Modern Family Recap: Best Men

This week on Modern Family: Cam and Mitchell’s friend, Sal (Elizabeth Banks) gets married; Claire and Haley rekindle their friendship; Phil helps Luke woo a girl who’s “out of his league;” and Manny draws lady-nudes in class.

Let’s start with the Elizabeth Banks storyline because that’s the most exciting. There was—in no uncertain terms—highly political language about gay marriage. Party-girl Sal shows up in the middle of the night to announce to Cam and Mitchell that she’s getting married to a man she recently met. She asks them to be her best men and reveals that oh, yeah, the wedding is next week. But she also quickly makes sure to add that if they wanted her not to do it, you know, because CaMitchell can’t get married, she wouldn’t go through with it. Cam replies, “What kind of people would we be if we denied you, or anyone, the right to marry?” BOOM. Thanks, Modern Family, although it probably would have been more important a few years ago.

Cam and Mitchell spend the rest of the episode trying to tame wild Sal, who is having misgivings about waking up next to the same person every day for the rest of her life. She grabs the bartender by the scruff of his neck and makes out with him; says she can easily leave if it doesn’t work out; and basically shows all the warning signs of a future contribution to the 50% divorce rate. By the time we’re at the wedding, however, she does a complete 180 and claims that she does want all the boring game nights and stability if it’s with this one guy.

Yeah, I’m with you Lily.

Claire’s story kicks off with an adorable analogy: Raising a kid is like sending a rocket to the moon. You spend lots of time with the rocket pre-launch, then you let it go. Around the teenage years, it heads to the dark side. But if you wait patiently, your rocket will return to you someday. Claire interprets a compliment from Haley to indicate that Haley is indeed on the return leg, and she nervously asks Haley to dinner. Haley agrees, and Claire’s all, She likes me! But at the last minute, Haley gets a better offer from a friend, and Claire tells her she should go ahead. But, BUT, Haley comes back, feeling guilty, and the two have a sort of role reversal spat in which Claire is the whiny, accusatory one and Haley is the one calling her out for being hormonal/menopausal. They only fully become friends in the wake of a rejection from Alex, who apparently has secretly joined an indie music group: The Electric Light Dorkestra. (YES.) I’m happy that we got to see Haley have some actual emotional growth and experience what Alex is like in her element. I was actually struck by how independent Alex must be that she doesn’t care if her family typically doesn’t want to see her cello recitals. What a cool kid.

Phil and Luke have a similar bonding experience, in which Phil asks out Luke’s crush via Facebook message on Luke’s behalf. It’s not weird when it happens. Luke takes the girl to DINNER, something that’s unheard of for a guy his age (usually when he goes to the mall, he just “walks around and jumps off stuff”). The date goes surprisingly well for Luke, and also unfortunately for Phil, who’s lingering nearby trying to fend off the advances of Luke’s date’s mother. I didn’t think we needed to see another crazy female clawing at men in this episode, but it was a cute parallel to the kids’ story. And we got to hear the beautiful Phil to Luke advice: “Don’t ever be afraid to go after a girl who’s out of your league. That’s how I got your mom.”

And finally, Manny’s teacher shows Gloria and Jay some disturbing artwork he’s been creating in class: Boobs. Lots of ’em. Jay blames Gloria for breastfeeding in the open so often (umm, Oedipal overtones much?) but they soon discover that it’s actually the new nanny whom Manny’s been drawing; he has a huge crush on her. Gloria has been uneasy with the concept of having a nanny, and this is just more fuel for the fire. When Jay and Gloria walk in on Manny trying to have a date with this poor woman, Gloria’s first instinct is to yell at the nanny. But the nanny insists she and Manny talk privately, so she can very nicely let him down. Gloria overhears . . . and decides she now trusts this woman wholeheartedly with her other child. I guess that makes sense.

Photos: ABC’s Modern Family

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