Modern Family Review - 4.9 'When a Tree Falls'
Posted by Michael Adams on 11.28.2012
Cam and Mitchell go to extreme lengths to save a tree in the local park, while Claire has to deal with Gloria's extreme case of pregnancy brain. And Jay and Manny each face personal issues at an Olympic birthday party. All this and more on tonight's Modern Family!
It was one of those weeks where the families interacted a lot more than usual, so I'm tweaking this a little...
Manny and Luke are invited to a Olympic themed birthday party and Manny isn't to happy about it. The kid has the same birthday every year and Manny thinks that the only reason he's invited is because he needs to be the latin country, however Jay tells him to step outside of his comfort zone and go. At the party, all the dads are hanging out together while the kids play. Phil introduces Jay to the dads and manages to hit it off with them by telling embarrassing stories about Phil. Jay tells on story where Phil imitate John Cusak in Say Anything and Jay ruined Phil's boom box and never paid him back. Jay tells Phil that they'll settle it in the ring, and if Phil wins, he'll get his boom box. Turns out that Phil has had years of pent up frustration towards Jay and takes the patriarch down faster than Foreman took out Frazier. Turns out, Jay was just telling those stories because he has nothing in common with those guys and he's worried about what will happen when the new baby grows up.
This wasn't bad; it was actually pretty funny and inventive; gave a new dynamic to the Phil/Jay relationship. It also showed a new side to Phil...the bad-ass side. I don't think I expected Phil to unleash the Captain and Tenille, or Peaches and Herb that brutally on Jay, but I guess when your father-in-law is Jay Pritchett, he kind of deserves it. I did think it was really funny that Manny was Mexico in the Olympic, but other than that, Manny and Luke did nothing for me in this episode.
Claire and Gloria take a trip to Costco and the request of Jay. Gloria is suffering from terrible pregnancy brain and she needs to get out of the house. When they get to Costco, Gloria shuts down, literally. She stops in the freezer section for about half-an-hour. Since Claire is waiting for Gloria to realize what she needs in the freezer section, she goes and gets a hoodie to keep warm. Gloria eventually remembers and they continue their shopping. While packing the car, a security guard approached Claire, who forgot to pay for the sweatshirt. Claire is trying to explain to the store manager how it was all just a misunderstanding, but he won't hear it and wants Claire to sign a form saying she won't return to Costco. At that exact moment, Gloria goes into labor and the rush out of the store. Turns out, she was just faking it to get Claire out of trouble.
Haley is doing community service because of her arrest at college, and Alex is set on getting revenge on Haley by snapping a very embarrassing photo of her. Unfortunately, Alex drops her phone in the sewer and learns that revenge is never the answer.
First things first, the Haley/Alex storyline was unnecessary and not very funny. I did at one point feel kind of bad for Alex but that's about it. I also think they're starting to make Haley dumber than she needs to be. As for the Gloria/Claire story, it was pretty funny. I've recently learnt that pregnancy brain is a real thing, so the situations were totally believable, and pretty funny. I liked that they kicked it off strong with Jay telling Gloria that she called Claire, even though he really did. Just a lot of funny stuff. Add Paul Scheer into the mix as the Costco manager and it was good storyline.
The The Tucker-Pritchett Family
When Cam finds out that the city is cutting down their favorite tree, he feels like he must take a stand. He reads that if someone is in the tree, it can't be cut down. HOwever, while sitting in the tree, Cam gets a call that the person he's understudying in a local musical has called in sick and he must step in, so Mitchell must step in for Cam. After the performance, which we find out was Cats, Cam comes back...in his costume. He reclaims his spot, in the tree, which the workers can do nothing about, thus Cam saves the tree.
This was your typical Cam and Mitchell story. Cam is doing something outrageous and even though Mitchell is opposed to it, he must be a part of it because it means something to Cam. What I liked about this recycled storyline was how ridiculous Cam looked in his Cats costume in the tree and how much Mitchell was calling out Cam to the cops and the workers.
This Week's Top Quotes... Claire: Look, when I was pregnant with Alex, I could barely remember my name. Gloria: Same with Haley and Luke? Claire: Not so much. They kinda just hung out in there and let me do my thing.
Cam: Sean Penn would play me in a movie about this, or Anne Hathaway if they wanted a female driven vehicle. Mitchell: And who would play your long suffering partner? Cam: Julianne Moore, either way. Mitchell: I would totally see that! I would.
Jerry: Jay, you got any good apps? Jay: I don't know. I got call waiting, is that an app?
Cop 1: My therapist would say we're enabling them. Cop 2: You and your therapist! Cop 1: Well I wouldn't have to see him if you hadn't shot that guy. Cop 2: Oh that again?
Jay: I wasn't worried; I'd boxed in the Navy. And it was Phil. And here's something I thought I'd never say, I'd rather box my daughter's husband then my sons. Don't see your favorite quote from last night? Add it in the comments section
Character of the Week...is either Cam or Mitchell. I've been having trouble picking them these past few weeks since everyone has just been so strong. I feel like they played off each other very well this week. I liked Cam's performance while wearing his Cats costume, but I also like Mitchell's calling out all of Cam's things. They did a good job tonight.
The 411: Not a bad episode to come back from last week's hiatus with. They did a lot of things I liked in this episode. They expanded the relationships between Gloria & Claire and Jay & Phil, while at the same time showed different sides to those characters. I mean, we've never seen THAT Phil before, and it was pretty cool. Not too much going on as far as storyline progression, other than the fact that Gloria is still pregnant and Jay is still worried about being a dad again at his age. It was a good episode, and I'm sure they reached a whole new demographic tonight since Charlie Brown was the lead in show. I bet the 5 & 6 years old love Phil Dunphy. Next week is last years holiday episode "Express Christmas" which I have a 10, so make sure you tune into that one.