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Modern Family Review: "A Slight at the Opera" (Episode 4.14)

February 7, 2013  |  1:03pm
<i>Modern Family</i> Review: "A Slight at the Opera" (Episode 4.14)

The unpredictability of Modern Family strikes again. I was prepared for a let-down, but instead I was pleasantly surprised. Maybe it fares better since it is following the horror who shall not be named (ironically baby Fulgencio was not called by a name throughout the episode—why did we name him at all?), but “A Slight at the Opera” was a solid episode. There were great one-off lines (“The Cho must go on.”); the storylines were accurately balanced, and the episode as a whole was understated but solid.

The character who comes out of nowhere: Luke. We’ve known he’s a great comedic actor, but lately he hasn’t been utilized enough. In this episode, he takes great pride as the set painter in Cameron Tucker’s Anthony Lloyd Weber’s Phantom of the Opera. He’s privy to all of the songs and lines, so when the lead comes down with mono, he steals the show. Not only was he funny, but he could sing and make the audience cry.

Claire was in a storyline by herself, reminding us why she keeps winning Emmys. She needed very little interaction and only a few golf balls to make her gag memorable. She’s so worked up over something that might have happened that she’s oblivious to Haley and Dylan playing house. (P.S.—We’ve missed you Dylan!) Their “kids are easy” routine is laughable, but it goes a bit too far with their highly exaggerated “marital” spat.

Since Phil has to attend a golf business meeting, Jay has agreed to help teach him how to play. Jay and Phil interactions have been hit-or-miss this season (let’s not forget the fishing trip), but all worry over how it will go is cast aside when Pepper (Nathan Lane) shows up. He’s secretly been teaching Mitchell for six months how to play golf so that he can beat Jay at something. It’s a lighthearted story on dads and sons that only gets better with a heavy “Cat’s in the Cradle” ending.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, Gloria and Alex go to a psychic. It wasn’t the most memorable bit, but it was nice to see these unlikely characters interact. Also, Manny and Cam play their typical selves, and Phil has a business meeting on a trampoline while his dad cheers him on. It’s just a typical day in the Dunphy/Pritchett clan, but it’s nice to see the familiar sometimes.

Best Lines:

“I’m sorry for dozens of things everyday that actually happened. If I start apologizing for things that don’t happen, how productive of a person would I be?—Phil
“He’s been alive a month. How hard is it to support your own head?”—Jay
“It’s like Scrabble with Haley… after a while you’re just playing with yourself.”—Alex
“I like big putts, and I cannot lie.”—Pepper

Discuss:

Has there ever been a more perfect eye roll than Lily’s?
Was that really Nolan Gould singing?
How much have you missed Dylan?

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