Modern Family recap: Shortcomings

Claire and Phil feel intellectually inferior, Jay sticks his foot in his mouth, and 24's Mary Lynn Rajskub plays Mitchell's ex-girlfriend
Ep. 12 | Aired Jan 12, 2011

GHOST OF GIRLFRIEND PAST: Mary Lynn Rajskub (inset) guests as Mitchell's ex-girlfriend

Randy Holmes/ABC; Bob Charlotte/PR Photos

I'm not going to lie, after last week's fabulous welcome-back, I was left feeling a little uninspired after tonight's episode.  I'm never truly disappointed with any Modern Family, and of course I laughed, but I think it was hard to follow last week's James Marsden in the toy castle, Gloria learning to ride a bike, action-packed episode. But I will say this, I did not see tonight's Mitchell/Cam punchline coming. With the long lead-up and the various dramatic "reactions" of Cam, then Mitchell, I figured the chances of Mitchell having a little mini-me running around were pretty unlikely (though I would have thought the chances of Mitchell having sex with a woman -- twice! -- would have been pretty slim too, so I guess anything is possible). But when the misunderstanding between Mitchell and his maybe-baby-mama ex-girlfriend, Tracy (24's Mary Lynn Rajskub), turned out to be that Mitchell's "8-year-old love child" was actually Tracy's little-person husband, it was pleasantly surprising, and pretty darn funny, and possibly a little un-PC, but mostly pretty darn funny. And when Cam and Mitchell gave him the Little Slugger baseball mitt and Cam hauled ass out of there, well, that was just the perfect conclusion to a painfully awkward situation.

Besides Mitchell and Cam's personal "reactions" to the possible existence of a genetic mini-Mitchell, my favorite moments were between Claire and Phil. We got to see them interact in a very different way tonight. So much of their comedy normally comes from their nit-picking brand of love—it's their differences and endless bickering that usually make us giggle, but tonight we got to see them bond and be silly as a unified team, albeit over their true love of cheesy cinema and sneaking snacks, but what could be better to bond over?

Honorable-mention moments of the evening:

--Luke trying to throw grapes into Alex's mouth like the Hungry Hippo

--Cute little Lily turning into a klepto

--Jay drinking out of the dribble cup

--Phil in 3-D glasses

--Phil and Claire walking into the glass door while trying to leave the movie theater all cool and smart

NEXT: The 13 best lines of the night


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