After a few weeks of reruns, “Modern Family” was back on May 2 with a new episode: “Planes, Trains, and Cars.” The 21st episode of Season 3 had a fitting title since all of the main characters struggled with transportation issues. This was a strong episode that didn’t really advance any major storylines, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Sometimes it’s best for a sitcom just to be funny, and this episode certainly fit the bill. Here is a recap of episode 3.21 of “Modern Family.”
Jay’s quest for glory
Jay is excited to take his family to Pebble Beach so that he can meet up with his old football gang. He tells Gloria that those guys love him, so he wants to arrive in style. Unfortunately, no one is making it easy for him. Gloria refuses to ride in a private jet, forcing Jay to drive to his destination. When his car breaks down, the last resort seems to be a shady helicopter ride. Once again, Gloria and Manny refuse, and the three wind up at a motel in the middle of nowhere. Jay ultimately confesses that he wasn’t the big football star that he claimed to be. He was hoping to show off Gloria and his new life to win the respect of his former teammates. It turns out that Gloria is on board, and she decides to take the helicopter ride after all.
The new sports car
Phil is looking to buy a practical new car, but his friend Andre (Kevin Hart) convinces him to buy a sports car instead. Phil is afraid to reveal the news to Claire and becomes even more scared at her non-reaction. Phil soon realizes that his new toy isn’t exactly what he needs, and he is forced to trade cars with Claire for the day. Her anger surfaces as she drives it, but she soon find joy when she decides to drive up the coast. Meanwhile, Phil realizes the happiness of driving the kids around in the van and learning about their lives.
After Claire loses the keys to the sports car on the beach, Phil comes to the rescue. The two share a tender moment on the beach, but Phil ultimately decides to give up his non-practical purchase.
The lost stuffed animal
Mitchell and Cameron decide to take Lily on her first subway trip. The goal is to help her experience the greatness of the city, but the plan backfires when they accidentally lose her stuffed bunny on the train. A devastated Lily can’t sleep at night, and that keeps her parents up, as well. Naturally, Mitchell and Cameron have different approaches on what they should do. Cameron prints up signs asking if people have seen the missing bunny, while Mitchell decides that it might be an opportunity to teach Lily about loss. After relaying a childhood story, Mitchell realizes that Cameron is right to keep searching for the bunny. The two eventually spot it in the company of a homeless man. When they see him using it as a handkerchief, both decide that maybe it is time to give Lily some tough love.