‘Modern Family’ seems to be on one of those “whenever we feel like it” schedules, but that doesn’t stop ‘Bixby’s Back’ from being one of the best episodes of the season.
This episode has four storylines. Aside from the Manny/Haley segments that seem pretty disposable, they’re all funny. Even Mitchell and Cameron, who’ve been stuck with some pretty lame storylines this season, manage to shine.
It all starts off with Phil and Claire at the restaurant Ibiza, where Claire starts to feel old. They’re surrounded by the elderly, Phil rides around on a little cart, and they’re eating dinner earlier than normal. This feeling of advanced aging inspires Claire to bring back the personas of Juliana and Clive that she and Phil pretended to be last Valentine’s Day.
It starts out funny with Phil not fully understanding what’s happening, and gets even funnier. It seems like every line out of Phil’s mouth is absolutely awful – unintentionally of course. “I’m usually pretty good at catching things from women in bars.”
Cameron meanwhile is trying to deal with Mitchell’s secretary Broderick, who’s constantly messing things up between the couple. Initially, Cam believes that Broderick has a crush on Mitchell, but later believes the crush is on him instead.
The rest of the night, Cameron and Mitchell debate who the assistant really has a crush on. They have a little spat, they make up, and then everything starts again when a man delivering food leaves on the ambiguous note, “I tell ya, if you were single!”
Finally, Jay is trying to surprise Gloria with a romantic dinner so that, in his words: “Bam! She looks like a big idiot! And isn’t that what Valentine’s Day is all about?”
He takes Gloria to Ibiza – yeah, everyone goes there, apparently – but only to fool her into thinking he forgot the reservation. He then takes her home and turns on the lights, only to find that the romantic dinner he’d planned is nowhere to be seen.
It turns out Gloria was wise to the plan and moved dinner to the garage. The whole thing ends with a fantastic exchange between the two. “You can’t win Valentine’s Day,” says Jay. “You defeat the whole idea if you turn it into some silly competition.” Gloria responds simply: “Shut up. I win.”