Modern Family: Tableau Vivant

Filed under: Recaps & Reviews

"But at night, she's a yes machine."

The main plot of the episode was found in the middle of all the events that led up to Alex's tableau vivant presentation. Alex's intention was to impress her teacher enough for him to learn what her name was. All the family had to do was to sit still for ninety seconds. It was a simple enough thing to do, but considering Alex's extended family, nothing is ever easy.

Not even among the children. Luke's failed attempt at inventing a new chemical created a small fire. For putting out the fire, Luke was getting awarded a medal. Unbeknownst to the teacher that saw Luke put out the fire, this teacher did not know it was Luke that also caused it in the first place. Manny, however, saw the whole thing, and had some objections to Luke getting the medal.
Luke's father, Phil, wanted to fire Mitch, due to Mitch not being on time with the legal paper work. But because Phil is a bit of a dolt, he had trouble executing the termination, and blinked a whole lot when under pressure. His solution? He tricked Mitch into the elevator, and fired him as the doors were about to close. Before Phil could make a run for it, the elevator door jammed, and kept Mitch in there for two hours.
Cam and Lily came over the the Dunphey house, and Haley thanked her uncle for bailing her out of another one of her teenaged fueled escapades from the night before.

At this point, Haley made the mistake of thinking that nothing more would come out of this, as she had clearly swept everything under the carpet.
Blinky's wife, Smiley, was busy debating with Cam over how to raise children. Cam bought into the latest trend of never saying "no" to a child, while Claire thought the opposite. Claire looked for oportunities to prove herself right, but it would not stop at just the trash disposal unit. Like everything else, it would carry on.
When Jay was out with Gloria at a restaurant, he was proud to show her that the restaurant had named a sandwich after him. When Gloria tried it, she did not like it. After returning home, the bickering continued and Jay told Gloria that she was too loud. Being unable to take criticism, Gloria acted with sarcasm and immaturity.

The time for the art presentation finally came, and the whole family had to hold their pleasant little pose for ninety seconds. It was especially difficult on Gloria, as the turkey weighed too much for her to bare. Unable to maintain the peace for a meager ninety seconds, all the conflicts from the day came pouring out. Le coup de grace went to Lily, as she said she wanted turkey, and everybody screamed no at her.

After the art presentation, everybody drove off to Jay's favourite restaurant in bad spirits. In a sentimental irony, their get together was much more real and meaningful than the rehearsed tableau vivant from earlier in the night. And this was how the family buried the hatchet.

The real lesson here is that what is worthwhile are the parts that extends before and after the framed image.

Tags: Modern Family, Ed O'Neill, Tableau Vivant, The Last Walt, Julie Bowen, Sofia Vergara, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Eric Stonestreet, Sarah Hyland

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