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When you live in California Earthquakes are going to happen. Their depiction in fiction ranges from total destruction all the way to a bonding experience. Modern Family falls somewhere in the middle. No one was hurt in the quake, minus Luke running to a wall afterwards, and all members of the family undergo some sort of character development that help their relationships.
Once again, the families are split up and we are left with three storylines running parallel. Before I go on I think we need to take a step back and realize how hard this is to pull off and applaud Modern Family for doing it so well. The Dunphys are arguing as usual….Haley wants to be a teenager, Claire is overprotective, Phil is an idiot… the usual stuff. One of the best lines in the episode is from Phil, “I’m not going to play good cop- mom”. After the quake Claire is stuck in the bathroom with the plumber, while Phil tries to fix a problem he said he had done before the quake. As in most TV shows, Claire comes to realize the error of her overprotective ways from the outside observer who is wiser than he appears, that person being the plumber. The Dunphy story is full of character development and some pretty funny lines. My favorite part is Alex’s desire to go to the Museum of Tolerance and how she manages to get her way.
Jay, Gloria, and Manny are having a discussion on Jay’s lack of desire to go to church, even after god gave him a sign, the quake. Gloria is irate because Jay just wants to golf. Manny takes the opportunity to ditch church, buying into Jays reassurance that he finds god in nature… while he golfs. Gloria is in top form providing some of the best lines in the episode and all the while coming off believable and endearing. The discussion about God, Heaven, and Hell between Manny and Jay is some pretty deep stuff. It becomes apparent that either Jay doesn’t believe in them or he just doesn’t care. Manny is such a believer that even when he tries not to he falls back to his beliefs. When Jay says that there could very well not be a heaven Manny is shocked. Never once did he even fathom there not being a heaven. Manny may be annoying at times, but the kid has a lot of heart and he stands up for what he believes in. The ending to this storyline is as good and heartwarming as we would expect from Modern Family. They have that ability to make you laugh then make you care.
Mitchell, Cam, and Lily found an excuse not to go to a costume brunch party hosted by their friend Pepper, played humorously by Nathan Lane. Cam cannot lie it would seem and Mitchell is tired of always being the bad guy. Pepper is great and with a well respected actor like Nathan Lane this is not surprise. Cameron being a “mob wife” is great. While I would say this storyline was the weakest of the three, I do not mean to say that it was bad. The other two were just a bit better.
This episode, Earthquake, was supposed to be the season premiere, but ABC changed it at the last moment, leading off with The Old Wagon. While this week’s episode was not bad, I can see why they changed it. The Old Wagon was one of the best episodes of the show and I think they made the right move by switching them around. Another great episode of Modern Family.