Modern Family recap: Free Wheelin'

Gloria finally learns to ride a bike, Luke takes charge, and James Marsden lives in a cardboard princess castle
Ep. 11 | Aired Jan 5, 2011

THE TRAINING WHEELS COME OFF Jay teaches Manny to ride a bike

The holidays may be over, but at least we have the return of Modern Family to keep us warm. Oh, how I missed my favorite Family (sorry, Mom and Dad, you're okay too). And what a wonderful welcome-back episode -- I could have written down almost every line as one of the funniest of the night, they were all so good. Though I was able to narrow down two favorite moments, and I am sure you can guess what they were. First, watching Gloria attempting to ride a bike -- while managing to not get snatched at the same time, but then she did! -- was hysterical. (As a side note, I think they should have Sofia Vergara read books aloud on tape as Gloria, just so we can hear her amazingly over-the-top Colombian accent on repeat.) And having Luke teach her was priceless. I love that they're giving Luke a little more play. That kid is certainly growing on me. When he chased Gloria down the road with a water gun, well, let's just say I almost had a little accident myself.

My second-favorite moment of the show was, of course, watching James Marsden (27 Dresses) play a homeless (and often shirtless) hippie freak. He can jump in my hot tub anytime! But I digress… As if Cam and Mitchell aren't entertaining enough, adding in the dreamy Marsden as a spacey, Reiki-obsessed healer named Barry who doesn't like to be touched, was mere icing on the proverbial cake. (Can we start a petition to have him return to the show, please?) Though the best moment of the entire show, hands down, was when he and Cam were fighting in Lily's toy princess castle, sticking their heads out of different little windows and yelling to Mitchell. How did those actors get through that scene with straight faces??? That's called talent, my friends.

Okay, enough of my babbling, on to the funniest quotes of the evening:

"She has to run every day or she goes crazy, she's like a border collie." --Phil, about Claire's relentless energy

"Luke, I am your father. That's what I said to you when you were coming out of your mom's lady parts." --Phil (the King of TMI), to Luke

"Stephen Hawking could ride that bike." --Jay, about Manny's big-boy bike with training wheels (un-PC, but pretty funny)

"Two-thirds of my house can't do what a billion Chinese do. " --Jay, about Gloria and Manny not knowing how to ride bikes

"There's no reason you should stay upright, but it just works." --Jay (who was on fire with the zingers tonight) to Gloria

"I don't feel safe in my own home!" –Cam, after being continually corrected and criticized by Mitchell

"Oh yeah, everybody loves Michael Jordan, but nobody thinks of Scottie Pippen. The only reason I remember him is because he's named after my favorite musical." –Ahh, Phil

"I once saw a picture of myself at a friend's poetry slam, and all you could see were the whites of my eyes." --Mitchell, about his propensity to roll his eyes in disgust

"We're riding bikes, we're not training police dogs." –Jay, about the suit of armor Manny wore for his bike-riding lesson

"You two so lucky they don't let you get married." –Mitchell and Cam's cranky Asian landlady to Mitchell (again, un-PC but still funny)

"You are living in a little girl's toy and you have to move out!" –Cam to Barry after he discovers that Barry's been living in Lily's princess house

So which lines did you like best? Did you love Marsden's cuckoo-pants character as much as I did? Should he come back for more? And what about the fabulous cameo by Jami Gertz as the fast-talking, fast-walking death-race driver? Brilliant! I'd like to see a little more of her as well. And in the final words of our beloved Barry: Namaste, man.


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