For an episode that was, in a way, all about transportation (everyone was trying to get to Manny's birthday party), this was a very funny installment of Modern Family. Claire and Phil divided up the kids and took two cars (global warming, schmobal shmarming) to Manny's party to see who had the faster route, Mitch kept rushing Cam to the party because he had a surprising stop to make, and Jay and Gloria got into a disagreement about her keys while Manny mourned his lost childhood.
Lots of jokes have been made about Manny's adult ways, like the way he talks, dresses and drinks coffee. I mean, the kid actually aspired to look like Al Capone. So it was refreshing that he'd take one of Jay's jokes to heart and try to recapture his childhood. I always like when wacky TV characters acknowledge how wacky they are, and this was a good example of it. Manny knows he's weird, and that makes him more endearing.
On Manny's childlike to-do list was riding a skateboard, floating in the pool and drinking different flavors of pop mixed together. (This was called "swamp water" when I was a kid and was outrageously popular.)
Meanwhile, Manny's parents were acting like children. Gloria couldn't find her keys, which Jay said was because she's scatterbrained and leaves them everywhere. Once he found her cell phone in the fridge. But when Jay found the keys in his own pocket, he hid them in Gloria's purse to avoid looking like a hypocrite and to prove his point. I feel like we've been down this road with Jay and Gloria before, but it was still funny. Plus, Gloria using the beebee gun was awesome.
Mitch and Cam's storyline was probably my favorite of the night, because while the lead-up was funny, the end joke was worth watching a few times. Mitch was frustrated with Cam taking too long to find a gift for Manny. Things got especially funny when Cam tried to reunite an elderly couple only to discover they were adulterers. Again, we've been down this road, but it was hilarious. I love how Cam's good deeds always backfire. Always.
The real reason Micth was in a hurry, though, was because he was taking part in an awesome flash mob in order to prove to Cam that he can be fun and spontaneous. Normal flash mobs are spectacular if done correctly. Flash mobs that include Mitchell are supercalafragalisticexpialadoshus. Yep, I said it. The funniest part though was watching Cam try to mask his jealous discomfort by attempting to look as though he was part of the group. I could watch him try to clap on beat over and over again and still laugh.
Since wanting to be on time is a Pritchett trait (I totally could have been born into that family), Claire and Phil divided up the kids and raced to the restaurant to see who had the faster route. What was great about this storyline, though, was the funny-yet-heartwarming moments the kids had with their parents.
Phil took the girls, who used the opportunity to break the unfortunate news to him that no one wants to go to family camp. Can you blame them? Phil took the news pretty hard and started to cry, which meant that Haley and Alex started to cry, and I laughed. Oh, and they blew out a tire.
Meanwhile Luke revealed that he'd actually thought "splitting up" meant his parents were divorcing, not racing to the restaurant. The good side was that he took the news pretty well - he was only mildly bummed. The bad news was that he'd originally said he'd go with his dad. Because, Claire said, Phil is the fun parent. He has "Second Christmas" and "Italian Accent Night". And you can't have two fun parents. Someone has to make sure you don't wear pajamas to school. I haven't always been a huge Luke fan, but it was pretty sweet when he said he chose to go with his dad because he thought he'd need him more.
Manny's speech at the restaurant was cheesy but cute, and it was nice to see everyone realize how silly they'd been acting. Now, let's talk about some of the best jokes from the episode:
- "You know that kid Liam who wears pajama pants to school and pays for things with hundred dollar bills? Two fun parents. Mark my words." Claire, on why having two fun parents can't work
- "The second thing that slipped right out from under me today." - Manny talking about his skateboard ride...the first thing was his childhood, in case you didn't get it
- "Come on Manny. I could have unbuttoned your shirt if I wanted to." - Gloria, who is an excellent shot
- Phil being so clueless about why his pride in his family camp team color (white) was inappropriate.
- "If I had known it was my last summer there, I'd have gone for the lead in Pippin." - Phil, about family camp
- "Dad's like crazy fun, but you're nice." - Luke, to Claire
- "You cheated on me with choreography and that is the worst kind." - Cam, being a tad overdramatic
- All four cars pulling up at the same time. I might have rolled my eyes, but I chuckled too.