Game Changer

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Comedy/Romance/, USA, 2010, 60 min.

Synopsis It's Phil's (Ty Burrell) birthday, and he couldn't be happier. The iPad is coming out the same day! ("It's like Steve Jobs and God got together to say, 'we love you, Phil'.") He's all set to wait in line at 6 in the morning, but Claire (Julie Bowen) volunteers instead. She doesn't think he should spend his birthday waiting in line. She'll get his home theatre/library/music player all in one. Jay (Ed O'Neill) got him something classy (from the SkyMall catalogue). Actually, a rosewood chess set does sound pretty classy. So much so, Jay wants Manny (Rico Rodriguez) to help him road test it first. Gloria (Sofía Vergara) wants Manny to tank the game because Jay gets grumpy when he loses. But then Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet) could have used grumpy Jay when they hear what sounds like a man inside of Lily's room. Mitchell wakes Cameron, and he breaks out the bat and says "It's go time," but it turned out to be the baby monitor picking up someone else's frequency. But Mitchell does man up and enter the room, and is ready to attack any spider that comes along with his rolled-up newspaper.It turns out Claire was just as excited to get Phil an iPad as he was, since her gift to him last year was barbecue tongs with a flashlight on them. Unfortunately, she underestimated the stamina it takes to wait in a line for a store to open for three hours. She never made it off the couch. She had to confess not making it to the Apple Store early enough, and Phil is devastated. Not even the promise of "more next week" won't mollify him. He goes to a place where birthdays are still appreciated: the batting cages. Phil is hitting them out and then hears about Phil's birthday party over the loudspeakers. He's excited for the party...even though it turned out not to be his.Jay tries to give Manny a kids' version on how to play chess, but Manny decides to play him again. Jay, full of confidence, offers to put a prize on the table if Manny wins, like...Jay's watch. ("Wow, you had that loaded up, huh?") Naturally, Manny drops him and is sporting some new bling. Eventually, Jay figures it out and complains to Gloria that Manny hustled him. Jay thinks he can play chess because he beat Gloria at it on their honeymoon. (nope)GLORIA: Why would I sacrifice my queen for your pawn, Jay? Huh? Huh?..........Huh? (you have to watch it, it's hysterical)Cameron has turned the baby monitor into his new personal soap opera. Apparently, Jake and Debbie, the people they can hear on it, are having quite a bit of drama. Debbie called Jake's boss, who said he wasn't working late like Jake told her. It sounds like divorce central, but Mitchell is more worried about freezing up the prior night when Lily was in trouble. He goes to Jay, returning his tool belt in the process. Jay hoped he was a big hit at the party and wondered if Cam went as the Indian, but Mitchell was actually building something with Jay's tools: a gift-wrapping station. ("Annnd...we're back.") Mitchell asks Jay to teach him some self-defense moves, since what he learned about fighting from "West Side Story" didn't pan out so well. Mitch tries to show some of the things Jay taught him when he was 11, but it wasn't pretty. ("Maybe it was a little too pretty.) Jay shows him some Brazilian ju-jitsu moves, telling Mitchell to attack him with some deep-seeded anger. Not letting Mitchell go out at Halloween as Olivia Newton-John did the trick, and Mitch attacks. Jay demonstrates a mata-leao, which, given what happens to Mitchell, translates as "sleeper hold."Cameron, still listening to the baby monitor, is loving the dirt, until he finds out Jake was secretly learning Italian for Debbie's mother. Uh-oh. Time for Cam to go fix the situation, which he does. Although it doesn't really explain how Cameron knew about it in the first place.Claire has the kids texting, Twittering, Facebooking, helium inhaling, whatever it takes to find another iPad. Haley (Sarah Hyland) finds one at another Apple store, and Luke calls to tell her that he put Phil's cake on her credit card. Which was in her wallet. Still at the house. Mitchell brings it to her in line at the Apple Store. While there, someone cuts in line and refuses to go away. Time for Mitchell to use what Jay taught him. Of course, what are the odds it works for Mitchell and something else doesn't happen, like, both of them being thrown out of the store? Exactly. One cake on the floor later (to be fair, though, the other Phil did give Phil some cake at the batting cages), Phil is depressed ("And acting And Jay and Gloria open his present first to settle who is the better chess player. However, Luke (Nolan Gould) came through in the clinches, telling one of Phil's friends that he was dying. Phil has his iPad. Everybody thinks it's the coolest thing. ("Touch it! But don't touch it!")PHIL: (to the iPad) I love youCLAIRE: (to Phil) I love you, too, honey.PHIL: (to Claire) Oh, OK.

Directed by Kevin Rodney Sullivan  

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

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