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Worldly Distractions: Modern Family 6.3 - The Cold


crazyforkate

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philandy

What happens when no one lives up to anyone else's expectations? Modern Family , that's what.

Claire goes to work on a Saturday, despite being sick with a cold, which she caught from Mitchell (wait, wasn't that months ago)? It turns out he's passed it all around the family. Claire is confident that it's going to stop with her, which means avoiding everyone else in the household. Opening credits.

Phil has received a copy of Cam and Mitch's wedding video, shot by his friend, the infomercial director - and now we know that Phil's unrealistic television-world income has been supplemented with some infomercial acting gigs on the side. Which honestly sounds just like something Phil would do. However, the important thing about the video is that it clearly shows Phil sneezing all over the wedding cake, and into Mitchell's wine glass. Yes, my friends - Phil is the Gwyneth Paltrow of this plague. He decides on a hasty editing job, and so he and Luke put on some matching unitards and get to work.

Cam bemoans the state of his football team, since he has to consider benching Manny and that's all kinds of awkward. (And yes, I forgot that either of them were involved in football too. It's hard to remember something that gets mentioned once a season.) Mitchell, being as athletic as a dead fish, is somewhat at a loss. Lily and her little friend head outside to burn identify bugs, which the guys chalk up to their child's obvious genius - and maybe the good influence of her intelligent friend.

Jay berates Manny about his game, telling him that throwing-up level stress is an essential part of football. It looks as if Manny will fulfill this part, as he looks like he would rather die than get on the field. Gloria continues to encourage him in her smothering way.

Claire calls Mitchell to yell at him for spreading his disease. He tells her that she's trying too hard to prove herself as the ultimate tough woman - especially to her dad. Watching Lily and her friend Sydney, Mitchell ignores that his daughter is consistently outperformed, claiming that this is the first time her genius has been "challenged" - which I guess is one way to put it.

Cam tries to coach Manny through a simple football maneuver (think Charlie Brown without the cruel trick at the end), but the kid fails hopelessly. Gloria believes that this means he's "getting the bad kicks out of the way" and that he will perform well in the big game. Developing a sudden case of vertigo, Claire calls her dad to try to get out of work, but when he tells her how tough she is, she doesn't quite manage to say it. Unfortunately, she has to be at a business meeting - in a revolving restaurant.

Sporting suits instead of unitards, Phil and Luke go through some incredibly elaborate setups in order to replace the damning wedding footage. Some nice expressions from Ty Burrell result. Haley and Alex, who are apparently supposed to be in this episode, argue about whether Haley has the hots for Andy or not. Haley has been keeping her distance for months, even refusing to visit her grandfather, which triggers Alex's suspicions.

The big football game starts, and Manny predictably sucks at it. Meanwhile, Phil's video is also a disaster, with poor editing, two Phils in one frame, and some highly dubious green-screen. To make matters worse, the plague bits are still there. Luke encourages his father to do what's right and show the unedited video. Phil is overcome with his own great parenting.

Speaking of which, Mitchell is still pitting two school-aged girls against each other, because that's a totally normal and healthy thing to do. Lily knows what's up and is quite done with his bullshit. When Sydney beats her at something yet again, Mitchell loses it, calls her a know-it-all, and causes the girl to burst into tears. To top it off, he even accidentally rips out her hair with his watch. While she is sobbing, her mother arrives to pick her up. Suffice to say that she is not impressed.

Haley has finally agreed to go to Jay and Gloria's, and is a bundle of nerves. Lily isn't speaking to Mitchell, and Cam has benched Manny earlier and fears Jay and Gloria's reaction. Phil arrives with the wedding video. When Cam and Mitch squeal over it, Phil panics, and Luke has to slap some sense into him, and I can't believe I just typed that. Jay and Gloria prove surprisingly understanding of Cam's decision - or at least, it seems that way until she refuses to let him sit at the dinner table. Ummm, what? That's way worse than anything Cam did. How incredibly rude.

Wandering around, Haley runs into Andy, and they awkward out for a while. After some shared apologies, they decide that they will never, ever, ever, ever hook up. Ever. Over dinner, everyone fights about the episode's conflicts. Phil says you can't expect kids to live up to your expectations. Gloria complains that Jay puts too much pressure on his kids, which he denies. Cue Claire walking in, half-dead and apologizing for her poor performance at work.

It turns out Andy isn't going for Haley since he's afraid of shattering her feelings. Haley protests that she's super tough and has "three stalkers already" (which should give a special shudder to anyone who's been reading the news lately). Finally, Andy admits that he thinks she's out of his league. Haley pulls him in for a friendly hug...and gets in a stealth kiss. Not cool. Andy pulls back from her, and goes back to his job. Also, hey, is that one of Pepper's murals on the wall of Joe's room?

Claire is tended to by half a dozen family members, which causes yet more fighting. Manny admits he should have been benched, and it's all his mom's fault anyway. Gloria gets over herself and tells Manny he's just "okay". Jay tells Claire not to risk her health because she wants to prove something. To Phil's horror, Lily sets up the wedding video. It turns out that everyone's only focused on themselves, and they don't even get to the plague portion, because Jay is so focused on his sweaty appearance. Everyone agrees to re-edit the video...but Lily knows Phil's secret...

Tag scene: Mitchell watches the wedding video, transfixed by his own horrendous dancing.

I have to say, this one really felt like it was getting back to the Modern Family that deserved Emmys. Sure, some of it came off badly (I'll say it now: Mitchell's story sucked), but it all tied together nicely and held to a relevant theme. The characters felt more human than they've been in years. Tonight's episode wasn't the show's best, but it was certainly a step in the right direction. Who knows - maybe Season Six will be the rejuvenation they need.

Good God, I hope so.

 

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      Posted (edited)

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      Edited by dawn9476
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