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Worldly Distractions: Modern Family 6.15 - Fight or Flight




Okay, so last week was good. But in six years of an increasingly rusty show, we've learned to take these as blips. So is this a blip? We'll see.

Apparently spurred by their sexy Valentine's Day, Claire and Phil are returning from a weekend away. They are offered one seat in first class. Phil assumes they'll stay together, but Claire takes it without a thought. Turns out she didn't enjoy the trip so much - it was a buddy trip with Phil's old co-cheerleaders, and it drove her nuts. She complains about it to her seatmate, who was probably on some show I watched once but I can't remember which one. The seatmate helpfully gets her a drink and hot towel. Best seatmate ever. Dull joke about how shitty economy is, and we're off to the races! Or rather, the opening credits.

Cam and Mitch throw a baby shower for Sal. Wait, is this the baby she had over half a season ago? Did they retcon the baby's age, or are Sal's friends just that lazy with planning? At least we get a cameo from Elizabeth Banks, and PEPPER! Hi, Nathan Lane, please do stay forever. You big stereotype you.

Okay, turns out that Sal's been hard to pin down, which is fair, since she seems like a bit of a drifter. By the way, baby Sammy is not black, as she predicted he would be during the wedding episode. Her fiance must be relieved. To everyone's surprise, Sal appears to have really settled down, refusing alcohol because she's still breastfeeding. (In fact, most of Cam and Mitch's friends are refusing alcohol, due to a terminal case of being boring.) Within a few minutes, she's established as a classic sanctimommy. "How does she breastfeed him if she doesn't let him near plastic?" Pepper wonders.

At Jay and Gloria's, home of the pointless plotlines, Manny has a fever. Wow, so interesting. Gloria overreacts to his face, but when he leaves the room, she decides that he's faking it, probably because someone is picking on him. In cooking class. Gloria encourages Jay to encourage Manny to fight him. I don't get this so let's move on.

Luke is apparently juggling a whole bunch of girlfriends, because apparently girls are extremely hot for wooden facial expressions. He has just dumped a girl for silly reasons - well, okay, he hasn't officially dumped her yet - so his sisters lecture him on being a Stupid Boy. He sees nothing wrong with the situation. Boys.

Phil struggles with a series of annoying people in economy. However, the situation pays off when he finds himself sitting between a masseuse and a magician. Awkward threesome? Imminent. Meanwhile, Claire's seatmate and new best friend brings her back to civilization, complete with trashy magazines and neck pillows. However, the woman appears to be a bit of a bitch. Make that a lot of a bitch.

The cleanup from the baby shower takes a while, so Pepper gets his boyfriend to help them. They discuss the new Sal. Pepper misses the "drunken whore", Cam thinks it's sweet, and Mitchell thinks it won't last. Just then, Ronaldo (the boyfriend) announces that Sal isn't in the house, the drapes are open and her car is gone. "That gin-soaked tart abandoned the little bastard!" Pepper announces. God, I want a Pepper spin-off, or at least a column in the New York Times called "Bon Mot".

Now that the episode has suddenly turned into Four Men and a Baby, Mitch tries to track down the absent mother. No luck. Everyone coos over little Sammy. There is a delightful bit with Eric Stonestreet attempting to keep dreadful news positive with a baby voice. Unfortunately, it looks like baby Sammy has no mother anymore.

Claire's seatmate is wasted and eating strong cheese. Claire is about to lose it. I just want cheese now. She even tries to get Claire to join the mile-high club with a guy across the aisle. As part of a magic trick, Phil goes up the aisle and runs into Claire, who wants to switch seats. That's what you get for abandoning your husband to economy, crazy lady. Phil lies about his seatmates to make them less appealing, then sends her back with some fake turbulence.

Jay teaches Manny how to fight. This plot sucks. Though the clips of Gideon taunting Manny in cooking class are kind of hilarious. Who knew butternut squash was so sensitive a topic. Gloria takes over, and turns out to be much better at it, though she unconvincingly claims it was Jay's idea.

Alex sent Luke's girlfriend a breakup text for him, and she understandably doesn't take it well. Alex is personally offended by this for some reason. I can't even with this plot, either.

Cam and Mitch try to decide what to do after Sal's escape. Cam tentatively suggests that maybe this is for a reason - they are trying to adopt and did want a boy, after all. (Sal's partner, by the way, seems to be off the scene, judging by some comments during the party.) Mitch finds this monstrous. Cam brings up weird baby-related Bible stories (Jesus, Moses, Isaac) to convince him. And yeah, God does hate babies, doesn't he?

Unfortunately, Pepper chimes in at that moment, saying that he and Ronaldo have decided to keep the baby instead. That's right - we're going to have a Baby War, but if Pepper wins, my heart is screaming SPINOFF. Meanwhile, Claire goes back to economy and is outraged to find Phil getting a massage and learning card tricks. She pitches a fit, even though this is all technically her fault. Actually, Phil tries to call her out on this, but then she just whines about how horrible her weekend with Phil's friends was. Man, I cannot get over how much I hate Season 6 Claire.

Jay brings Manny to cooking class and tells him to "walk in there like a badass" and give Gideon something to think about. Gideon asks Manny if he wants a "piece of this", to which Manny turns around and breaks his nose. DAMN. Bleeding and wailing, Gideon informs him that he only wanted to share a bite of his apple crumble, as he felt bad about teasing him. What's more, he's in therapy over his parents' divorce. Jay comes out to congratulate his son on being violent. Manny tearfully explains the situation. Jay promptly blames it all on Gloria, because EOTSIATP.

Pepper still wants the baby, even though he has absolutely no idea what to do with it. Cam chides him on being so hasty, completely ignoring how he was behaving a few minutes before. More arguing back and forth. Pepper and Ronaldo wind up staging a sit-in on the couch, refusing to leave without baby "Felipe".

Claire goes back to her seat to find Phil sitting there. That's right, she won. Bleeaargh.

Jay and Manny arrive at the house determined to end Gloria's dominance once and for all. Manny tells her that he was expelled from cooking school, and Jay informs her that she's a bully. She wins, obviously, but they claim a moral victory.

The two couples continue to sling mud at each other over little Sammy. Pepper claims they're poor and ignorant, Mitch says they're prepared for a child's needs. Again, PEPPER-WITH-A-CHILD spinoff, people. At this moment, Sal waltzes in, completely confused as to why everyone on earth is adopting her baby. Turns out she had heard the Blackhawks were in town. Sammy's actual dad is on the team and didn't know about Sammy's existence, so she went to tell him about it. Apparently, she told someone, but he was super drunk. The father is married and didn't take it well. She is outraged that they would doubt her parenting skills, especially since she's insecure about it herself. Especially since Sammy has no dad. The four guys all volunteer to be Sammy's dads. It's adorable. Come on, everyone, group hug.

Tag scene - Luke continues to have girl problems. Cool I guess.

Too many plots (too many plots)! The kids were barely in the episode, Gloria and Jay were pretty mindless. Phil and Claire provided a couple of weak ha has, but let's face it, it got slow after a while. The only true gem was the baby shower, and then mostly because Nathan Lane killed it (and Ronaldo, too). All in all, one out of four ain't bad for season six. Keep going, and maybe next episode you can bring back Shelley Long?

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  • Posts

    • thoughtful


      I listened to some of Baker's sermon from tonight's service, which was about sexual sin.

      After setting up the usual Adam and Eve reason for marriage between one man and one woman, no sex outside of it, and God being against fornication, he acknowledges that it's an embarrassing subject, and that they all feel awkward. But he says it needs to be preached, adding something about looking at his outline and thinking, "Really God?" So of course he is claiming that God wants him to preach this.

      He goes on to talk about characters in the bible who committed "sexual sin." Then he gets to modern day issues. He claims "There are people that say independent, fundamental, Baptist churches have a problem with this, over everybody else. There have been multiple things, over the years, that have pushed and promoted that, ummmm, because," (he chuckles) "Satan looks at, OK, tell me, how many churches are trying to win souls, and show people how to go to heaven?"

      He goes on for a few sentences about how other churches don't witness, don't show people how to get to heaven, and may not even believe it. He says the devil attacks the IFB churches so people will leave and stop saving souls.

      Then he starts listing sexual scandals from other denominations. He says the recent list from the Southern Baptist churches found 703 abusers. But that doesn't mean they are worse than anyone else, just that "we are all flesh, and able to be tempted."

      He lists pastors molesting people and having affairs, in non-denominational and Methodist churches, then a long recitation of statistics about abuse in Presbyterian churches. One of the things he says is that a pastor "confessed to abusing the men and boys in the congregation with sexual foot massages. I don't get that one. Ummmm, I'm sorry, I don't understand that."

      After a break to read 1 Timothy 4:1 and the first few words of 4:3:


      Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;


      Forbidding to marry

      He asks where do you find that? "They forbid their preachers to marry? What group is that?" He points out that forbidding preachers to marry is not in the bible.

      "There's this old joke, and it's bad, but uh, I already started it, so uh . . . "

      No, Dave, you haven't already started it.

      "So anyway, so, this Catholic priest went to heaven - that's debatable - but anyway, Catholic priest went to heaven."

      He blunders through the joke about the Catholic priest reading old scrolls in heaven's library, and screaming when he realized that a scribe made a mistake and it says "celebrate," not "celibate." He tells it incredibly badly.

      He goes on about the many sexual abuse scandals in the Catholic church, then on to teachers. This long list of people from non-IFB organizations sexually abusing people goes on for about 13 minutes.

      We get it, Dave.

      But he does acknowledge that even the saved can be "tempted," and that old age doesn't make it go away. He tells a story about a "faithful preacher" in his 70s who'd lived without TV while raising his kids, so they wouldn't be tempted, but finally got a TV and a cable package, to watch football. He goes on to say that the man was horrified at first by something he saw while scrolling through channels (something sexual, I assume), then kept lingering on that content more and more, until "he did something and they arrested him and he went to prison."

      Well, that was vague.

      He returns to the bible, reading various bits of advice about how to avoid temptation. He gives them many details about how he avoids any hint of scandal with the women of the church, in order to "flee fornication."

      He tells a story about a woman, new to the congregation, who came to his office for counseling, acting "weird," who said she was too embarrassed to say what was on her mind, so he gave her a 3x5 card to write down what she was thinking, and he said that, on the card, she "propositioned me for an intimate sexual act. In my office. Written down on a card."

      He says he yelled at her to get out, called for his secretary to take her out and never give her an appointment again, and called his wife to tell her what had happened. He never saw the woman again.

      Yeah, but did you throw away the card, Dave?

      When talking about trying to keep a pure mind, he tells them that his first paying job was as a lifeguard: "I got paid to look at girls who weren't dressed right. They paid me to do that. That's not a good thing to put up in your brain."

      But, at bible college, he tried to clear his mind of all of those images, focus on God, and have nothing to do with girls. One day he prayed and told God he thought he was ready to meet the woman he would marry. And the next day he saw "a young lady," and "in my spirit God said, 'That's the one. That's her.'" And they've been married for 33 and a half years.

      Citation needed, Dave.

      He goes on with more advice from the bible that he claims will keep them from sexual sin. He warns them about friendships turning into affairs because couples got too close to other couples, or because women foolishly thought they could have a friendship with a man, "until the one day when you let your guard down, and he's looking for an opportunity."

      Then comes a story about a man who worked for Lester Roloff (who Baker describes as "a wonderful man of God" 🤮 ), who backslid, got a secular job, fell in with the wrong crowd and left his wife and children. Because, I guess, that's what happens when you get a secular job. 🤷‍♀️

      He never hugs women. "OK, sometimes I get accosted." He imitates how stiffly he stands, arms by his side, when someone hugs him, until they realize he's not hugging back. "OK, get the hint - I don't hug women."



      He never flirts with women, except for old ladies at the nursing home, because his wife says it's OK. But he says it wasn't really flirting, but teasing them "mercilessly." His example: an old woman "80-85, in a wheelchair" asked him to say something nice to her (because he usually teased her mercilessly), and he said "You don't look near as bad today as you did yesterday." He says she and the ladies around her "busted out laughing."

      He defends his practice of helping "fallen" men and their families, with a brief mention of how people should also help their victims.

      During the altar call, he throws out more advice about staying pure in mind and fleeing fornication.

      After the altar call and another round of explaining why he had to give this embarrassing sermon, he asks who thought that the temperature in church was comfortable. After they've raised their hands, he says "Tryin' t'see all the people with a cold heart, so we have to make it so hot so they can be comfortable."

      He complains that it's so hot that "I'm dyin,'" then asks for a show of hands from those who thought it was too hot. Childishly, he says, "See, look around!" And then asks his son to dismiss them in prayer.

      tl:dr - everyone accuses the IFB of having the most sexually abusive clergy, but that's the devil targeting them because they are saving souls, also whataboutism. Men are all tempted, because flesh and sin nature.

    • JermajestyDuggar


    • JDuggs


      I think it’s a good bet that Micah will end up in Florida. He seems to be able to get some modeling work there and he seems to enjoy the boating/fishing lifestyle. When he’s in Florida, he usually seems to spending time out on a boat with Ed Butera, Ariana Grande’s father. I thought I remembered a cryptic Instagram comment that maybe Moriah had moved further away from Cairo than Tampa. I really don’t know how she’s going to support herself because her music really sucks. Ethan did seem to like Minnesota, but I still see him going back to Cairo for the cheaper, slower lifestyle. All we know for certain in that Olivia moved to Los Angeles six months ago, but she doesn’t plan to stay there permanently. She just wanted to try it out.

      • Thank You 1
    • marmalade


      22 minutes ago, Father Son Holy Goat said:

      It will be interesting to see what she confirms.

      She'll probably say that it wasn't like that, her parents loved her, yadda yadda. Jeremy might lean cult, but not to the point where he pisses off his in-laws. He'll probably acknowledge that he wasn't raised the same, and that he had doctrinal issues with JB. 

    • marmalade


      All 3 of them are living off show money. Micah has said he's barely working. Moriah is an underaged bartender. Ethan did get a job, but he seems to be  it working at it more often. 

      Once the show money dries up, they will have to course correct, since their current lifestyles won't be sustainable. I think the adjustment period will see them in/around Cairo as they have all seemingly reverted back to original dogma. 

      I hope they can support themselves in a healthy manner someday, but now they're too enmeshed. 

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    • 47of74


      Yeah, Earth sure the fornicate has issues....

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