‘Modern Family’ Recap (11/14) spoiler alert

Christina Pembleton

The ultimate miscommunication mishap occurred on Wednesday night’s episode of “Modern Family” when Phil Dunphy met Cam’s gay friend at the gym and invited him over to watch their alma mater’s football game. Unbeknownst to Phil, Cam sends his gay friend Dave, played by Matthew Broderick, to Phil’s gym to meet other men. Phil hits it off with Dave and invites him over while Claire takes Luke and Manny to Alex’s academic decathlon. Dave, who is just coming out of an intense break up, is both elated and terrified to hang out with Phil alone, and he becomes even more anxious when he notices a picture of Phil’s family and wife on the wall. Cam, who has no idea that Phil is the mystery man at the gym, convinces Dave that the invite is a flirtatious gesture that he should not ignore.

Meanwhile, Manny falls for a Jewish girl who smiles at him in the hotel lobby where the decathlon is taking place. The boys search effortlessly for the girl and decide to crash three Bar Mitzvahs to find her. In between frantic phone calls from Dave, Cam tries to hold pregnant Gloria’s attention so he can surprise her with a baby shower gift: a painted mural of her family in the new nursery. While Cam pins down Gloria, Jay goes baby shopping with his son Mitchell. Alex loses the first round of her competition while her mom is gloating about last year’s decathlon victory, and Claire realizes that she puts so much pressure on her daughter to perform and succeed. A sweet heart-to-heart takes place between Alex and Claire, and she acknowledges that her perfectionist attitude may have affected her daughter’s performance.

Back at home, Phil is performing his usual antics, but Dave thinks he is making passes. Phil’s clueless charades make for some awkward scenarios but hilarious television. First, Phil accidentally turns on music from his iPad which is synced to every device in the house. Then, while watching the game and barking like a bulldog (the alma mater’s mascot), Phil says “time out,” and “too close” when Dave tries to scooch closer to him on the couch. Dave is utterly confused. Is this a booty call like Cam suggested, or is Phil  being straight? The final mishap takes place when Phil and Dave clink their glasses and spill their margaritas down their shirts. Phil instructs his new friend to take off his shirt, and Dave uncomfortably obeys. When the electronically-synced iPad malfunctions and shuts the TV off, Phil asks if they can take it to the bedroom. Poor Dave thinks it’s just too soon and nearly walks out the door before turning around and striking Phil with a kiss on the lips. Finally, Phil understands that this was not a cordial connection but a gay rendezvous for his new pal.

When the day of shopping is done for Jay and Mitchell, the two lock themselves in the car to have a serious talk about a run-in at the store with Jay’s therapist. He admits that giving up his home office for the new nursery is a lot for him to handle. It’s the only room where he can have a moment of privacy. Mitchell explains that he had to do the same when his adopted daughter Lily arrived, but he assures Jay that he won’t regret it once the baby shows up. This trapped-in-the-car moment is a lovely father-son bonding moment that rarely happens on the show. Gloria gets fed up with Cam’s filibustering and storms into the house to take a nap. Cam leads her to the nursery to show her the gift, and when Gloria goes off on him for being pushy, she notices the mural and praises Cam for his one-of-a-kind gift and personality. The good news is that Jay loves it, too, even though his private office is transforming before his eyes.

And what became of this week’s installment of “Adventures with Manny and Luke”? At the last Bar Mitzvah of the day, the boys finally catch a glimpse of Manny’s girl. Before the bouncer has a chance to toss the two crashers, Manny approaches his crush and asks her to meet him in the party photo booth so that he can always remember her. Ultimately, his day of searching proves to be fruitless when the girl ditches Manny after he tries to make a move in the photo booth.

When will the baby arrive? Will Phil ever see Dave again? Will Manny ever find love? As usual, the writers of “Modern Family” keep us laughing, guessing and waiting in suspense