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Worldly Distractions: Modern Family 5.14 - iSpy


crazyforkate

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With the Sochi Olympics coming up, television schedules are going to be disrupted throughout February, so don't be surprised to see some irregular posting. However, Modern Family continues to soldier on, so we might as well take a look.

Phil has been holding a "Farewell to VHS" home film festival about a decade too late, much to the exasperation of his family. To get out of it, Haley lets slip that she has a photo exhibition for one of her classes. Claire's mad that she didn't tell them, so she decides to snoop and learn more about her daughter's life. It literally never occurs to her that this might be the cause. Luke and Manny head over to some friend's house, but they're vague about it. Claire and Alex comment that the friend (Xander) is a known bad influence. Phil decides this is a good time to talk about what a bad boy he is. Opening credits.

Gloria fusses over baby Joe. Jay is trying to avoid Shorty for whatever reason. His wife, naturally, is grouchy. However, it's not about her husband's disintegrating friendship - it was the fact that he had a sex dream. About someone else. Naturally, Gloria's pride is quite wounded. We get the unappealing sight of Ed O'Neill moaning in his sleep. There are some nice Latin stereotypes, too. Not very modern, are they?

Mitchell is out for lunch with a friend, who confesses that he recently got calf implants. HAHAHA gays are so superficial and stuff! This segues into a conversation of Cam's gossipy tendencies.

Phil happily greets Jay, who has come to pick up Manny at the Dunphy residence. Jay brushes him off, then recounts in an aside how he enjoys crushing his son-in-law's hopes. Claire overhears the conversation and zeroes in on the fact that Manny didn't tell Jay where he was going, which confirms her belief that all teenagers are filthy liars. Jay mentions his little problem with Gloria, which he assumes is because he lent money to a friend. A female friend. Phil is sympathetic and calls Jay "buddy". It's kind of creepy.

The kids call their parents out for e-stalking them. I have to say, it's way harder to be a kid when your parents are young enough to know how to text. I never had that problem. Phil gets hold of Luke, who claims that they went with Xander to "Sammy's". However, Claire debunks that pretty quickly when she's able to pinpoint his location with GPS. They're nowhere near their friend Sammy. Haley mentions that the location Claire found is a salvage yard and notorious toking spot. They ask her if she's sure. "I'm 420% sure," she says, while Phil stands there agape - but only because he thinks she's bad at math. And they say Haley's the stupid one.

Mitchell comes home to find Lily and Cam playing with Barbies. This immediately ranks in the top 20 of the cutest things I've ever seen. Best dads EVER. Cameron asks for all the hot gossip about their friend. When Mitchell evades the issue, Cam immediately gets suspicious. He lists all the techniques Mitch uses to divert awkward questions, including giving presents. This is confirmed when his fiance immediately hands him a new garlic press. Cam deduces that this is juicy, and after putting on the "hurt" act, he gets his way. Mitch fesses up and swears Cameron to secrecy. This hurts Cam, who never realized that he was seen as a gossip, and they have quite the lovers' tiff.

Alex crawls around in her room, stumbling over a sleeping Haley to grab a piece of paper. She ends up waking her sister, but luckily Haley can accept the explanation that "I was watching you sleep - you look so pretty."

Phil and Claire try to break into the salvage yard, motivated by the sounds of the kids laughing. Alex calls to tell her mother that Haley's work is actually a big deal - she was one of five students chosen from the class. (And yes, both Alex and Claire display a stunning lack of confidence in Haley's abilities.) They resolve to go to the show. Claire hangs up to find Phil, wearing an umbrella hat (those exist post-90's?) and about to maneuver a remote-control airplane, with camera, over the salvage yard wall.

However, the truth is much more interesting than smoking up - they're making some sort of cool stunt-ridden movie. Phil maneuvers the camera out, and he and Claire flee the scene. Mostly, Phil's just hurt that Luke did a movie without him. Oh, the trials of parenthood.

We catch up with Luke and his pals, dripping with zombie makeup and confused about the flying camera. Luke quickly figures out what happened - Spielberg has caught wind of their idea, "zombie parkour", and wants to steal it for his own gain. You can't fault him for creativity, anyway.

Jay comes home and instantly walks into a fight with Gloria, in which he makes the fatal mistake of accusing her of snooping in his phone. Now she's insulted and curious about what the phone might contain. He pretends to get a call from Alex, when in fact he's calling her to ask how you can delete emails. Meanwhile, she's deleting a text from Uncle Mitch, which Claire picks up on and gets snippy about. Everyone has secrets, I guess.

Over at the Tucker-Pritchett residence, Mitchell catches Cam texting with a guilty look on his face, and immediately accuses him of spilling the secret. To prove his innocence, he even hands Mitch the phone. Mitchell saves himself by refusing to look at it, saying he trusts his partner. Cam is vindicated. Once Mitchell leaves, he immediately receives a barrage of texts, giggling over each one.

Everyone shows up at the art show, where Jay and Gloria are still mad. Claire's also pissed at Mitchell for a snarky text. Luke and Manny show up, and Phil and Claire vow to hide their day's activities. Spoiler alert: they're not very good at it. Soon enough, Luke and Manny have figured it out. Everyone accuses Claire of being overly suspicious. The boys are insulted at the mere idea that they would smoke grass. Clearly, no one here has ever been to British Columbia.

The entire family snipes at each other about trust. Jay finally confesses the money problem, which leads Gloria to bring up the sex dreams. Cameron calls for some privacy in this cruel world. Of course, Mitch instantly reminds him that he's not so considerate when it comes to secret calf implants. Several people start grabbing at each other's phones. Phil is left to bask in the madness.

Of course, everything has a reasonable explanation. Cameron apologizes for his gossip. Alex and Mitchell, it turns out, are in cahoots about Claire's birthday present. Jay admits that he helped out a waitress who had fallen on hard times (oh, come on, that's totally code for "secret love child" or "massive Mob involvement"). The dream, it turns out, involved baby Joe in danger, hence his shouts of "baby, baby". He assures Gloria that she's all he ever wanted. Of course, an interview clip informs us that Jay wasn't dreaming about the baby - it was the dog. Figures.

Haley's photos turn out to be a collection of her entire family. Of course, it captures them all perfectly. Everyone's thrilled at her skill. The photographer herself shows up and is horrified. The kids all fight with their mom for her casual invasion of their privacy. "Use of the drone was completely justified," Claire trills. She claims it's in their best interests, and so what if she steps over the line? I'm horrified. Orwell, meet your lost novel.

A man from the college congratulates Haley - people have been buying her photos. Everyone forgets their conflicts and rejoices in her success. Over the end credits, we get a montage of her photos. And yes - they are pretty nice. I especially like the one of Claire getting all judgy over Gloria's prominent rack.

This episode offered little that we hadn't seen before, but it's been nice to see Haley develop over the season. Rather than the ditz of the beginning, she's become someone who is continually underestimated, and manages to prove her naysayers wrong. Also, Claire might just be a tyrannical dictator - but that's best left for another episode.

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