Phil Dunphy has a dream. He longs to walk on a tightrope. And if you think Phil isn't a man who can make dreams come true, then you don't know Dunphy. After snagging a pair of tightrope shoes at an estate sale, Phil practices his balancing routine in the front yard. Things do not go well. Fortunately, Phil's high wire is only a few inches off the ground.
Luke feasts on a big bag of junk food. He goes from being completely hopped-up on chocolate to some serious sweet treat withdrawal. After a vomit session at school, Luke comes clean about his candy dalliance during a heart-to-heart chat with his dad. The conversation ends with Luke suggesting that Phil keeps falling off the ridiculously low high wire because he knows he won't get hurt. Perhaps it's time to raise the stakes.
Haley is horrified to learn that Alex is moving up to her math class. Claire lectures her daughters while in the school drop-off line. This gets her into hot water with the traffic officer. Later, Claire uses a psychological ploy to get her daughters thinking that the two of them can join forces to become one Super Dunphy. Alex can help Haley with math in exchange for some social perks from her big sis.
The plan works to perfection until the girls get called to the principal's office for copying homework. Claire's frustration boils over to the point where she completely goes off on the school traffic officer for giving her a ticket. This leads to her being cuffed and humiliated in front of the school. This hasn't exactly been a stellar day for the Dunphy ladies.
When Claire and the girls return home, they find Luke filming Phil as he makes his way across a tightrope that's now high, high above the ground. Naturally, Claire is concerned. But her fears prove to be unfounded. Her hubby is in the zone. Nothing is going to stop him from walking that tightrope. The entire family cheers as Phil makes his way across the high wire. Dreams do come true. Way to go, Super Dunphy!
Cameron is going on a cleansing diet. News of his "juice fast" sends up a red flag for Mitchell. He knows his partner isn't exactly a model of emotional stability when he's well-fed. Food deprivation will only lead to a series of undesirable stages as he slowly descends into madness. In an attempt to avoid Cam's inevitable wrath, Mitchell decides to give up food, too.
Mitchell is afraid Cam will become unstable at a fundraiser being thrown by his boss. Sure enough, the big guy gets choked up upon hearing the tragic tale of a sea lion who couldn't escape the clutches of a discarded plastic bag. But Mitchell is the one who truly loses it. A lack of nourishment causes him to run into the ocean in search of that missing pinniped. Thankfully, Cam drags him back to the sand where they both agree it's time to grab a bite.
Stella the dog can do no wrong in Jay's eyes even though she's been chewing away at his wife's shoe collection. To teach her hubby a lesson, Gloria tries to get Stella to chew on one of his shoes. She even shows her how it's done. Stella doesn't bite and Jay and Manny are horrified to see Gloria on the floor with a mouthful of loafers.
Gloria is upset because of all the attention Jay gives to his cute pooch. The special dog treats he bought for Stella sure did a number on Manny after he downed a few of the tasty-looking canine cupcakes. Gloria says, "Where I come from, men cherish women. It goes wife, mistress, dog. Dog always at the bottom." 'Nuff said.
As far as those special cupcake doggie treats, they're history. That's because a famished Mitchell and Cameron are going to town on them. On the bright side, it should give them both a nice, shiny coat.
Clash of Swords