(Beware, spoilers below!)
When the Dunphy family + Manny have a near miss being hit by a truck it sets off a whole chain of events, starting off Claire trying to bond with Mitchell via rollerskating on the beach (which tanks quickly), Phil trying to gain more control of his life, Luke attempting to do everything on his bucket list and more.
When Alex mistakes Hayley saying ‘I thought I lost you’ to her phone instead of her, she decides to try and bond with her sister, leading to an uncomfortable makeover and her having a vicious red patch over her lip. Suddenly realising her mistake, she uses Haley’s interest in Judo to flip her over.
Meanwhile, Manny is rather scarred from the events and decides never to drive, which leads to Jay trying to force him to drive the car to kick the fear out of him. When Manny gets scared and refuses, Gloria uses the excuse of seeing the thief who stole her phone the day before to get him to finally drive. Jay amusing leaves the car, having been scarred enough by Manny’s driving.
Phil and Claire decide to go opposite ways with their usual personalities, Claire trying to be less controlling, and Phil trying to be more assertive. He goes to the realtor that poached his job and passive aggressively suggests how bad he is in front of his clients, then goes to the drier store that sold Cam the wrong drier (leading to Cam’s hilarious question of ‘Is Phil sexy?’). After this culminates in Phil getting an alpaca (named Jolene 2) and then knocking over a glass of milk the whole family + Jay end up in a big group hug over their trauma.
This episode of Modern Family is one of the slickest and sharpest yet. It’s a whirlwind twenty minutes that explores a great deal in the characters via quick one liners and amusing set ups. What a good episode to start 2015 off with, and props to Rico Rodriguez for what I think is one of his best performances all season.