Modern Family Strangers on the Treadmill: Claire & Mitch Make a Deal

Sometimes the truth is hard to hear, which isn’t any more obvious than in episode four of “Modern Family” season two, Strangers on the Treadmill.

Haley (Sarah Hyland) is finally excited to have a sister, and Jay (Ed O’Neill) won’t admit he doesn’t know the people who work for him. But the biggest storyline of the night: Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) wants Cam (Eric Stonestreet) to stop wearing bike shorts, and Claire (Julie Bowen) doesn’t want Phil (Ty Burrell) to tell jokes as the host of SCARB (South CA Realtors Banquet).

Modern Family TV star Julie Bowen looks stylish in her white coat and a red scarf as she arrives at the Jimmy Kimmel Live! studios

First, Haley helps Alex (Ariel Winter) – perhaps for the first time ever – when Alex realizes popular girl Mackenzie is stringing her sister along. Alex is a quick learner, realizing the more she ignores Mackenzie, the better position she’s in. Haley’s proud for once, until Alex says she can’t attend a party because she’s busy… with homework.

Meanwhile, Jay isn’t having any luck at all either on “Modern Family,” Strangers on the Treadmill. The Pritchett family goes to what Jay thinks is a quinceanera party for his employee’s daughter, but is actually an engagement party. Jay even makes a speech, offering to pay the bar tab. But when the happy couple starts to dance and Jay freaks out about a butt grab, Gloria (Sofia Vergara) finally tells him the truth.

Since Claire and Mitch can’t tell their significant others how they feel without offending them, they decide to make a deal. Just like the movie “Strangers on a Train,” they decide to commit the perfect crime and perform each other’s ‘murders.’ Granted, they’re on treadmills when they make this deal. The “Modern Family” situation is rife with comedic opportunity, and unlike last week, it pays off.

Claire holds up her end of the bargain. She tells Cam, “they’re not working for you,” and Cam runs off crying. Meanwhile, Mitch flakes out, or as Claire says, acts the part of a “gutless weasel.”

Yet, Cam overhears Mitchell talking about how he really feels about the shorts, which leads to more crying. And then Cam tells Mitch he doesn’t like his beard. Mitch proves his loyalty by starting to shave his beard off, but Cam stops him. Of course, it doesn’t help that when Cam asks for Mitch to do his shoulders, Mitch thinks shaving them, not massaging.

Meanwhile, Claire takes initiative and steals Phil’s speech. He starts to play it straight, but he just can’t help himself and starts cracking jokes. Amazingly enough, everyone laughes. But Phil has Claire figured out, and he understands.

He knows Claire takes it as her job to make sure the family doesn’t fall on their faces. Yet, Phil tells her, they just need her to pick everyone back up when they fall. And that’s exactly what Alex needs. As she admits to her mom, she doesn’t have any friends.

“Modern Family” seems to have perfected the art of ending a hilarious show on a sweet, honest moment, just like they did in Strangers on a Treadmill.

© Copyright: 2010 Elizabeth SanFilippo at

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By day, I work as a Web Coordinator for a culinary vacation company. By night, I write, watch TV and movies, draw, and eat. Not usually all at the same time though. I love a good story and finding the right words to tell it. I also love a good meal, as w

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