‘Modern Family’ 2.20 Recap: “Smell Heather for Me”

‘Modern Family’ delivers another winner this week. Alex and Hailey get some good screen time, Manny gets butterflies, and Luke sees a shrink. Oh, and Gloria wishes death on Cameron and Mitchell – sort of.

It’s nice to have a few weeks of ‘Modern Family’ in a row, even if the show is taking next week off. This week’s ‘Someone to Watch Over Lily’ is a very strong episode that serves as a way to compare and contrast the Pritchetts with the Dunphys.

On the Pritchett side of things, Jay tries to get Manny ready for his upcoming camping trip, and attempts to help him overcome his fears. We see Jay being tough on Manny, but then getting to the heart of the problem and building him up from there.

Meanwhile, Claire and Phil deal with some heavier issues regarding Luke. They take him to a child psychologist to determine whether he’s progressing normally or if he needs help. Though Luke is fine, the visit brings up an argument between the parents. The debate on taking Luke to a psychologist is really interesting and helps to reveal something about Phil. Since Luke and Phil are so similar, we can look at Phil’s resistance to analyzing Luke as a resistance to being analyzed himself.

The pair may not make the best parents in the world (they leave Luke alone in a parking lot for hours without realizing it), but we definitely know that they care about their kids.

Cameron and Mitchell are trying to decide on a guardian for Lily if the worst should happen, and they spend a little time with each of the families to decide which to go with. When Gloria hears the news, she’s elated and tells Lily “If something horrible happens, we’re going to be so happy!” It’s a great bit of comedy, and Mitchell’s reaction really helps make it.

Gloria ends up taking Lily to the mall, and we get an accent gag that just doesn’t work for me. She says that she’s going to get Lily earrings, but it comes out sounding like “hair rings.” I don’t buy it. Admittedly, I don’t know anyone with a strong Columbian accent, but that pronunciation just doesn’t seem right. It sounds more like a stretch to make a joke work than a legitimate misunderstanding.

In a story that’s fairly unrelated to the rest of the episode, Hailey and Alex end up going on an adventure together and bonding a bit. We get insight into both girls. Alex reveals that she doesn’t actually like playing the cello, but is hesitant to quit because of the stigma attached to quitting.

All in all, ‘Someone to Watch Over Lily’ is a great episode. We’ve got a week off before ‘Modern Family’ comes back again. Here’s hoping that the rest of the season stays this good.


  1. I don’t buy the “hair rings” explanation either, and frankly I think the situation worked without it. I understood Gloria perfectly when she had said “earrings”, but I interpretted Mitchell’s lack of reaction as he was pre-occupied with other things and just didn’t think it through… or comprehend. As far as Gloria getting Lilly’s ear pierced… it’s quite common in hispanic culture for girls at a very young age to get their ears pierced. So I understood why Gloria would want to do it, and given that she told Mitchell what she was thinking (And he didn’t react negatively) I could buy her going off and doing it. I think the whole situation is plausible… that Mitchell heard “hair rings” was rediculous… what in the world is a “hair ring”… my brain wouldn’t jump to that because there’s no such thing.

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