So, did the long-awaited kiss between Mitch and Cam live up to the hype on this week's Modern Family? While a Facebook campaign this summer cried injustice at the lack of physical affection between the two gay characters on Modern Family, the cast revealed that the kiss had been in the works for quite some time. And it was worth the wait. The show wasn't about "the kiss" but rather about Mitchell's discomfort with public displays of affection—which stems from Jay's uneasiness with expressing emotion—and gratitude and love in general.
We've had a season to get to know the characters; to understand Mitchell's uptight nature and his complicated relationship with his father, as well as Jay's own personal shortcomings. The groundwork laid out in the first season served this episode well, making it one of the most tender—and funny—ones to date. At the end of the day, the "hold-your-breath-here-comes-the-kiss" moment was between Jay and Mitchell, not the expected kiss (which took place in the background of Jay kissing daughter Claire). Even Phil was fighting for Jay's love, seeking praise and affection after fixing his printer. However, by episode's end, it's clear that sometimes just saying "thanks" or "I love you" isn't enough—you have to show it.
Other lessons from this week:
Gays don't high five. Cameron on Mitch's dislike of PDA: "I remember once, at a New Year's Eve party, stroke of midnight, he high-fived me. Two problems with that; one: Gays don't high-five. Two: Gays don't high five."
Your kids don't need to know who you were before you had them. Claire gives us a little Parenting 101: "They need to know who you wish you were, and try to live up to that person. They're gonna fall short, but better they fall short of the fake you than the real you."
You can't say you "went there" when you go "there" all the time. Cameron calls Mitchell out on his fear of PDA, to which Mitchell responds saying he's the one who stands up for the relationship, making speeches on airplanes or talking to his dad when he calls Cam a "friend." "That's different—that's confrontation," Cam says. "You know what takes real strength? Affection."
You might be giving off the wrong impression wearing those Tevas. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Prompted by Claire to investigate the boy behind the flirty texts to Alex, Haley barges into her sister's room in fine self-absorbed-but-well-intentioned-if-not-misguided form. Here, she gives Alex a bit of dating advice, now that she's "finally interesting" and might have a boyfriend. On kissing the object of her affection, Haley advises that she "better get on it, or he'll think you're a lesbian." "He's not going to think I'm a lesbian!" Alex protests. "I thought you were a lesbian—you totally have the sandals for it." Wellll ... hey, she said it, not us.
Everyone needs a good kiss and a hug sometimes. Gloria can do no wrong. Seriously, this woman gets better and better. Here, Gloria acts as the voice of reason to her emotionally closed-off husband after he gives a less-than-enthusiastic "Thanks" to Phil for fixing his printer: "Wake up, dummy! This is what we're talking about! This guy has been working all day like an imbecile for you! People need something else—kisses, hugs!" And then Jay kissed his son for the first time since he was 12 and we cried. And somehow—somehow—none of this was cheeseball at all.