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Worldly Distractions: Modern Family 6.13 - Rash Decisions




Well, well, well. We meet again. I can't wait to see what stunning comedic innovation is waiting for us this week. Onward!

Jay brings Stella back from a walk, creeping out his whole family with his obsessive devotion to the dog. Manny is actually jealous. Just then, Gloria informs him that Joe might be allergic to the dog. This means that, in order to figure out if it's a true allergy, Stella must be sent to stay with Cam and Mitch for a week. Jay gasps and protests, Manny suggests that he might be allergic too. Opening credits.

Phil trains Andy as his assistant, soon to be unleashed on a real live open house, though he's somewhat disappointed that Luke didn't follow in his footsteps. Andy is unnervingly excited about it. Cam keeps trying to tell Lily that the dog is only there temporarily, though Lily doesn't seem overly interested in keeping her, preferring Larry the cat instead. Jay drops the dog off with an incredible list of instructions.

Alex prepares for her interview at Princeton, which quickly heads into Uncanny Valley territory. Haley makes fun of her for it. Fair enough. Once pressed, she does give a bit of barbed fashion advice. Mitchell is apparently working at the closet empire as a freelance lawyer now, since no one at his office can stand him anymore. He and Claire immediately lock horns. And Claire is technically Mitchell's boss. Recipe for disaster.

Claire has to tell an intern that she's dressing inappropriately for work, but she's so roundabout that the intern likely doesn't get it. All in all, it seems like she isn't as much a part of the workplace as she claims. Mitchell smirks. Meanwhile, Luke stumbles across Andy and Phil playing catch and begins to feel a stir of annoyance.

Mitchell seems to be hitting it off with the people of the closet empire, mostly because he's making a deliberate effort to be laid-back. However, Claire is starting to feel left out. It doesn't help that Mitchell's a dick about it. He accidentally reveals that the staff universally hates her. Jay comes in full of desperate questions about Stella. The unsuitable dressed intern has taken Claire's advice and bought some recommended clothing - but unfortunately, no matter how she wears it, it's a little too sexy for the closet industry.

Jay then calls Cam for updates on the bloody dog, flipping out over Stella's new collar. He compares it to prostitution, because this show's writers forgot how to do their jobs about three seasons ago. Haley drives Alex to an interview, which is bizarrely in a coffee shop. Wait, what? I don't get this. College interviews are very uncommon in Canada, at least for undergrad. Wouldn't they have to go to the actual college to do this? I suppose a big university like Princeton might send out representatives to the major cities, but a coffee shop? Why not, say, the campus of a nearby college? That just seems bizarre. Americans, can you vouch for this, or are the writers just high again?

Anyway, Haley is completely aggravating, babbling with one of her friends about her crazy adventures. Finally, Alex snaps. She scoffs at her sister for commenting on the interviewer's fashion sense, and arrives at her interview in a huff. Phil is testing Andy out in a mock open house. He pretends to be a recently relocated plastic surgeon from Tucson. Luke, feeling neglected, spontaneously decides to join in as the character's son. And oh my god, you guys, this sequence is hilarious. Phil's improv goes onto all kinds of weird tangents, Luke is always ready with a response, and Andy is an incredibly wholesome CloudCuckoolander. Andy does a great job, Phil offers to take him for an adventure, and Luke pouts.

As Alex arrives, she overhears the interviewer complaining about how boring and repetitive all the kids are, which culminates in a robot comparison. Right on - the American admissions process is so totally fucked and unnatural. The interviewer, Vanessa, greets Alex with absolutely no enthusiasm. It starts out in a predictably awkward matter. Aya Cash is fantastic as the burned-out interview. Utterly convincing. Alex finally gives up and tells her that it was a waste of time. See, she's exhausted from her near run-in with the police, which happened during an adventure with her goofy friends, and hey, what a cute dress! That's right, guys - the secret to getting into Princeton is to be exactly like Haley. Then she goes too far and calls her a slut like they're both fifteen. There goes your future, genius.

Gloria is delighted to see Jay cooking, but to her horror, she finds out it's for Stella. She knows that Jay is missing the dog terribly. Unfortunately, it looks like Stella's stay might be of the more extended type - Joe's rash is gone in the dog's absence. Manny tries to insist that he's getting over his "allergy" too, but Jay blames his symptoms on a Downton Abbey marathon.

Cam seems to be getting attached to Stella, buying her little sweaters. Jay has decided that Joe's allergic and tearfully passes the dog on to his son and son-in-law. He gives the most heartrending speech you've ever heard, and if you have a dog in the same room, you're probably patting it protectively. Cam cries, of course.

Luke finally explodes at his dad for paying so much attention to Andy. (I, on the other hand, am about to explode at the writers for not giving Andy a musical number yet.) After some back-and-forth, Phil agrees to pay more attention to his son, and they hug it out. Yawn. Meanwhile, Mitchell is so busy making friends at work that his performance has begun to slide. Claire takes him to task. She's a bit stressed because her father makes her do all the dirty work, such as reprimanding coworkers. This means reprimanding Lucy, whom I am this close to calling "Lucy the Slut", not because I believe clothes are related to sluttishness (or that sluttishness is a bad thing), but because Avenue Q exists and come on, people. Anyway, Claire is about to reprimand Lucy (choosing to do it in the middle of the breakroom for some reason), but Mitch decides to take one for the team and dishes out the criticism instead, along with all the complaints about everyone else for good measure. Instantly, he is hated.

Jay arrives home disconsolate, only to be thrilled that his son has a rash. He picks up on Gloria's new face cream, which has a strong smell. That's right - it's the real source of the allergy. Not only is Jay happy to get his dog back, he declares the dog a hero, as the face cream was her preferred snack. Dog people, who needs em?

Tag scene - Cam is worried about having to separate Lily and Stella. The kid couldn't care less, but a devastated Cam encourages her to express her feelings. In fact, he is expressing his by wearing a Stella t-shirt. Jay asks where he can get one of his own.

Okay, where to begin? The Alex story was kind of unbelievable. Not the interview part, as I could totally see an interviewer getting tired of all this perfection (and the actress did a great job), but the whole "having to be like Haley" thing was a tad stretched - and especially Alex freakin' Dunphy losing control to the point of calling her Princeton interviewer a slut. Uh-uh. Not going to happen. However, there were some cute moments involved. What strikes me most about this series is how heavily Flanderized the characters have become. Mitchell isn't just neat, he's an annoyingly fussy person. Claire has gone from being slightly uptight to being unable to get along with people. And Jay and the dog...really? Really? I do have to say, I enjoyed Luke/Phil/Andy and their weird antics - but the foundation for that was already there. Phil has always been about that goofy - with the others, it's a bit off. Will this long-runner get back on track? Who knows.

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