Strangers in the Night

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Comedy/Romance/, 2014, 21 min.

Synopsis A mystery at the Dunphy house: who was leaving single white roses in the mailbox? Everyone assumed they were for Haley (Sarah Hyland), be it a current boyfriend (like the one she never told her parents about because he was an ex-con) or perhaps some stalker coming after her like Luke (Nolan Gould) thought. Alex (Ariel Winter) was a bit upset that nobody thought the roses could be for her. After all, she had a boyfriend now. She never said anything because she didn't want Phil (Ty Burrell) and Claire (Julie Bowen) to grill her relentlessly about it...which is exactly what they did when they found out. She had a picture of him, but her phone wasn't working all of a sudden. But no matter, he was posing for a local supermarket circular. This made both Haley and Claire suspicious. Alex never mentioned him before, couldn't bring up a picture on her phone, and by some incredible coincidence, he happened to model pork chops for a living? Phil was far more optimistic, saying he'll tell Alex to invite this boy to dinner so he could serve up a big helping of "I told you so!"HALEY: Maybe you can also serve up unicorn burgers, magic beans, and I'll invite my boyfriend, Bigfoot!CLAIRE: (to herself) Still better than Dylan.Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) decided on one nice wedding gift for themselves: an Edgar Vanderkoff Blanc-To-Blanc sofa. Basically, it was a really white sofa. They tried to tell themselves they wanted Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons) to realize they trusted her enough to have nice things around the house. Although Cam might want to work on the trust issues, given he frisked Lily before letting her sit on it (hands against the wall and legs spread, the whole nine yards). Of course, the cat was allowed to sit on the couch because he was white. (He had white fur, although good luck convincing Lily he didn't mean something else.) Mitchell, meanwhile, was dealing with a new co-worker, Brenda (Kristen Johnston). To say Brenda was a mess would be an insult to actual messes. She was going through a divorce and needed a place to crash. Given nobody else was in the office, despite Mitchell's desperate pleas, he offered to let Brenda crash at his place, provided he got permission from Cam. Which he didn't want, but Cam insisted that Mitchell always tried to be the nice guy but backed out, so it was time for him to follow through. Bad time for that, as Brenda practically mugged Mitchell in appreciation, actually transferring a Zoloft into his mouth when she kissed him. But she had plenty of those, along with plenty of wine as she sat on the white couch. And started sneezing, being allergic to cats. Turns out, she really was a mess. (BRENDA: My sinuses leak, my ears run, and I have hyperactive sweat glands!) Now given this will be a whole subplot about not getting the white couch dirty, Mitch and Cam tried to make up another couch for Brenda to sleep on, but she was too tall for it. She suggested sleeping on the couch, which prompted the guys to put her in their bed. Oh, and to make it even more fun, Brenda snored loudly enough for seismologists to register it.Jay (Ed O'Neill) and Gloria (Sofía Vergara) had a couple of parties to attend. Jay was bringing Stella to a friend's house, Buster, for a Bark Mitzvah and wanted Gloria to attend. It was fair, since Gloria was helping some friends of hers celebrate their citizenship. Jay was certainly in the spirit of things, even buying everyone stars-and-stripes sombreros. (GLORIA: It's the wrong country. He never listens, but he's so sweet.) The Bark Mitzvah didn't go so well for Gloria. She wasn't really a dog person, and this party had human and dog appetizers right next to each other, and there was even a punch bowl for the dogs shaped like a toilet. The puparazzi photographing everyone with their dogs (all of which somehow got right in Gloria's face) was the last straw for her and she had to leave. Joe crying his eyes out at home because Manny (Rico Rodriguez) had the nerve to turn off the Zooboo tape after two straight hours was child's play by comparison. Manny figured Jay was just trying to find some things Gloria and he had in common; hence being on-board to attend her citizenship party the next day. Gloria figured she should give it the ol' college try and went back to the party. Manny went with, since the food was pretty good at Buster's bris. Gloria apologized to Jay for thinking the party was crazy, and Manny admitted it was his idea. One tiny problem; Jay WANTED Gloria to storm off. If she walked out on the Bark Mitzvah, it would give him an excuse to bail on the citizenship picnic the next day.Alex was in a lot of trouble. Her boyfriend, Alec, was leaving for Africa because his father was a doctor and was going to help little kids who needed heart surgery. Obviously her heart would need a lot of fixing from this, but naturally nobody else in the family saw him stop by to tell her all of this. The only proof she had was a coffee cup he asked her to throw away, which had Alec's name on it. Only, you guessed it, the C was smudged a bit and looked like an X. They go to apologize for thinking earlier in the day the rose couldn't be for her because now Alex feels pressured to pretend to have a boyfriend. That set her off. Not only was Alec real, but since Alex changed her Facebook status to "single," another guy was interested in her. A guy named Teddy Keys. Phil and Claire then saw the teddy bear and a set of keys in Alex's room. Working at the Mattress King and a possible bad boy while spotting a picture of Dr. Martin Luther King and the book Crime and Punishment wasn't helping anyone's cause, but Alex was way too upset with them to accept their 'apology'. They walked out even more freaked because Alex looked like she believed every last thing she said. Phil and Claire didn't even believe Alex tutored a math tutor named Esther Choi. (CLAIRE: There is not an Esther Choi on this EARTH who needs help in math tutoring!) Phil thinks Alex is in real trouble, and her barreling down the stairs to get the door. It turns out it was Teddy and he had been giving Alex the roses. Which he got from a friend in Juvenille Detention. He wanted to take Alex out on his motorcycle and they took off.PHIL: Yes, our little girl isn't crazy! Teddy's real!CLAIRE: Real freaky!PHIL: I'm going!Now if you thought the couch was safe because Brenda was in Mitch and Cam's bed, then you don't watch enough sitcoms. They wake up in the middle of the night to find Brenda on the couch with an empty half-gallon of ice cream and her facial mask no longer on her face. They try to slip a blanket under her, only to have her fall to the floor and wake up. Not enough Zoloft in the world to keep her asleep, apparently, and she was practially in tears for waking up Mitch and Cam, and now Lily. Mitch and Cam go to get her some aspirin and admit they were being terrible being more concerned about the Edgar Vanderkoff sofa. (CAMERON: The guy hung himself last year! It's not like they're going to be making any more of those!) But Mitchell pointed out they were so obsessed over having a nice thing in the house after seven years of babyproofing that they were becoming like Brenda's ex, who had a better relationship with his boat than her. Cameron gave up the concept of having one nice thing...and then they saw Lily reading the same story to Brenda that helped her sleep. (CAMERON: We do have one nice thing!) Which is good, given Brenda sneezed right into the sofa.

Directed by Fred Savage  

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

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