'Modern Family': Lessons in Karaoke and Communication



The ability to listen to and understand one's partner and is the foundation of a successful relationship. Unfortunately, this week none of our couples on Modern Family did a very good job of it. Mitch gets easily distracted and ends up almost ruining Cam's charity event. Phil and Claire get into a fight, but Phil has no idea why Claire's upset and doesn't dare ask her after she accuses him of not listening. Jay's having problems of his own, finding himself unable to break it to Gloria that her singing terrifies him.

In the end, everyone learns a lesson or two about communication:

If you don't know why your partner is angry with you, just ask. Claire blows up at Phil seemingly unexpectedly, but he doesn't have it in him to ask her straight-out what he did. Thus ensues a sneaky little game of Phil testing out his various theories of what went wrong:

Later, Gloria tries to help Phil put together the pieces and find out what exactly he did:

If you can use your nephew as a party-planning assistant, do it. Cam and Luke stole the show with their bit as a party-planning duo for Cam's charity event. Cam's in top diva form as he prepares for the day's event, enlisting Luke to be his Bluetooth-wearing assistant. However, after a call from Longinus ("I don't understand his name," Luke says), Cam learns that neither he, Pepper, LeMichael, Steven, Stephane, nor Bob have gotten their invitations, and realizes that Mitch forgot to mail out the invitations he promised to send six weeks ago. In the very least, he has Luke there to try to make life ... easier.

If you're pretending to be working an after-school job, it's probably best not to say it's at a popular restaurant where your family can come visit you. After striking an agreement with her parents to raise part of the money toward a car, Haley devises a plan that allowed her to spend all her "work hours" browsing through the mall. Flashing the same $60 that Nana gave her, Claire and Phil think she's earning money at a restaurant job, while Alex is ready to expose her conniving ways and suggests visiting Haley's work for a family dinner. Luckily for Haley, Claire and Phil are too caught up in their own misunderstandings that they fail to notice their daughter's obvious ruse. Haley's bit was one of the strongest of the episode—though it was sadly short-lived.

Sometimes, it's better to be a coward and let your kid be the bearer of bad news. "One time I forgot to get Gloria a birthday present, and I paid for it. Another time, I remembered but she didn't like the gift—I paid for that. So, you'd think that when I remember to buy a gift and she loves it, I wouldn't have to pay for it, right?" Jay asks us in the beginning of the episode. Gloria is in love with the karaoke machine he got her, but her singing is less crooning and more screaming. It's enough to drive Jay to the mall for the day and sit through Claire sounding like a "Tijuana prostitute" as she gets a mall massage. At the end of the day, it's Manny who's got more guts than anyone as he reaches his threshold of Gloria's "singing" and calls her—and Jay—out.

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Aylin Zafar is a freelance writer based in New York.

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