The first episode back for “Modern Family”, after a much too long two-week hiatus, opens with testimonials about our character’s biggest fears – all who had no problem lying to the camera, except maybe Manny who claims a fear of dying alone.
At the Dunphy household, Hayley is panicking about her last shot at her driving test, as Claire soon worries too – thinking about the hell it will be to drive Hayley around for what could be forever. Alex complains about going to a school dance because she thinks boys are plain ‘ol stupid. I wonder why she would think such a thing? Right on cue, Phil dressed like a miner explains that he and Luke are “sooooo” excited to explore under the house for Hayley’s treasures after being tipped off by the cable guy.
Meanwhile, Cam and Mitchell invite over Lily’s “Asian” pediatrician, Dr. Miura for brunch in order to smooth over past racial blunders.
On the other side of town, Manny pretends to have a fever in order to avoid a party at an amusement park – more importantly to avoid roller coasters, as Gloria soon reveals.
Back at the Dunphy’s, Luke and Phil or shall I say “Ponce de Leon and his son, little Ponce” seek out the crawl space under the house. Phil quickly and not noticeably is frightened of the little space as he suggests driving Luke’s remote control car in, equipped with a small camera. In seconds the car topples over…
While eating brunch, innocent Lily utters her first word – “Mommy” of course directed at the only ethnic and gender possibility in the room. Without surprise her gay daddies are traumatized.
Upon Gloria’s suggestion, Jay decides to bring Manny fishing to take his mind off of his “fever.” As the three walk down the pier, in the near distance is the amusement park as Manny thwarts Gloria’s plan and a dumbfounded Jay still wants to go fishing. Gloria doesn’t let up, nearly forcing Manny to ride the rollercoaster and we soon realize that Jay is just as terrified. The two still squirm at the thought of facing their fears as Gloria calls them both girls handing off her purse and frilly hat, before storming off to ride by herself.
Hayley, who is doing a good job of failing her driving test, starts crying asking why her instructor (three times running) hates her. He decides to give her a second chance, explaining that he doesn’t hate her, he just wants her to be safe.
Still flustered, Cam points out the “giant panda” in the room worrying that Mitchell and he lack the feminine touch. Dr. Miura quickly adds that is positively not missing, instead proposing Lily’s word is just a random jumbling of syllables. Cam reassured, calms down for a moment before Lily again drops the “M” bomb.
Waiting for Hayley, Claire discovers Alex is afraid she will not be asked to dance. As she offers “hand-me-down” advice, Hayley returns. Ecstatic at passing her driving test, she jumps out of the car (that is yet to be parked) and wildly runs into the DMV.
At the Dunphy house, Luke decides to man up and braves the hole for treasure (and his remote controlled car). Inside, he gets lodged next to a hot pipe and his only hope is his fearless father, Phil! After shaking off the imaginary spiders, Phil faces his fears and enters, prying Luke from the burning pipe. After hesitation, Phil and Luke recover the car and decide to explore the bowels of the house for their hidden riches. Their exploration doesn’t last long as they stumble upon skeletons they later discover are old Halloween decorations of former tenants.
Cam and Mitchell walk Dr. Miura to her car and the three share a heartfelt moment. She describes her rocky relationship with her mother and truly wishes she had two fathers just as Lily does. Before leaving she says the only way her mother would be happy is if she would one day fit the mold of an Asian stereotype. Seconds later, she reverses from the driveway smashing into two garbage cans before ultimately swiping a parked car.
Everyone in the three families faced their fears in one way or another. Manny and Jay ultimately ride a rollercoaster, Hayley drives away alone, and each parent fears for their child’s safety and acceptance. Nevertheless, novice parents Cam and Mitchell get off easy, as they discover Lily’s doll squeaks the word, “Mommy.”