“Chirp” is the seventh episode of this season, and as it turns out, not a bad jumping on point for people who casually follow the show. This week’s episode is anchored by Phil’s quixotic quest to stop the fire alarms from chirping, which they do throughout the episode. The chirping not only serves the plot well as a running joke, but in some instances it’s used to emphasize other themes of the show, such as Phil’s lack of manliness.
Claire, fighting a cold, is quarantined in her bedroom by Phil and is later joined by their daughter Hayley.This is the first episode of the season to feature Hayley’s boyfriend Dylan, whom Claire attempts to talk Hayley out of dating. Predictably, this turns around on Claire. Everything negative Claire says about Dylan, Hayley assumes she’s saying about Phil. This is a slow boiling bit that leads to a great payoff during the credits.
Dylan doesn’t get much screen time, and you immediately think he’s a tool when you see him. Thankfully for the viewers, his presence is not a total waste as Dylan gets caught in an awkward and hilarious situation where it’s revealed he has a fantasy involving Hayley and Claire.
Also this week: Cameron decides to go against Mitchell and bring Lilly in for a commercial. Mitchel accuses Cameron of trying to live out his fantasies of being a “theater person” by bringing Lilly into show business. The commercial is a parody of your typical early Godzilla film, even featuring its own rubber suited lizard, called Savezilla. Mitchell and Cameron are upset by this and the blatantly racist voice overs. In a huff, Cameron accuses the director of not being able to tell the difference between Asians and picks up the wrong child.
The episode’s other plot line makes great use of the show’s “documentary” environment. It’s revealed by Jay that he doesn’t remember anything about his and Gloria’s early days together, while Gloria likes to recreate them all. This leads to some tension between Manny and Jay when Jay fires one of his employees after he let Manny drive a forklift. Manny wound up giving Jay’s office a much needed makeover after getting on and hurts himself, which lead to the firing. Manny knows the location of Jay and Gloria’s first date, but won’t tell Jay unless he hires the employee back. After explaining to Manny that he fired the employee because he put “his kid” in danger, Manny forgives Jay and tells him where he’s supposed to meet Gloria.
To sum up: great episode, a little predictable in some places, but very funny.
Brandon Mendelson sells prepackaged air for $5. This is the physical equivalent of selling someone social media advice and produces the same results.