Phil saves Luke's lame Halloween party by pretending to be high-schooler Rod Skyhook

By Madeline Raynor
October 27, 2016 at 01:22 PM EDT
ABC/Kevin Estrada
  • TV Show

Happy Halloween! Modern Family takes this holiday very seriously: This is the show’s fourth Halloween episode.

The best part of tonight is right there in the title: Rod Skyhook. Skyhook is a cool transfer-student character Phil pretends to be to save Luke’s lame party. Luckily, he can hide behind his costume (a beaver suit) so no one can tell he’s not actually a high-school student. Rod Skyhook is magnificent. Everything he says and does is so uncool that it’s cool. Phil acts like a typical dad, but because everybody thinks he’s a high-school boy, they worship him and his antics. And, it turns out, Phil is very good at breakdancing! Ty Burrell shines in this story line and bumps up this episode from an average season-eight installment to a pretty decent episode.

Mitch, Cam, and Lily are rocking a group costume: Batman, Robin, and Batgirl, respectively. Cam loses his cool when he encounters his Halloween nemesis — a selfish little boy who takes a handful of candy every year. When he gets hit with an egg seconds later, he suspects the little twerp and chases him back to his house. When he confronts the kid and his dad, he realizes it was Claire who egged him (she was aiming for Mitch and missed).

Jay, Gloria, and Joe are also clad in a group costume: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph. Only, Jay insists on being Jesus and making Joe be Joseph. He rationalizes it because Joe’s name is so similar to Joseph’s, but everyone knows it makes no sense the kid isn’t Jesus. Meanwhile, Manny is dressed as Dalton Trumbo, complete with attached bathtub (Trumbo wrote in the bathtub, as Manny tells everyone he meets). Obviously, no one gets the costume.

Manny happens to be going to a Halloween party at the home of Earl, Jay’s closet business nemesis. So, Jay instructs him to put dead fish in Earl’s sock drawer as revenge. Not satisfied with Manny’s espionage, Jay goes down there himself. He runs into Earl and they have a fight, but when Jay catches his reflection in the window, he’s inspired to take a page out of Jesus’s book and forgive him. Manny is upset no one got his costume and tells Gloria he’s afraid he’ll never fit in. But later, at Luke’s party, he meets a kindred literary spirit: a girl dressed as Dorothy Parker. See, Manny? Don’t despair! Later that night, Jay tries to convince Gloria they should get frisky while in costume, but she doesn’t want to offend Jesus. Jay tries to tell her she’s being silly, but just then, the lamp flickers out. Spooky! Is that you, Jesus?

Odds and Ends:

Here’s everyone’s costume:

  • Cam — Batman
  • Mitch — Robin
  • Lily — Batgirl
  • Claire and Phil — June Cleaver (with a meat cleaver through the head) and a beaver
  • Jay — Jesus
  • Gloria — Mary
  • Joe — Joseph
  • Manny — Dalton Trumbo
  • Haley — Sexy cat
  • Luke — Kissing-face emoji (Why is he not wearing a shirt under his costume?)
  • Episode grade: B-

    Episode Recaps

    Parents just don’t understand… and neither do kids or spouses in this hit ensemble comedy
    • TV Show
    • 10
    • TV-PG
    • Wednesdays at 9:00pm
    • 09/23/09
    • In Season
    Complete Coverage
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