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Modern Family – Recap & Review – Tableau Vivant

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photo: abc
Modern Family
Tableau Vivant

Original Air Date: May 16, 2012

Wyner C – TwoCents Reviewer

Feelings are fragile. It can be hurt with words or a thoughtless gesture – you have to treat it with care. Unless you’re family; in that case, feelings are handled like soccer balls. Why not? Family is family, they’re here to forgive and love.

At the Dunphy Compound, the family is up late. Claire is giving Phil advice – he’s planning the best approach to fire Mitchell who has been working, as a favor, for Phil’s firm practically for free. Mitchell has been handing in late assignments due to his hectic life, thus obtaining the reputation of “lazy” – so un-Pritchett.

Alex is up stressing about her art project. She’s trying to impress a teacher who calls her Alice and, oh, she has a crush him. She’s recreating a living version of a painting using her family – what can go wrong?

Luke is awake because he’s excited to get an award tomorrow. He’s being honored for putting out a fire – one that he started in a chemistry lab trying to make Luke-tonium. Manny witnessed the whole thing and tries to guilt Luke into fessing up – really? It’s not the Brady Bunch where Jan forgoes her award by informing a teacher simple math is too much for adults.

Phil is too engrossed in his problems to notice Haley sneaking into the house after a night of partying. She had called Cam to pick her up – she was the responsible one, taking the keys away from a drunken friend. I’m impressed with her maturity.

The next day, Phil bungles Mitchell’s firing by babbling – he didn’t break up with Claire 20 years ago due to the same verbal diarrhea problem. Mitchell thinks he quit so no feelings are hurt – ha! Later, Mitchell shows up at Phil’s office to clarify his last day of availability. People are afraid he’s going to get violent and Phil shoos Mitchell into the elevator. The elevator gets stuck and Mitchell finds out he was fired…for being lazy. To make matters worse, the elevator remained broken for hours so Mitchell lied down – solidifying his reputation as lazy.

Cam goes over to the Dunphy Compound to help with props for Alex’s project. He brings along Lily who is flicking light switches. Cam tells Claire that a book says children will rebel to the word “no”. When Cam gets his hand stuck in the garbage disposal and Lily is flicking switches, Claire doesn’t say “no” to Lily. Cam freaks out because he thinks the next switch is going to mutilate his hand. It was pretty funny – Cam was never in danger.

Jay takes Gloria to a diner to show her a sandwich named after him. He’s friendly with the waitress who knows a lot of details of his life – details Gloria doesn’t know. After eating the Jay Pritchett (dirty, dirty minds), Gloria says she doesn’t like it. Jay thinks spouses should lie to each other to spare feelings. Gloria demanded one lie Jay told – he decided to tell her she’s loud. Gloria’s solution? Whispering or just mouthing her words. Maturity is overrated.

At the painting recreation, it all comes to a head. Cam is mad Claire is questioning his parenting skills, especially since Haley was partying late last night – collateral damage = Haley. Manny chimes in with Luke’s undeserved award. Gloria is holding a turkey but it’s heavy. Mitchell is mad at Phil for firing him and Phil wants the parking pass back. Claire finds out Phil wanted to dump her when they were dating. Lily wants some turkey. It was a cluster-frak and it was awesome!! The show is best when the family is together.

While driving to the diner, Claire realizes she comes off as a know-it-all – justifying Phil’s decision a score ago to dump her. Mitchell recognizes he’s upset not at the firing – he’s insecure because he’s never been fired before. Cam begrudgingly admits to being overly defensive about his parenting skills. Gloria is upset not for the “loud” comment but because she’s jealous of the waitress. They work out their issues with their feelings and arrive at the diner to forgive and love each other….ahhhh. By the way, Mr. Art Teacher finally got Alex’s name right; she’s happy even though she received a B+; school crushes are cute unless we hear about it on the news.

Favorite moments/Things to ponder – I’m turning this into the TOP 5 Quotes/Exchanges for this episode (too many funnies to overlook!!):

Number 5. “Please, she’s a gym teacher. She’s to teaching what Dr. Seuss is to medicine.”
~ Alex, offending gym teachers around the country. Is this why our kids are obese?

Number 4.
Jay: You’re just a tiny bit loud.
Gloria: Loud?
Jay: Not all the time. Only when you, you know, talk.
~ Jay demonstrating how to put foot in mouth. He is a truth-teller and not a fabricator in this instance.

Number 3. “Maybe a little picky, though, from someone who prepared a Columbian specialty and said ‘why are you not eating the hooves, they are the best part.’”
~ Jay, upset Gloria didn’t like the Jay Pritchett – the sandwich, not the man (most of the time).

Number 2.
Claire: I say “no” every day in this house.
Phil: But at night she’s a “yes” machine.
Claire: No
~ Ha! Vintage Phil.

Number 1. “Is that jealous? Ay, my poor sisters!”
~ Gloria, realizing what jealousy feels like. Love how her ego was bruised but recovered within a few seconds.

I laughed so much during this episode. I’ve always said, the show is best when the family is together. Did you enjoy the show? What was YOUR favorite line? Discuss away!

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