It's Lily's second birthday! A few old friends will be in attendance at her gala princess party. Grandma Dede (guest star Shelley Long) is coming to town. And brace yourself for the triumphant return of Fizbo the Clown. Maybe.
Phil knows his loving wife Claire loses it a bit whenever her mother is around. He wants the kids to be on their best behavior. Luke is asked to crank up the cuteness whenever Claire starts to unravel. That doesn't take long. Dede makes a grand entrance into the Dunphy home, but she's not alone. She ran into Claire's old high school boyfriend, Robbie Sullivan (guest star Matt Dillon), at the airport. Dede invited him over to the house for dinner. Should be a real hoot, right?
Robbie still looks pretty good after all these years. He's a limo driver with a full head of hair, decent abs and a four-pack of wine coolers to keep him hydrated. He also had no idea his old girlfriend is married with three kids. Apparently, Dede never mentioned it. Nevertheless, Claire is proud of herself for making it through an extremely awkward dinner. Of course, she's completely leveled when she catches Dede sucking face with Robbie out by his limo. Where's cute Luke when you need him?!
Mitchell puts the kibosh on Cameron's plans to come to Lily's party as Fizbo the Clown. He wants their daughter to be the center of attention. Besides, Fizbo wouldn't fit with the theme of a princess party. That's why Cameron opts to use an English accent while dressed in full Fizbo gear. He's trying to convince Mitchell that he's a court jester. Sadly, the Fizbo thing is not gonna happen because Mitchell already hired a princess to serve as entertainment. Ever seen a classically-trained Auguste clown cry?
Gloria wants Jay to join her in recording a talking storybook for Lily's birthday present. It's not as timeless as the cashmere throw Manny wanted to get her, but it's still sweet. The recording session is a little rocky, but the real issue of the evening is the fact that Gloria wants to skip Lily's party due to the awkwardness of the Dede situation. Jay's on top of the world until Gloria changes her mind. She'll go to the party for him. She'll also pop a tranquilizer and wash it down with a shot of tequila to calm her nerves.
While Lily's party is in full swing, a Fizbo-less Cameron can't help but give the hired princess a hard time. Things get worse when Dede shows up with Robbie on her arm. Claire goes off on her mom smack-dab in the middle of the princess party. Phil politely asks Robbie to leave, but he won't go until Jay tells him to scram. Robbie is just as afraid of Claire's dad today as he was in high school. Some things never change.
With everyone traumatized by the events of the day, Mitchell believes they need someone to pump some life back into the party. Perhaps someone with big floppy feet? Of course, the return of Fizbo probably won't be enough to cheer up Dede, so Jay gives it a shot.
Hey, Dede got a little carried away after getting some attention from a younger guy. So what? But Dede's real fear is that she's viewed as Crazy Nana. Of course, it's hard to see her any other way after she tackles her nemesis Gloria in the middle of the yard. Don't worry, Phil's there to help break things up. He's got Gloria. Happy birthday, Lily!
Tale of Three Cities