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

Just as everything was about to cycle back to screaming, yelling, and bleeding, Mitchell realized Cam's obsession about turning "10" stemmed from a fear of getting older. And thanks to the close proximity of an amusement park, he made his dream double-digit birthday a reality. Who needs to impress Pepper and the other frenemies when you can enjoy a real birthday with real family and friends who'll let you forget about getting older for one night? And yet there's nothing like cotton candy til you puke and too much money spent on Whac-A-Mole to make you thankful for being a real adult.

While Phil's fear of The Cycle and his description of its terrorizing effects stole the show, there were so many minor details that had me rewinding this episode again and again. From Luke's Lost-quoting vote of confidence for Phil ("See you on the other side, brother") and bloody handprint on the bathroom mirror, to the mostly silent unraveling of the always put together Alex ("This isn't milk"), and the discreet arrival of Oz characters, it was hard to pick a favorite. One thing I will have a hard time doing, though, is thinking of Jay in anything other than that pale pink robe, blowing on his soup. Too warm for me!


"It happened. Satan's Trifecta. The day I most dreaded had fallen on the day I most loved." --Phil

"It's kind of traditional for people to lean in when somebody says 'I have a plan.'" -- Phil

"Si, si, si, si! GOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLLL!" --Gloria

Monkey 1: Hey.
Monkey 2: Hey.
Monkey 1: We're the monkeys. (RIP Davy Jones.)

"I'm doing my 'I Love You Dance'!" --Mitchell

"Yeah, I get a little moody. But unrelenting physical discomfort will do that to a person." --Claire

"See you on the other side, brother." --Luke

Luke: It smells like puke married poop and had the ceremony in my nose.
Manny: You paint with words.

Gloria: Nobody call him Grandpa!
Luke: I do.

"I have been on an emotional roller coaster all day today. I'm afraid, I'm mad, I'm mad because I'm afraid, and now I can't even think straight because I'm in so much pain over what just happened over there. And the whole thing makes me so sad, and I'm not every sure why I'm nauseous from that smell but I'm so hungry!" --Phil

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