Clowning around with the Modern Family

By Samantha Gillis

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Courtesy of ABC

Modern Family returned after a week off, and the family got together to help out a neighbor after a fire burned down their house. Naturally, Claire spearheaded the project. The whole family is really upset over their neighbor’s misfortune, even though they clearly don’t spend too much time with them, since I do not believe we have ever seen them before. I hope it isn’t Andre’s family! Either way, the family breaks up into their teams for the night, and the show gets started.

We see Phil and Jay paired up for the first time in weeks, since it is a pairing Jay always tried to avoid. Jay hurt his back, and, as luck would have it, Phil used to be a masseur and has the ability to turn a regular room into a spa at a moments notice. It’s a good scene when Jay accidently mutters that he loves Phil. We don’t find out until later that Phil didn’t actually hear him. An eager-to-please Phil would have been in heaven. In the end he does hear some words of encouragement from Jay when Jay tells him he’d gamble on him.

Claire complains that Mitchell is turning Gloria into their mother, when she actually is just jealous of being left out of the friendship. Gloria makes a good point when she tells Claire flat out that she likes Mitchell more and if she wants to make an effort to be her friend, she can. Remember that night out Claire wanted to have a few episodes ago, and how Gloria wanted to go dancing before? They could be good going out buddies, even though they are technically mother and daughter.

Cam wants everyone to remember that he grew up on a farm, so he offers to get Jay’s truck so they can load up everything for the neighbors. Needless to say, this worried a few people, so Alex and Hayley go along to help. Cam has a harder time than he was counting on, though it was disappointingly a bit easier than I was expecting. Usually, Cam has some of the better scenes but none were real standouts here. His best comes at the beginning and end of the episode and have nothing to do with his week’s plot. It was nice to see Alex return in a big way by saving Luke and Manny’s toy helicopter from a group of nerd bullies who worship her.

The show starts and ends with Cameron’s “sleep clown,” which is like sleepwalking, except he dresses up as a clown. This could have been awful on any other show, but Cam is so straight-faced through out the whole thing that it becomes hilarious and makes you wonder if maybe, somewhere out there, there are people who sleep clown in real life.

Sam can be reached for comment at [email protected]