Cheating, fighting and yelling abound in this week’s Modern Family. Luke and Manny have to design egg-drop containers for a school project, and their two initial approaches show off their personalities beautifully. Luke’s GENIUS first attempt is to try an egg carton (“what if the best idea was under my nose the whole time?”). God, I’m just so excited to get this kid more screen-time. Meanwhile, Manny’s considering the egg drop as “a metaphor for the human condition. Aren’t we all just fragile eggs hiding behind bubble wrap and bravado?” Annnnd there’s my favorite line of the series.
When Manny lets it slip that Claire usually helps Luke with school projects, Jay calls Claire up, and they both promise not to cheat by helping the kids. This of course convinces each of them that the other is definitely cheating, they take over for the kids, and we’re off, in a classic competition between the two most competitive members of the Pritchett family. Jay even takes time out from his busy schedule of complaining about people who cut grapes for 8-year-olds, so we know it’s serious.
Cam and Mitch are meeting with prospective birth mothers, in what amount to a running joke about how much horrible behavior they’ll put up with from a crazy lady simply because they want her spawn. They accept that she doesn’t care about dolphin-safe tuna, they go along with her feng shui furniture makeover, but Cam draws the line at her harsh critique of his singing voice. He forces an encore, and suffice it to say the two end up babyless. For now, anyway.
Meanwhile, Phil has luckily recovered from his health scare last week just in time to have a major career presentation go poorly and be brutally disappointed by his loved ones. But I’m getting ahead of myself. With Claire on the midnight train to Crazytown with her dad, Phil enlists Gloria and Haley to help him out with a seminar for first-time homeowners to drum up business. It involves the 5 keys of investing: KEYp YOUR COOL, KEYp INFORMED, LEGWORK, LOCATION, and LOCATION.
But Gloria’s car gets towed outside the salon (right, Haley needed a pedicure because she’s leading on a boy with a foot fetish), and they leave Phil high and dry and trying to set off a confetti cannon by himself. His anger turns out to be good news, though, because it allows him to stop putting Gloria on a pedestal (literally) and get mad. In Gloria’s words, “That’s how you know your family loves you, when they feel free to scream at you.” Aw!
Finally, the moments of the showdown has arrived. Claire, Jay, Manny and Luke go to the school to test out their TAINTED egg-drop containers. Alex goes with them, primarily to rub everyone’s face in the reminder that she made a wonderful egg-drop container when she took the same class. Yeah, we get it, smarty-pants. But when Claire and Jay see the kids looking bummed out, they start to apologize for taking over. They’re interrupted by Manny and Luke’s confession: they knew Claire and Jay would do the work if they got them into competition. Forced to face their cutthroat spirits, Claire and Jay make up and realize that a fighting spirit isn’t always bad. In fact, it can even be EGGcellent. (Oh COME ON, I restrained myself from egg puns for this entire recap! You owe me this.)