EW Community TV Show Episode Guides and Recaps from EW's Community

Image Credit: Image Credit: ABC

'Modern Family' recap: Marco ...

Season 6 | Episode 4 | “Marco Polo” | Aired Oct 15, 2014

After a slightly lackluster episode last week, Modern Family rebounds and delivers its finest season 6 episode yet. This episode has it all: heartfelt storytelling, strong characters, and amazing humor. Ed O’Neill in particular is really given the chance to shine in “Marco Polo.”

The Dunphys are temporarily living in a hotel while their house is being treated for mold. Gloria suffers through Manny’s new relationship with an older, popular girl. Cameron is under a ton of pressure to maintain the football team’s perfect record when he comes to expect that Mitch is a possible jinx to the team.

If you are trying to avoid spoilers, you’re searching in the wrong place!

As expected, cramming all of the Dunphys into one room is a recipe for chaos. This is apparent right away with a cluttered room, constant arguing, and barking dogs. In fact, one moment of peace cannot be savored because the slightest movement sets the Nigerian neighbors’ dogs off.

Claire sneakily rents another room and is caught by Phil. He calls a family meeting to formally announce that mom is leaving them. They decide to split the family over the two rooms, but the kids “turn their backs on their father” as Phil makes this statement and head to Claire’s room.

Phil meets some bachelors in the hotel lobby while tending to his boredom, and misleads them into thinking that he is there cheating on his wife. Then he spends time playing Marco Polo with the Nigerian family, which makes his own kids feel jealous and remorseful. They come around, realizing how badly Phil wants to spend time with them, and yell “Marco” from the pool as Phil lays down by himself to sleep. He jumps up and rushes toward his family.

Gloria is having a fit about Manny hanging with an older friend named Sam. She is unnecessarily worried, per usual, and doesn’t trust the friend. Manny arrives home and Jay points out that Manny is making out with the so-called friend. Gloria has a modest reaction, and Jay points out that it’s a girl—which, hilariously, draws a larger reaction. She feels left out that Manny didn’t tell her about his girlfriend.

The next morning, Gloria lets Manny know that she knows Sam is a girl. Gloria asks if she can meet her, and Manny defiantly says no. Gloria requests Jay to warn her against forcing Manny into something he doesn’t want to do. Poor Manny. Obviously, Jay’s speech to Sam implodes, leaving him to exclaim, “No means no,” as he storms away.

At the football game that night, Sam is cheering Manny on with a sign, which makes Gloria very happy. Shortly after, Jay unintentionally spots Sam kissing another boy. When Manny gets home after the game, he confesses that he and Sam broke up because she was using him. Jay comforts him with a hug, which Gloria witnesses.

Cam has led the football team to their first 5-0 start in school history. The town loves him and is constantly showing support, going as far as paying for Cam’s (not Mitch’s) meals and sending him gifts. This causes a jealous fit on Mitch’s end.

As Cam leaves while performing pregame good-luck rituals, Mitch complains about Cam’s behavior in an attempt to justify his own feelings. He talks at Lily as she attempts to answer his questions, cutting her off at every sentence because he isn’t actually listening to her. She even mentions a kid threatening to kill her fathers and it shoots right over Mitch’s head during the tantrum.

The football team is tanking in the beginning of the game. Manny points out the only positive, which is that Mitchell finally made it to a game. Desperately, Cam asks Mitch to clear out, calling him a jinx, then rushes back onto the field to tend to a bee attack—as if the game couldn’t get worse. At the very last second, the football team pulls off the win. Cam looks around for Mitch to celebrate with, only to see that his seat is empty. Cam calls him and learns that he got snagged on top of a fence while trying to leave the game. Cam helps him down, and they accept that sports in general are not a shared passion of theirs.

The episode’s ending tag has Claire and Phil cautiously opening the front door back at their house in the middle of the night to greet the Nigerians from the hotel. It’s a clever an entertaining scene. The best part is the husband saying “Marco” as he entered the house. Plus, the dogs come strolling in, to the kids’ dismay.

I loved this episode. Jay has so many great comedic moments that it is almost too difficult to keep count. All three of the family storylines are strong, story-wise, and very funny. The actors do a phenomenal job portraying their characters. The writing in “Marco Polo” is brilliant. This episode is as close to perfection as you’d expect from an Emmy-winning comedy series. I hope that the next episode continues this momentum. I give this episode 5 Nigerian neighbors out of 5.

 Favorite Quotes

“I was putting my money on a sophomore with a mustache.” —Jay

“OK, one of you has to go with your mom. So we’ll do this the democratic way. Whoever pulls the short crust …” —Phil

Gloria: So, you’re only fifteen and you go out with a senior?
Manny: Are you sure you want to play that game?
Jay: Are you?

“Eh, it’s not my favorite exit of his, but it beats the dramatic stage bow.” —Jay

“I couldn’t tell Manny because it would kill him. And I couldn’t tell Gloria because she would kill me. Hell of a way to ruin a nice hot dog.” —Jay


How do you feel after playing “Marco Polo”? Let us know in the comments!

Modern Family airs Wednesdays at 9/8C on ABC.

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

You May Like