(Beware, spoilers below!)
Jay and Gloria are debating over potty training Joe, Claire and Phil try to get rid of the large boat their neighbours have put in their driveway and Cam tries to make Lilly a clown.
Whilst the Dunphys have never particularly got along with their neighbours, this reaches a new head when they get a large boat in their driveway which means that you can’t get out of the car. Claire decides it’s time for the boat to go, even though Luke likes seeing the neighbours attractive daughter sunbathe outside on it. When niceness doesn’t work, Phil gets his dad in his RV with his friends to come along, but this too backfires as the neighbours end up getting along with his dad. Luke keeps trying to bond with the neighbours’ daughter to no avail, and in the end enlists Alex’s help. But oddly enough, Phil’s dad has helped the neighbours realise they should get along, which is just about to work before the cops show up… before Claire calls them.
Meanwhile, Cam is trying to get Lilly to follow in his footsteps as the clown ‘Lizbo’, but Mitchell isn’t really behind it. After she tries to perform a routine to Mitchell, Lilly starts doing jokes which usually end up hurting Cam, even though they make Mitchell laugh. Eventually she confesses that she didn’t do it to make Mitchell laugh, but because she wanted to stop being a clown so she wouldn’t hurt Cam’s feelings. As she lies glibly again to get herself out of telling Cam the real reason she doesn’t want to be a clown, Mitchell decides she’s got it in her to be a lawyer.
Last but not least, Jay is trying to pressure Joe to learn how to use the potty whilst Gloria doesn’t want Jay putting pressure on the little one. Manny s just generally put out, as he’s always been told by Gloria that he was pretty special and advanced. Eventually we suss that it’s because Jay missed so much of Claire and Mitchell growing up that he doesn’t want to miss this chance with Joe. Even though Manny’s pretty upset that Gloria exaggerated his learning so much, she makes him realise this doesn’t make him any less special.
A lot is again crammed into an episode of Modern Family, and it’s great seeing Phil’s dad show up again, who is always a laugh. I’m sure it’ll illicit many sympathies from those that don’t exactly get along with their neighbours, and there are other little jokes here and there, like the potty song that Jay tries to sing. What a great episode, that also pushed the longer term stories around – there might be more characters (literally), in the Dunphys, but occasionally the balance between all the storylines work out ok, this week just about being one of them.
(photo credit: spoilersguide.com)