Claire and Phil decide to ditch their traditional, ho-hum Valentine's Day routine for something a bit more scandalous. They engage in a little role-playing at a hotel bar. Phil assumes the role of sly speaker salesman Clive Bixby (it says so right on his nametag). Claire is Julianna. No last name. Just Julianna. It's very Rihanna.
When Clive admits he's a married man, Julianna wants to hear about his wife. Clive's description of Claire Bixby paints her as a bit of a nag. He's losing Julianna. Thankfully, Clive's a smooth talker. He reels her back in with an indecent proposal of what he wants to do to her. Julianna trumps his talk by ditching her dress, bra and panties to only be clothed by her coat. She suggests they head up to her room. Well played, Bixby. Well played.
Jay surprises Gloria with tickets to a show featuring the comedic stylings of Mr. David Brenner. Gloria would much rather go salsa dancing, but is pleasantly surprised to discover that the Las Vegas legend is actually quite funny. Jay's laughing, too. That is until David Brenner starts making jokes about this older guy who has such a young, hot wife. Jay skips out of the show to avoid further embarrassment.
Cameron repurposes one of his feather boas as part of a Valentine's Day outfit for Lily. Mitchell isn't surprised. He says, "You dress her up for every holiday. I was giving her a bath last night and still saw traces of Martin Luther King behind her ear." Cam is psyched to celebrate Cupid's big day, but all Mitchell can think about is a closing argument he's set to deliver in court. He's been working on it for weeks.
When his client settles the case, Mitchell never gets to give his closing. He's bummed but cheered up when he hears they'll be babysitting Manny. The kid cracks him up. We can relate. But it's Manny who needs some cheering up. He declared his love for Fiona Gunderson in a poem, but a classmate named Ted Durkas took credit for the little love sonnet. Fiona and Durkas are now enjoying a Valentine's date at Manny's favorite restaurant, Great Shakes.
Cameron isn't about let true love slip away. They all head over to Great Shakes to shake things up between Fiona and Durkas. As Cam creates a diversion, Manny swoops over to Fiona's booth to tell her the truth. But when bully boy Durkas returns, Mitchell steps in to represent the little guy in the case of the pilfered poem.
Mitchell finally gets to deliver that stellar closing argument to a jury of Great Shakes customers. Durkas admits that he stole the poem. He did it because he had feelings for Fiona but didn't know how to show them. Fiona is touched and Manny is beside himself. Yes, Mitchell won the case, but the little guy lost the girl. Actually, we discover Manny doesn't like to be called "little guy." After all, he is in the 40th percentile.
As Phil/Clive and Claire/Julianna head up to their hotel room, Claire's coat gets caught in the escalator steps. Phil hits the emergency stop button as they near the top. As they ponder what to do, our favorite naughty role-players run into a bunch of people they know. There's a guy from Phil's office, the principal at the kids' school, Luke's math teacher... They all want to know one thing: Why doesn't Claire just take off the coat? Only Clive Bixby knows the answer to that one.
Meanwhile, Gloria comforts a self-conscious Jay. She promises not to leave him when he gets really old as long as he doesn't leave her if she gets really fat. They decide to skip the rest of the show and head out of the hotel. Yes, the David Brenner show is in a hotel, the same one that currently features a powered-down escalator.
When Jay and Gloria realize the possible ramifications of Claire's coat conundrum, Gloria knows just what to do. She covers Claire with her own coat while wriggling her out of the one caught in the escalator. It's a Valentine's Day miracle! Now Jay and Gloria are off to do a little salsa dancing, while Phil and Claire are headed up to their room. Well played, Bixby. Well played.
Tale of Three Cities