Modern Family on ABC

2009, TV Show

Modern Family Episode: "Slow Down Your Neighbors"

Season 2, Episode 11
Episode Synopsis: Claire goes on a crusade to put the brakes on a car that speeds through their neighborhood; Jay give bike-riding lessons to Manny and Gloria; Cameron and Mitchell are bewitched by a mysterious neighbor (James Marsden); Phil pursues a tough real-estate deal.
Original Air Date: Jan 5, 2011
Guest Cast Jami Gertz: Laura James Marsden: Barry Sharon Omi: Mrs. Ko
Full Episode
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Season 2, Episode 11
Paid | iTunes
Length: 08:00
Aired: 1/5/2011
Also available on Amazon Instant Video and VUDU
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Modern Family Episode Recap: "Slow Down Your Neighbors" Season 2, Episode 11

Happy 2011 Modern Family fans! Sorry for the delay, I didn't think the show was coming back until next week, but was happy to discover a new episode aired this week! In 2011's first episode, Cam and Mitchell welcome a new neighbor, Jay attempts to teach Gloria a new skill, and Claire's crusade to stop a neighborhood speeder might affect a business deal for Phil.

The episode opens with Cam and Mitchell putting Lily to bed when Cam notices a man outside in their hot tub. They're about to call 911 and grab a bat when they notice the stranger in the hot tub is a hottie and they decide maybe they are overreacting and they should introduce themselves. Cut to the dreamy Barry, played by James Marsden, channeling Zoolander's Hansel with a story about silently communicating with coyotes. He is relaying this story to Cam and Mitchell as all three soak in the hot tub together. They've discovered Barry is their new neighbor, living in the apartment upstairs, who mistakenly thought the hot tub was communal. Cam assures us that Barry is straight so "there's no weirdness," but Mitchell calls him out for turning into a love-struck teenager. Cam denies this, but then bursts into a fit of giggles that could easily pass for an sixth grade girl's. 

Back in the hot tub, Barry reveals he is studying to become a Reiki master and begins stroking the air above and below Cam's arm, in an effort to transfer positive energy into Cam and remove his negative energy. Mitchell clearly is not buying Barry's new age-y nonsense.

Claire, armed with a bullhorn, is standing outside her house with Luke waiting for the neighborhood speeder to blow by. Luke suggests punching speeder in the stomach "until he barfs" as a suitable punishment, but Claire thinks she'll just turn his plate number over to the police. Luke scoffs, "The police. Order a pizza and call the cops. We'll see who gets here first." Zing! Score one for Luke saying something clever! Phil and Haley join them outside, the latter extremely embarrassed by her mother's behavior. "Mom, you need a life. Why can't you just volunteer at the museum or bring pudding to old people?"

Meanwhile, Phil is doing his best Darth Vader "Luke, I am your father" impression into Luke's face with the megaphone then wistfully recalls the day he was born, "That's what I said to you when you were comin' out of your mom's lady parts." Haley is hyperventilating with embarrassment made worse when she sees two girls she knows walking towards them. She promptly throws herself into the bushes. Phil's phone rings and when he sees who's calling he exclaims, "Sweet Valley High, this is that woman from the house on 7th street!" Could this catch on? I'd love to say "Sweet Valley High" every time something goes my way.

For Phil, the house on 7th street means he could beat a work rival in quarterly sales. He answers his phone as the speeder flies by and Claire feebly attempts to chase the car yelling, "Slow down jerk!" She is repeating the license plate number out loud over and over to remember it while Phil is yelling a bunch of numbers into the phone, which totally mixes Claire up. I just thought this was funny mostly because it happens to me about once a week.

At the Pritchetts, Jay is happy to hear Manny wants to bike to school, but is quickly horrified to discover the bike has been fitted with training wheels. He can't believe Manny can't ride a bike and when Manny insists he can ride that bike, Jay replies, "Stephen Hawking can ride this bike." He calls Gloria outside and she reveals that she can't ride a bike either. Jay is incredulous, "Two thirds of my house can't do what a billion Chinese do!" Jay offers to teach them both how to ride a bike, but Gloria passes. "It makes no sense, there is no reason that thing should stay upright," she says. Jay replies, "There's no reason you should stay upright, but it just works."

Phil arrives at the house on 7th street owned by Laura, played by '80s staple Jami Gertz, an alpha dog who doesn't have time for Phil's pandering. She wants the house sold ASAP and tells Phil to throw a successful open house and he'll get the listing. He walks her out to her car and as Laura takes off in her sports car, we realize she's the speeder.

Mitchell gets home, tired and stressed from a long day at work and Cam suggests he get a treatment from Barry in the hot tub. Mitchell thinks Reiki is nonsense and Barry is crazy causing Cam to accuse Mitchell of being judgmental. He sites a few examples including "But Yet Rachel" a girl who uses the words "but" and "yet" together, frequently, and in defiance of the laws of grammar. I have to side with Mitch on this one, people who slaughter the English language for sport are at the top of my list of pet peeves. When Cam says, "I could care less," a common error in everyday conversation, Mitchell succinctly corrects him, "I think you mean you couldn't care less because if you could care less it means that you care a little bit."

At the Dunphys, Claire has made signs to hang in the neighborhood that read: SLOW DOWN, then a picture of Laura's license plate, YOUR NEIGHBORS. Haley, Luke and Phil read it as, "Slow down your neighbors." Claire wants Phil to help hang the signs and he clearly does not want to because selling Laura's house would mean the chance to pull ahead of Gil Thorpe, who Phil has come in second to for seven quarters in a row. "Oh yeah everyone loves Michael Jordan, but nobody thinks of Scotty Pippen. The only reason I remember him is because he's named after my favorite musical."

Barry stops by the Tucker-Pritchetts and, after joking around with Mitchell, admits he can tell Mitchell doesn't think much of Reiki. They're laughing about how Mitchell is fond of the eye roll and he apologizes to Barry if he offended him to which Barry replies, "The only thing that offends me is a man who doesn't live in his own truth." Then they laugh about how hard Mitch is trying not to roll his eyes at that comment. It seems they've come to an understanding about one another.

At the Pritchett-Delgado home, Bike Riding 101 is about to begin. Manny arrives in head to toe padding and Gloria is visibly nervous. Jay is skeptical because, "I've seen the kid fall down on that moving sidewalk at the airport so I didn't have high hopes." But Manny catches on very quickly and is riding around like a pro in no time. Gloria is the one who turns out to be the problem. It's pretty hilarious to watch the flawless Sophia Vergara awkwardly swerving all over the street on a bike that looks too small for her, until finally riding straight into a hedge.

Phil is reluctantly putting up the signs when Laura jogs by, but he covers by claiming to be taking the sign down. Laura can't believe a bored housewife is going this far and rips a sign in half and hands it to Phil, who's holding it a minute later when Claire drives up. Phil suggests that they throttle back, but Claire is determined to work even harder to keep the neighborhood safe.

Cam comes home with Lily to find Mitchell face down on a massage table having his negative energy removed by Barry. Mitch seems to be into it, even throwing around "Namaste" and inviting Barry to dinner. A few moments later, Cam is throwing out the trash when he is greeted by Mrs. Ko, the landlord, who informs him she's just been showing the empty apartment upstairs. Cam is confused and asks about Barry, of whom Mrs. Ko has no knowledge. They are interrupted by the honking from Mr. Ko which infuriates his wife, "You two so lucky they don't let you get married." Just then, Cameron hears a sneeze coming from Lily's princess castle and he quickly connects the dots, and the look on his face is priceless.

Gloria blames her inability to learn to ride a bike on Jay's bossy teaching; she needs someone gentler and more nurturing, like a woman. So she asks Phil. Unfortunately he is on his way to the open house, but Luke offers his services claiming to have taught a bunch of friends how to ride. He admits in a testimonial that this is a lie and that a canceled play date left him free for the afternoon.

Cam slowly approaches the castle, gently calls out Barry who responds, lowers the drawbridge, and comes out to talk. Cam asks him point blank, "Are you living in our daughter's princess castle?" to which Barry replies, "I'm livin' in here, man" pointing to his heart, but admits he's been sleeping in the castle. They go inside the castle to talk and it soon becomes clear that Barry is several bricks short of a load. The two begin fighting and the commotion brings Mitchell outside where Cam pleads with him, from inside the shaking pink castle, to call 911.

Meanwhile Luke has begun his bike riding lessons with Gloria who admits that falling, looking stupid, and being kidnapped are some of her biking-related fears. Luke tells her the only way to get rid of these thoughts is to shoot them out and begins spraying her with a massive squirt gun. Gloria pedals to get away from him and soon enough she's a competent bike rider. She's happily biking along when Laura comes roaring down the street. Claire jumps out of nowhere and commandeers the bike, not helping Gloria's fear of being grabbed, and goes speeding after Laura.

Laura arrives at the open house where she shakes off Phil's suggestion that maybe she does drive a little too fast. Soon Claire arrives to take a water break from her bike chase. Laura returns, but is on her way out when Claire introduces herself and asks for a ride. Phil tries to stop them from carpooling but to no avail. They get in the car both talking about the neighborhood "whack job" oblivious that they are talking about one another. As soon as Laura tears out of the garage, Claire realizes whose car she's in and gives Phil a hilarious look that shows she's put it all together, but is simultaneously scared for her life. In a testimonial, Phil explains that Claire was furious, but he remedied this by calling the florist and ordering a dozen.....mylar balloons. "Good luck staying mad, honey."

In the episode's postscript, Phil is helping Haley with her homework and she's being lazy. Luke steps in with his water gun method of teaching and Haley miraculously remembers that the Phoenicians invented the alphabet. Luke proclaims himself "Teacher of the Year" and Phil hands over tutoring duties to him as he lays his gun on the table pointed at Haley and flips open a textbook.

I thought this was a great episode to start the year off with! Tons of great lines, no sappy ending with soft music underlining an important message, and Luke finally had a bunch of funny moments! What did you guys think? Leave a comment below!

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Happy 2011 Modern Family fans! Sorry for the delay, I didn't think the show was coming back until next week, but was happy to discover a new episode aired this week! In 2011's first episode, Cam and Mitchell welcome a new neighbor, Jay attempts to teach Gloria a new skill, and Claire's crusade to stop a neighborhood speeder might affect a business deal for Phil.

The episode opens with Cam and Mitchell putting Lily to bed when Cam notices a man outside in their hot tub. They're about to call 911 and grab a bat when they notice the stranger in the hot tub is a hottie and they decide maybe they are overreacting and they should introduce themselves. Cut to the dreamy Barry, played by James Marsden, channeling Zoolander's Hansel with a story about silently communicating with coyotes. He is relaying this story to Cam and Mitchell as all three soak in the hot tub together. They've discovered Barry is their new neighbor, living in the apartment upstairs, who mistakenly thought the hot tub was communal. Cam assures us that Barry is straight so "there's no weirdness," but Mitchell calls him out for turning into a love-struck teenager. Cam denies this, but... read more

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Premiered: September 23, 2009, on ABC
Rating: TV-PG
User Rating: (1,740 ratings)
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Premise: A mockumentary-style sitcom chronicling the unusual kinship of the extended Pritchett clan, a brood that includes patriarch Jay; his younger Latina wife, Gloria, and her son; Jay's daughter, Claire, and her family; and Jay's son, Mitchell, who lives with his partner, Cameron.

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