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Ep121 Travels With Scout

04/27/10 Season 1 TV-PG D, L

Phil's dad, Frank, parks his monster-sized RV in the Dunphy driveway when he shows up for an unexpected visit. Surprise! Well, Claire's surprised. Phil knew all along that his dad was en route from Florida; he just neglected to tell his loving wife. That's never a good thing.

Like all good grandpas, the senior Dunphy comes bearing gifts. Actually, it's just one gift: a dog. His name is Scout. Claire can barely contain her enthusiasm (AKA "rage") because she knows she's the one who will have to take care of the new pooch. We're guessing Scout will get to stay inside now that Phil is in the doghouse.

Frank Dunphy is always upbeat, slinging zingers left and right. But when Claire catches him sobbing uncontrollably in his RV, she thinks he may be having marital problems. Phil refuses to believe there's anything wrong. His attempt to have a heart-to-heart chat with dear old dad spirals into a jokefest. Claire's not happy with her hubby, but she's more upset that Scout has mistaken her underwear for chew toys.

As Frank prepares to hit the road again, Phil finally musters up the courage to ask what's going on and he won't take jokes for an answer. Frank confesses that he's fallen in love. His name is Scout. Phil realizes the dog should stay with his dad. He tries to hand over the leash, but Claire's holding on pretty tight. She's become quite fond of the little guy. Claire finally unclenches, but not before giving Scout her purple bra. It's his favorite.

Dylan is bummed because the parents of one of his band members got back together. It's not that he's against family harmony; it's just that his drummer must now move to Portland to live with his folks. He needs to find a fill-in for a big gig that's coming up. As luck would have it, Cameron plays drums. He says, "If you're in a jam, I can jam." Much to Dylan's surprise, Cameron turns out to be a top-notch drummer. The show will go on!

Mitchell intends to stay for just a few numbers before heading out to a party. But once he catches his percussion-playing partner in action, Mitchell lets the music take control and blows off the party. Of course, he could have gone to the party for a few hours and returned before Cam finished his painfully long solo jam. Cameron's new career is short-lived, as the band's original drummer returns after his parents break up again. When he was up on that stage, Cameron was one of the best. Now he's more like Pete Best.

Jay runs into Ben Dugan, one of Mitchell's old drama club buddies. Ben is still doing the acting thing and is even starring in a feature film. Jay is impressed. He convinces Manny to skip school to catch a matinee of Ben's new movie. Unfortunately, it's a pretty brutal horror flick that puts Manny a little on edge. Evil, machete-wielding psychos tend to do that to children.

When the broken doorbell keeps ringing, Manny worries that it's the work of a demon. Jay has to rip the doorbell from the wall to ease his fears. Of course, a busted doorbell can't stop a demon if he's already inside. Manny arms himself with his fencing sword in case there's a security breech. En garde, demons!

Jay feels the best way to snap Manny out of his current bout of extreme paranoia is to introduce him to Ben Dugan. He figures that when Manny meets this nice guy from the movie, he'll realize it's all pretend. Ben even promises to bring over his fake rubber machete. Sounds like a plan!

When Ben arrives, he waits patiently on the porch as he presses the busted doorbell. Eventually, he peers in through a window, machete in hand, to see Manny sitting on the sofa. Unfortunately, Manny sees Ben, too. He runs screaming from the room. Looks like the little guy will be sleeping in the big bed with Jay and Gloria for awhile. Better hope Jay doesn't roll over the fencing sword Manny likes to keep tucked beneath the sheets.

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