Modern Family recap: Season 8, Episode 7
Rainer Shine (Nathan Fillion) crashes the family's country Thanksgiving, and Phil gets overprotective
Modern Family takes holidays very seriously: This is the show’s fifth Thanksgiving episode. But the gang didn’t have a traditional Thanksgiving this year: they had a Thanksgiving Jamboree, a.k.a. Thanksgiving celebrated with country flair. This was Cam’s idea, of course.
Cam seriously commits to dressing up and decorating the house. He and Mitch wear overalls, there are hay bales, and there’s a full petting zoo in the backyard. As Claire says to Mitch, “You look like a character from it’s raining mice and men.” Haley and Rainer Shine (Nathan Fillion) are dating now, and she invites him to Thanksgiving. Phil is upset because Rainer was his friend first, and now Rainer’s dating his daughter (bad) and Phil never gets to chill with him anymore (also bad). Things get even worse when Rainer announces he’s taking Haley to a resort in Cabo the day after Thanksgiving. There’s also another guest: The Dunphy’s depressing neighbor Jerry, a character who didn’t need to exist and added nothing to the episode.
Claire’s been suspicious about why Mitch is going along with Thanksgiving Jamboree, and finally gets Mitch to admit he’s trying to be nice to Cam because he accidentally threw out his Fizbo costume and hasn’t told him. Does this mean we’re done with Fizbo forever? One can only hope. Mitch comes clean to Cam, who’s weirdly calm about it. Claire knows what that means: Cam did something bad, too, that he’s not telling Mitch about. Meanwhile, Alex hooks up with Dwight. She has a serious weakness for high-school boys.
Because it’s 2016, Cam puts a GoPro on a goat and we see some shots from the farm animal’s perspective. Joe bonds with the goat, but it freaks out and charges at the farm banner hanging on the fence and dies. All we see is the sideways first-person shot. It’s grim. Gloria tries to hide the goat’s death from Joe, even doing a great imitation of a goat to convince Joe the animal is still happily trotting around the yard. But then Joe sees Gloria disposing of the goat’s body. Talk about childhood trauma. Joe’s reaction is to tell Jay, who had to start wearing a heart-rate monitor, to stop smoking because he loves him and doesn’t want him to die.
Mitch asks Cam if there’s anything he’s not telling him, and Cam confesses he paid for the Jamboree with money that was supposed to be for their romantic Hawaiian vacation. Lily comes in and delivers a platter full of grilled cheeses she made for her dads. It’s sweet. Too sweet. What’s Lily hiding? She kept a chicken from the petting zoo. Please let the chicken be a permanent addition to the family. Cam would approve!
Odds and Ends:
“I wasn’t sure if my hair dryer ran on Mexican electricity.” —Haley on Cabo
Rainer and Haley bond over being obsessed with their perfect hair.
“Brother can’t yank a brother’s chain? Ya trippin!” —Phil being a hip dad
Mitch to Claire: “I think it’s sweet that you think we’re capable of having an affair but we’re just so tired.”
Phil: “I watch a lot of Grey’s Anatomy, but I fast-forward through the non-romantic scenes.”
Episode grade: C+
Parents just don’t understand… and neither do kids or spouses in this hit ensemble comedy