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Modern Family: Season 3, Episode 10 – Express Christmas

There’s something about holiday episodes of Modern Family that just remind me why I love the series. Whether that be through new character combinations (I don’t think we’ve ever seen Mitch and Alex separate from anyone else) or great physical comedy (Phil getting tasered!) it was a great week for the Dunphy and Pritchett families.

The family realized that they wouldn’t be together on Christmas due to conflicting plans, so Phil proposes “Express Christmas” four hours away, on December 16th no less. Phil is in charge of the turkey; Mitch the tree; Claire the gifts; Gloria is to find an angel in the attic from Mitch & Claire’s mom; and each one takes a child or two to help them.

In the end, in true Dunphy/Pritchett fashion, nothing comes together properly. Gloria throws the Angel out of the car when she sees a spider and it gets run over; the tree flies off of Mitchell’s car because he doesn’t secure it down properly and it also gets run over. The only thing that really works out is the gifts that Claire and Haley get, which proved to be a very funny moment as Haley impersonates a Target employee. I wonder if Target had any influence in this episode. I know that in the past, Modern Family has written stories about brands without any paid-for product placement. (The episode with Phil wanting an iPad had absolutely no money going from Apple to ABC, but it was a great advertisement for the product.)

While this episode had a lot of new elements, it played to the things that make Modern Family what it is. Phil was trying to impress Jay; Cam took his emotions too far; Mitch & Claire can’t accept Gloria as their “new mom,” and Haley went shopping.

But this week in particular I began wondering what has happened to a few story lines of the past. At the end of last season, Cam & Mitch decided they wanted to adopt a boy…and yet we haven’t heard anything about that in the last 10 episodes. Will this ever be resolved?

In the end, Jay decides to take everyone out for a “traditional Jewish Christmas” where the whole family will get Chinese food. When they open the door to leave the house, they are blasted with fake snow, and Gloria gives a nice narrative wrap up, just like all the best Modern Family episodes. December 16th now holds a new, very special meaning for the family.

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