I gotta say it, this week’s Modern Family was a big episode for dramatic theater fans. Big. First we get teased by the prospect of Manny reciting the entire plot of Les Miserables (“19 years for a loaf of bread? How good was this bread?” asks Gloria). And next, we get Cam as a fantastically top-heavy Stanley Kowalski calling for Jay and Gloria’s lost dog. Stellaaaaa!
But that comes later. After a near-accident that causes Alex to be felt up by her mom (first a smooth-talking Italian boyfriend, now second base. Our girl is growing up so fast), Claire’s up in arms about a “dangerous intersection.” Phil’s first guess, of course, is “where desire meets jealousy and the result is murder?” She needs 50 signatures to appeal to the traffic committee.
Meanwhile, Manny is selling wrapping paper door-to-door, and Mitchell lays down the law on Cam for never cleaning up his kitchen experiments (“I’m still cleaning shrimp foam out of the curtains”). Knowing Mitchell will give in and clean up after him, Cam leaves to help Gloria look for the lost Stella. These three plotlines come together in a montage tracking Manny & Jay, Gloria & Cam, and poor lonely abandoned Claire as the three teams (well, two teams and Claire) go door-to-door…and fail universally. Really, if we learned anything from this episode, it’s that door-to-door is a useless way to find/sell/garner support for anything.
The failure leads our troops (and Claire) to think creatively. Gloria and Cam’s method is to scream at a little girl until they get what they want (I will use this in all my future endeavors). Manny outsmarts Jay, the little drama-club-financing devil. And Claire tries to go it alone against the formidable duo that is David Cross (head of the traffic committee) and David Cross’ rage about not being given an ice cream cake. Seriously, he needs an ice cream cake! I wanted the entire traffic committee to take off those party hats and duel about it.
Sadly, instead, Claire’s family eventually come to her rescue. Phil’s been busy with his usual approach to parenting (going along with whatever dumb schemes Luke thinks of). Side note: What does a lady have to do to get an invitation to Phil and Luke’s pantsless pizza parties? (Oh, magically inhabit the same fictional universe these characters do? Okay. That sounds pretty involved. I’m not really willing to invest that much).
But when Phil and Luke come to Claire’s rescue with a Youtube video, we get an even better reward than pantsless pizza: the onscreen return of Clive Bixby! Who hits Luke (in his starring role as “Kid”) with a car because he is using an electric razor while driving. (He has a busy schedule, okay? He has a dapper clean-shaven look to maintain! Get off his back.) If only they could all celebrate this triumph of family with a slice of ice cream cake. IF ONLY.