Phil on Wire

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Comedy/Romance/, USA, 2011

Synopsis Gloria (Sofía Vergara) is woken up early by Jay's (Ed O'Neill) snoring. Actually, it was Stella, their puppy. Jay let her sleep in the bed because she was scared. Gloria wants an explanation, as Jay wouldn't let Manny (Rico Rodriguez) in their bed. As would Manny, who was sleeping on the floor by the bed. And let's not even discuss Jay letting Stella take a shower with him. (And discuss even less us actually seeing that.)Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) has decided to go on a juice fast. Good for Cam, bad for Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson). The reasons?STAGE I: THE CLEAN SWEEP - Cameron throws out any food in the house that's...well, edible.STAGE II: ATTACK MITCHELL - Somehow, Cameron's descent into madness will end with him binging on Nutella and taking it all out on him.Mitchell will try a new strategy this time: join Cameron on the juice fast. He tells Cam he thinks he could lose a few pounds. (CAMERON: Well, I didn't want to say anything.) Mitch takes all the junk food to the Dunphys, which Luke (Nolan Gould) happily accepts. Phil (Ty Burrell) was too occupied being impressed by old movies of daredevils walking on tightropes, so he decides to go after his dream: to walk on a tightrope. Amazingly, he practices on the ground to start. ("I haven't fallen three out of the last four times.") However, he has to take the sugar-amped Luke to school, since Claire (Julie Bowen) has to deal with the fact that Alex (Ariel Winter) is in second-year math as a freshman. Which, BTW, is the exact same class Haley (Sarah Hyland) is a senior. Oh, and the crossing guard treating the school driveway like Marine bootcamp at Parris Island was not helping Claire's headache much, either.Cam and Mitch are up to the fourth day of their juice fast. And apparently, there are more stages...STAGE III: THE SOAP ACTRESS - Cameron laments on the most picayune of thingsSTAGE IV: THE EPIPHANIES - Cam is just a total idea man today. ("Architecture is everywhere!" "Spaniards make amazing athletes.")STAGE V: TOTAL DESPAIR - Cam was too depressed to even play hide-and-seek with LilySTAGE VI: RAGE - The kitchen cabinets apparently offended Cam in some way, shape, or form.Mitchell's problem is not knowing what the next stage would be, as Cam had never lasted this long on a juice fast before. He wasn't putting any money on "charming party guest" for the next stage.Claire tried to put Alex and Haley in their place for not getting along in class, although to be fair, Alex really shouldn't have reminded the teacher to assign homework. (And this is coming from a math teacher himself.) But it's all part of her plan to put an idea into their heads to work it out and think they did it on their own. (PHIL: Ooh, Inception. It's a dangerous game you play. But I like it.") And then Phil has to explain the wire walker shoes he bought. Actually, they were Jazz shoes.Surprisingly, Claire's plan worked. Haley traded social help for math help with Alex, and they agreed to stay in the same class. One tiny problem: they got caught by the teacher. The principal gave them a talking-to and informed Claire of it in the van while she was waiting to pick them up. And she got a ticket from the crossing guard Nazi as a result. So Claire decided to not follow her advice from earlier and rise above the fray. She got down in the fray and gave her both barrels. ("I got news for you, Law & Order: Special Parking Unit. It's not my fault.") And the crossing guard put her in handcuffs so Haley and Alex could see her.Luke gets sick from all the candy and confesses to Phil. Phil figured he learned his lesson and can't really get mad at him anyway, since he couldn't even walk on a wire six inches off the ground. Luke thinks he keeps falling because Phil knows in his mind he can fall from that short height. Yup, Phil is that dumb.Gloria is going crazy because Stella keeps chewing up her things. Finally, she takes one of Jay's shoes and tries to give to to Stella for her to chew. Stella refuses, and Gloria tries to demonstrate by putting Jay's shoe in her mouth and chewing on it. Which Jay and Manny witness. Gloria is REALLY upset now because Jay is paying far more attention to Stella than her.GLORIA: Where I come from, men CHERISH women! It goes wife, mistress, dog! Dog is always at the bottom!How is the juice fast going?MITCHELL: It's tough enough to deal with Cam when I'm at full strength, but I've been fasting just as long as him, and I don't have the energy to deal with a big, needy, brisket case...BASKET case!They go to a party thrown by Mitch's boss, and Mitch insists Cam eat something to get out of his emotional state. Then the boss talks about a sea lion he saw in the ocean who drowned because of a plastic shopping bag, and the water works start...from Mitchell. He runs out into the ocean, and Cam gives chase. They finally admit they were keeping to the diet to support the other, and they hug...then get knocked over by a full view of everybody.Haley and Alex apologize to Claire on the way home from school, but she admitted she wasn't the best parent, either. Then they come home to see Phil walking on the tightrope seven feet off the ground...WITHOUT FALLING. (No that's not a misprint.)CLAIRE: All week long, I've been telling my girls HOW to act instead of showing them. But not Phil. He could have said 'Alex, relax. Don't take everything so seriously.' Or 'Haley, challenge yourself. Don't give up so easily.' But instead of talking the talk, Phil walked the walk. And isn't that what we're supposed to do for the people we love? (Like Jay leaving Stella outside the bedroom, or Cam and Mitch working out together...Cam wearing his too-tight compression shorts?) It's definitely a challenge. But Phil made it look feet off the ground. It's turns out, I had my Super Dunphy all along.PHIL: What was I thinking while I was walking on that wire? If I can do this, I have two ways to get across my yard.

Directed by Jason Winer  

Starring Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, more...

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