MODERN FAMILY Recap: ‘Mother’s Day’
May 5, 2011 by Haylee Fisher
Thank you, MODERN FAMILY, for airing a Mother’s Day episode because I had completely forgotten it’s this Sunday (for real)! And now I know exactly what I’m not getting my mom — a hiking trip!
Yes, Claire decides it’s a good idea for her and Gloria to go hiking with the kids. How did she think that was going to end, with rainbows and butterflies for all? No, none of those kids like hiking and I don’t blame them. I probably would have been complaining the whole time, too, about being hot and the imminent threat of coyotes (because if there’s one thing to worry about in my part of Texas, it’s coyotes. Okay, not really — our equivalent is alligators).
The outing did give Gloria and Claire time to hang out, which is something they don’t do often without bickering and trying to one-up each other. They bonded over the fact that their kids can drive them crazy. But of course, when Gloria opens up about the fact that Manny is persnickety and writes bad poetry, he overhears her. I know I’ve mentioned before that MODERN FAMILY has used quite a few classic sitcom tropes this season, but this one screamed THREE’S COMPANY to me. To me, that show is one of the kings of “characters overhearing things and then misinterpreting said thing.” There was no misinterpreting Gloria’s words, though, so she tries to blame it on Claire. Plus, Haley, Alex and Luke don’t apologize for their behavior that made their mom want to hit them and make them fall like dominoes in the first place.
While the wives are out, it gives Phil and Jay time to make dinner for the family. I liked them interacting — we don’t see it that much and it’s comedy gold. I mean, c’mon: Phil dancing in the kitchen to “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg”? His onion goggles? A Julia Child impression?! Such a great contrast to stoic Jay, just wanting to make sauce from his mother’s recipe. But here’s where the episode took an emotional turn. When Phil found a handwritten recipe about what makes a great mother Jay had written to his mom when he was nine, that’s when the tears hit. Phil cracked Jay’s now egg shell-thin facade and you have to admit, you teared up a little too, right? The onion goggles turned out to be not such a bad idea after all, huh, Jay?
After Mitchell brings Cameron breakfast in bed for Mother’s Day and says the day is all about him, Cam gets very self-conscious about being seen as the “mother” in the relationship. It escalates when they go to the Mother’s Day playgroup and some of the moms insist Cameron be in the “mom group” picture since he’s an honorary mother. Eric Stonestreet’s (Cam) face in that scene was priceless! He needs to win awards for that expression alone! OK, maybe not that alone, because the next scene where he hurls the kids in the park’s wayward ball and hits an old man off his bicycle had me howling with laughter. I had to rewind my DVR three times when he squealed and ran with flail-y arms to go help. The icing on the cake was Mitchell yelling, “Arms!” at him after Cam had just mentioned not being overtly gay.
The ending scene with all the families together to celebrate the holiday was actually kind of touching. It was nice the kids apologized to Claire and Jay tearing up at the family reminiscing was sweet. After all, you only get one mom.
Despite a lot going on in the episode, there weren’t too many standout lines to me, besides Mitchell’s, “Arms!” and Cameron’s reaction to drinking scotch to appear to be straighter at the family dinner (“It’s so burn-y!”). There were some great moments, though, like Gloria being gift-less after both Jay and Manny take their presents back (which were a “diamond” necklace and a generic Fruit Loop necklace, respectively). I loved expressionless Lily standing in the hall holding balloons after Mitchell’s disastrous breakfast in bed. And of course, how could you not love the family hugs around the dinner table at the end?
What did you think of this episode, MODERN FAMILY fans? Did it make you never want to hike again? Are you thinking of buying some onion goggles now? And did anyone else get a strange craving for spaghetti after all that talk of homemade sauce? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!
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