Modern Family – Episode 3-16 Review – “Family Secrets”
by Jill Mader on February 24, 2012

Leave it to Modern Family to tackle the idea of a dad finding out his teenage daughter isn’t a virgin anymore with just the right amount of heart and humor. I really, really enjoyed last night’s episode, “Virgin Territory”.

You’re Ruining Brunch

It all began at a brunch at Casa Dunphy, when the conversation turned to admitting past wrongdoings now that the “statute of limitations” had run out. Claire admitted to Jay that it was she, not her mom, that had left the top down in the convertible the day it rained – and she did that to air out the cigarette smoke! Jay laughed it off and confessed that he once said he missed Claire and Mitch’s figure skating competition because he was stuck at work, but he was actually drunk at the golf course. And then Mitch chimed in that the time he went golfing with his dad, Jay hadn’t actually gotten a hole in one – Mitch had kicked the ball in because he was bored.

Uh-oh. The statute of limitations doesn’t apply when it’s your shining moment in sports, a moment that has earned you a plaque at the golf course, a lifetime of free lemonade and the nickname “Ace”. Later, Mitch made it even worse when he accidentally revealed the truth to Jay’s golf buddies. They recovered though, and reminisced about Mitch’s first beer – a moment Mitch had forgotten, thinking it was actually the day of the hole-in-one. Mitch and Jay might not have the closest of relationships, but this was a nice way of showing that the love is still there.

Crime of Cuteness

Meanwhile, Manny and Luke were miffed that their roles as Family Cutie-Pies have been usurped by Lily. This was something I couldn’t really buy – I know Luke has used cuteness to his advantage in the past, but aren’t he and Manny a little old to be jealous of a toddler? (Raise your hand if you were waiting for Luke to say “I liked the old, mute, stonefaced Lily better.”) They set a trap to try and blame Lily for some spilled milk, which led to a different, more hilarious outcome. It was Cam who took the cookie bait, and he slipped and hurt his back.

Or so we thought! Once everyone was out of the house and Cam was “resting his sore back”, he took to work searching Claire’s house for a piece of Tupperware she borrowed and never returned. He even got rid of the boys by giving them 20 bucks to clean his car, which is when Luke and Manny’s storyline finally got funny. They decided to drive the car down the street to impress a girl, and it was absolutely hysterical. Especially when they couldn’t turn it around and had to drive it in reverse back home.

Yoga, No-ga

Meanwhile, Cam encouraged Gloria to follow Claire to yoga after Claire left her behind. He said it was to help build their friendship, but it was actually so he could keep searching for the missing Tupperwear. Claire was an uber-bitch to Gloria when she showed up, but we eventually learned the reason why: Claire doesn’t go to yoga, she goes to the shooting range to relieve some stress. Little did she know, Gloria is an expert gunslinger!

When they returned home, Cam had spotted the Tupperwear in question and was trying to reach it – and why Cam thought an open drawer would support his large body, no one will ever know. But the resulting crash was pretty hilarious, especially since he followed it with “This had a lid?”

Dollface

The best storyline of the episode though, was Phil discovering his firstborn was no longer a virgin. I loved how the writers didn’t make a huge deal out of this development. It wasn’t a major revelation. In fact, Claire already knew. Alex already knew – and she blew it for Haley when she misheard Phil say “Haley’s aversion” as “Haley’s a virgin” and burst out laughing.

Phil is a goof, but he’s not stupid. He knew what Alex’s laughter meant, and he panicked. Since he had taken Haley, Alex and Lily to the mall to get Lily’s doll fixed, there was a lot of awkward talking about the doll but not really the doll.

I loved how Phil told the mockumentary camera what he wished he’d said, because he wants to be a cool dad. And then we saw what he actually said, which was uncomfortable but very very sweet. And Haley told the camera “I have a cool dad.” It was just a really sweet, natural father-daughter moment and I loved how it was handled.

So what did you guys think? Classic Modern Family episode or you weren’t that into it?

Favorite quotes and moments:

  • “They didn’t used to label babies as carefully in hospitals, so for two days…” – Phil, who was about to reveal that he either took the wrong baby or was the wrong baby, but someone cut him off
  • “There are blind models? That’s so sad, they can’t see how pretty they are!” – Gloria
  • Luke: “My mom hates messes.”
    Manny: “I’m familiar with Claire.”
  • “She’s like a dream wrapped in a wish poured into jeggings.” – Manny, on his latest crush
  • “Do you know what a doll is in my village? An apple on a fork!” – Gloria, upon hearing that Lily’s $200 doll has medical insurance and a deductible 
  • “Revenge is a dish best served cold…and even better two days later out
    of a 24-ounce, microwave friendly, burp-sealed pack-and-store.” – Cam
  • Claire: “I just want to go lie down in a dark room and breathe.”
    Gloria: “That sounds like yoga.”
  • “She promised she wouldn’t tell Dad until after I left for college, which means that he may never have found out.” – Haley
  • “I live with four teenagers! You live with two adults!” – Claire to Gloria
  • Alex with her lookalike doll, and Phil’s reaction when she asked him to buy it for her.





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Jill Mader

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