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Worldly Distractions: Modern Family 6.14 - Valentine's Day 4: Twisted Sister





Love, or at least mild contempt disguised by a Stepford Smile, is in the air (and yes it's three days late bla bla bla I have a life you know). Happy post-Valentine's Day, and let your 50% off chocolate get you through this episode.


Claire and Phil can barely take time from their busy day to acknowledge the holiday, but we are promised a Clive Bixby and Julianna appearance later this episode. As one of the consistently funny things that Modern Family has produced (and those are getting very few and far between), this is going to be AWESOME. Unfortunately, Claire is not quite as on board with this as Phil is. I guess married life does take its toll.

Cam and Mitchell's friends, Anders and Cooper (groan), have recently gotten married, so they have bought them a lovely painting of Napa. The trouble? The new married couple is very snobby, so they're not sure how it will come off. (Please let Anders and Cooper be special guest stars, please!) Also, they kind of want the painting for themselves.

Unfortunately, when they show up at their friends' party, they find out that Cooper has left Anders (AND HOLY SHIT ANDERS IS ROGER BART) and the marriage is off. They make a half-hearted attempt to comfort him, but since they are awful people, they also scheme to get the painting back. Assholes.

Roger freakin Bart, people. I'm pretty pleased.

Manny is out of Valentine's Day, since he recently got rejected by a pretty girl. He will spend the day watching true crime. Gloria's sister Sonia is visiting, and though they love each other, there is tension simmering beneath the surface. Jay is hoping for a Valentine's Day surprise from his wife, but Gloria is barely interested. Meanwhile, Anders mourns his lost relationship while his so-called friends attempt to take back their heartfelt gift. Ugh, this storyline just plain sucks. Anders really appears to be going through a rough time, as his mother is ill as well. He gives his buddies a group hug, knowing full well they can trust him. Cam sneaks them the gift, but he grabs the wrong one - a cheese plate. Anders is not particularly impressed, so the moment is saved for now.

Valentine's day is also Stella's birthday, so Jay decides to get her a fancy gift, because everyone on this show has been hit in the head a few too many times. He also tries to be nice and gives his sister-in-law a gift, though it's actually the collar intended for the dog. Wow, that is so insulting in so many different ways. Headdesk, people, headdesk. While Jay awkwardly laughs about it, his interview counterpart recalls a time when the same thing happens with DeDe's sister. Oops.

Claire is delayed for their romantic dinner, which pisses Phil off. However, he is delighted when Julianna arrives to take his mind off it. Except he's not Clive this time, he's Phil. They engage in outrageous flirting via mortgage metaphors and steal a bottle of wine. It is strongly implied that they get it on in a glass elevator. Continuing their Bonnie and Clyde crime streak, they skinny-dip on the roof pool, drunk, even though it's closed. Shocking.

Anders is devoted to his sick mother, while Cam and Mitch are devoted to stealing art. Cam finds the painting, but Mitch is wracked with guilt and tells him to put it back (they'll claim the cheese board is a joke). Anders takes this opportunity to hand over his own belated wedding gift to Cam and Mitch (screw it, I'm referring to them as Cammitch), which is an ugly fish. Aaand we're right back to art thieving. Sigh.

Sonia is so touched by the gift that she enthusiastically cooks them a huge dinner. Gloria thinks it's sweet, but that Jay is deluded by thinking that Sonia would ever be into him. As she's going to help her sister, Gloria turns her ankle. She insists that Jay enjoy the dinner with Sonia instead. He finds her, dressed to kill, holding two champagne glasses. Yowza.

Claire and Phil enjoy some amore. Afterwards, Phil goes on about just how sexy Julianna is, which makes Claire just the tiniest bit jealous. However, when she puts on the dress again, he is instantly under her spell. Claire glumly concludes that her husband is in love with another woman.

Jay spends the evening trying to stay as far away as possible from Sonia, which is difficult when Sonia has other ideas. Manny is brought in to act as chaperone, and is completely creeped out. The woman has even gone so far as to mutilate pictures of Gloria and Jay. Manny also claims to have witnessed Sonia pouring a strange liquid into Gloria's soup, as well as his own. Even Jay thinks that's going a little too far, but there is a nagging doubt. Of course, it all comes to nothing - the dress was borrowed from Gloria, the pictures were cut up to make a special Valentine, and the mysterious ingredient was actually a spice. Jay begs the furious Sonia not to tell anyone, but unfortunately, Gloria has Vulcan hearing. She feels equally betrayed, especially since she has been working on getting closer to Sonia all this time. Sonia wants to go straight back to Colombia.

Jay attempts to apologize, but the minute Sonia gets him alone, she jumps him. Gloria walks in and flips out. The sisters get into a major catfight, and that's a sexist word, but there's no other way to describe it.

Mitchell goes to steal a gift from the bedroom of Anders' dying mother. Meanwhile, Anders reveals that their gift for Mitch and Cam was actually much nicer than they expected. Just then, Mitchell comes out with mother + wheelchair + purloined painting, and the couple make a break for it, after Anders insults their style of living, of course.

Phil and Claire/Julianna head home. Feeling jealous of her alter ego, Claire decides to make Julianna as unappealing as possible. After several gross traits come out, Phil is done when she admits she hates Dirty Dancing. He decides he can't see her anymore, and just like that Clive and Julianna are put to rest. Well, you had a good run, guys. Claire and Phil decide to enjoy their Valentine's Day, and playfully go into the house.

Tag scene - Jay, Mitch and Phil sing as they cook breakfast. Cam can't find a place for the painting - so they have to move.

I have to say, I was expecting little from this episode - but it was genuinely funny! The standout was, of course, the demise of Clive and Julianna, which took an unexpected twist and ran with it quite nicely, all while elegantly disposing of a plotline that had had its run. Cam and Mitch's storyline was mean-spirited and infuriating, but on the other hand, it allowed for physical comedy and Roger Bart really livened it up. And Jay and Gloria - well, when you go off the wall, you've got to commit, and this one did. Nice work, people. Can I dare to hope that they'll keep it up?

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