Modern Family recap: Clean for a Day
Jay takes to the skies, Gloria takes to the green, and Claire takes to the donation box
It’s out with the old and in with the new for the Dunphys and Pritchetts — and this recap! As we move forward with the second half of this season, I’ll be taking a quicker, cleaner approach to delivering our favorite Modern Family moments by using categories instead of breaking things down by families. And, yes, this means I must be on the same wavelength as Claire, but hey, spring cleaning is necessary, even when it comes to the intangible web. With that, we’ll move on to the…
Lesson of the Week
Pay attention only to what’s important — no matter how old it is.
This doesn’t just pertain to what was happening with the Dunphys and Mrs. Clutterworth’s decision to turn the household into a reenactment of The Purge, but also with the inanimate objects they haven’t touched for years. Jay and Gloria both try new hobbies — he flies a plane, she practices golf — but neither activity achieves what brings them together: their love and, of course, Joe. Sure, they don’t realize this even when Joe begs for their attention, but it’s enough of a start for Jay to accept that he can’t run off lying about golfing to fly instead. And as for the Mrs. Clutterworth? Even her best attempts to toss things out still made her nostalgic for Chicky (“Happy Easter”) — and yet, it takes the entire family to realize that Chicky wasn’t important in the first place. What was important was their memory of Chicky. (RIP Chicky.) It’s what they can actually hold on to — at least without suffering from insomnia because of the annoying nature of Chicky.
Most Unexpected Combo
Lily and Manny.
With Mitch out of the house trying to help Gloria find a way back to Jay (or at least Jay’s interests), and Cam off trying to save Jay’s life by being, well, present, Lily was left to practice the flute with Manny. And though she lacked confidence throughout much of the episode, Manny proves to be a great teacher, helping her let go of her fears to play the flute without sounding like, as Joe says, “raccoons all fighting again.”
Phil. Cam comes in at a close second for trying so hard to prevent Gloria’s dream — one in which Jay falls from a great height and dies — from happening, but that also comes from a selfish place as he hopes she never learns that he had encouraged Jay to go flying in the first place. Phil wins for simply keeping the memories Claire had bugged him to toss over the years, accomplishing a happy compromise by putting them in a storage locker instead of inside the donation box.
Haley. She’s been extremely supportive of Alex this season, even while Alex has gone through her ups and downs with college and college life. Her egging on of Alex when they go to give Sanjay’s clothes back to him is admirable, and even better, she knows when to exit without making things awkward between the former couple that has managed to find each other again. (Honorable mention: Manny, of course, for the flute skills.)
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Funniest Phil Line
“I love you way more than my beer-making kit, the wooden tennis racket — I don’t know — the cowboy hat, the brown one.” —Phil to Claire, trying to distract her from noticing Luke taking back his “favorite items” from the back of the trunk. It’s even funnier because Claire notices in approximately 0.0005 seconds. (Honorable mention: “It’s a poignant statement on global warming,” a line about the snow globe in which the snowman has melted.)
Snarkiest Lily Moment
Aw, she was actually quite civilized this week by accepting her faults and trying to learn how to improve them. The moment when she tells Jay not to come to her recital did have a whiff of snark — but not too much.
Number of Looks Into the Camera
Phil looks at the camera in front of the storage locker in the Dunphys’ final scene, looking mighty proud of himself. (If I missed any others, let me know!)
Best Out-of-Context Screencap
Did Everything Turn Out Okay?
Yes! In the end, Jay didn’t die from flying a tiny plane; Jay and Gloria realized they both tried hard to satisfy each other and can find something they can do together; Phil saved Chicky (and then mercy killed him); Claire got the house relatively clean of rubbish; Alex reunited with Sanjay; Haley judged Alex; Luke put his pet Rocky to use; Manny taught Lily to properly play the flute; Cam saved Jay and met the chiseled Gus; and Mitch got fired twice, first by Gloria for his poor golf coaching, and later by Lily for his poor flute lessons. Oh well, everyone else was happy!
Parents just don’t understand… and neither do kids or spouses in this hit ensemble comedy