Modern Family Season 4 Review “Flip Flop”

Modern Family Season 4 Episode 20 Flip Flop (1)

I have a personal theory regarding how to tell if any given Modern Family episode is going to be strong or not, based just on how it divides itself up in the early going: the more distinct plot lines, the worse the episode will be. The show’s best always comes at moments that force the whole family together, as they are in the beginning of “Flip Flop,” and as the episode continues along two separate paths, it’s the one that puts the most people together that’s the most successful.

Let’s start with the less-good, which is to say, Jay and Gloria. There are some moments here that save this half of the episode from total uselessness (the line about having to replace the emerald in her engagement ring was pretty perfect), but overall, I couldn’t enjoy it. It rests too heavily on Manny’s precocious cultural interests, which is maybe the most annoying part of the most annoying character, and then on top of that piles on a new guest character, Manny’s dad’s art historian girlfriend, who falls one hundred percent flat. Not even dogs, one real and cute and the other fake and usually pretty funny, can save it.

The house-flipping half of “Flip Flop,” however, is much more fun, letting Mitchell get increasingly angry at both his sister and his partner, who have saddled up together to make what seems like a giant financial mistake. It only gets better when it shifts into full-on farce mode, after Hayley internet-spies on their potential buyer, and they try to seduce him without being too creepy. It falls apart, of course, but the few moments there where you can see the characters try to pick up the pieces (“Oh dis doggy door?”) were pretty funny, as was the solution involving one final moment of lying about things. All in all, it made for a pretty solid Modern Family, even if a good deal of it didn’t live up to potential.