Gloria kills rats with a shovel, Claire bans technology, and Mitchell and Cam use being gay to their advantage. It’s an event-filled episode of ‘Modern Family’, and a very good one at that.
Technology is constantly encroaching upon different parts of our lives. While many embrace it, Claire is fighting back. She’s sick of phones, games and other gadgets at the kitchen table, so she puts a ban on using tech in the house. Phil quickly turns this into a contest to see who can go without tech the longest. He promises the kids extravagant prizes – aside from Luke, who merely demands a pot pie.
Meanwhile, Mitch and Cameron try to get Lily into a good preschool. Sure, it seems a little early. If I recall correctly, Lily isn’t even two yet. But the guys don’t want her to fall behind. Once they realize that their minority status – two gay white men with an adopted Vietnamese baby – make them a shoe-in, they decide to ditch the schools they’ve been looking at and shoot for the best.
We also get to see a bit of dark comedy coming from the Pritchett house this week when Gloria gets in an argument with a neighbor about his constantly barking dog. The dog disappears, and Jay and Manny are under the suspicion that Gloria did something awful.
There are some fine moments in this episode, including Luke’s brilliantly crafted argument for his right to play the very excellent game ‘Plants vs. Zombies’. “It has plants, and plants are life,” he says. “Are you against life?”
The whole technology ban pays off when Haley crafts a fake phone out of a bar of soap in order to “Shawshank” her parents. Her excitement and Phil’s defeated delivery make it a laugh-out-loud moment in an already very funny episode.
There’s also a wonderful scene of Gloria nonchalantly smashing and then decapitating a rat with a shovel while Jay looks on in horror. You don’t get much better than that.
I’m really hoping that the trip to Columbia that Jay promised Gloria at the end of the episode is something that happens in a later episode. The Hawaii trip last season was great, and it could be hilarious to see Jay somewhere so completely out of his element.
A lot of the credit for tonight’s episode has to go to writer Steven Levitan, who also wrote ‘Fifteen Percent’ and ‘The Incident,’ which I enjoyed quite a bit as well. And of course, Eric Stonestreet proves just how funny he is once again with the incredibly embarrassing “1/16th Cherokee” speech.