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Modern Family - Moving Day - Review: "Control Issues"



We all have this illusion that we're in control...

It's those wise words spoken by Jay at the end of this week's Modern Family that sum up the theme of the return from Winter break. More on that actual moment later, but this week - each story and its characters are going through their own control issues.

For Mitch & Cam this week, it's Cam's sister Pamela who is out of prison and looking to control them both to get what she ultimately wants out of them, especially Mitch. It was Mitch, as an Assistant D.A., who was suppose to write a recommendation letter to get Pam out of prison early. However, he did not since he felt the punishment was fair and as a man of the law, couldn't bring himself to lie. Even when Pam does get out 3 months early, thanks to volunteering to help train police dogs, Mitch isn't too worried that she'll find out since those records are sealed. Unfortunately for Mitch, she has her ways and did find out..and she thinks she can use that to control Mitch. At first it's some simple blackmail - demanding Mitch to give her his reward points miles (he bought grocerys at a gas station for 6 months to get triple points!), which she doesn't even use and instead converts them to gift cards (They say you should never do that!)

Pam's real end game is the upstairs apartment. But Mitch refuses and comes clean to Cam about never writing the letter ."You know where I can get a pick up truck and a big 'ole chain. I'm gonna steal me a Redbox." It appears that Pam ends up showing remorse for her actions as she breaks down and admits she doesn't deserve to be out of jail and she should go break the law to get locked back up. This emotional scene convinces Mitch to let her have the upstairs rental. But, turns out, it was all an act and her grand plan. She had her mother mail her clothes to the address 3 days prior to her breakdown.

The notion of control is front and center in the Jay & Gloria story line this week. Manny is at home this week, but so is his aspiring improv girlfriend, Sherry. Gloria shows immediate concern for her son when she sees that Sherry seems to have the power of persuasion over Manny. Anything Sherry suggests, Manny goes with. As someone who has been a teenage boy dating someone out of your league, that sounds about right, actually. But Glory, of course, doesn't like someone having control over Manny besides herself. While Jay was hoping to spend his day enjoying his Sausage of the Month, Gloria refuses to make her sauce for it until Jay talks to Manny about his controlling girlfriend. The talk with Manny goes about as well as you'd expect with Manny calling Jay too old fashioned - but in typical Manny fashion, he ends up taking Jay's advice anyway which seemingly puts his relationship with Sherry in jeopardy.

With Manny now potentially heart broken, Gloria now sends Jay to fix that by talking to Sherry. A reluctant Jay who only wanted to spend the day enjoying his sausage, does talk to Sherry. Though, Sherry is quick to turn the tables on Gloria by pointing out to Jay that Gloria is doing the exact same thing to him! Of course, Gloria being controlling isn't news to us (and shouldn't be to Jay either, but I digress). In the end, Sherry has no intentions of breaking it off with Manny and is just letting him sweat a bit before they got back upstairs and "move the furniture around" again (which is in fact a euphemism for sex though Manny claimed otherwise). For Jay, his confronting of Gloria about pushing him around today goes as well as you'd expect...and Jay is left to cook his own sausage sauce.

For the Dunphy's, it's the titular Moving Day for Haley as she moves in with her "baby daddy," Dylan. Claire, who is having some issues letting go of her control on her daughter's life, is clearly not handling it well while Phil is Mr. Positive about the move and the future of Haley and Dylan - comparing them to a young Phil and Claire. Though it doesn't help Claire's fears when they found out Dylan's living space is a converted garage. But at least they are saving a lot of money!

Despite Haley's best attempts to convince Claire that she has everything under control and that her and Dylan have doing a lot of growing up, it turns out they completely forgot about her OBGYN appointment. Claire goes along with them to the appointment where they find out that it's not just one heartbeat...but two. "A baby with two heartbeats?! I swear I didn't know I was pregnant when I ate that brownie!" But no Haley, two heartbeats are not a side effect of any pot brownies - you are having TWINS! Any semblance of control is out the door here as Haley becomes overwhelmed with what it is going to mean to have not one baby, but two. In the complete role reversal from earlier, it's Claire who is calm and collected with her maternal instincts kicking in to comfort her daughter. Claire assures that everything would be okay, and that she is not alone.

Meanwhile, Phil meets with Jay to get help fixing the hole in Dylan's garage/house. Phil had been going his best to remain the one in control of the situation - the one holding it together for Claire, but here he confides in Jay that he is just as worried as Claire about the future. Jay offers those words of wisdom - that he was once in Phil's shoes. We all want to think we are in control, Jay has faced many curve balls in his life - from having his football career cut short to his daughter's college aspirations changing when she got knocked up. The truth is - things are always going to change and you just have to learn to deal with it. Phil takes comfort in Jay's advice that in five years from now, when he's playing with his grandchild, he won't even remember today.

Calming words for Phil, until he gets the text that not only are Haley and Dylan moving back in, but Haley is having twins. "Let's get you some sausage" is all Jay can say to Phil after that.

Random Thoughts
-Good to be back after the Winter break. Apologies, I missed the last 2 episodes prior to the break as life got crazy in December.

-Wasn't too thrilled to Sherry back, but she grew on me ever so slightly in her scene with Jay where she shows that she's more than just the eccentric girlfriend to Manny. Not sure if she'll continue to grow on me or not, but for today...that surprisingly worked.

-Looks like we'll have more Pamela moving forward, which I could take or leave. Unfortunately, Cal hasn't been as big an impact on Mitch & Cam's story this season overall.

-I liked the little bits where Dylan was the one pointing out things about the ultrasound. Yeah he's becoming a nurse but it's little things like that that do show that his character is evolving ever so slightly.

-Some Amazon product placement randomly shows up a couple times this episode as Jay thinks the Echo is a coffee grinder.

-"Thanks dad, is mom still in heir making her judgy face.
"Haley, you've known her for 25 years. Just call it her face."

-"I couldn't bring myself to lie about it."
"Oh come on, I've heard you say the words 'Nice perm, Manny.'"


-"Calm down mom, I can remember to take a pill every day."
"Can you?"



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