Only 'Modern Family' could pull off having a set-up episode for their big Hawaiian vacation and have it succeed in its own right. The episode explored the comic misadventures that every sitcom explores when a trip is planned. They managed to find a clever way to play up familiar topics by playing around with time.
That way we could experience things like a stray sneeze at one point in the episode, wondering if there was more to it, only to find out later that it was the result of an entirely different scenario playing out during the same scene. Attention to detail keeps 'Modern Family' at a different level as all those other sitcoms out there.
The parallels between Claire and Mitchell were especially emphasized this week when the couples were split up. Phil and Mitchell headed back for Mitchell's wallet at the house, while Cameron stayed with Claire at the airport. It was funny seeing Phil and Cameron dealing with the others' spouses, both of whom are incredibly high-strung. In their defense, both Cameron and Phil can be quite flaky and distracted.
If Claire and Mitchell didn't keep their houses in order, things might fall apart. But the boys have their uses. While I fully expected Phil's ploy to break into Mitchell's house to fail, he came through and got in cleanly and smoothly. He's not "clueless" at all, though he did slip and fall over the fire truck left in the house.
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