On a very spooky episode of Modern Family Claire goes all out to transform her house into a scary nightmare for trick-or-treaters, Mitchell tries to hide his Halloween enthusiasm from his coworkers, and Gloria gets fed up with Jay and Manny correcting her English.
At the Dunphys, we immediately recognize Claire's love of Halloween as she and Phil scare Luke with the old "live hand grabbing you through the bottom of the table" trick (though I doubt it takes much to pull one over on Luke). Claire explains that Halloween and scary fare have always been a passion for her, and Phil seems to share that love.
At the Pritchett-Tucker residence, Cam is zipping Mitchell into a Spiderman costume, a very squeaky, rubbery, Spiderman costume. Cam hints that Halloween is a very hard day for him but we don't immediately find out why. Mitchell is psyched that, unlike his old stuffy law firm, his new firm embraces Halloween, and two coworkers tell him the holiday around the office is "epic, bro." Once again, Cam mentions what a difficult day Halloween is for him, teasing the trauma we know will be revealed by episode's end.
Back at the Dunphys, Claire is, per usual, micromanaging and going over details for their House of Horrors. Luke's costume is a secret and is affiliated with Manny's and Alex really doesn't have time to think about it with all of her overachieving to worry about. Claire gives her a mini-lecture on planning to which Alex responds, "Can I remind you you have one child who's not mediocre?" Enter Haley, dressed as a sexy black cat. Claire tells her to change, "Honey, trust me, I'm sparing you an entire day of guys asking you if you have a rough tongue." She then calls Jay to remind him about the Halloween festivities and that he has to wear a costume this year, he can't just turn a baseball cap around and claim to be Snoop Dogg like last year. Jay's excuse is that that it was Haley's idea, he didn't even know who the rapper was, "I thought he was a dog detective." MF might be onto something here. A modern day Scooby Doo voiced by Snoop? Imagine all the mischief he'd get up to!
Jay quickly calls Gloria to check in about the costumes. She tells him she has Manny and is on her way to the "drop out, where you drop the kids at the school," Manny corrects her that she means 'drop off.' Gloria tells him she is picking up the costumes and that he is going to be a "gargle" and she is going to be "an evil village brouha". She explains a brouha is a witch and "a gargle is a gargle". Manny corrects her again, she means 'gargoyle'.
Mitch pulls up to work horrified to discover that he's the only one in costume. At first I thought maybe the two coworkers were hazing him by tricking him into being the only one in costume (see Legally Blonde, Bridget Jones Diary, a million other movies) but then we see them walk by, totally stoked about their costumes, while other coworkers snicker and make fun of them. Mitch places an SOS call to Cam explaining, "there are exactly three people in costume here: a tool, a douche, and me." Cam reminds him that there is dry-cleaning in the trunk he can wear. Cam's great sign-off: "Yesterday's lazy cures today's crazy."
In the office, it's clear that Mitchell has had to put a suit on over his Spideysuit. His boss (Andy from Weeds! Yes!) grabs him in the hall, hates on the two guys in costumes, and pulls him into a meeting but not before commenting on Mitch's biceps, enhanced, we know, by a layer of rubber. Mitch's new physique lets out a squeak, the boss can't tell where the sound came from and Mitchell feigns ignorance.
At the Dunphys, Phil's working on the haunted house, presumably having taken the day off work to do so, and stops to say hi to his neighbor, Jerry. Phil tells Jerry that he and Claire are planning to dress as a corpse bride and groom and jokes, "as if there's any other kind, am I right? I'm saying marriage kills you." To which Jerry quickly replies, "Judy left me." Phil is unnerved by the idea that a marriage can end out of nowhere; he wants to hear that it ended for some other reason like alcohol or physical abuse. This would be fine with him because "I'm a monogamous social drinker and Claire only sleep-hits me." Jerry confirms his fear by explaining that he never saw it coming, that he used to make Judy laugh at him all the time and now he can't even remember what her laugh sounds like. Phil offers, "Claire can do it, it's uncan-" before realizing he's made, yet another, joke in bad taste. Jerry excuses himself, "I have a dish to wash."
Phil tells Claire about the neighbors' break up but she's unfazed, she knew Judy was unhappy plus she has a lot of work to get done for Halloween. Phil is clearly hit hard by this news and is overcompensating by telling Claire how delightful she is.
Back at the law firm, the boss is leading a meeting and coming down pretty hard on the guys in costume. Mitchell has made some kind of work mistake, but the boss lets him off the hook because he's new. Mitchell is quickly pulled, literally, into another meeting and his costume continues to squeak beneath his clothes. The boss is once again bewildered by the mysterious noise. In a testimonial Mitchell explains how every time he tried to get out of the costume he got pulled away and that it was "the worst Halloween ever." Cam argues, "Really Mitchell? You had squeaky thighs. I lost a childhood." At this point, I really want to know what happened to Cam on some fateful Halloween.
At the Pritchetts, Jay is teasing Gloria for her English mistakes. Gloria tells him she wants him to be honest with her so he mentions a few of the mistakes she makes.
When he explains it's 'a dog-eat-dog world' not 'a doggie dog world' she argues, "Who wants to live in a world where dogs eat each other? A doggie dog world is a beautiful world full of little puppies!" 'Blessings in the skies', 'carpool tunnel syndrome,' and 'volumptuous' are some of her other blunders, although I know plenty of native tongue English speakers who say 'volumptuous', it's kind of a pet peeve. When Jay opens a box that Gloria had his secretary order of baby cheeses and it turns out to be a box of baby Jesus', Gloria storms out.
Jerry tells Phil he has to back out of participating in the Dunphy Halloween and Phil takes the opportunity to try to learn from Jerry's mistakes by asking what he could have done differently. Jerry says maybe spontaneity and sexiness fell by the wayside.
At the Dunphys, Haley appears in a nurse's costume from when she was younger and the years have rendered it quite risqué. Claire asks her, "Are you trying to get candy or Japanese businessmen?" Phil arrives and tries to bring sexy back while Claire is on a ladder hanging cobwebs. Which ends just how you think it would.
Mitchell finally makes it to the bathroom to get out of his costume when he drops all of his work clothes in the toilet. He tries to dry them with the hand dryer but a janitor comes in and in his rush to hide Mitch leaves his shirt behind which the janitor promptly collects. Now he has no shirt and the rest of his clothes are, as he puts it, "toilety." He calls Cam again who tells him "You know what's ironic? Who could really help you right now, is Spiderman." This inspires Mitchell's Spidey sense and he promptly shimmies down a drainpipe on the side of the building. As he gets to his car, he realizes he's forgotten his keys, then sets off the car alarm, and looks up to see every member of his firm, including his boss, staring out the window at the costume-clad coworker. They would have been more impressed with the building-scaling, too bad they missed it.
The Dunphys are getting ready to open the door on their House of Horrors. Haley makes her third entrance in a costume, this time as sexy Mother Teresa, "What? I'm her when she was hot!" Just when I thought that we'd managed to sex up every major animal, profession, and celebrity, Modern Family gives us Slutty Mother Teresa. Bravo.
Claire directs everyone on their places and cues and no one seems particularly interested. Cam makes another reference to his Halloween tragedy; we're almost there. Phil is still laying the romance on Claire but she's too stressed about the production. Jay and Gloria arrive and Gloria is trying to speak perfect American English but is doing so in an accent I can only describe as "Latina plantation owner." Phil asks Jay, "Did she just get back from the dentist?"
Cam says he might not be up to the whole Halloween thing and Claire finally asks him, "What happened that is so awful that you simultaneously can't speak of it and yet can't stop talking about it." Cam begins a long story about a trick or treating incident that happened involving spilled candy and him getting blamed. He's interrupted by the first trick-or-treaters' arrival so we don't hear the rest. Yet.
The first visitors to the Dunphy House of Horrors are treated to performance riddled with botched visual effects and flat performances. Not to mention Cam, whose head is on a platter, is continuing to tell his harrowing Halloween tale to anyone who will listen.
Another round of kids arrive and its time for take two, which is really the same as the first, except this time Alex is featured as a disinterested captive child in a cage, Gloria storms out, and we finally hear the end of Cam's story; he wet his pants in front of many "townspeople". I was kind of expecting more than a pants wetting after they teased Cam's childhood event the entire episode but ya win some, ya lose some.
Jay makes up with Gloria by telling her the story of when he first met her, he just listened to her voice before even turning around, and she goes back to her regular accent.
Claire is about to give up on the whole night but then reveals that the reason she loves Halloween so much is that it's her only holiday now that they light fireworks to honor Colombian tradition on Christmas, the gays took Thanksgiving so they could showcase their Food Network findings, and all she wants is to have Halloween for her. She storms out of the house but Cam fills the silence with, "That's a lot of complaining from someone who asked for thirds of our Tandoori Turkey last year."
Phil goes to try to calm Claire down and apologizes for not being much help, confessing that the news of Jerry and Judy's divorce really affected him. Claire tells him he's stuck with her and has nothing to worry about. Kids rush by them and enter the House of Horrors and finally get the intended show, Claire is ecstatic that everyone finally pitched in and made it work!
The episode closes with the whole family standing around comparing their favorite Gloria-isms like, 'The Hindenburg Maneuver' and 'a deer in head lice'. This is intertwined with Jay speaking about how in the Army he handled storing explosives that that if you keep them at the right temperature, "you have no problems." Then Phil mentions her confusion of 'ultimatum' with 'old tomato', Gloria laughs but then explodes into rage and demands everyone get out of her house. Jay: "Until you do."
Great episode! What did you guys think? I've been really enjoying reading (most of) your comments so don't stop now! Any funny/embarrassing Halloween stories? What are you dressing as this year? Do you have a friend who always mispronounces something? Leave a comment below!
On a very spooky episode of Modern Family Claire goes all out to transform her house into a scary nightmare for trick-or-treaters, Mitchell tries to hide his Halloween enthusiasm from his coworkers, and Gloria gets fed up with Jay and Manny correcting her English....