Modern Family Recap: ‘Treehouse’

On this week’s Modern Family, Jay is a stick-in-the-mud, Cam is flamboyant, and Haley is spoiled. Pretty standard episode…but Phil is sad! Noooooo! Will he find a new friend to make him feel better? Will Leslie Mann totally make out with Cam? Will Gloria admit to liking coconut sherbet? Let’s find out!

Gloria’s mad that Jay never wants to take her dancing, or running, or to Cirque du Soleil (which is “like the circus but classy, so if you like elephants don’t hold your breath,” according to their like-Gloria-but-more-so friend Darlene). So Jay very sweetly goes to Manny for help learning to dance. And oh, would that we could all enroll in the Manny Delgado School of Dance! “Stop marching; you’re dancing, not invading Poland.” He also uses Youtube videos of pigs dancing as instructional tools. Mannyyyyyyy!

Ultimately, it’s Mitchell’s super-secret gay party rave pill that allows Jay to relax and show Gloria a good time. You know, the super-secret gay party rave pill that turns out to be baby aspirin. Mitchell is so smart!

But, you know, not smart enough not to get into an argument with his husband about whether Cam could be a womanizer if he really wanted to. Like all even partially worthwhile arguments, it prompts a bet: Mitch picks a woman in the bar (who happens to be Leslie Mann) and bets Cam that he can’t get her number. The bet, obviously, leads to some good old gayin’ out on Cam’s part, but while trying to pick up a woman. Which feels very strange to watch. His excellent results bring up a hilarious geyser of self-confidence: “I won cutest baby at the 1974 Jasper County Fair. People at the time said I could go Gerber.”

After toying with Leslie Mann’s feelings for his own benefit, Cam feels the inevitable remorse of all men who make bets about getting women to fall in love with them (I just re-watched She’s All That and Cam’s emotional journey is surprisingly similar to Freddie Prinze Jr.’s), so he confesses his predilection for the gentlemen. Leslie Mann is all, like, “so…?” because she obviously knew that and was only interested in him for his value as a gay friend. But she steps up the jilted-woman act to let Cam save face in front of Mitchell. Which, really, isn’t that the true mark of a good friend? So meaningful.

Back on Traditional Family Avenue, Haley’s having trouble getting past the “Dear College” with which she starts all her college essays. Stumped by the prompt about an obstacle she’s overcome, she gets mad at Claire for making her life too easy. Parents are the worst, right? Claire responds by abandoning her daughter at the side of a road. She says it’s to give her experience at “overcoming obstacles,” but it’s also maybe kind of a little bit to get rid of her for a few hours. A little bit.

Meanwhile, without asking Claire, Phil decides to make Luke a treehouse. His terrible-looking construction site quickly becomes the setting for a sad elegy on the state of friendship as an adult, and the loss of childhood, and ugh this is getting really sad. “You know what can’t climb trees? Worries.”

Luke eventually storms off, questioning Phil’s claims that he’s building the treehouse for his son with a classic “are you, Dad? Are you?” (Oh my gosh ANOTHER She’s All That homage! Maybe I’m reading too much into these.) Luckily, Phil’s elevated vantage point lets him strike up a conversation with his equally friend-hungry neighbor Kevin Hart, who also likes tree houses! Although seriously, seriously, WHO DOESN’T. Yay, a pal for Phil! That “he’s my cool black friend” joke at the end of the episode will likely usher in a long tradition of Phil trying to act cool and black. All is right in the Modern Family world.

Modern Family Recap: ‘Treehouse’