Modern Family: Season 4, Episode 8: Mystery Date, Review

The year is 2025 and Phil Dunphy is apparently the first one to arrive . . .

Phil Dunphy enters the year 2025 during the opening scene of this week’s episode of Modern Family. With Claire out of the house, Phil can finally set his iPad up as a universal remote for the house, giving him control of the lights, TV, even the fireplace at the tap of his finger. Mitch and Cam are trying to give Gloria her baby shower gift, but they need to get her and Jay out of the house for the better part of the day to have it “installed.” The Modern Family just can’t seem to master communication this week.

After turning the Dunphy house into a Smart House, Phil decides to go to the gym for a quick workout. There he meets Dave, a fellow Bulldog Alumni who Phil quickly befriends and invites over to watch the night’s game. But unknown to Phil, Dave is one of Cam’s Gay friends who is taking Phil’s signals as most people take them: wrong. He is under the impression that Phil is asking him on a date. After consulting with Cam, Dave goes to Phil’s for the “date,” quickly realizing that he has a wife. But Phil manages to miss word that situation too. Mentioning how his wife doesn’t mind him having guys over, as long as he “cleans up.”

After a margarita and some accidental mood lighting, courtesy of the universal remote, the two end up shirtless hugging after their football team wins. After another miscommunication, the two are about to head upstairs for some “halftime festivities” when Dave decides that it’s time for him to leave. He thanks Phil for the hospitality and heads out the door, but not without giving Phil a goodbye kiss.

While all of these shenanigans are going on at the Dunphy house, Claire, Manny, Luke and Alex are away at a hotel to support Alex in her latest academic competition. As the reining champion, Alex is putting pressure on herself to hold her title, and Claire is taking it as a chance to brag about her daughter to the other mothers. But after Claire buys the “two day seat cushion,” Alex gets out of the competition in the first round. This upsets both Alex and Claire, but ultimately Claire realizes that she is one of “those moms” and is trying to live through Alex’s success.

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During the girl’s heart-to-heart, Luke and Manny are on the hunt for Manny’s soulmate. After overhearing Manny’s dream girl talking about a Bat Mitzvah , the duo begin crashing all three of the Bat Mitzvah’s happening at the hotel that night, stealing their fair share of goodie bags along the way. On the third party, Manny finds his girl, but not before a security guard comes to escort him and Luke out. Manny gets one minute with the girl, where he leads her into a photo booth and eventually ends up scaring her off. Don’t worry Manny, a picture says a thousand words.

Baby preparations are well under way at the Pritchett house, and Cam and Mitch are trying to add their contribution to the baby festivities. To get Gloria out of the house while Cam’s gift is constructed, he takes hr out to lunch and on the town, when all she really wants is to take a nap. Mitch distracts Jay by going with him to pick up the crib, noticing his fathers’ strange behavior along the way. Jay, who is normally very closed and insulting to Mitch when he tries to talk, opens up to his son revealing that he is upset about converting his office into a nursery.

As the two head back from the store and Gloria finally stomps upstairs for her nap, they all converge in the new nursery, where they see Cam’s gift; a mural on the wall of Jay, Gloria and Manny, clothed as angels in the clouds. While Cam and Mitch are appalled, Jay and Gloria love the painting and it seems to put Jay at ease.

Wait, where’s Haley? After getting arrested and kicked out of college in the last episode, I was sure that she would be one of the main plotlines this week. While she may have been overshadowed by her fathers bi-curious experiences this week, we can’t go much longer without hearing from the free-spirited Dunphy girl.

Memorable Quotes:

“Phil Dunphy, this is the year 2025. Welcome. You’re the first one here.”-Phil Dunphy

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“1984, it’s kind of a lucky number for me. It’s the year footloose came out.”-Phil Dunphy

“My dad’s acting all shady? He’s seeing a shrink!”-Mitch Pritchett

“I am one of those moms. I like it too much when you win.” –Claire Dunphy

“How about we head up to the bedroom for some halftime festivities” –Phil Dunphy