It's here. The Modern Family Lily "Fuck"-a-thon. WHAT WILL HAPPEN? Controversy aside, this week's was one of my favorite Modern Family episodes of the year, with nary a weak link among the three solid plotlines.
First of all, everyone's got a wedding to prepare for. By the way, I sincerely appreciate how the writers make no effort to pretend that we care about whose wedding it is, or why they're all going. Seriously! Why bother? We just want more time with the characters we already know and love.
Lily is the flower girl and her dress lights up because this is the tackiest wedding since electricity was invented. Please, allow me to take a moment at this juncture to opine on my love for Lily: I love Lily more than all the other characters combined. She has all the sassiness of Cam but all the sharpness of Mitchell. Plus, with her in the picture creating conflict, we get a relief from the common Modern Family problem of Cam and Mitch's petty fighting by having them unite against a common enemy (e.g. Lily's tacky dress). It's so fun just to watch them training Lily to be a flower girl or teaching her about fashion, we barely even need plot!
And then she says "fuck." Cam and Mitch make the LEAST believable parenting decision in the universe and don't even tell Lily that it's a bad word. They just let her think that it's a hilarious joke that makes Cam giggle uncontrollably and then are surprised when she does it again. After three of the cutest little "fucks" ever, they wise up and give her a talking-to. When they ask her if she understands, she just says "Maybe" and runs away, and my heart melted into a pile of adorable obscenities. Don't you play coy with me, Lily. YOU. I love you.
Anyway. Other characters. Right. Before the wedding, Claire's getting ready for a debate with Duane Bailey! David Cross is back, baby. After a poll shows that people find Claire "angry and unlikeable," her family takes the opportunity to criticize all her eye-rolling and finger-pointing in a mock debate. At first I was kinda bummed that they were all enjoying it way too much. (Who actually points out the bad side of their mom's face? Why does everyone in this woman's immediate family openly despise her?) But! just as I was despairing, Alex Dunphy stepped it up. She tells her mom to "forget everything else, and be proud and powerful." Aw. Girl power! Mothers and daughters. Giving each other confidence. It's so beautiful.
At the debate, Jay brings up the possibility that Stella the dog has been jumping in the pool on purpose because she is depressed that Gloria doesn't like her. Oh boy. A dog suicide plotline? Someone call Stefon because this episode. Has. Everything. (Before he reaches this conclusion, by the way, he briefly teases us with the INCREDIBLE prospect of Stella attending doggy swimming lessons, which would just be TOO MUCH wonderfulness for this world.) David Cross, pug breedy and winner of two Puggly awards, confirms that dog suicide is real but tragically goes unreported "because it's not as 'sexy' as Feline AIDS."
Claire's killing it at the debate, but Duane Bailey brings up that time Phil got naked in a stranger's hotel room. Oh no he DIDN'T just go there. But with a helpful mouthed message from Alex, and a really awkward interjection from Phil, Claire keeps some of her dignity. A little of it, at least. Less once Phil's speech gets autotuned and goes viral. But that's not important; what's important is that Alex and Claire bond later on over their nerdy go-get-'em spirit. Awesome.
As they're about to leave for the wedding, Gloria catches Stella on the edge of the pool and has to talk her down. "You are young! You still have so much left to smell!" Stella jumps anyway, and Gloria jumps into the pool to save her because she does love the dog after all. And also because everyone in the world wants to see Sofia Vergara in a dripping-wet low-cut evening gown. They find in the tag that Stella was just going after a squeaky toy trapped in the pool's filter, thank God. She wants to live!
After the grotesque light show that was the wedding processional, Lily sees Cam crying over the wedding and tries to cheer him up with her new favorite word. Everyone laughs because children cursing is irrefutably funny. I think we all learned that this week, at least.