The episode starts off with the Dunphy clan preparing gifts for Mom’s big day. But excitement turns to confusion when Claire comes in wearing an old tee-shirt with hand marks on her breasts. Apparently, it was a Mother’s Day gift from when the kids were younger, but Haley thinks the shirt makes it look like her mother was sexually assaulted by a creepy neighbor with small hands.
While the Dunphy’s are busy with their gifts, Cameron and Mitchell are having a celebration of their own, as Mitch prepares breakfast in bed for his husband. However, after realizing it is Mother’s Day, Cameron rejects the gift, insulted by the fact that he is viewed as the wife and mother in the relationship.
Meanwhile, Phil and Jay are cooking a Mother’s Day meal while the women and children are off on a hike. The children are completely bored by the hike, while back at the house, Jay does his best not to be annoyed by Phil’s constant assholery (dancing and singing, impersonating Julia Child, wearing “onion glasses” to avoid tears, etc.).
During the meal prep, Phil finds a “recipe for a perfect mom” that Jay wrote as a gift for his own mother as a boy. It triggers a flood of memories for Jay, and he begins to tear up. When Phil comments on it, Jay quickly puts on the onion glasses and pretends nothing is wrong.
At the canyon, the children’s constant complaining has forced the mothers to leave them behind in the hope of teaching them a lesson. On the other hand, Cameron and Mitchell are doing their best to patch things up while attending a Mother’s Day barbecue with Lily. However, Cameron’s insecurities are brought back into the open when the other partygoers force him to be in the Mom’s photograph, proving that it’s not only Mitchell who views him as “the woman” in the relationship.
At the Canyon, Gloria and Claire, now sans children, are discussing the selfishness of their offspring. Claire admits that sometimes she would like nothing more than to hit her children, a revelation that causes Gloria to recoil in disgust. However, after further coaxing from Claire, Gloria admits that sometimes Manny doe drive her crazy, and she wishes that he would act more like other boys his age (going outside, throwing a ball, stealing) rather than writing poetry and following her around the house. Surprise, surprise: Manny is standing right behind her and hears the whole confession.
Back in the kitchen, Phil tries to comfort Jay with a hug. Jay wants nothing to do with it, and Phil is forced to wonder, as he does in every damn episode, why Jay can’t show his emotions.
Still reeling from the photo incident, Cameron is being extremely touchy about the issue of his masculinity. So when a group of children at the park ask him to throw their ball back to them, he takes the simple request as an insult. Determined to prove himself as a man, he heaves the ball as far as he can, hitting a random elderly biker in the process.
Back at the canyon, Gloria manages to make up with Manny, telling him that she was lying in order to make Claire feel better about her parenting issues. Claire doesn’t buy it, but lets it go, attempting to make up with her own kids. However, the Dunphy children have formed a pact, and are refusing to apologize. Once back at the house, Cameron begins drinking scotch to help drown his sorrows. Mitchell comes over to cheer him up by showing him a mother’s day card. This does nothing to help, and Cameron rips it to shreds.
After informing his angry husband that Manny gave that card to Gloria, Mitchell explains that the best qualities of a mother (warmth, kindness, etc.) are all traits that Cameron has in spades, and he shouldn’t be insulted by the comparison. Cameron is relieved about the entire situation, especially since it means he can stop drinking scotch, which burns his throat. During the family meal, Jay is once again brought to tears by the thought of his mother. The outburst of emotion causes the Dunphy children to break down and apologize to their mother, and everyone at the table aside from Manny and Mitchell take part in a group hug. Manny offers to hug Mitchell, but he callously declines.
As the night winds down, the Dunphy children fall asleep beside their mom on the couch. Phil attempts to capture the touching moment with a photo, but is chastised by his ungrateful family when the flash wakes them up. I assume that the next few episodes will involve Phil abandoning his family and in order to kill Jay and have sex with Gloria, but only time will tell.
So, what did you think about last night’s episode? Personally, I thought it was a little too sappy, but then again, maybe I’m just upset that Jay didn’t use the Al Bundy crying face when he had his break down.