Claire has put a lot of effort into planning a family portrait. Everyone will be dressed in glorious white outfits as the best photographer in town captures the entire extended family looking its finest. What could go wrong?
There's a lot happening before it's time to say cheese. Phil is off to the Lakers game with Alex. Luke was supposed to go, but he needs to interview someone who lived through the '60s for school. Jay is his subject, so Gloria takes Manny to the game where Phil has a brief exchange with Kobe Bryant. He asks the All-Star guard if he likes being a basketball player. Yes, Phil Dunphy's not afraid to ask the questions no one else ever would.
When Haley sees her dad on TV at the game, Claire calls Phil's cell only to catch him intentionally let her call go to voicemail. Later, Phil and Gloria are zeroed in by the Kiss Cam. That's when two people's faces are plastered on the scoreboard screen until they pucker up and share a smooch. To appease the crowd, Gloria plants a wet one smack dab on Phil's reluctant lips. Phil believes this will be the kiss of death after Haley texts Alex to say that Claire saw him on TV. The Lakers are still playing, but it's game over for Phil.
Jay regales Luke with tall tales of his days in the sixties. Do you know who used to cut Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s hair? No? Luke's teacher doesn't know either, so Jay claims he was the activist's stylist. He also claims to have cut the hair of all the astronauts back then. Jay says, "How do you think Buzz Aldrin got his nickname?" The FAQ section of Buzz's web site states it's because his sister used to mispronounce "brother" as "buzzer," but Luke isn't about to doubt his "barber to the stars" grandfather.
Cameron is asked to sing at a wedding. Mitchell is staying home, as he hates to engage in small talk. When a pigeon gets loose in the house, a freaked-out Mitchell barricades himself in the bedroom with Lily. He calls Cam for help, but the wedding is about to begin. Mitchell is on his own. It's man versus bird. Long story short: Bird wins. Mitchell completely trashes the house while trying to swat the feathered menace with a tennis racket.
Claire also trashes her house. Perfectionist that she is, she tries to fix a cracked step in the spot where the family portrait is to take place. It doesn't go well. With Mitchell's house also on the disabled list, the photo shoot is switched to Jay's place. When the gang gets back from the basketball game, Phil tries to apologize by giving Claire a big foam finger. It won't make up for everything, but it's a start.
There's no time to talk about what happened at the game. All Claire wants to do is get the picture taken before the photographer leaves to shoot a bar mitzvah. Other issues add to her stress level. Cameron is mad at Mitchell for bailing on his debut as a wedding singer. Haley is getting a pimple. Gloria is wearing a dress that's way too sexy while Phil is wearing pants that are way too tight. He looks like the guy from Dance Fever. "Deney Terrio... Cleveland, Ohio," Jay confirms.
The only place that Claire deems worthy of a photo op spot is the lawn in backyard. Too bad the sprinklers just went off. It's up to Luke to save the day. Claire had him enveloped in cling wrap so that he wouldn't mess up his white outfit. Phil says, "Put the 'he' in 'hero,' son." Protected in plastic, Luke crosses the grass to turn off the sprinklers. There's still time to get the shot!
Claire lines up the family for the photo. But it's hard to get anyone smiling when everyone's so busy bickering. The "Kiss Cam" scandal is exposed, initiating a chain reaction of frowning faces and feuding family members. Claire is freaking out. When her dad tries to calm her down, she freaks out even more saying that she doesn't like being a perfectionist, but there's no quick fix for it. Or is there?
Jay grabs a handful of mud from his damp lawn and splatters it all over Claire's lovely white outfit. This starts a no-holds-barred family mud fight. FLASH! FLASH! FLASH! The photographer gets lots of great shots of a very messy family. No one looks pretty, but everyone looks happy, making this family portrait picture perfect.
Clash of Swords