This wasn’t my favorite episode of Modern Family this season, but “Planes, Trains and Cars” delivered enough laughs to keep me happy. The three very separate storylines all related to transportation – and it wasn’t an easy week for the Dunphy/Pritchett/Tucker/Delgado clan.
Midlife Crisis Mobile
Phil bought a tiny sports car, thanks to being in his forties, nostalgia, and some urging from his friend Andre. Claire immediately knew it was impractical, but she kept her mouth shut. I mean, really, who wants to be the Debbie Downer there? But as soon as Phil had to try and shove some real estate signs into his tiny convertible and was asked to pick up his client and her friend for a showing, he realized what a mistake he’d made.
So he swapped cars with Claire, and the sports car inspired her to blow off her errands and head to the beach. She ran around in the waves, did cartwheels, it was glorious. Until she realized she’d lost the keys.
There wasn’t much to this storyline, but I liked the end when Claire and Phil decided to make secret monthly trips to the beach together. I like being reminded of just how much these two love each other.
I also liked the reactions from the kids to seeing the car – Luke thought it was cool, Alex thought it was a sign of divorce, Haley assumed it was for her. And when Phil was driving his kids around in the minivan, he realized he really didn’t want to keep a car that only had two seats. His kids won’t need him as a chauffeur forever, so he should savor that access to their worlds while he can.
No Bunny Left Behind
In an effort to raise Lily the way hipsters would, Cam and Mitch took her on her first subway ride – equipped, of course, with what looked like six backpacks and her favorite stuffed bunny. But when Cam made a HUGE mistake (yes, this one’s on you, Cam) and tossed the bunny to Mitch, thus tossing it onto a subway train to go away forever, Lily was devastated.
So what to do? Cam tried posters, albeit after scrapping an original draft that looked like they were offering a $25 reward for their own child. Mitch wanted to teach his three year-old daughter a lesson about loss, like his own dad did with him back when he left his Luke Skywalker in a shortie robe doll on an airplane.
It turned out that this was a battle for Mitch to win. A homeless man had adopted the bunny, and I wouldn’t have taken that thing back even before the guy coughed and wheezed all over it. Ick.
Meanwhile, Jay, Gloria and Manny were on their way to Pebble Beach for a reunion with Jay’s old football buddies. For Manny, that meant spa services. For Jay, it means showing off to his old friends who considered him something of a legend.
It was one problem after another, from Gloria refusing the private jet (they are terrifying) to a car breaking down, to being offered a ride in a restored helicopter (that was really terrifying). Eventually, Jay revealed the truth to Gloria – he hadn’t been a big shot in high school, and the reason he was so desperate to get to the reunion was to show off how well he’d done and, yes, how hot his wife was.
I liked that Gloria actually wanted to play the role of trophy wife, because we know that that isn’t really her and Jay’s relationship. It will always look like that on the surface, but they love each other. I just wish we’d been able to see what happened at the reunion – although seeing Manny order flowers for the concierge was pretty delightful. I love that kid.
What did you guys think of the episode?
Favorite quotes & moments:
- “My friend Molly’s dad bought a sports car, and now he lives in a studio apartment and dates a girl who works at Forever 21 – which she won’t be for two years.” – Alex
- Haley: “It’s just like last year when you wouldn’t take off those skinny jeans!”
Alex: “Wouldn’t or couldn’t?”
Phil: “Hey! I looked hot.”
- “It was my turn to be irresponsible. And luckily, I had sunscreen in my purse.” – Claire
- If Jay weighs 190, Gloria must then weigh 275.
- Cam: “You know how many times I had to say goodbye to a furry friend on the farm?”
Mitchell: “And didn’t it make you stronger?”
Cam: “Yes, because I was a growing boy and they were chock full of protein!”
- Mitchell: “I’m sorry but these signs are ridiculous.”
Cam: “You’re right, I should have used Helvetica, it much better represents the urgency of our situation.”
- Claire: “I did cartwheels.”
Phil: “Without me?”
- “Alex is teaching herself Chinese so she’ll be useful when they finish buying us.” – Phil