This week’s episode of Modern Family employed a lot of recycled jokes. Claire’s mom DeDe is back visiting for Lily’s second birthday, Cam wants to dress up as Fizbo the clown and Gloria struggles with the English language–gags we’ve all seen before. Still, the use of Matt Dillon as Claire’s high school boyfriend and Gloria’s lines in general gave this episode enough life to make it funny and quotable.
DeDe’s return makes the audience (and the kids) aware of how crazy Claire is about to get. She’s downing white wine when her mother arrives, and no matter how high Luke ups his “cute factor,” she’s still an anxious mess. What’s worse, DeDe ran into Claire’s old boyfriend Robbie at the airport and invited him for dinner without telling him Claire’s married. “Where do you know Claire from?” Robbie asks Phil as he walks in the door. “From being married to her,” Phil returns, shaking his hand. It’s a pretty funny turn of events, especially once Robbie and DeDe start making out in the yard (he always had a thing for her back when he used to date Claire). One of my favorite things on this show is when Claire and Mitchell have sibling bonding moments, and DeDe always brings that out. The unnecessary end to this arc of the show was DeDe once again lunging for Gloria, something that I thought we had moved past and is no longer funny.
Gloria, of course, brought up the episode. Their storyline was pretty basic–she and Manny buy a book that the family can record themselves reading for Lily’s birthday, and the three of them struggle through that. Nervous about seeing DeDe again, Gloria takes a Valium and a shot of tequila before the party, and Sofia Vergara proves her physical comedy as well as her way with her lines. She’s also not going to let DeDe make her miss “Alex’s graduation or all of Haley’s weddings.”
Lastly, Cam and Mitchell, who will seriously have to turn things around for me to ever enjoy them, fight over whether or not Fizbo the clown can attend Lily’s princess-themed birthday party. You two are roommates. Plain and simple. You are always arguing over some pointless gag and you never act like a couple. Every time Cameron appeared on screen this whole episode, I just cringed. The show has taken all the normalcy out of him and reduced him to a big, gay caricature. It was cute when Mitchell finally let him be the clown, but really, can we get a marriage dynamic for these two?