Modern Family recap: Satan's Trifecta

Cam's a Leap Day baby and Phil just wants to trapeze on this once-every-four-years extravaganza
Ep. 17 | Aired Feb 29, 2012

FEMININE WILES Gloria shows Jay the kind of physical behavior that's been missing in their relationship.

Peter Hopper Stone/ABC

Happy March, readers! In case you didn't notice, the calendar gifted us with something very special yesterday, something that only happens once every four years and deserves to be taken seriously: Leap Day. Hopefully you all celebrated this rare occasion by doing something extraordinary and shocking, like totally not watching that Sarah McLachlan ASPCA commercial over and over from your couch. (Save that for the regular days.) We only get this fancy bonus day every four years and it's imperative you make the most of it -- like by watching a great episode of Wednesday night TV with your friends.

Naturally our beloved Cam is a Leap Day baby, which explains his flair for the dramatic, home decor and paisley cuffs. Growing up on the farm with a scant amount of actual birthdays must have been tough, yet also taught him to live each day like he's 39 going on 10. Because he takes these birthday celebrations very seriously, every four years Mitchell is given the task of planning a kick-ass soirée that somehow doesn't involve Appletinis, ice sculptures, synthetic napkins or mylar. Easier said than done. For the big 4-0 1-0, Mitchell pulled out all the stops to create a homemade version of The Wizard of Oz, yellow brick carpet, waiters in character and personalized ruby slippers included. Wassup! And they say lawyers aren't creative.

But you don't need a birthday to have enthusiasm for February 29, also known as Phil Dunphy's favorite day of the year. Are you surprised? Every four years, the entire Dunphy clan makes a huge stink about the extra day, foregoing work and school for the chance to do something spontaneous (or, strum up some Claire-approved spontaneity). Work and school? Excuse me as I attempt to relive my childhood under the tutelage of Papa Dunphy. What I may have missed on balancing a checkbook, I'd make up tenfold in potential uses for fake blood past Halloween. This year's Leap Day would see trapezing, a totally safe activity that fewer people die from each year than those who shake hands with a knife-wielding stranger. Safe, yet not entirely appropriate (or fun) when attempted with a trio of "emotional" (menstruating) women. Using his heightened sense of FemDar that comes with being a father to girls, Phil was able to deduce that the urban legend doctors and comedians like to joke about had proven itself to be true: women can link up. Down there. And in the Dunphy household, might as well call it Satan's Trifecta -- just not to their faces.

NEXT: Mitchell throws a new party and everybody cries

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