For Phil and Claire Dunphy, Valentine's Day has involved some saucy role playing in the past. The venture didn't go well last year, so things will be a bit more restrained this February 14th. Maybe a little too restrained. Claire sneaks away from their ho-hum dinner date to make a call. RING. Phil answers his cell. A sultry-sounding lady named Juliana is looking for a guy named Clive. Must be a wrong number. CLICK.
When Phil finally realizes that Juliana is actually Claire, it's time to resurrect his alter ego. In other words, Bixby's back! Yes, smooth-talking speaker salesman Clive Bixby has returned to reclaim his prey at a hotel bar. Juliana slides her keycard onto the bar. She tells Clive that he shouldn't take too long. He never does. Clive snags the keycard. Unfortunately, it's not the one Juliana left for him.
Clive strips off everything except his socks. He sprinkles rose petals all over the king-sized bed in Room 702, even though Juliana is in Room 226. The woman who's staying in 702 must have picked up a new key. She enters her room to find a naked Clive Bixby sprawled out on her bed ready to share some champagne. Yes, this is one hotel that takes room service to the next level.
Cameron is becoming more and more frustrated with Mitchell's new assistant, Broderick. He believes the guy has a huge crush on his boyfriend, which why Mitchell never received the lovely flowers he sent. Mitchell denies Cam's crush theory, but secretly believes it's true. Why else would Broderick schedule a late meeting on Valentine's Day?
Broderick comes clean. He says, "It's just so hard to see someone else have something you want and can't have." Of course, he says this while laying a big old bear hug on Cam in the elevator. So, maybe Broderick doesn't have a crush on Mitchell. Maybe the guy he's truly hung up on is Cameron.
Jay blew it last year on Valentine's Day. So this time he's going all out. He set up a romantic dinner at home with a private chef and musicians. In order to get Gloria out of the house during prep time, he brings her to a fancy restaurant where he claims his secretary forgot to make reservations. It's all a ruse. But then Gloria sees the name Pritchett on the guest list. Much to Jay's dismay, they are seated immediately.
There's a five-course dinner waiting at home, but Jay can't convince Gloria to leave the restaurant. Thankfully, the mystery Pritchett reservation was actually for Mitchell and Cameron. Jay and Gloria have no choice but to skedaddle once the guys arrive to claim their table.
All is going well at dinner until Cameron breaks the news that he's the one Broderick truly wants. Impossible! Mitchell is sure that Brod is hot for HIS bod. The only way they can find out for sure is by heading over to his assistant's house. But Mitchell gets a text before they even pull out of the parking lot. It's from Broderick. He's tendered his resignation. He doesn't want to come between Mitchell and Cameron. The man he loves is taken, though we're still not quite sure which man it is.
Jay finally gets a furious Gloria back home where he must physically force her into the house. Surprise! The place is empty. Jay is baffled and Gloria is headed back out the door. Truth be told, she's been hip to her hubby's romantic tricks all along. That's why she had his entire dinner moved into the garage where Jay can check out the brand new motorcycle she got him. Surprise again!
Phil and Claire try to salvage Valentine's Day by just being themselves in their own bedroom. They sneak in past the kids, who are busy with their own issues. Haley's bummed because her boyfriend David blew her off to study. Manny convinces her to dump the kid to lay the groundwork for a future chance at romance.
Suddenly, music echoes from out front. We said earlier that Clive Bixby was back. Now Haley's ex, Dylan, is back, too. He's serenading her with a brand new tune. The line "Imagine me naked, I imagine you nude" is especially catchy. Yes, it's another love song from D-Money. Happy Valentine's Day! Well, not for Manny.
Tale of Three Cities