This week’s Modern Family turns 100 (in episode years), and it’s all about reunions. Okay, maybe not ALL about reunions, but in this episode, titled “Farm Strong,” the three families are together in the end. Yay! It’s been too long since we’ve had any Cam/Claire or Phil/Gloria time. Here ye, too long, indeed, I say! Sorry, sometimes I slip into my 19th century Englishman voice.
Phil and Claire have been waking up early every Saturday to attend Luke’s soccer tournaments, and since he isn’t very good, they bake in the hot sun watching him sit on the bench. Just to be clear, as a high school soccer player, I cannot relate to Luke because I was always on the field kicking that ball a lot. Okay, you got me; maybe I was a Luke.
This Saturday, the parents decide not to attend the tournament, giving Claire time to run errands and Phil a chance to use his new robot: the “gutter-done,” pronounced “git-er-done.” When Claire finishes all of her errands, she stops by Luke’s game briefly, and he’s playing the game of his life. Now, I definitely can’t relate to Luke.
Meanwhile, Phil’s robot throws a bird’s nest out of the gutter, killing the baby birds. He’s upset and worried that the bird parents will come after him because they “know faces.” When Phil says it was a group of crows, Manny replies, “It’s not a bunch of crows. It’s called a murder.” To which Phil says, “I know what I did!”
Cam’s sister, Pam, comes to visit. She’s a Debbie Downer (Pity Pam? Pam Pouter? Pessimistic Pam?!), and Cam knows she will freak out when he tells her he’s engaged. But she’s actually super excited for them because hello, she’s engaged, too, to Cam’s first crush, Bo (Beau?) Johnson. Cam does not react well, causing Pam to refer to him as a city boy who isn’t “farm strong.” It seems like this was an opportunity for a Country Strong reenactment; Cam could identify with Gwyneth Paltrow, strapping on some cowboy boots and singing a few tunes. No? Well, that’s your (and the show’s) opinion. Anyway, Cam confronts the family and asks them if they think he’s fragile; turns out they all don’t tell him things to save his feelings, like Claire seeing Beyoncé the week before or Lily: “Sometimes when you read to me, I pretend to fall asleep so you’ll leave.” Manny also has a problem with the amount of times Cam uses “divine”: “You’re the boy who called divine.” Cam has a surprisingly mild breakdown. Could he be maturing? I call fimble-famble, my fine lad! Man, it happened again. Of course, the siblings made up in the end.
Gloria needs glasses, but won’t admit it, even when Jay and Manny trick her into thinking that Jay ate rat poison: “I thought it was trail mix. Why do I keep them right next to each other?” Gloria can’t read the box, but still doesn’t want glasses. Turns out Jay can’t hear very well, and Gloria can’t see; they’re meant to be.
It’s surprising that this was the 100th episode. Surprising because it seemed like this was just a regular week, which might be to the show’s credit. To the show’s credit, indeed, good sir! I may need to do something about these slips. I don’t mind the lack of crazy antics for this milestone, but I do wish they beefed up the storylines a bit. Ultimately, the show served its purpose: to make us laugh. As long as I continue laughing, I’ll be watching.
Hilary Miller is currently an MFA student in Screenwriting at Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. When not not watching, writing, or talking about movies and television shows, she can usually be found making crock-pot creations, laughing, talking too loud, running, devouring a good book, eating, racking up cellular bills chatting with her bomb family, sticking her toes in the sand, or wishing she were Hermione Granger, sometimes all at once. And while part of her heart is still in Indiana, the rest of it belongs to her puppy, Estelle Getty.