"Modern Family" expands by one in Wednesday's episode, "Party Crasher," as Gloria (Sofia Vergara) brings a new life into the world while simultaneously ending Manny's (Rico Rodriguez) old one.
Not only must Manny share his birthday as well as his mother, but his surprise 14th is ruined. Twice, no less. The first time, Manny walks through his front door into the dark as 12 family members crouch down and prepare to yell. The problem: He is not alone. He is accompanied by an attractive young lady.
“You sure we’re alone?” she asks him, “because I’d like to give you a birthday present.” She kisses him but says she’d like to see his face, so she flicks on the lights, sees the mortified faces and screams.
At least it was good for Luke (Nolan Gould), whose documentary of the surprise party is suddenly no longer boring.
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A distraught Manny refuses to emerge from his room, even to eat. ("Kids make fun of you if you get a haircut,” he tells his mom. "I just gave t hem a full-blown sex scandal!")
The second time Manny's surprise party gets ruined occurs after Jay (Ed O'Neill) coaxes him out of his room so that Gloria can lead a round of "Happy Birthday" punctuated by her water breaking.
"So far, fourteen is not my favorite age," Manny says.
Also in the episode, Mitch (Jessie Tyler Ferguson) pretend-marries Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons). He explains to Cam (Eric Stonestreet) that it's just a phase. But Cam is jealous. Why has she chosen Mitch for this phase? Not to be outdone, Cam throws his own pretend Lily wedding to outdo his partner's. But he can do nothing right. (The rice he throws during Mitch's pretend Lily wedding results in her wearing an eye patch and hospital band to his own pretend Lily wedding, after which Lily crashes the fabulous new Barbie car Cam bought her and Cam cracks a racist joke about her driving.)
Mitch suspects that Cam has been struggling at work since he went back to teaching. But the opposite is true. In fact, five of Cam's students sing their praises to him, a cappella no less, during his pretend Lily wedding. Cam is actually so into his work that he forgot to come home one day for his ritual cookie-dunking with Lily. (His theory is that she got so mad, she pretend-married Mitch in retaliation.)
While picking up a towel off the pool deck at Manny's birthday, Cam accidentally launches Lily waterward. But Luke catches this on film. Watching the playback, Cam notices that Lily yelled 'Daddy' while starting to drown. (That’s what she calls Cam; Mitch is 'Dad.') Order is restored in their household.
Meantime, Claire (Julie Bowen) and Phil (Ty Burrell) are shocked when Haley (Sarah Hyland) brings home her date: a middle-aged jeans designer who works at her boutique and describes himself as "just trying to get into girls jeans." At first, Phil develops a man crush based on Kenny's cool pony tail and the comfortable fit of his complimentary denims. ("I love him," he tells Claire. "You think he likes me?")
But when Kenny kisses their freshly legal daughter in front of them, it's Phil who begins crafting deadly weapons out of household objects. Claire, who at first acted repulsed, trades roles with her husband after Mitch reminds her about Todd, the Cheesecake Factory manager with a Camaro that Claire dated just to their father off. (It didn't work and Claire was stuck with a guy who smelled like potato skins and said "supposably.") No matter how repulsive it gets, Claire tries convincing Phil, they can't disapprove or it'll be "Romeo and Juliet."
This theory gets tested while visiting Gloria at the hospital, where Phil finds himself offering Kenny his credit card so that he and his daughter can patronize a restaurant that's so far away, a hotel would probably be a safer idea. (As they leave, Kenny's phone rings. It's his ex-wife, he tells Haley. “Not the good one.”)
Haley comes back up the elevator. She is alone. Phil and Claire were right. Haley was just trying to tick them off and is insulted at how epically it failed. Phil, who has disappeared down the other elevator, comes back up to announce that no guy is on earth is good enough for his daughter. Especially that one. Phil does not see Haley standing in the other elevator. They hug.
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It's easy for Manny to find Gloria's hospital bed because of the moaning. It's from Jay, whose hand is being crushed in Gloria's vice grip of pain. He forgives his mom for everything. ("You’re trying to hold another person inside of you to spare my feelings," he tells her. "Message received.")
Later, Gloria expresses her doubts to Jay. "It’s been so long for me,” she says, “and a hundred years for you. Are we still gonna be good at this?" Jay responds: "It's gonna be an adventure, but that's what you and I do best."
After only 20 minutes of labor -- an outrage to Claire -- this family reminds us how modern it is, when Haley and Alex (Ariel Winter) meet their new uncle, and Phil his new half brother-in-law.
"Modern Family" airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.