Claire takes down a corporate spy, Phil takes down an IP thief, and Mitch takes down Cam's bad prom memory
It’s prom season — and love is supposed to be in the air. Luke approaches Uncle Mitch for advice with his promposal, but Uncle Cam wants a bit of the spotlight, too, resulting in both uncles wrestling with promposal predicaments once they’re at school and trying to set everything up. Elsewhere around the neighborhood, Gloria has discovered that sauce rival Auntie Alice has stolen her recipe — and she and Phil won’t be tough lovin’ it to the thief. Finally, Claire’s dealing with some tough love of her own: When she discovers someone’s been sending confidential corporate materials elsewhere, she tracks down the spy and finds out that Jay, of all people, is the one behind the covert sabotage. Where did you think you get your ambition from, Claire? Speaking of which…
Lesson of the Week
Always fight for what’s yours.
Let’s start with Phil and Gloria this week: These two embodied the lesson, bringing their fight first to where they knew Auntie Alice (June Squibb, back for another round as “Auntie Malice”) would be: showing off her sauces, including one so hot Phil had to dab ice over the eye he accidentally touched after flinging samples of sauce onto the floor. When Alice spun a tale of being a mere spokeswoman, the two decide to relent — until they spot Alice driving away in a Maserati. After hunting her down at her mansion, Phil’s superhuman realtor skills kick in, and before Alice can speak further about how she patented Gloria’s sauce and can launch an army of lawyers to retaliate, Phil threatens her with the prospect of losing her home over not following the housing law. “Are you a real estate agent?” Alice asks incredulously. “No, he’s a realtor,” Gloria responds. “There’s a difference somehow.” (If only Phil’s knowledge as a realtor helped him against “Happy” singer Pharrell!)
Mitch and Cam, meanwhile, have very different approaches to a proper promposal. Mitch helps Luke with a standard plan — you know, a note slipped in a locker, some vague instructions to meet in the school gym, etc. — but Cam wants to go all out, complete with turtle doves, so Cam finds his own guinea pig cousin relative to create a promposal for: Manny. When Manny’s promposal goes topsy-turvy because his would-be date proposes to him, Cam is thrown, nearly giving up the whole charade. But then, Mitch asks him to head to the school gym for one more assist in Luke’s promposal — only to reveal that he’s been setting up a promposal of his own to his husband. See, Mitch knows that Cam never got to have the prom he wanted, and so he asks Cam to be his date at the prom as chaperones. Yes, Mitch, happy memories in a high school gym are possible!
Finally, Claire and Jay engage in a war of corporate espionage in the days leading up to the big Closet Convention — though at first Claire has no idea about her father’s missions. Jay has recruited the hapless Ben into assisting him in knowing everything about how Claire’s running the company he passed to her, and when Claire figures it out, she (with a little help from a reluctant Ben) tricks Jay into getting worked up over several made-up strikes against her own business. Jay finally relents and reveals he only wants to start working again — and Claire’s more than willing to have his advice. Even with this reconciliation, though, Ben’s going to need some space of his own…maybe the closet that doubles as a panic room Claire has in mind for the convention could work!
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Most Unexpected Combo
Cam and Manny
These two. Their perfectionist tastes match well, and though Manny seemed exasperated at Cam’s attempts to give him an elaborate promposal, he went along with the plan anyway — and succeeded! That’s a win for teenage romantics and their idealist uncles everywhere.
In an episode titled “Promposal,” who else would I name the MVP but the one family member who managed to pull off the best promposal of all promposals? Mitch devised a heartwarming plan to make Cam happy and got Luke a date in the process. If that’s not MVP material, I don’t know what is. (Of course, Phil comes close for using his realtor skills to perfection to save Gloria’s sauce business.)
I’m giving him this title mainly for just not screwing up his uncle’s and his own promposal. That’s impressive enough for Luke.
Funniest Phil Line
“We want answers…and a little bread.” — Poor Phil. Even when he succeeds in intimidating the competition, he manages to hurt himself in the process.
Snarkiest Lily Moment
No Lily tonight! And with a super-blurry streaming feed on my laptop, I also can’t bring you this week’s best out-of-context screencap. (Please write to Time Warner Cable with all your complaints as I’m sure they’ll listen…eventually.)
Did Everything Turn Out Okay?
Yes! All around, actually — Phil and Gloria protected Gloria’s homemade sauce (and learned a thing or two about getting stuff patented early), Mitch and Cam saved a high school prom and their own memories of prom, and Claire and Jay figured out a new plan for the closet business going forward. Even Alex wound up attending prom anyway after a series of desperate promposals on her front lawn. And so everyone walked away unscathed — well, except Jay, whose hand got trapped under the hood of the car he was trying to show Joe how to fix. At least that didn’t stop him from teaching Joe how to box, so the injury couldn’t have been too bad.