‘Modern Family’ 2.04 Recap: Troga Party

‘Strangers on a Treadmill’ is one of the better ‘Modern Family’ episodes so far this season, and definitely the strongest all around. There’s not a single part of the episode that feels underdone.

The episode starts out with both Claire and Mitchell dealing with problems. Claire is trying to deal with the issue that Phil is about to embarrass himself horribly at a realtors’ convention with his absolutely dreadful jokes. Meanwhile, Mitchell is dealing with Cam wearing bike shorts.

The pair decide to do something about it, ‘Strangers on a Train’-style. Mitchell is tasked with telling Phil that he’s not funny, and Claire takes the job of giving Cam some advice on the bike shorts.

As you might expect, it goes badly. Cam breaks down crying when his feelings are hurt by Claire. Yet that’s the better of the two results. Mitchell chickens out in an absolutely hilarious way. His fake laugh after he decides to get the joke is fantastic.

The first of the side plots involves Jay trying to prove to Gloria that he knows his employees. The second features Haley teaching Alex how to be cool.

Alex actually takes to the cool lessons incredibly well, and quickly asserts her power over a girl much cooler than she is. Haley is visibly proud, but things turn bad quickly when Alex forgets herself, screws up, overcompensates and then bombs. We’ve all been there at one time or another, but the regression and subsequent freak-out by the pair of sisters is hilarious.

Jay’s venture into a quinceañera to prove to Gloria that he knows his employees goes badly when it turns out that the couple went in to a wedding reception instead. Gloria realizes the mistake, but lets Jay find out the hard way, when what he believes to be a daddy-daughter dance – it’s actually the bride and groom – goes way too far and Jay speaks out.

Jay’s attempts at familiarity with the people at the party, his speech about getting to know his employees better, and the outrage he shows during the dance are the funniest parts of the episode. Ed O’Neil is a funny man, there’s no getting around it.

Things work out well for Mitchell and Cam, who talk about their feelings and finally come to an understanding. There’s even a nice moment where Mitchell decides to sacrifice his beard for the cause.

Claire tries her best to prevent Phil from embarrassing himself by stealing the jokes he had prepared, but it doesn’t matter – Phil knows his material. He gets up in front of the group of realtors and absolutely slays. It turns Phil’s funny after all if he’s in the right environment.

‘Strangers on a Treadmill’ is a fantastic episode that leans more towards the funny than the sweet, but delivers on both ends. It’s also responsible for a few minutes of Google searching to see if Troga – treadmill yoga – is a real thing. As far as I can tell, it isn’t.


  1. that1guypictures

    Modern Family is easily the best show on TV right now. I love how it balances the sweet moments with the hilarious ones. Hopefully it’ll stay that way for a while!

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