‘Modern Family’ 1.23 Recap: Modern Family Heads to Hawaii

Once again ‘Modern Family’ proves it can do sweet just as well as funny.  Last night’s episode, ‘Hawaii,’ combined both flavors brilliantly, like some sort of awesome Chinese soup.

First and foremost, Luke needs more screen time.  He’s never really been at the center of a story, but his interactions with Manny in this episode were great.  They could also make an interesting pairing in the future.  Manny’s desire to be an adult and Luke’s contentment with being a child go well together.

One of the biggest laugh moments of the night came from Luke too.  I dare you not to laugh when he comes into the hotel room with a hairdryer and a shower cap over his face saying, “I am a bathroom Martian!”

Jay meanwhile, is as relaxed as can be, and he’s ready to enjoy his vacation.  He’s got a burger with fries (instead of salad) and chili fries (instead of fruit), and he’s ready to relax.  He’s taking sloth to a whole new level, and he even turns down a workout with Gloria, saying, “I just ordered an extra-long straw to avoid accidentally doing a sit-up.”

A phone call from his brother reminds Jay that he’s the same age as his father was when he died, so Jay ditches the burger and gets active.  He quickly overdoes it and his back gives out, which eventually leads to one of the most wonderfully awkward scenes the show’s ever done.

Mitchell and Cameron work out some disparity between their vacationing styles and end up getting so relaxed that they completely forget about Lily, and accidentally leave her in an elevator.  It gets very ‘Scooby Doo’ from here on out, with the pair screaming and running frantically, just missing the baby when the elevator doors open again.  It’s cartoony, sure, but it works.

I’ve said before that the character of Phil is really easy to overdo, and that he only works when he’s balanced.  He’s got to be well intentioned but a bit dull, while at the same time surprising us once we start to doubt him.  In ‘Hawaii,’ Phil is right on the money.

Phil really tries to turn the vacation into a honeymoon for him and Claire, but without much success.  He makes some mistakes, makes Claire make some mistakes, and has a strange obsession with a nozzle in the pool.

But despite Phil’s screw-ups, he rallies in the end.  As he says when he’s walking Claire down the stairs to renew their waiting vows, “Put a few seconds back on the clock, the kid still has a few moves!”  It’s a really sweet moment, not just for Phil and Claire, but for the whole family.

Next week’s episode, ‘Family Portrait,’ is the last of the season.  After that, we’ll have to wait until September to see more.

1 comment

  1. Evan Withrow

    I totally agree about the sweet/funny analysis. I am always amazed how Modern Family can be so funny, yet they deal with real emotion. A lot of shows have attempted to do this and fallen short.

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