Anyone who knows Claire Dunphy knows that she likes a project. So when another car almost hits her as she approaches an intersection on her way to school with Alex and Haley and then she hits some idiot who is power walking walking with a helmet and ski poles, oh wait, that’s her husband Phil. Claire Dunphy has a new project. She is going to get a stop sign put into that intersection, for the safety of her neighborhood. Luke throws a basketball at Phil’s head, which makes it into the hoop, thus beginning a youtube video idea.
When Cam and Lily wake up in a “French mood”, they retreat to the kitchen to make crepes. Since the adoption agency is coming to do a home check, Mitchell’s strategy is to make the house as presentable as possible. Cam’s “French mood” which is probably similar to PMSing and craving chocolate, conflicts with Mitchell’s need to keep the house clean. But Cam assures Mitchell that the kitchen will be clean when he arrives home/before the adoption agent comes. This isn’t the first time Cam has made a mess that Mitchell cleaned up, and it probably won’t be the last.
Apparently, Gloria never pulls her car into the driveways and closes the gate, much to Jay’s dismay. Gloria doesn’t know what he is worried about in their nice neighborhood. But moments late Gloria, annoyed with Stella, puts the dog out the front door only to realize that she left the gate open. Gloria, panicked about Jay assuming she intentionally lost the dog, begins a search for the dog with the help of Cam, who seems to be looking for an excuse to get out of the house, tsk tsk. Meanwhile, Manny has to sell wrapping paper for school and Jay, being the salesman that he is and a good father, offers to help.
Claire tries to rally the troops to help out her cause. They all, conveniently have other projects to do, except for Phil (what a good hubby!). But Phil is also easily distracted, when Luke tries to prompt him into making another basket off of his head, this time to be caught on camera, he gives in without much of a fight and forgets all about his promise to help. Claire continues to try, but with very little success. When she goes to the board, who are in the middle of a birthday party (with no ice cream cake…blasphemous), she has 26 less signatures than she needs. Luckily her troops show up to “blind-side” her (Phil does not use the term properly). Haley and Alex have collected more signatures and Phil and Luke created a video. They explain all this while the birthday boy, who wanted ice cream cake, spits the bite of regular cake he just ate out. Claire gets her way and there will be a stop sign. Joy to the WORLD!
Cam, while helping Gloria search for Stella, realizes his likeness to Marlon Brando in “A Streetcar Named Desire” as he runs through the street in a white undershirt dramatically screaming “Stella”. With the exception of the shirt and the name, there is nothing about Cam’s search for Stella (the dog not Kim Hunter in the 1951 classic), that is like Brando’s, but I’ll let him have it because the reference was so perfect. And it’s made even more perfect when they meet a little girl named Blanche (Vivien Leigh’s character’s name in the movie), who has stolen Stella and won’t give her back. Gloria, however, doesn’t take crap from a little girl just because she’s threatening to scream (You go Gloria!) and takes the dog back. Jay helps Manny go door to door trying to sell wrapping paper, unsuccessfully. Jay says that he wants to make sure he gives Manny all the tools he needs early on, since he’s older and probably won’t be around. Manny is defeated and teaches the audience a valuable lesson: “You’ll never go broke playing into a rich guy’s ego….write THAT down.”
When Cam shows up at home, Mitchell is beaming with pride. He resisted cleaning the kitchen! It wasn’t easy, but he did it. So now Cam, who apparently has no problem leaving messes, has to finish was he started and clean up his mess. He’s hesitant and make snide comments about it all being so gross. LIGHTBULB! Mitchell realizes that Cam wanted him to clean it up. Cam admits it, claiming he hates how dirty and disgusting it is to clean. Mitchell then feeds into the mess and ends up putting a whipped cream crown on Lily’s head and a whipped cream smiley face on Cam’s shirt right before the adoption agent shows up. Perfect timing.
This episode was Modern Family at it’s best. I really love when the stories overlap and the families help each other out. Last week’s episode they were all kind of involved within their own immediate family drama. This week, there was some overlap, albeit not a lot, but just enough to make me happy. I also love it when Mitchell breaks out of his normal neat little box, putting whipped cream on Lily’s head even though she was just an innocent bystander was fantastic. Manny playing jay was also pretty slick, I must admit I don’t usually expect much out of that kid, but I gotta give him props.
Cam: Mitchell you are not going to believe this. I’m out with Gloria looking for her dog and I’m wearing an undershirt and I’m screaming STELLA just like in “Street Car”!
Cam: Sweetie what’s your name?
Cam: Shut up really? Mitchell would die.
Alex: Consider yourself lucky you didn’t just get, like, felt up by your mom.
Luke: How many moms does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
Phil: How many?
Luke: None because she’s got you to do that sucker.
Manny: You’ll never go broke playing into a rich guy’s ego. Write THAT down.