Recap - Modern Family 1.11 "Up All Night"
Mitchell, Cameron and Tony Montana
Meanwhile, Mitchell and Cameron were trying to Ferberize Lily, essentially letting her cry herself to sleep. Cameron, the sensitive man that he is, would also cry when listening to Lily cry on the monitor. Since, unlike Mitchell, he "hates to hear another person suffer," Cameron picked up Lily in the middle of the night and plopped her down in front of the ultra-violent movie Scarface (evidently she's a big fan of the nightclub scene). This was just too much for Mitchell, so he installed a nanny-cam in Lily's bedroom to prevent Cameron from picking her up. What could Cameron do? "I'm like a mother bear. When I hear my cub crying, I have to run to her." On Cam's last attempt to pick up his daughter, Mitchell, aided by the old "put pillows under the sheets to fake being asleep" trick (see Beuller, Ferris), hid in the darkness of Lily's room and forcibly removed Cameron. Mitchell, having had to come home from work during Lily's nap time to thwart Cameron's efforts to soothe the child, realized that he was actually Ferberizing two babies. When Cameron couldn't take it anymore and made one last dash to the room, Mitchell jumped on his back, causing the two to fall and injure Mitchell's ankle. Cameron agreed that Lily can't have "one happy huggy cuddly daddy and one frowny lesson-teachy daddy" so he promised to play more bad cop. All was resolved when the pair realized that Mitchell's ankle needed immediate attention...from the firemen.
We had heard mention of Manny's biological, and disappointing, father, Javier. Well, he made quite the entrance. Played by Benjamin Bratt, Javier interrupted Jay's planned night of shrimp flipping and onion volcanoes at Benihana by showing up with a new boat, lobsters (not caught with his bare hands, but bought with his bare hands), and a camera phone for Manny. Jay, knowing Javier had let Manny down too many times, was not about to trust him. However, Gloria allowed Javier to stay the night. And what a night it would be! Jay, upon hearing Javier used to play AAA baseball, allowed himself to be charmed by Javier with promises of a bar night with famous baseball players, riding motorcycles together, and a middle of the night trip (with Manny) to a baseball stadium to learn to hit a curve-ball, something that derailed Jay's pro baseball dreams. Gloria pointed out that Jay was now no better than Manny -- hoping Javier would live up to promises, but ultimately being disappointed. And that is what Jay ultimately was, disappointed, as he was left on the curb waiting for Javier to take him to the bar.
Nothing's the Matter with Kids Today
In the end, Alex summed up the episode. She asked if kids should act more like adults in the real world, or those in her family. If the latter, the examples weren't encouraging. There was Phil putting the Water Weasel down his pants, Mitchell being carried off by the firemen, and Jay being consoled by Gloria and Manny after being left by Javier. Sometimes adults are just like kids, so how hard could acting like them be? This was hammered home by the episode's tag over the credits. After his stint in the hospital, Phil became fired up by magic again (undoubtedly thanks to the hot women for whom he was performing). When his card trick with Cameron failed ("The hardest part is when people forget their card!"), Cam showed Phil his own trick. He wadded up a napkin and beat his fist into Phil's fist three times. On the second time, he three the napkin over Phil's head. When Cam told Phil to open his hand, there was nothing there. The napkin had disappeared! The look of child-like wonderment on Phil's face perfectly summed up the episode.
Again, I feel Modern Family works better when all of the families interact with each other. That's not always possible from a story point-of-view, so we will get episodes like this one from time-to-time. Which is fine, because they are still very funny; they just don't hit the heights of which the show is capable. This episode had some very humorous moments (Phil's agony chief among them), I just hope the whole family gets brought together next week. Please leave any thoughts you had about the episode below, and check out the photos for next week's episode "Fifteen Percent." See you next week!