Claire, still bitter from last week's humiliating stop-sign fiasco, decides (with Phil's literal shove out of the proverbial nest) to run for office against do-nothing, Canada-hating town councilman Duane Bailey (and boy, were we happy to see beloved Arrested Development alum, David Cross, return as the puggle-breeding politician!).
Of course Claire's plan for grandstanding glory means that Phil will have to pick up the slack in the parenting department. And while Claire's off throwing her hat into the race, Phil accidentally socks Luke in the eye, and unwittingly drugs Alex into a Nyquil-induced stupor — all in less than 15 seconds.
So yeah, we're probably not looking at a strong Father of the Year contender here.
Meanwhile, Jay's fuming that some snot-nosed twentysomething customer was 20 shades of meh about his business proposal. Apparently it needed "more wow."
And while Manny wisely chalks it up to "the Bieber-ization of America" (his stepdad's Bieber fever-less response: "What do beavers have to do with anything?"), Jay is too worked up to hear anyone's (especially Gloria's) advice on how to handle his work woes.
Eventually the other two families arrive at Jay and Gloria's for family dinner. Mitchell and Cam are at each other's throats over the way that Cameron handled a hit-and-run incident earlie, while Claire is less than impressed with Phil's parenting skills (Luke is now sporting a shiner, and a Sudafed-stoned Alex can barely lift her daytime-drowsy head).
Meanwhile, the eldest Dunphy daughter Haley has been trying to bum cash off her sibs. It seems that she tried to buy fake IDs for her friends, but was ultimately scammed out of the group's $900. Oops!
And Claire's plans for political glory go down the drain.
Jay, sick and tired of his family being walked over by ballsy young men, sets off with Mitchell, Phil, and an already road-raging Cameron, to confront his granddaughter's ID scammer.
Shockingly, it's Mitchell, the police-loving pacifist, who ends up tackling the fake-ID guy by the skinny jeans and recovering Haley's money. Our hero!
Courage Under Fire
Meanwhile Gloria, who's desperate for anyone to listen to her barely intelligible advice, deduces that Claire isn't pulling out of the race because of Phil's patchy parenting, but because she's really just afraid of losing. Stop the presses — OCD Claire can't handle not winning? Shocker?
But by telling a tale of her big-beaked cousin's brave beauty pageant entry ("She faced her fears, and it didn't kill her," Gloria explained. "What killed her two weeks later was a bus, because she couldn't see anything coming with that big nose."), Gloria convinces Claire to confront her own insecurities and run for town council.
And Jay, after seeing his wife's advice work wonders with his daughter, finally lets Gloria help with his own work problem. In the end, it turns out that having a foxy Columbian pitch a presentation on hum-drum closets is in the only "wow" factor he'd been missing in his previous presentation. Go figure!