The Telefile
Modern Family: What Each Character Should Save From a Fire

Something I am especially enjoying about Modern Family this season is that we're actually seeing some real character development. This week's episode showcased Jay and Phil's growing relationship, Alex's budding confidence and Claire's newly-found self-awareness really well. It had some of the funniest moments of Season 3 thus far, too. But in spite of these things, "After the Fire" was overall a fairly boring and unmemorable episode. The premise was weak, and it mostly just felt like a mash-up of Modern Family ideas crammed in to one episode. "What would you save from a fire?" is such a conventional trope that there's nothing really interesting to say about it anymore... luckily, there were strong B, C and D plots that moved the story forward and made it watchable. Still, in the spirit of convention, let's look at what every family member claimed they'd grab before fleeing a fire, and what they probably should try to salvage instead.

What She Said She'd Take: As long as she had her family, she wouldn't need anything else.
What She Should Actually Take: Her "Wonder Woman" reputation, because she's going to need it in future episodes where she's painted as unbearably shrill. But maybe I'm wrong -- Claire has been less uptight than usual these past few episodes, being able to see her own faults, apologize and not flip out when her neighbor gives away a shirt identical to the one she's wearing, calling it old and out-of-date.

What He Said He'd Take: All of the family photos... which he keeps on his iPad. So, his iPad.
What He Should Actually Take: That alpaca he got a great deal on, a bottle of lotion that's been perfectly heated to 98 degrees and the siren song of residential real estate for her new business venture.

What He Said He'd Take: His first pair of golf clubs that his "old man" gave to him.
What He Should Actually Take: His battle-choosing skills, selection of words and patience for insulting Claire.

Luke and Manny
What They Said They'd Take: N/A
What They Should Actually Take:Luke should hold on to that sweet high-tech helicopter, and Manny should grab his acting reels from Seasons 1 and 2 if he ever wants to convince someone in the future that he used to be an actual good part of this show.

Haley and Alex
What They Said They'd Take: N/A
What They Should Actually Take: Haley should keep some lighter fluid around in case Alex ever lets her burn her clothes (one of my favorite lines of the night), and Alex should absolutely make sure she holds on to her recent abundance of confidence.

What He Said He'd Take: His mom's recipe book.
What He Should Actually Take: His Fizbo gear, obviously, as well as his stubborn pride about being able to do manly things. He can, however, leave some of his childhood nostalgia in the fire, since it's been getting annoyingly repetitive this season.

What He Said He'd Take: Lily's adoption papers.
What He Should Actually Take: All of Gloria's gossip. I would seriously love to be a fly on the wall during one of their coffee dates.

What She Said She'd Take: Her engagement ring from Jay.
What She Should Actually Take: Her awesome final words to Claire about liking Mitchell better than her, and how she's not even Claire's favorite Colombian in the family. You just got Gloria'd!

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March 2014


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