Modern Family recap: Missing Reward

Phil's decision to purchase the car of his dreams causes him to reevaluate his priorities, while Cam and Mitchell look for bunnies in the subway
Ep. 21 | Aired May 2, 2012

MID-LIFE CRISIS MOBILE Always the practical one, Phil looks to switch things up with a car best suited for blasting Hall & Oates. 

Peter "Hopper" Stone/ABC

Given his bevy of talents and face only a few people can say no to, it's only a matter of time before Phil Dunphy's real estate ventures really hit it big. And if he's going to be competing with the likes Ellen Barkin and Frederick Eklund, he can't show up to open houses in the family minivan. Alas, these ambitions have always been somewhat latent, held back by the overwhelming need for "practicality" that comes when you have a house, three children, and an overbearing wife watching your every move. Yet as he was browsing the For Sale lot, Phil was swayed by the memories of his imaginary Hall & Oates-fueled joy rides that ruffled the waves of his (DIY?) perm. A note to Lloyd and Levitan: Next time a visual flashback is a must.

Because he's always followed orders, Phil feared he'd never really get to experience all of life's pleasures, which in his world aren't that elaborate. Still FOMO is a valid concern made even more frightening as we get older, and passing up on the car of his dreams was something his friend Andre (Kevin Hart) would not drop. Above anything else I want Phil to be happy, but trusting the judgment of a man (No. 1 movie in America or not) who's too scared not to jog everywhere, doesn't seem like the best idea. Speaking from experience, shopping with friends who talk a big game always leads to trouble and regrettable tube top decisions.

With little concern for Claire's overuse of the word "beautiful," Phil bought his dream car, a mid-life crisis mobile that brought tears to the eyes of his children for different reasons: fear, jealousy, embarrassment. He embarked on his first workday with the bute, only to find the engine is actually in the trunk. Huh. That's not something you see in a sedan! Obviously his signs require the space of a van, which Claire was willing to lend to him for the day to prove her point and get out of carpool duty. Being right and having to deal with a world full of dummies is tiring, so why shouldn't she crumple up that list of errands and drive up the coast? The high school slackers eager to score the day's first batch of 7-Eleven Taquitos practically forced her to. Plus, the woman just lost a city council election, coordinates soccer games, keeps track of Haley's dating life, and tries not to call Alex "weird" to her face. She deserves to eat fish tacos for lunch and do cartwheels in the sand, without her collegiate cheerleader of a husband stealing all the glory.

NEXT: Missing Vietnamese baby, $25 reward


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