The three couples of Modern Family schooled us in the art of marriage tonight. The humor was more quiet–the only line that was distinctly memorable was Jay telling Claire, “When you get a massage you sound like a Tijuana prostitute,” as they father-daughter bonded over ice cream at the mall. Still, what the episode lacked in one-liners it made up for with situational comedy.
It was really a perfect episode for Claire and Phil–not in terms of funny, but in terms of a true marriage dynamic. Fights in relationships often explode because of a building issue one person doesn’t realize is there. Neither Claire nor Phil was really irrational in this dispute–her pet peeve was understandable, as was his confusion. The whole situation unfolded in a completely natural way. Phil’s gesture to make up was touching and well placed in the episode, and Claire’s response that she was about to be on him wrapped things up nicely. From start to finish, it was a well-written and acted dispute.
Which makes me cry for Cameron and Mitchell. To be fair, this was a better episode for them. After their insanely predictable fight (when was the last episode they didn’t have a fight?), they had a cute little makeup scene scored by a harp group. But when you hold that up against Claire and Phil’s makeup, doesn’t it just seem like two gay friends hugging after an overly dramatic spat? These two just aren’t pulling their weight.
Jay and Gloria didn’t have a real problem (he bought her a karaoke machine and her use of it makes everyone wince) or a lot of screen time, but I loved watching Gloria belt out those songs like she has a burgeoning singing career ahead of her. Another well done to Sofia Vergara. Manny ended up doing Jay’s dirty work for him (“Coward!”) in telling Gloria to cut it out, but maybe that’s another lesson in marriage. Sometimes, it’s better if the hard truth comes from someone else.
Lastly, I’ll add that the kids got some good parts in this episode. Luke was hilarious as Cam’s assistant, and Haley triumphed over Alex’s plan to get her caught in her work scheme.
Now if we could just get Lily to do something interesting.