Modern Family Recap: Diamond In The Rough

This week on Modern Family, Claire and Cam build a baseball field for Manny and Luke’s playoff game; Phil and Mitchell deal with saying no to their spouses; and Gloria talks to her baby through a microphone.

Luke and Manny’s little league team unexpectedly make it to the playoffs and needed a venue for their game, but at that point, all the local fields are booked. Undeterred, Claire and Cam decided to MAKE a baseball field. Throughout the episode, we see them struggling with rocks and such until, like any construction show, it magically all comes together at the end. Their baseball endeavor works out so well, in fact, that at a crucial moment in the game, Manny makes it on base! He runs the wrong way around the field, but hey!

Oh, before we move on, there’s one scene in which Luke is teaching Manny to play baseball. Luke doesn’t like the way Manny’s holding the bat.

LUKE: Will you choke up?
MANNY: Probably when they play the national anthem.
ME: Ba-ha-ha!

Meanwhile, Cam and Claire have a more emotional arc going on: They found a house that would be perfect to flip, but they need Mitchell and Phil’s consent for the couples to go in on it. Mitchell is like, Nay, you guys don’t know the first thing about flipping houses. Phil is like, Yay, but then secretly admits to Mitchell that he thinks it’s a terrible idea, and Claire is going to blow their life savings on this. Not wanting to be unsupportive, Phil lets Mitchell play the bad guy. Phil tells Claire he would have been all for it, but he couldn’t talk Mitchell into it. Now Mitchell’s annoyed with Phil—two can play that game. Mitchell tells an indignant Cam that Cam has convinced him: He’s game, especially if Phil is onboard. This is followed by a hilarious scene in which Phil calls Mitchell, who happens to be sinisterly stroking a white cat. “You want to play chicken?” Phil says to Mitchell. “Chicken’s my middle name!” For some reason, we don’t see very many scenes between these two actors, but it turns out they’re absolutely hilarious together. MORE!

Over in Claire and Cam’s camp, we finally hear what this house-stuff is really about. Claire has been applying to jobs (!), but hasn’t had any luck. She feels she should be utilizing her college education to the fullest and wants to make some of her own money. Finally, the writers give her this dimension!!!! I’m very impressed with this episode. We’re addressing what must have been bothering overachiever Claire ever since Luke stopped requiring her attention 24/7. So Claire wants to make money to help pay for her family. That’s cool. But wait . . . “And there was this pair of boots,” she adds wistfully. Cam knowingly cuts her off, “There’s always a pair of boots.” Welp, baby steps with the feminism, Modern Family.

The surprisingly adults-only storyline escalates to Mitchell and Phil blame-texting, demanding the other man confess that he doesn’t want to go through with the house-flipping project. What they don’t realize, however, is that neither needs to cave. Mitchell and Phil have accidentally been group texting, and Claire and Cam have been privy to the entire conversation. Group texting is totally dangerous, so I’m glad its perils figured prominently in a network television show. Claire’s response to Phil, “What hurts is that you didn’t believe in me. You believe in everything!” I like that we’re seeing a darker side of Phil this season to help round him out.

Anyway, Phil and Mitchell show up to the big ball game with apology flowers. Upon seeing how great a job Cam and Claire did with making a baseball field out of nothing, they now have faith that the team could succeed in flipping a house: Let’s do it. But right then, Jay walks up and delivers a monologue of sanity: You don’t mix family and business. They don’t know what they’re doing, and they’re going to end up fighting and damaging their family relationship. This hits home with our previously gung ho group, and they decide to sleep on it. We all knew they weren’t going to go through with it . . .

Don’t flip that channel! They get a call that the realtor already put a bid on the house on their behalf, and they got it! WHOA!!! What a misdirect! That was a great moment. I’m excited to see what new hijinks this rehabbing project will yield.

And briefly, Gloria and Jay had a little story about how Gloria bought this microphone thing so she could talk to her baby in-womb, and she winds up singing to it nonstop in all her tone deaf glory. Jay’s annoyed, so at first he tries grabbing the mic to pretend he wants to talk to the baby (a sweet moment comes out of that, sure), but ultimately he and Gloria start bickering. Manny tells them that it’s not good for the baby to hear his parents fighting, so Gloria and Jay make a pact—they’re not going to fight in front of the baby. Jay’s first move under the no-fighting shield is to tell Gloria that her singing stinks. Gloria’s enraged, but she’ll just have to save her rage for AFTER she delivers the baby. Looks like Jay didn’t think that one through. I hope they give Gloria something else to do in future episodes; Jay’s not the only one her over-the-top dramatics are starting to grate on!

Photos of ABC’s Modern Family via beta.abc.go.com.

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