Welcome back from break everybody! And since we’re already in our third week of school, the break I’m really referring to is our painfully long Modern Family hiatus. Fortunately, the gang returned tonight with a hilarious Valentine’s Day episode. And this time, Clive and Juliana were back for round two.
In the opening scene, Claire and Phil discuss their low-key plans for Valentine’s Day — an early dinner at the restaurant, Ibiza. Alex corrects their pronunciation of the name. Phil obviously doesn’t get it. To the camera, Claire and Phil reflect on their disastrous Valentine’s Day of last year (one of the funniest episodes of all time). When Claire reminds Phil not to say the word “panties,” Phil reminds us, “She lost her underpanties.”
Meanwhile, Cam calls Mitchell at work to ask if he received his Valentine flowers. When they realize that Mitchell’s gay assistant, Broderick, probably purposefully misplaced them, Cam reminds Mitchell that Broderick seems to have a crush on him. Mitchell pretends to humbly deny it, but really he knows it’s true.
Later on, it’s 6:30 and Claire and Phil are already at dinner, surrounded by old folk. They talk about their crazy young days, an old man bumps into their table, and Phil drives away on the man’s motorized wheelchair. Claire freaks out, saying that she knows that she and Phil will grow old together someday, “but tonight is not that night.”
Claire then calls Phil from the front desk of the restaurant as her Juliana character from last year, telling him to ditch his wife. Obviously, it takes awhile for Phil to get it, but eventually, he reassures Claire by telling her, “I’ve been lying to my wife for sixteen years.” He then trips on his way out of the restaurant.
As they are leaving, Jay and Gloria enter the restaurant, but they can’t seem to get a table. This is all part of Jay’s plan. He is really stalling before he can surprise Gloria with a specially catered five-course meal at home. To Jay’s dismay, somehow, Gloria gets a table anyways.
The kids are at home while all this is happening. Haley’s upset because her new boyfriend, David, ditched her to study on Valentine’s Day. Manny is psyched. He has a crush on his … step-niece? Who is four years older than him. Manny reflects on the qualities of Haley’s past boyfriends, concluding with, “how about all that in one little round package?” He then follows her around the house trying to inspire her to ditch both David and Dylan.
Cam comes to pick up Mitchell at work, where Broderick (Mitchell’s assistant) apologizes for putting Mitchell in a meeting. He also pronounces Ibiza with a lisp, just like Alex in the first scene. Cam tried to confront Broderick about his crush on Cam, but when Broderick (sort of) confesses, Cam now thinks Broderick has a crush on him. Cut to scene of Cam in Mitchell’s office wearing his bike shorts. Hilarious. Cam, talking about Broderick’s man crush to the camera, says, “Does this man have red hair and a beard? No, but his boyfriend does.”
In the same hotel bar as last year, Phil, as Clive, passionately kisses Claire (Juliana), then spits her drink into his glass. They continue with their forced conversation in character, Phil continually awkwardly messing up and looking stupid. Finally, Claire goes upstairs, leaving Phil with a room key on the bar. Phil picks up the wrong one.
Meanwhile, Jay is stuck at the restaurant with Gloria, convinced his surprise for her is ruined. Just in time, however, Cam storms in to tell them they stole his reservation, and Jay and Gloria finally leave.
At Juliana and Clive’s hotel, Juliana is in the bathroom, and Clive is in the bedroom … in different suites. Each reassures the other on the phone that they will be out in a minute. When Juliana can’t find Clive, Claire realizes they are in different rooms and breaks character to yell at Phil. It is too late, however, and Phil is lying almost naked on the bed with champagne when an old lady walks in. The champagne cork pops off, and Phil says to the old lady, “There’s been a tiny mistake.”
At Ibiza, Cam and Mitchell both apologize for Broderick, and Cam hints to Mitchell that it’s really he who Broderick has a crush on. They begin to argue about who Broderick likes more, pretend to make up, and eventually storm out on their way to the assistant’s house to find out who he really loves.
Back at home, Gloria is furious at Jay for the failure of the night. She yells, “I’m the second wife. Why do you treat me like I’m the first?” Jay, fed up with Gloria’s complaining, picks her up and carries her inside. He turns on the lights with a great Valentine’s Day exclamation, and, to his disappointment, there is no five-course meal waiting them. Gloria, pretending to be pissed, storms outside and opens the garage.
To Jay’s surprise, the dinner is waiting for them in the garage, and Gloria shouts in triumph. Turns out, she had been tricking Jay the whole time. Pleased with her successful trick, she tells Jay that she proved that, “you are romantic and I am smarter than you!” Although a little disturbed by Gloria’s competitive spirit on Valentine’s Day, Jay gets over it when he realizes she also bought him a motorcycle.
While in Broderick’s driveway with Cam, Mitchell receives Broderick’s resignation email, apologizing for being “unprofessional” with his crush. Cam and Mitchell make up because of it, although they both secretly still believe it is he who Broderick wants.
Claire comes home to find Clive in the driveway, who still wants to have Valentine’s Day fun. Claire tells him to chill out because, “you almost got arrested tonight.” Romantically, in the sentimental moment of the episode, Juliana and Clive decide they can be sexy as Claire and Phil, and the two go inside to finish Valentine’s Day right.
As soon as Haley sends a breakup email to David with Manny’s help, she hears Dylan playing with his band outside her window. The crazy, stupid, romantic boyfriend has returned on Valentine’s Day, singing a song with the lyrics, “Imagine me naked.” The perfect couple is reunited once again by the most ridiculous love song ever written. With Dylan’s song playing in the background, a montage of all the happy couples ensues — Gloria and Jay, Cam and Mitchell, and Claire and Phil. Phil complains about an old back.
During the credits scene, Cam and Mitchell flirt with the delivery boy. When they realize that both they’ve been hit on, they simultaneously run for the door after the delivery guy.
Although not quite as funny as last year’s episode, this was a very satisfying Valentine’s Day on Modern Family, especially since we’ve missed it for so long.