Modern Family – Episode 1-16 Review

“Only thing we have to fear is fear itself…and rats…and rollercoasters…and the DMV.” Okay, so I’m retrofitting FDR to fit the Modern Family episode “Fears.”  Each of the families had their own fears to tackle, so let’s dig into them.

Phil and Claire

There was a lot going on in the Dunphy house: The cable guy told Haley that there was quite a collection under the house. Not knowing what he meant, Phil and Luke go Indiana Jones in search of buried treasure under the house’s crawlspace. Geared up and ready to go, Phil hears a rat and freaks – let’s face it, Phil is more Willie Scott than Indiana Jones.  Finding an alternative to going under the house, Phil rigs Luke’s RC car with a video camera and book light to explore the crawlspace at a rat-safe distance. But the car gets stuck and Luke goes after it, who, in turn, also gets stuck.  Phil fights his fear and goes to help Luke. Since they are already under the house, the adventure continues – until they find skulls. Mission aborted.  It turns out that it’s just a collection of old Halloween decorations left behind by the old owners, leaving Luke and Phil to plan their next adventure.

Meanwhile, Haley is freaking out over taking her driving test again, which she already failed…Twice.  Everything is stressing her out, worst of all is having to take the test again with the same examiner who failed her. At first, Haley’s driving test does not go so well (no shock there) and it looks like she is going to fail again. The examiner tells her that he reminds him of his daughter and just wants her to be safe and lets her start over. She passes – God help all Los Angeles drivers.

Finally, Alex does not want to go to her school dance because she’s afraid no one will ask her to dance. Claire convinces her she’s wrong, and she goes – and dances with a boy.

Mitchell and Cameron

After making an embarrassingly awkward first impression, Cam invites Lilly’s pediatrician, Dr. Miura, over to buddy up to her.  You don’t need to be Nostradamus to know that things won’t go as planned. It all goes well as Lilly takes a liking to Dr. Miura, and then she says her first word: Mommy. Cue freakout. Cam and Mitchell’s fears come to fruition, they are not going to be the fathers Lily needs. Are they not going to have the maternal energy Lily needs? Is Lily not taking to them? Is it because they are not Asian? Dr. Miura reassures them that they are doing a great job and that her father was the one who encouraged her to be the independent doctor she is today while her mother won’t be happy until she’s an Asian stereotype. Cue driving mishap. As Mitchell and Cam put Lily to bed, Mitchell steps on a doll triggering it to say, “Mommy.”  Realizing Lily learned the word from the doll, Cameron and Mitchell’s fears are put to rest.

Jay and Gloria

Jay’s family takes a backseat this episode: Manny plays sick so he does not have to go to the school dance. Realizing that the dance is at an amusement park and Manny is afraid of rollercoasters, Gloria tricks Manny into thinking he’s going to the pier to fish, but makes him face his fear and ride the rollercoaster.  It turns out, fearless Jay is also afraid of coasters. Twist!

So maybe FDR was right, it’s not the rats, rollercoasters, or DMV to fear (well, maybe the DMV), it’s just the fear of them.  Just bite the bullet and do your best, you’ll be okay. At least, that’s what TV taught me and TV does not lie.