Modern Family Season 3-06 ‘Go Bullfrogs’ Recap

Go Bullfrogs! Dogs, Bulldogs!

On this week’s Modern Family, Haley (Sarah Hyland) is visiting Phil’s (Ty Burrell) alma mater for her first college and naturally, Phil is taking the opportunity to relive his college experience, cheerleading, darts at the local hangout and music on the quad from “Tenors Anyone.”

With Phil off with Haley and both Lucas (Nolan Gould) and Alex (Ariel Winter) at sleepovers, Claire (Julie Bowen) is going to enjoy a night on the town with Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson), but first she has to lie her way out of spending the evening at Lucas’s sleepover with a group of fellow moms.

With that out of the way, though almost guaranteed to come back around as all lies on Modern Family do, Claire heads off for a night what she thinks will be stereotypical gay guy fun, nightclubs, boys in cages and lots of drinks.

For their part, all Cam and Mitchell want are takeout pot pies, a bottle of wine and their couch. Pushed by Claire they head out to a boutique opening but they’re ready to head home by 9:30.

Claire, on the other hand, is having way too good a time away from her family to go home early. So, Claire enlists Julian (Gilles Marini) to be her gay best friend for the night. No points for guessing ahead that Julian isn’t actually gay.

Manny (Rico Rodriguez) has a crush on a girl at school and it’s caused him to become secretive, much to Gloria’s (Sophia Vergara) dismay. Manny has received a package in the mail but he refuses to tell his mom what’s in it. Jay tries to get Gloria to let Manny be, intimating that Manny may be… learning about himself and that they should give him some privacy.

Jay has an ulterior motive in letting Manny alone though, he has become enthralled with a Colombian soap opera that he only started watching because of Gloria but now he can’t get enough of it, even if he doesn’t understand a word of what’s said.

Last week Cam and Mitchell were involved in a hit and run accident, this week saw more car trouble for our favorite adorable couple. After leaving Claire at the Boutique opening, Mitchell and Cam are accidentally given the wrong car by the valet. Just as the hit and run didn’t really lead to anything, the wrong car incident also offered little of anything of note for Cam and Mitchell.

Yes, many things in the car forced Cam and Mitchell to consider whether they were in a rut, staying home on the couch to often but, the coda to the whole incident, a bizarre and confusing encounter with the wife of the owner of this car, only served to reinforce for both how happy they are not going out anymore.

Phil and Haley had the best ending this week. After Phil humiliates Haley at a frat party, father and daughter share a rare moment of honesty and warmth. Haley is one of the most realistic teenagers on television for the way she tries to break from what she believes is her parents’ inherent lameness.

Yet, like most normal teenagers, Haley also has that longing to still be a little kid and feel that her parents will always love and protect her. Phil’s earnest confession of his fears about not being able to protect Haley anymore and Haley’s bonding moment, lunch tray racing with dad, were two perfect moments, not laugh out loud funny, but joyous in their way.

Manny’s conclusion was the unusual one. While Jay becomes so obsessed with his Colombian soap opera that he calls the maid to get a translation of what happened, Gloria can finally take no more of not knowing what Manny is doing. Just as Jay is about to convince her to leave Manny alone, Manny needs some help. Manny bought a device on the internet that he hoped would help him get taller and now he’s stuck hanging upside down in his closet.

Yes, Modern Family lifted a classic Brady Bunch story, Bobby hanging from a bar in his closet hoping to stretch himself, but the masturbation implication gave the plot just the edge it needed to make the plot an awkwardly funny homage.

If I have a complaint about this week’s show, titled “Go Bullfrogs,” I wish the reveal of Julian not being gay had been funnier. Sure, Claire was humiliated, in classically Modern Family fashion, in front of people she was trying to avoid, but the scene just wasn’t as funny as I wish it had been.

Random notes from “Go Bullfrogs”

  • No real stand out one-liners from this week’s Modern Family, a first for this season.
  • Jay’s obsession with the Colombian soap opera wasn’t much of a subplot but Ed O’Neill’s selling of Jay’s denial in enjoying the “Fire & Ice,” or “Big Hair and Yelling” as Jay calls it, was priceless.

Finally, quick question: When did hats come back?