‘Modern Family’ Recap, Review: Manny Holds Out for a Hero

Heroes Are Hard to Come by in the Season 4 Episode ‘My Hero’

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MODERN FAMILY - "My Hero" - Mitch's ex-boyfriend, Teddy, a very personable and successful doctor, invites the whole family to a fundraising event at the local roller rink, and they all run circles around each other as Cam tries to play it cool around Teddy, Claire avoids talking to Jay about inheriting his closet business, Phil teaches Gloria how to skate in spectacular fashion, Haley helps Alex talk to some cute boys, and amidst all the chaos Manny and Luke try to figure out whom they'll pick in their family for their "My Hero" essay assignment, on "Modern Family," WEDNESDAY, MAY 8 (9:00-9:31 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network. (ABC/Peter "Hopper" Stone) TY BURRELL, SOFIA VERGARA

It was a day at the roller rink on this week's "Modern Family," and the entire family was on hand to support a hospital fundraiser hosted by Mitchell's ex-boyfriend, Teddy (played by Larry Sullivan). Yes, a doctor was in the house -- that'd be Teddy -- and who knew how close the entire Pritchett-Dunphy family still was to him? Even Mitch's cousin Pete, who waves at the fam as he whizzes by at the jam-packed roller rink.

Apparently Teddy still golfs with Jay (Ed O'Neill) and is in the house when he gets prostate exams. The good doc routinely stops by to have dinner with the Dunphys, and Phil (Ty Burrell) has even helped him buy his last two houses. Seems the entire family is "cheating" on Cam with Mitchell's ex. "This is as sad as I've ever been in roller skates," Cam says.

The ensemble cast was all in one place for this episode, as in past episodes this season like "Yard Sale," and that seems to be when "Modern Family" works best. Add a roller rink to the formula -- or a "wooden box built in 1970," as Jay calls it when a small snack-bar fire breaks out -- and you've got a recipe for, well, funny.

The title, "My Hero," refers to the underlying theme of the whole episode. Manny (Rico Rodriguez) and Luke (Nolan Gould) have to write a school essay about the person in their family who's their hero. While Luke is sick over the project (literally, he throws up after binge-eating while stressed over picking mom or dad), Manny has a checklist of names that he's ticking off as each family member commits a series of un-heroic offenses. Manny is determined to uncover who the best hero in the family is, but individually, they all disappoint.

A side story, which is weaved into the roller skating setting (because, let's face it, a segue is only a few skate strokes away): Jay approaches his daughter, Claire (Julie Bowen), to come and work for him. Unfortunately, she's remembering the one summer she did work for him 20 years ago, and it takes an emergency fill-in stint at her old job at the roller-rink snack bar to realize that working for dad could work out. (That, and she catches him being a big ol' teddy bear when Cam is feeling down. A boss with a heart? Now that could work.)

Meanwhile, in the best "Modern Family" pairing ever, Phil is helping Gloria (Sofia Vergara) learn how to skate, which paves the way for some great physical comedy. (Poor girl didn't know how to ride a bike in a previous episode.) After a parking-lot skating lesson, we see a car mirror imprint on Phil's face, and later we get to see his tighty whiteys as Glo pulls his pants down to distract the other skaters.

In the end, this episode's "togetherness" theme is neatly wrapped up via Manny in a voiceover, where he describes what a hero should be, and signs off with, "For me, though, the hero in my family is my family because of who we are together."

Too bad Manny's teacher gives him a C minus for his essay. "This was not the assignment" she writes on his paper. Manny's final word on the subject: "I'll tell you who's not my hero: Mrs. Rita McNabb."

"Modern Family" airs on Wednesdays at 9 PM on ABC.

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