was starting a juice cleanse and, as a result, was experiencing a “slow descent into madness,” which I honestly thought was what we’d been watching for the last two seasons. Mitchell wanted him to delay starting the diet, knowing that crazy Cam was comin’ ’round the mountain, but decided that if he couldn’t reason with Cam (he should have known better than to try!) then he’d join him in the cleanse. Hungry loves company… and Nutella.

At the Dunphy household, Phil decided to take up tightrope walking after he and Luke, who would spend most of the episode over-stuffing himself with junk food that came courtesy of Mitchell, saw a cool documentary on television. Dear God, no one ever show these two an episode of Sister Wives.

Elsewhere, Haley was displeased to learn that Alex would be joining her in second-year math, and Alex was displeased to learn that her sister, a senior, was still in second-year math. Sorry, in second-year math again. Despite initial grievances with their situation, Alex and Haley came to an agreement. Alex would help Haley cheat on her homework and major tests of knowledge in exchange for a slice of popular-people perks. Claire took the credit for the apparent peace treaty (though, she was unaware of the terms) because she had lectured them on how she’d hoped they’d work together in class, be “super-Dunphys.” The only thing “super” here was how far Haley has gotten in her education despite apparently being another child left behind. Now, I’m no Pascal, but, really, Haley? Eight, a prime number? Maybe she should try tightrope walking.

The girls ended up being caught in the act, but they weren’t the only ones who got into trouble withauthority in this ep. Claire engaged in a battle with a power-hungry curb cop at the girls’ high school. I love any chance we get to see Claire’s Haley-eque mean girl side emerge from her responsible-mom shell. It’s always a cold reminder that we’re more like our moms than we like to admit, and, I imagine, a reminder to moms that they were the Originals. And even though Claire’s back-talk resulted in her being restrained in PlastiCuffs, it was well worth it to see her get a chance to refer to something as a “SpongeBob tie.” That’s such a mom insult! I loved it.

Back at the land of juice and not much else, Cam was struggling with the “diet stages,” which included “soap actress,” “rush of epiphanies,” “despair,” and, of course, “rage.” (I’d argue that raging Cam is the funniest of them all, mostly because it reminds me of my favorite ass-kicking clown, Fizbo.) Mitchell tried to gracefully un-invite Cam to his boss’s party, but, um, that didn’t work out. And neither did actually going to the party. It seems Cam wasn’t the only one a bit “unhinged” from the extreme dieting.

Mitchell had a big emotional display at the party after hearing a sad story about a sea lion named Snorkels. And we’re not talking Dolphin Tale audience-level sobs, this was a full meltdown. He ended up running into the ocean in madness, and Cam chased after him. It made for a cute moment, and it reinforced the fact that these two will always be there for each other — through thick, thin, and diet dementia.

NEXT: The week’s best lines!

Gloria also went a little crazy in this episode, but mostly because she was fed up with the new dog’s lack of discipline and tired of her ch-oes being used as chew toys. Her low point was getting caught trying to get the dog to eat Jay’s shoe… by setting an example. Personally, I loved the new, cuddly addition to the family because it means more of those tiny tender moments from Jay.

Luke also showed some different colors in this episode when he proved to be shockingly wise. After failing to walk the tightrope, Phil was ready to give up on his dreams, but Luke convinced him otherwise, saying, “maybe you keep falling because a part of you knows you can fall.” (These two might soon take over Kurt and Burt Hummel as my favorite father-son team on TV!) And Luke turned out to be right. Phil walked the line, and as Claire concluded, “turns out I had my super Dunphy all along.”

So what did you think of the episode, readers? What was your favorite part (admit it, you loved seeing Cam’s biker shorts again)? And be sure to nominate your MVQ (most valuable quote!)


Gloria: How come when Manny has nightmares you don’t let him snuck in the bed?

Jay: It’s 6 o’clock in the morning. Can we talk about this later?

Manny [on the floor]: Answer the question, Jay.

Mitchell: I’m going to check the lease, but I’m pretty sure we’re not allowed to have a meth lab.

Haley: Sitting all by yourself at the table. Now, where have I seen that again? Oh, right! Every day in the school cafeteria.

Alex: That’s by choice.

Haley: The school’s choice.

Alex: Isn’t that your nickname?

Jay: I discipline her all the time.

Gloria: How? By buying her little cupcakes?

Jay: They’re not real cupcakes. They’re doggie treats in the form of cupcakes.

Gloria: You should have told that to Manny before he ate one.

Jay: Come on! His coat never looked shinier.

Mitchell: Day four of the juice fast, and I’m hungry but feeling pretty good. Cam, on the other hand, has gone all Girl, Interrupted.

Haley: …not as embarrassed as I was when she said “8” was a prime number. Eight, mom.

Phil: Want to go to the dance? Gotta wear the shoes.

Phil: …tightrope shoes. I got them at an Estate Sale. Only worn once.

Claire: That is not a ringing endorsement.

Phil to Luke after falling: Don’t look at me.

Gloria, on the phone: …a cup of soup, a cobb salad. Yes, it had bacon. I don’t have all day to describe all my meals to you. [To the dog] Stop eating all of my things you stupid animal! [To phone] No, not you, Cam. I’ll call you back.

Claire: I got news for you, Law & Order: Special Parking Unit, [it’s] not my fault.

Phil: If I had a nickel for every time I threw up at school do you know how much money I’d have?

Luke: Thirty-five cents.

Phil: Exactly.

Luke: The other day, Uncle Mitchell brought over a bag of junk food so he and Cam could do a Jew fast.

Mitchell: I do not have the energy to deal with a big, needy brisket… basketcase

Cam to Mitchell: Away from me, temptress. And I never thought I would call you that in a negative way.

(**My pick for MVQ.)

Gloria: Where I come from, men cherish women. It goes wife, mistress, dog. Dog always at the bottom!

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

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