'Modern Family': Other People's Children (5x17)
This is one of those episodes where the plots are all very isolated from one another. I actually really liked all but one of them. And even that one wasn't bad or anything. Let's go plot by plot.
Cam, Mitch, Manny, and Alex all go to an art museum. They comment that they’re the cultured ones in the family, so it's nice to be able to do something together, just the four of them. However, Cam feels like he's the dumbest of the four. He tried to do some research on one of the exhibits so that he could sound smart, but that part of the exhibit is gone when they get there, leaving him in the lurch. Cam eventually goes to wait outside. Now, Mitch panics, because he's the dumb one if Cam's not there. When he leaves to go talk to Cam, Manny panics, because now he's inadequate next to Alex. Alex suggests they all get something to eat, exhausted from dumbing everything down all day for her family members. When she gets mustard on her shirt, the other three all discuss the stain as if it's a work of modern art, causing Alex to grow frustrated and spray Cam with mustard.
This was so funny. Definitely my favorite. I actually didn't know what they were going to do with it. I thought they were just going to do some stupid jokes about Cam being stupid compared to the other three. But the joke kept building. I cracked up when Manny tried to stop Mitch from leaving. And Alex saying she was dumbing everything down… that's so funny! The mustard bit at the end… all of it. I was smiling through this whole plot thread.
Meanwhile, Claire and Gloria are taking Lily to find her flower girl dress for Mitch and Cam's wedding. Claire just wants to find something and get out, but Gloria insists on Lily trying on dress after dress. Claire eventually admits that she's never worn a wedding dress. Gloria, who doesn't have any daughters, really wants to pamper and shop with someone. Lily doesn’t seem willing, so she forces Claire into a wedding dress, which she seems unimpressed by. Claire and Gloria notice that Lily has gone missing, but they quickly find her in another store, wearing Belle's princess dress. Mitch and Cam are okay with Lily wearing that to the wedding, since it's what makes her happy.
This was another great thread. Lily’s disinterest in shopping really spoke to me, since I've always hated it. And my mom is just like Claire. She wants everything to get done quickly and efficiently. And then there's Gloria, who just wants to be girly with her family members. Claire is her daughter-in-law, after all. I just loved the character dynamics being explored here. I also thought it was refreshing that Cam and Mitchell didn't get mad about the dress. They say that a gay wedding isn't the place to stop someone from being who they want to be. That's actually a surprisingly sweet sentiment.
Phil helps Andy (Joe's male nanny) to make a special video to send to his girlfriend in the coast guard. Haley hangs out at the house with them, waiting for her date, who doesn't show up to pick her up as planned. Phil uses a green screen to do all sorts of ridiculous effects with Andy, who is totally on board. When Haley is used as a stand-in for Andy's girlfriend so that he can say something sweet to her, Haley gets swept up in the moment. When her date finally does show up, really late, she's angry, stating that she deserves someone who will treat her right. When Alex gets home, Haley says that there's something appealing about Andy. Alex points out that Andy is just like Phil, and Haley is horrified.
I totally called it. I knew the first time Haley and Andy were ever on screen together that there was going to be something between them. I liked all of Phil's crazy antics. In particular, Phil and Andy reenact Gravity together, which was really silly and entertaining. However, I have one major problem with this plot thread: the joke about Andy being just like Phil. Does this mean we're closing the door on Haley and Andy? Just like that? It seemed like quite the buildup for just a throwaway joke, but I'm also not sure if they're actually going to pursue a slow-build relationship on this show, either. It's really not that kind of sitcom, although it could be if it wanted to be.
Jay spends the day with Luke ant teaches him how to use different tools. They talk about girls, and Jay almost offers a beer to Luke. However, Jay doesn't want to take away the moment of Luke's first taste of beer from Phil. Jay gives advice to Luke about girls and about being a man in general, and he repeats the advice to baby Joe, as well.
This was the thread I was more ambivalent about. It wasn’t bad or anything, but… I don't know. It was pretty shrug-worthy. The one nice thing was when Jay lamented that these were his prime wisdom years. He messed things up with Mitch (I love it when he admits to that), and Manny was already done being raised, pretty much, when Jay married Gloria. Jay is happy to have Luke to share things with. Even though this plot thread didn't do anything for me, that was still a sweet sentiment.
There you go! That’s all I've got for now.