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4 stars, Comedy, Reviews

Modern Family S3, E8: “After the Fire”

We go to “Relaxastan” and back this week, but, ignore the title, as this episode is less about the said fire than I presumed it would be, judging by the teaser synopsis. Nevertheless, it was another solid episode from the Modern Family stable. The first joke was instantaneous: Claire receiving a box of donations that she is rallying for the family affected by the fire (“Rand Aid” as Phil calls it): “it’s just old, out-of-date clothes”, yes, and the first top Claire just happened to be wearing. OK, so it’s not overly sophisticated humour, but it made me laugh, so I can’t be one to criticise!

Phil was at his goofy best this episode, but still managed to pull of a somewhat serious, but nice, moment with Jay at the end of the episode. But it only occurred after a typical character/scenario misunderstanding that Modern Family does so well: Jay accidentally says “I love you” to Phil during a massage (yes, Phil is of course a licensed masseur), and in classic Phil style, he plays up the part to a tee: straddling Phil’s back while perfectly  warming the oil down the front of his pants. Anyway, summing up the problem at hand: Phil didn’t hear what Jay had said as he was distracted by an incoming text message offering him a partnership in a  new real estate firm. Of course, Jay has interpreted Phil’s response of excitement as due to his proclamation of love. That’s why their conclusion was so nice, Phil actually seeks out Jay’s advice before pursing his financially risky dream: worst-case scenario = all his kids go to college, LOL.

It was also great to see both Haley and Alex’s relationship, as well as Luke and Manny’s, developed further. Haley and Alex are really moving forward in leaps and bounds this season, and seem so in sync with each other as demonstrated by their simultaneous “fighting” bit in an effort to get out of helping Claire’s charity drive. I loved how Claire still managed to turn this around after their apparent success by sending them off with Uncle Cam (or as Haley calls him: Alex’s “future prom date”).

Speaking of Uncle Cam, I found him a little annoying tonight, a little bit “been there done that” in regards to him taking offence to Haley and Alex’s not thinking he can drive a truck (or as he put, “It was like a hate crime”). This irked me as much as Jay’s earlier jibe that Mitchell didn’t mind Phil’s massages as he has a “higher tolerance for a man’s hands”. This show is so much better than that.

Despite these very few grievances, Modern Family, as usual, has delivered, and even thought it  was a conflict-loaded episode, “I think we can agree it had a happy ending” (Sorry I couldn’t resist, blame it on Phil!).

4 out of 5 stars

Episode details

  • Original Australian airdate: 19 February 2012 (7:30 pm)
  • Channel: Network Ten
  • Viewers: 1.036 million (6th most-watched show for the night)


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