‘Modern Family’ “Slow Down Your Neighbors” with James Marsden and Jami Gertz

Another mid-season premiere and another awesome Modern Family with season two, episode 11, “Slow Down Your Neighbors.” Even with three separate story lines – except Claire (Julie Bowen) stealing a bicycle from Gloria (Sofia Vergara) – the ABC comedy was all about neighbors with a bit from Luke that perfectly rounded out the show.

Modern Family stranger in the hot tub: James Marsden

Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) first find their new “neighbor” Barry (James Marsden) in their hot tub, which Barry apparently thought was communal.

With Barry’s stellar looks, Cam immediately starts acting like a 16-year-old girl. But Mitch isn’t so accepting, especially after he learns Barry is all about Reiki.

Mitch eventually warms up to him, though, when guest star James Marsden calls him out for constantly rolling his eyes – but that lack of negative energy doesn’t last for long.

ItÂ’s starry-eyed Cam who learns the truth about the Modern Family guest star. He finds Barry inside LilyÂ’s princess castle, and Barry wonÂ’t leave. When Cam tries to touch him, he goes crazy, causing the castle to shake.

This causes Mitch to yell, “Just for the record, I was right.” Cam’s response? “I still don’t think you should judge people!”

Manny and Gloria learn to ride a bike

Gloria has always been overprotective of Manny (Rico Rodriguez II) on Modern Family, but the training wheels on his bike are a bit much. “Stephen Hawking could ride that bike,” Jay (Ed O’Neill) says.

Jay decides to teach his family what they should have known long ago. Manny wears lots of protection pads, but he doesnÂ’t need to. HeÂ’s a natural.

Where does the neighbor theme in “Slow Down Your Neighbors” come into this storyline? Just briefly, when Gloria thinks a neighbor is going to steal Manny off his bike.

Gloria isnÂ’t as lucky in learning how to ride. In fact, sheÂ’s a natural disaster and rides right into the bush.

“Good day’s work,” Jay shouts. “Whaddya say we hit the jewelry store?”

Gloria thinks she needs a new teacher – one that is more gentle and nurturing, like a woman, like Phil. Unfortunately, heÂ’s off to an open house, and sheÂ’s left with… Luke? Her nephew offers to help, because his playdate’s canceled.

LukeÂ’s tactic starts with: what bad thoughts are holding you back? Then he sprays her with a water gun, claiming thereÂ’s nothing to be afraid of. And sheÂ’s off, riding her bike and heading down the hill! Until Claire grabs her…

Guest star Jami Gertz wants to move

File:Jami Gertz.jpg

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

The best storyline of the night came from the Dunphys where two stories collided. Claire is determined to find the lunatic who races down their street in a sports car. Turns out that lunatic is Laura (Jami Gertz) and a client that Phil is wooing so he can finally be salesman of the quarter.

When a bullhorn doesnÂ’t work, Claire creates a sign – which is the namesake for this Modern Family episode. It confusedly reads, “Slow down your neighbors.”

Phil keeps trying to lead a double life – but heÂ’s no Hannah Montana, which he fully admits. When heÂ’s at the open house, Laura speeds home, and Claire takes GloriaÂ’s bike so she can try to follow. Naturally, sheÂ’s far behind and doesnÂ’t put two and two together when she shows up at the open house.

In fact, Claire doesnÂ’t realize who Laura is until she pulls out of the driveway with Claire in the car. That look on ClaireÂ’s face couldnÂ’t be more priceless – well, other than Phil thinking buying his wife a dozen mylar balloons is enough of an apology.

One last great moment on ‘Modern Family’

In the final moment of the show, when Phil is having trouble teaching Haley (Sarah Hyland), Luke says, “Allow me dad, I’m a great teacher.” Luke then asks Haley, “Who invented the alphabet?” and sprays her repeatedly with the water gun until she comes up with the right answer. He then sits down, opens the book, gives her a tough look, and points the gun at Haley. Way to go, Luke. This is the best he’s ever been on Modern Family.

© Copyright: 2011 Elizabeth SanFilippo at Gather.com

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