'Modern Family' - 'Travels with Scout' Recap
by Jason Hughes, posted Apr 29th 2010 8:15AM
(S01E21) One of the strongest elements of 'Modern Family' is the strength of the ensemble cast. That brilliance in casting has continued to the various guest stars and extended family members we've met so far. I didn't fully grasp just how perfect Fred Willard is for the role of Phil's father until I saw them slinging jokes back and forth in this weeks' episode.
He drove cross-country to deliver a new dog to the Dunphy household, on account of his wife being allergic to it. This allowed Claire to have a clever conversation over the phone wherein she told him just how much trouble he was in for forgetting to tell her dear old dad was coming into town, without letting dad know what she was saying.
But then, brilliantly clever writing has been a staple of 'Modern Family' since the first episode. Aside from Phil's dad, we got to watch Jay scare the crap out of Manny, and Cameron rediscover his inner rock god.
I don't know if Eric Stonestreet can play the drums, but if he can't he did a hell of a job faking it for this episode. I loved the kid advising Cameron to label his drumsticks after he tricked the kids into thinking he was a bad player at first, explaining it away by saying he had the drumsticks in the wrong hands.
It was another sign of the maturity of Cameron's character, despite his emotional goofiness, when the original drummer came back and in and Cameron quickly realized that it was he who was in an awkward situation. All things considered, despite his excitement at the thought of feeling that alive on a more regular basis, he stepped away gracefully rather than cause a scene. I honestly thought it could have gone either way, depending on how caught up in the euphoria he was.
I was at a concert once that had a drum solo that went on forever, so I felt for the audience when Cam's moment went on and on. How brilliant was it to have the drums still going in the background during Mitchell's confessional moments about it, as if they were yet still going. He not only had time to go to a party and come back, but he had time to run home and talk about the whole experience.
As for Jay and Manny, the whole storyline was a set-up for one of the more obvious jokes in the series run, but it was still executed to brilliance. After being horrified at a movie, which happened to star one of Mitchell's old classmates as a killer, Jay tries to salvage the situation by having Manny meet the actor. I should have known the tearing out of the faulty doorbell earlier on wasn't just a throwaway gag to illustrate Manny's fear. These writers don't put anything in that script that won't be relevant later.
So when the actor shows up, with a fake machete prop, he can't get an answer at the door. What do you do? Go to the window in spooky lighting, and tell Manny, "I'm here for you." Then showing him the machete, "Look what I brought." It's almost better we didn't see the continuation of that story, because you can't top that moment and it's always best to go out on top.
Other highlights of the episode:
- Luke running through the screen, getting trapped in the dog cage and chasing after his grandpa's RV
- Cameron's faux-hawk and t-shirt rocking Lily's picture
- "What are we talking about?" Gloria after the discussion about Manny's fear got seriously derailed.
- "Let's just say there's a new rule: no sleeping in the bed." - Claire to Phil on the phone
[For clips and full episodes of 'Modern Family', visit our friends atSlashControl.]