Games People Play
Original Air Date: May 15, 2013
Wyner C – Senior Reviewer
Competitiveness is in everyone. Some know how to temper that Monster and some let it take over. Let’s see how our funny family fail and succeed (or try to).
Phil gets a RV and plans a family summer trip to Yellow Stone. In the meantime, he takes the Dunphy clan down the coast. Claire knows this is a bad idea: siblings in an enclosed box = fights galore (being a middle child: I know). Mother knows best but doesn’t want to be a Debbie Downer, she’ll let Phil find out the hard way.
In the beginning, the kids get along and Claire starts to think she’s the toxin. Then it happens, thanks to a bee. The kids start fighting. Phil stops the RV and leaves in a huff – he just wanted quality family time and gets dysfunction. Claire knows she’s right, albeit she’s sad she’s correct. While Phil bonds with other sad dads, Claire and the kids connect.
Claire finds out Luke is failing pre-algebra, Alex was juggling two boys and Haley did a Laker Girl audition but bombed. Claire admits Phil is right, the family should spend more time together to bond.
The Pritchetts are on a hunt for Manny’s backpack. Gloria breaks into the Dunphy house (a useful talent) and lets Manny and Jay inside. While in the house, Jay and Gloria snoop; as non-thieving burglars do. Manny gets judge-y and realizes the backpack is at Cam’s.
After Gloria breaks into Cam’s house, more snooping commences. Jay and Gloria find out they weren’t invited to a Game Night. They’re obviously upset until Manny sets them straight – Gloria cheats and Jay is a competitive bully; Manny’s shocked they were ever invited in the first place.
The adults reflect and agree with Manny, though they think Manny is too adult for a kid. Then Manny realize his parents were invited, he forgot to give them the invitation. He hides it in Cam’s briefcase. Gloria finds it and is proud Manny has it in him to be sneaky. Oookay….
Mitchell and Cam watch Lily’s gymnastic meet. Remember, she’s 5 years old so “tumbling” is relative. When Lily starts thriving, Mitchell’s Monster comes out – he loudly chants for a competitor to fall and he “yes”-es when she does fall. He’s a total Monster. Cam sets him straight but has to reflect when the bun he helped tie unfurled and caused the competition to fall – he might have done it on purpose.
While the two discuss their Monster, a competitor falls. Lily hugs the girl, make sure she’s okay, and takes the pins out of the bun because it was too tight. The mother of the competitor asks if Cam/Mitchell saw what happened – wanting to commend Lily. Unfortunately, the two only sees the pins and thinks Lily was a poor sport. In a good deed gone bad, they reprimand Lily saying her behavior was wrong, an embarrassment, actions of a loser and weak. Everyone was appalled – enough so, they’re banned from watching her meets. Ha!!
Favorite moments/Things to ponder:
1. Manny’s new darker poems basically show teenage rebellion – wanting to emancipate from Gloria’s overbearing nature. Some titles of his new poems: “The Umbilical Noose,” “A Jail Called Mom,” and “SMother Nature.”
2. Loved that Mitchell didn’t care about Lily’s gymnastic until she was winning – like he didn’t care about her ballet, karate and other activities. Ha!
3. Phil has been trying to name something “Jolene” for a while – first the llama and now the RV.
4. The Pritchett Competitive Monster rears its ugly head in this episode. Love it!! Nature vs Nurture and it’s obvious Nurture won this battle.
5. Quote of the episode:
“But I didn’t want to get halfway into a trip to Yellow Stone before Phil discovered what malevolent hell spawn we have for children…whom I love very much”
~ Claire, voicing what a lot of parents thinks of their kids but demonstrating love doesn’t have to be blind.
6. Family moment of the episode:
It has to be Haley, Alex, and Luke performing Haley’s Laker Girl audition routine in the RV. Families – they fight but they make up in a heartbeat.
This was a sleeper episode – it was okay. There were moments but forgettable. What did you think? Are you competitive? Would you chant for a 5yo to fall? Would you “yes” when a 5yo falls? (Ha! In my head, yes, but not out loud – I have enough restraint, I hope) Were you shocked Haley tried out to be a Laker Girl? Do you think the Yellow Stone trip will be success? Discuss away!!!