‘Modern Family’ Review: “Snip”
There's a bonus episode of 'Modern Family' tonight and it's definitely a step up from the last. "Snip" explores what happens while Lilly is away at school, Phil tries to get a vasectomy, and the delicate task of trying to tell Gloria her clothes are too tight -- yes, tighter than usual.
Everyone is having some sort of breakdown this week. With Jay and Gloria's unexpected pregnancy, Phil and Claire have decided a vasectomy is in order to keep them from enduring any surprises of their own. But Claire is so busy running mom-related errands, like taking Luke's science project to school for him and sending a care package to Haley, that she can't take Phil herself and Jay is, of course, saddled with the task. Phil freaks out and proves flighty, giving him a nice moment with Jay, and boy is this season capitalizing on Jay's sensitive, understanding side or what? Jay offers that the reason he doesn't want to know the sex of his new baby is that he's scared to have a girl, which is understandable, given how high-maintenance Gloria is.
Speaking of Gloria, her clothes are becoming tighter and tighter thanks to her growing belly, but no one can seem to broach the subject with her without sending her into a fit. Those who enjoy looking at Sofia Vergara (and that's everyone here, right?) will love this week's sight gag involving her clothes ripping because they've gotten too small, revealing her entire (bra-covered!) chest and torso. Manny and Gloria's arc is relegated to B -- or maybe even C -- level plot status this week, since the biggest occurrence is this whole tiny clothing ordeal.
The showrunners have found a clever way of keeping Haley around via Skype and cell phone convos with her family (though this can't possibly work for the whole season), which Alex needs more than anyone now that she's decided to become a goth-y little teenager and is trying to impress a girl named Skylar, who she doesn't even like. But Claire does her a big favor by accidentally shaving off a chunk of Skylar's hair when the girls contemplate shaving the napes of their necks (side note: is this still a thing? I thought this died in the 90s after everyone got over 'The Crow'), sending Skylar wailing all the way home.
Alex and Haley bond over how right their mom can be sometimes, but no one wants to tell her lest she gloat about it and drive them nuts for weeks. It's an awesome little story about sisterhood and the way distance can make us closer, and as someone with a sister, I can tell you that there's nothing better than bonding over how crazy our mom is. Claire hangs in the background during the convo and swallows her superficial pride as she finds a new kind of pride: being proud that her daughters are finally connecting.
Over at the Cam and Mitchell house, we get a peek at what life was most likely like before Lilly came around, with a callback to the first season and Mitch's mistake of telling Cam he should maybe try to get a job. Cam loves his role as a homemaker, but has placed so much importance on it that even he can't see that maybe he's feeling less than fulfilled with no one to dote on all day. Mitch hatches a plan to get Longeness (who has the best name ever) to hire Cam at his clothing store, and everything goes right as planned until Jeaux (pronounced "Joe," and it's the second best name ever) inadvertently spills the beans. Cam runs home, and with three characters emotionally running away this week, we officially have some sort of theme. When Mitch confronts him there's supposed to be this focus on how clever the writing is for including yet another callback (Cam's pre-packed suitcases), but the real scene-stealer is the tiny second where Cam realizes his new shirt matches the curtains and does this little double-take.
Though the crowning moment of hilarity this week is when Cam finally unveils the big project he's been working on in secret -- the thing that's been keeping him occupied while Lilly is at school every day -- and it's this hand-sewn mermaid costume... for their new pet cat. Sometimes it's the silliest things that earn the biggest laughs, and this week nails it superbly, only made better during the end-credits sting involving a sequence of embarrassing photos the families are e-mailing to one another, including Cam holding a big white cat in that incredibly detailed mermaid tail.