S2 E04 Strangers On A Treadmill

10/12/10 | TV-PG | CC

The S.C.A.R.B. is coming! The S.C.A.R.B. is coming! Now, anyone who hasn't been living in a cave knows that S.C.A.R.B. stands for the Southern California Realtors Banquet. Gil Thorpe has hosted the event for the past five years but he's currently dealing with a sketchy-looking polyp. That's okay. Someone we all know and love is ready to "Phil in" and wow the crowd with his wit. Too bad Claire doesn't have the heart to tell her hubby his jokes aren't all that funny. By the way, that "Phil in" line was one of the new emcee's zingers.

Cameron is exercising again. That's a good thing. Cameron is exercising in bike shorts. That's a bad thing. Mitchell says, "Maybe there's a person in this world that looks good in bike shorts, but my boyfriend is not that person." Mitchell can't say anything for fear of hurting Cam's feelings. He cooks up a Strangers on a Train scheme with Claire during his troga workout. Troga, it turns out, is Mitchell's method of doing yoga on a treadmill.

The plan is for Claire to have a chat with Cam about his revealing attire while Mitchell tries to get Phil to ditch his standup routine. As you may have guessed, neither effort is successful. Cameron weeps after being stung by Claire's brutal honesty. He's hurt even more when he learns Mitchell put her up to it. To make amends, Mitchell offers to shave his beard after Cameron says he can't stand it. Fortunately, they make nice before any major chunks of facial hair are lost.

Shecky Dunphy still has no clue that he's about to bomb on stage. See, Mitchell laughed at every lame joke to spare Phil's feelings. Claire takes matters into her own hands at the banquet by swiping her unfunny hubby's note cards. Phil has no choice but to play it straight during his speech until his improv skills kick in big time. Phil kills with an unexpected onslaught of hilarious one-liners. The crowd loves it, as does Claire.

Gloria wants Jay to attend a Quinceañera being thrown by one of his employees. A Quinceañera is a celebration marking a girl's 15th birthday. Jay usually has his secretary send the family some Omaha Steaks for things like this, but Gloria guilts him into attending the celebration. They accidentally end up at the wedding reception next door. Jay doesn't know the difference since he never socializes with his primarily non-English-speaking workforce.

Jay becomes the center of attention in a room full of people who have no idea who he is. He wins them over quickly after offering to pick up the entire bar tab. Jay even makes a speech as the bride and groom take to the dance floor. Unfortunately, he thinks this is supposed to be a father-daughter dance and nearly decks the groom after some seemingly inappropriate actions. Party's over!

Alex is gushing over her new friend Mackenzie. Haley worries that her fawning sister is giving this girl way too much power. She instructs Alex to start ignoring Mackenzie in order to even the playing field of friendship. Operation: Blow Off works to perfection. Haley has never been so proud. But things go south fast when Alex's true self come out during a rambling phone conversation. ABORT! ABORT! Sadly, it's too late.

Claire is still in awe of how funny Phil was at the banquet. Phil knows his wife is the one who swiped his joke cards. She was trying to protect him and he appreciates it. Claire believes it's her job to keep the members of her family from falling on their faces.

Phil offers another theory. Maybe it's Claire's job to pick them up whenever they actually do fall. So when they both catch Alex sitting on the living room floor feeling friendless, Phil lets Claire know that she's on the clock. Mom takes a seat to talk things out with her daughter. We have a feeling their conversation will go well. Claire is very good at her job.

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