This week, Phil and Claire's attempts to get Alex to relax her competitive academic pursuits lead them question their own intelligence. Mitchell runs into an old girlfriend and perhaps a new family member. Jay and Gloria have to deal with the reappearance of some "vacation friends."
Alex is in overdrive studying for a test and is developing a few OCD ticks that worry Claire who unsuccessfully tries to get her to take a break.
At the mall, Mitchell and Cameron are discovering that Lily might be a bit of a kleptomaniac when Mitchell runs into an old girlfriend, Tracy, played by 24's Mary Lynn Rajskub. They have a bit of an awkward catch up conversation and when Mitch invites her to have dinner with them she declines. She seems a little uneasy around them and we aren't sure why. After she's gone, Cam reveals that he and Tracy also had a post-high school fling at their 10-year reunion and afterwards he ignored all her attempts at communication.
Gloria calls Jay to let him know the Hoffmans (played by Stephnie Weir and Adam Kulbersh) a couple they met in Cabo, are in town and want to go to dinner. Jay has no interest in seeing "the boring guy and the loud mouth" but it turns out they are standing right next to Gloria in their home so it's too late.
Claire and Phil are mandating that Alex take a break from studying despite her protests that Sanjay Patel, her academic rival, is not taking a break. Clearly she loses the argument as we see her begrudgingly jumping up and down on a trampoline with a frown on her face and her arms crossed.
Back at the mall, Mitchell catches a glimpse of Tracy giving ice cream to what looks like an 8-year old red headed boy. Mitchell is shocked as he starts to put two and two together.
At dinner with Gloria and Jay, Mrs. Hoffman is trying to amuse Jay with an iPhone app that converts everything you say into high pitched munchkin speak. It isn't working. Mr. Hoffman remarks at how much fun they are having, which Jay says is surprised considering how quiet he's been the whole meal. Mr. Hoffman insists that he's just listening, that's his hobby. The Hoffmans enthusiastically invite the Pritchetts to come and visit them but Jay dampers the mood by explaining that it's just a forced friendship and suggests they all go their separate ways. Jay sees nothing wrong with the immensely awkward situation he has created since they are never going to see one another again, until Gloria reveals that the Hoffmans are staying with them that night.
Meanwhile at their own dinner, Mitchell confesses his suspicion to Cameron that his fling with Tracy may have yielded a red headed lovechild. Cameron is pretty shaken.
Gloria is furious at Jay for speaking to the Hoffmans that way but he just wants the boring couple gone. He explains that at his age he prefers to spend time with people he really likes instead of boring clingers. But Gloria is furious that he spoke for them as a couple and in doing so, sold her out and made her look bad.
As Gloria goes to see the Hoffmans out, she hands them something they forgot, which turns out is actually a gift for her. Gloria had told them she was a fan of the author, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, so they tracked down the author and got him to sign a copy of 100 Years of Solitude for her. Now Gloria feels truly terrible and begs them to stay. They know Jay doesn't want them there but Gloria quickly invents a story about Jay having dementia. This explains his behavior and convinces the Hoffmans to stay.
In a touching moment, Cam explains that Mitch and Lily are the best things that ever happened to him and one more child could only bring more happiness. Mitch is overwhelmed with emotion. The pair try to discuss what to do next and Mitch is getting a little ahead of himself, Cam tries to calm him.
At the Dunphys, we learn that Phil and Claire have a mutual love of "cheesy cinema" as they plan going to see the movie, Croctopuss. Favorite sub-genres include: genetically engineered animals gone wrong, old and young people switching bodies, tough guys taking care of babies, and any sequel 3 and higher.
Alex returns home extremely disappointed to have come in 2nd on the test, to Sanjay who beat her by 12 points. Her parents encourage her to be proud of her score and she admits she's realized Sanjay is just inherently better because his Dad is a surgeon and his mom is a professor. She'll just have to make do with the cards she's been dealt. They applaud her optimism until she leaves the room and realize she is basically calling them dumb.
At Jay and Gloria's, Jay admits to Gloria that she is right and he wants to apologize to the Hoffmans. She tries to convince him not to confuse them with an apology, lest her lies about his mental incompetence be revealed. But he wants to do it for her. Meanwhile, the Hoffmans are trying to comfort Manny since they heard Jay "is a little off his game" which Manny understands to be a golf reference and thus begins a sort of Abbot and Costello routine. "It's hard to watch," Manny explains also telling of how Jay swears often and goes off into the woods, which horrifies the Hoffmans. Then Jay enters and apologizes to them but they explain they went through the same thing with her father, which confuses Jay and adds consistency to Gloria's lie. Then Jay proceeds to drink unknowingly from Manny's trick cup and dribbles juice all over himself.
At the movies, Claire and Phil are just as excited to be seeing Croctopuss as they are to have successfully snuck snacks and wine coolers into the theater. Just as they are about to head into their movie, the Patels, Sanjay's parents, stroll up. They ask if Claire and Phil are there to see a stuffy French movie and they, of course, lie and say they are. Claire decides that she and Phil should go see the French movie in order to set an example about intellectual curiosity for their kids. During the film, Phil is clearly bored while Claire is trying to pretend she's enjoying herself, so he finally leaves to go see Croctopuss. The scene bounces back and forth between Phil in 3D glasses laughing and trying to touch the objects in front of him and Claire just struggling to stay awake. She doesn't succeed, when Phil comes back for her she is completely passed out. She's worried they really are dumb but Phil convinces her they're not and they are later fully convinced of this when they witness Vish trying unsuccessfully to work the machine that validates parking. They're feeling very pleased with themselves until they try to exit through a locked door.
Cameron and Mitchell arrive at Tracy's house to confront her about the possibility that she's the mother of Mitch's child. Tracy admits the person she was with at the mall is named Bobby. The conversation continues with Cam and Mitch clearly referring to Bobby as a child; wanting to get to know him and bringing him a gift. When Bobby arrives we see he is a red headed little person, not a red headed lovechild. Cam and Mitch are clearly backtracking but Bobby opens the gift, a child's baseball glove that says "Little Slugger" on it. As if it was too much for him, Cam bails, leaving Mitch to handle the awkward situation.
In the episode's postscript, Mitch is talking with Jay, who never knew Mitch ever had girlfriends. When Jay starts asking who the girls besides Tracy were, Mitch offers the names Betty Rizzo, Eliza Doolittle, Nelly Forbush none of whom Jay has heard of. But when Mitch explains how he dated sisters, Liesel and Gretl Von Trapp, Jay catches on.
My picks for this episode's best lines:
Cam: Oh, well there was Nelly Forbush, Betty Rizzo, Eliza—
Mitch: Doolittle? Those are characters from musicals. You're so gay you can't even think of real girls names.
C: Kim McAfee that's a real girl—
M: Bye Bye Birdie.
Cam: I wanna hear all about Mitchell from high school, did he have a beard?
Tracy: Uh, you're looking at her.
Cam: Thumpety thump thump look at frosty go. (re: Tracy's cold demeanor)
Cam: (to Lily) You naughty little girl!
Mitch: Well, ya know, that's what happens when you give me Kahlua.
Cam: You don't just tell your partner you may have a baby with someone else and expect them to go back to eating a delicious and inventive meal like its nothing.
Gloria: (to Manny) Why do you need these things to make you popular? First the walking stick, then the business cards.
Cam: You're spinning out, it's probably just a false alarm
Mitch: No you're right, this could just be my "going bald" scare all over again.
Cam: Yeah, and we know how that turned out. (runs his finger over Mitch's bald spot)
Phil: You usually get a new cast around 5, that's where the magic really happens. (re: movie sequels)
Phil: Oh honey who cares what she did?
Alex: It's a he! Sanjay is a very common Indian boys name, there are like millions of them.
Phil: I don't know. I'm still thinking about all the Sajays. I don't know any but I know three Miltons.
Claire: She's saying we're stupid.
Phil: Well, she's wrong.
Claire: Is she? Honey look it just took us to figure out that she's insulting us. Are we holding our kids back?
Phil: No! We're both bright people. We're college graduates. We read. I'd go so far as to say we're as intellectual and sophisticated as (looks at phone)—Saaaweeeeeet, Croctopuss tickets confirmed!
Mrs. Patel: Well forgive Vish if you hear him groan. He gets annoyed if the subtitles are mistranslated.
Phil: Well that makes deux of us.
Phil: Why do I have to watch a French movie? I didn't do anything wrong!
Did I miss any great lines? Let me know! I thought this was a great episode with a lot of great cameos and just the right amount of sentimentality. What did you guys think? Leave a comment below!