The Episode Where Phil Finally Becomes Likeable

It's hard to like clumsy dad Phil. Not only is he dorky in everything he says to both the camera and his children, but he also is morally dubious (ahem, always hugging / feeling up his step mom? Gross!). We know Phil does real estate, but we never see him making a successful sale, so in the end, Phil seems like a colossal failure at everything: work, being a dad, being a good husband, etc.

This episode finally changed my perception of Phil by showing him as a thoughtful husband who took time to buy nice gifts for his wife on their anniversary. In opposition, his wife Claire seemed like a dimwit who couldn't come up with a proper gift for someone she's been married to for years (hug coupons? At least make them coupons for sex!). For the first time, I liked Phil more than Claire, even though she also rubs me as a bit annoying. When the couple danced to their "new" song, and Phil lovingly played along to the misguided gift, I thought it was the sweetest moment the two adults have had in the series.

The episode had several other highlights: Jay always catching Haley; Haley's boyfriend wanting to watch cowboys; Gloria singing some kind of chant to the baby. I think Gloria is one of my favorite characters; her totally different perspective provides a nice critique of and foil to middle class white suburban America.

In addition, I liked when Mitchell and Cameron had to deal with their former BFF becoming jealous. As a non-married girl who's seen lots of close friends have babies, I can relate to this feeling. I thought it was a compelling story line that rang true.

Thing I didn't like in this episode:

-Manny's love of Haley. EW. I mean, I know they're not blood related, but still. I LOVE Manny in every other respect. Let me love him without making him a perv!

-Alex merely existing to make side comments. We've gotten so little about Alex; the most was her dress-shopping expedition with Gloria. I want to feel a connection to Alex, but her snarkiness, while funny, gets a little old when it's all we see from her.

Overall: good episode, but I think I still loved the figure skating one more!


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