Coal Digger

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Comedy/Romance/, USA, 2009, 30 min.

Synopsis It's time for the big game at the Pritchett house. Well, Jay doesn't want anybody over, since people who don't know football tend to talk while Ohio State is on. Gloria will be one of those people, as will Mitchell. Cameron, surprisingly, won't be. After all he collects antique pens, is an expert at Japanese flower arrangement, and he was a starting offensive lineman at the University of Illinois. (I remember him, I was right tackle and he was center. He always made jokes about wanting to be a wide receiver.) Obviously, he's excited: he even bought Lily a referee's uniform over Mitchell's protests. Before then, Claire and Phil have to settle a problem with Luke at school. Apparently, Luke got into a fight...with Manny. (Must have been all the coffee Manny was drinking.) This leads to an awkward moment between the two couples, since they have to confess in front of the principal that Manny is technically Luke's uncle, and Claire and Gloria separately think it's the fault of the other. For once, Jay and Phil are in complete agreement in letting it go. Of course, the ladies won't.You do have to give Mitchell credit. He's worried about C.J. Hightower being able to run his routes with a high angle sprain. Apparently, he'll learn about football for Cameron. He even knows the mascots (Illinois never had one, actually.) Of course, Cameron needs to know if he's straight. His face paint. The blue side is on, now he needs the orange side.At Jay's house, Phil huddles Manny and Luke together, after his customary uncomfortable hug with Gloria, to discuss feelings, but Jay streamlines the conversation by getting them to agree they don't hit each other in this house. A point he emphasizes by smacking both upside the head. Alex finds it funny that Haley hates football, given that the sport involves all boys and no reading. Of course, Jay doesn't need to hear this during the game, nor does he need to hear Cameron rooting for the Illini.JAY: Great, looks like I gotta watch the game with Dick Butkus.MITCHELL: Dad, that's offensive!Fortunately, this is the point when Mitchell decides he doesn't have to like football as much as Cameron. In the kitchen, Claire and Gloria are working out their differences, in spite of Phil's help. Claire admits she could be more welcoming of Gloria and Manny, and Gloria admits she could be a little less defensive. Even Luke and Manny have patched things up, not even remembering why they were fighting. Until Phil makes them remind us. It had to do with Manny's accent, and Luke eating the same thing for lunch every day, and that Gloria was a "coal digger." Well, Luke says his mom said it, in the car, at Christmas. Phil is nice enough to correct him: it's "gold digger." Claire denies faster than the CIA does about torture, and the fight is back on.MANNY: Way to go. Thanks to you, my mom and my sister are fighting.Needless to say, Gloria is completely offended and refuses to come out of her room. Jay is not happy with Claire, obviously. She tries to defend herself by saying that it was over a year ago when she said it, and that she is young and gorgeous, while Jay is... and she notices how deep the hole is. Phil doesn't, of course:JAY: This is why we sweep things under the rug: so people don't get hurt.PHIL: Until you sweep too much under the rug, then you got a lumpy rug. Creates a tripping hazard, open yourself to lawsuits, and man you can go a long time without blinking.Phil goes to talk to Gloria, since you can either be part of the problem or part of the solution, and he feels he can be both. He tries to say that Claire said it a long time ago, but Gloria rants that she can be without all of these pretty colors, like the pretty colors of her lingerie. (Not a wise idea to throw them all over Phil, given that he fondles the leopard-patterned bra while he's talking to her.) He equates Claire not liking her to when Jay didn't like him. Fortunately, Mitchell brought Cameron home, so perspectives changed. To be fair, Jay is upset that Claire thinks he can't get someone like Gloria, so he gets some advice on if he is sexy. Mitchell isn't having it, but Cameron likes the dangerous/rich combination Jay brings to the table and would totally pick him up in "one of his bars."Claire comes to talk to Gloria, who will do anything to prove it isn't about the money. She'll get rid of her earrings, her bracelets, her dress...and there will be a short pause while we wait for Phil to tell her she doesn't have to do that. After Phil extracts himself from the room, with a pink pair of panties attached to his leg, Claire admits it was a matter of getting used to Gloria being there instead of her mother. However, Gloria still won't forgive her. Claire demands to know what she can do to make up for it, and Gloria suggests jumping in the pool. Claire doesn't want to do it, but she does. Gloria won't fall for the old "help me out of the pool" trick, so Jay just pushes her in. The rest of the family follows.

Directed by Jason Winer  

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

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