This week's Modern Family found the whole crew in the island paradise of Hawaii for Jay's 63rd birthday celebration. While last week's episode revealed Jay's hesitations about his entire family infiltrating his relaxing vacation with Gloria, we see now that the one struggling to relax is Jay himself. After being reminded by his brother that their father passed away at this particular birthday milestone, he ditches the cheeseburgers and throws himself into an endless string of physical activities in an attempt to reverse a lifetime of bad choices. Unlike a few of the plot lines in this episode, this particular internal struggle with aging and mortality was subtle and endearing, touching at a very grounded revelation.
There were other lessons to be learned as well, however:
Good intentions or not, it's wise to think things through before throwing your phone into a pool. Phil's heart is in the right place in attempting to create the honeymoon they never had, and his enduring love for Claire and attempts to impress her are free of the clichés that plague cheesy romantic comedies. But his methods and thought process can be downright frightening.
Relaxation may not be easy for everyone, but when you eventually find that place of zen, oh, sweet Lady Gaga, it feels good. It's no secret Mitchell is wound as tight as a clock, but if there is one person that can ease him into the vacation he so desperately needs, it's Cam.
Sometimes, lying is okay. After Phil's prodding, Claire allows Haley to go next door for "shaved ice" with some "kids" she met by the pool. Of course, the trust in motherly intuition is restored after Alex tells us that Haley is throwing up in the hotel bathroom after consuming one too many drinks with said "kids." The advice that Claire gives her whimpering daughter might just be the best example of how to prevent your kids from drinking.
And finally, Cam will never cease to amaze/enchant us: