Modern Family recap: Congratulations and Condolences

Election Day has arrived, and every family member aims to do his or her part to help get a vote for Claire. For Manny, this involves a bluetooth
Ep. 19 | Aired Apr 11, 2012

PUT YOUR BEST TEETH FORWARD Claire hopes big smiles and a lovable yet dysfunctional campaign team will help her win a place on town council. 

Peter "Hopper" Stone/ABC

As we gear up for an election year, Modern Family presented us with an important topic to consider: First Husbands. Much has been said about Michelle Obama and Ann Romney, but if Claire's political career really takes off, who's to say Phil won't be swept up in the Clairemobile, kissing babies and encouraging kids to "move" down in D.C.? But every Jackie has to start somewhere, and last night that would be Claire's town council race, which also carried the hopes and dreams of every unborn stop sign within a 10-mile radius.

The longest running plot the series has seen — if you don't count recurring guest characters or mentions of past lives in cheerleading and clowning — which seems like a milestone for a show built around quickfire humor and stand-alone episodes. Each and every family member was ready to embrace Claire's spastic side, one that thrives on winning, being right and maintaining control. It was nice to allow so much of our own attention to zoom in on Julie Bowen, who is so consistently hilarious, albeit in a much quieter way than Phil and the kids. And of course Gloria. But couldn't we at least get a tiny glimpse at her competitor, Duane Bailey? This episode could have used a lot more David Cross, but then again, so can most things.

Running for town council has reinvigorated Claire's ambition and only heightened her competitive spirit, which dates back to the days spent selling rogue girl scout cookies. We'd pay money to the first person who unearths and/or creates photos of Little Claire in a homemade green uniform hawking Thin Mints for twice their face value. On Election Day, naturally she'd hope her inner circle would be equally as organized and committed to winning as she was. Assignments were given, but between confusion over how much change is in a phone bank and Luke's belief that you can promise anything for a vote (in some people's minds you can!) the Dunphy clan wasn't exactly knocking it out of the park on Claire's behalf. Meanwhile, the candidate herself was having a hard time keeping things together, holding her anxieties inside her tightly wound ponytail and actually losing her front tooth during two separate interviews. (Those figure skating injuries are tough to shake.) Try as we might, but not everyone can be as unflappable as this lady when the cameras are around.

NEXT: Mitchell and Cam aren't very Claire-ful when it comes to gossip

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