"Modern Family"-- "Game Changer" Recap

Amy Keyishian

Photo from ABC
Hey, Modern Family just won a Peabody Award! What's a Peabody Award? I have no idea, but it sounds awesome. Yay, Modern Family!

Phil's all set to get wake up early and get on line at 6 a.m. to buy an iPad, which comes out on his actual birthday. "It's like Steve Jobs and God got together to make this the best birthday ever!" Claire seizes the opportunity to finally get him a not-crappy gift: She'll get up early, score the iPad, and be home in time for breakfast. Right? Except no. She wakes up all right, at 5 a.m., but falls back asleep on the couch before she can get herself out the door.

She's awakened by Phil being presented with the awesomest breakfast ever by the kids: French waffle cakes, a combination of French toast, waffles, and pancakes. Yes, please! She skulks out the door, but strikes out and returns home empty-handed. His disappointment is too much for her to handle; she enlists the kids to "tweet, text, Facebook, buzz, bling" their way to an "iPad thingy."

She hears there's a new shipment at the Apple store in The Grove and rushes there, only to realize she doesn't have her wallet; Mitchell saves the day, but they get kicked out of line for getting in a fight with a line-skipper. (Mitchell fighting? More on that later!)

Phil spends the day at the batting cage; he hears an announcement for "Phil's birthday party" and is delighted! If he can't have an iPad, how great that his family knew where to find him and throw him a … oh. It's another Phil's party. What the hell, he joins in. Anyway, he goes home with a new attitude: Low expectations. He's totally numb. So the cake is ruined, the pizzas never showed, and his dad and Maria won't hand over their gift to him … he doesn't care! No really, he doesn't! Until it's revealed that thanks to Luke's mendacity (he emailed all of Dad's "geek friends" to say Phil was dying and his last wish is an iPad), HE HAS AN IPAD. He's no longer numb! Claire's no longer in the birthday-present doghouse! All's right with the world!

Cam and Mitchell's drama centers around their baby monitor. When it goes off in the middle of the night, and they hear a man's voice on it (because their neighbors have the same channel), Cam goes into "It's go time!" protective mode while Mitchell panics. While Cam becomes obsessed with the romantic life of the neighbors on the monitor, Mitchell goes to Dad to ask for fighting lessons and ends up passing out in a choke-hold. (That's the choke-hold he tries to use on the line-jumper.) Cam ultimately straightens out a misunderstanding with the neighbor-couple, which makes this the best day EVER, till he hears them on the monitor again -- discussing the "psycho perv" who's clearly been spying on them. Oops.

Gloria instructs Manny to let Jay win at chess because she can't take his moping when he loses. Manny does let him win -- until he can roll him for his watch, that is. Awesome. Jay figures it out and insists Manny must be a chess genius; she reveals that "he's not even as good as me." She's been letting him win, too. He demands that they play for real and just as it looks like he's going to beat her, he calls it off. Of course she was really about to beat him. "I'm an excellent chess player, but I'm a better wife." Aw. No way would I do that.

Phil only gets more and more hilarious as the weeks go by.

How did you like this ep? Are you a gift-genius or present-impaired? What's the best or worst birthday gift you've gotten?

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