This week’s episode is recapped by a time traveler from the 26th century.
Another week, another episode of the Modern Family. This family is so modern that there are eleven of them. Wait, that doesn’t sound modern at all. In fact, that sounds kind of … pre-modern. Oh, they live in different houses distributed around the Los Angeles area? I guess that’s modern. I mean, Los Angeles was founded in 1781, but it didn’t really get going until the late 19th century when the railroad came. Different generations of a family all occupying extraordinarily large domestic spaces (historically speaking) and driving personal vehicles around – either they’re aristocrats or members of the contemporaneous middle class. But then there’s Cameron and Mitchell, the same-sex couple who’ve adopted an Asian child. Where else but the 21st century could you find such an arrangement? Good old 21st century. It’s so modern.
Of course, I can’t tell you what awaits humanity over the next five centuries. First of all, you would throw up your hands and wilt in despair. Secondly, you would dance until your feet bled and you would devour your neighbour’s kidneys in ecstacy and then you’d try to sell your own liver for a shard of Dilithium Palace – which won’t even exist until 2340! ROFLMAO! Yes, we still use ROFLMAO, lol.
Anyway, this episode of Modern Family is all about the celebration of “Mother’s Day,” a solar unit of time that you proto-humans devoted to celebrating your embryonic biological hosts. I understand that the relationship extends beyond the womb to housing, feeding and general nurturing responsibilities for up to twenty years? ROFLMAO. No wonder your kind proved so fragile on the threshing floors of the Fourth Robotic Empire. Hah hah, humanity was not exterminated and replaced by sentient machines. That most certainly never happened. I mean, never will happen. Hey, do you have any oil? I’m kind of thirsty.
It appears that this episode of Modern Family breaks down into three semi-interdependent storylines, each one focusing on different households. In the largest household, the “Dunphy” family, Claire is planning on taking the kids hiking for Mother’s Day. The younglings are clearly displeased by her choice, and it appears that Claire’s attire and attitude produce strong adverse reactions among the three offspring. Why doesn’t she just dissolve their electromagnetic bonds and reconstitute their elements into more useful and pliable items? Is that not a thing here?
In the smaller but amusingly age-mismatched Pritchett household, the males are paying supplication to the loud fleshy woman by presenting her with gifts. Both give her presents, but only one has actually been an embryo. Why is the grey-haired one giving her a gift? She is not his mother. I’m just asking. Anyway, the two mothers bond by combining their embryo-clans together and taking them on a hike in nearby ‘nature’. Luke is fixating on the dangerous wildlife, which irritates Manny. Isn’t Manny supposed to be feeling sexual desire for Haley? I could swear I watched an entire episode devoted to this very subject. Now he seems indifferent to her.
The children’s bickering angers Claire, who leaves them behind and goes off to finish the hike with Gloria, who is wearing terrible pants. Even in the 26th century, those are terrible pants. And we don’t even have legs.
Wait. Other things are happening! Phil and Jay relinquish their traditional gender roles and stay at home to cook together. Hilarity. Jay finds Phil’s over-the-top antics annoying. Why is Phil engaging in over-the-top antics with Jay? He should know by now not to lipsynch to Motown hits while wearing onion goggles. But when Phil finds a Mother’s Day poem written by Jay as a young boy, Jay begins to tear up. Of course, he refuses to admit to his moment of vulnerability.
Meanwhile, Cameron experiences a crisis of masculinity when Mitchell attempts to make him the object of a Mother’s Day celebration. Cameron feels that homosexuality is not related to his biological sex. Sex and gender! What quaint concepts. Now we are all legless robots who drink starlight. I mean, we’re evolved humans with extremely sophisticated cocktail parties. Cameron and Mitchell trade many quips on the subject, recalling in their expert delivery an updated gay vaudeville act. They go to the park, where Cameron’s anxieties are heightened. He ends up incapacitating an old man on a bicycle by throwing a football at his head. This is not productive, but an old man getting knocked off a bicycle is usually a good laugh.
Claire and Gloria of the Terrible Pants have a heart-to-heart on a plateau. Claire expresses the urge to commit physical violence on her children, which is still a taboo in your century, and not an Olympic sport as it is now. Gloria expresses horror at the thought of voicing such desires, but finally admits that Manny can be ‘persnickety’ and that ‘his poetry is not very good’. Somehow Manny overhears her and takes offense. Gloria lies to Manny about her motivations and paints Claire as a homicidal matriarch. Claire, come to our century! Your kind are honored in our time and awarded principalities. But Gloria’s move there was really funny. However, Claire’s children have joined forces against her, and have decided not to apologize for their earlier behavior. This causes Claire anguish.
The entire family convene at the Pritchett household for a traditional Mother’s Day dinner. Forgive me for my ignorance, but do all 21st century Earth families get together as often as these people? Sometimes I think they’ll throw a family dinner party to commemorate someone’s first haircut or something. But I shouldn’t complain, because all their conflicts are thematically similar, and their location allows them all to resolve their conflicts at the same time. Jay cries over his mother again, which causes Luke, Alex and Claire to forgive their mother, and it allows Cameron to express his nurturing side towards an adult, which makes him feel like less of a mother and more like a man. Is being a man better than being a mother in your century? Your ways confuse me.
At the end, everyone is hugging at the table and happy. Usually an acoustic guitar and a voice suddenly show up to explain what we are watching, but this time these features are absent. Overall, this episode had some funny moments and displayed the same flair for plotting as your usual Modern Family episode. I give it five Grakthors!
Grakthors are good, by the way. The more Grakthors, the better.