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Tableau Vivant - Recap

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The episode begins with Phil wondering how he should tell Mitch that he is fired. Clair tells him to be direct. Phil feels Mitch was being lazy with his work, as he was doing Phil’s work practically free of cost. Meanwhile, Alex is worried about not being able to impress her art teacher. Luke on the other hand is receiving a medal for extinguishing a fire that he himself started in the school lab, and then lied not knowing anything about. Just as Phil goes back to mulling over the letter he is going to write to fire Mitch, Haley sneaks in through the backdoor. She hears Phil talk to himself, about how hurt he is, and assumes he is talking to her. She immediately apologizes to him for being late.

Phil on the other hand assumes Haley was in her bedroom and has just come down. Haley plays along. Meanwhile, at a diner Jay shows Gloria how he has a sandwich named after him. He comes there frequently and even the waitress knows him really well. Gloria is in fact shocked to find out that he has an audit coming up which Jay is really worried about; something that the waitress knows about, but she doesn’t. He then makes her taste the sandwich that is named after him. She doesn’t like its taste. Meanwhile, Alex is worried about her art project and impressing her art teacher, she is drinking coffee to calm herself, and it’s making her visibly edgy. Meanwhile, Cam tells Clair that they are trying to distract Lily without using the word ‘no’, by just redirecting her attention to some other activity instead.

Meanwhile, Phil arrives at Mitch’s doorstep to fire him, but it turns out Mitch too doesn’t want to work for Phil anymore, as he is too busy juggling other things in his life. Phil in the meanwhile isn’t really able to muster the courage to tell Mitch that he is fired, as he hates confrontation. Phil then dances around the issue a bit and then just as he is about to tell him that he is fired Mitch stops him. Both then make their own assumptions. Mitch assumes Phil wants to keep him working for the firm for a long time, and thinks of telling Claire that he wants to leave, Phil on the other hand assumes Mitch has gotten the message that he is fired. Meanwhile, Manny tells Luke that he isn’t doing the right thing by accepting the medal.

Meanwhile, Jay is hurt that Gloria did not like his sandwich and was a bit too honest about it. Jay then tells Gloria that she is loud but he never tells her that. She is offended by this observation of his. She then begins whispering everything just to irritate Jay. Meanwhile, Cam and Clair are having a debate about how Lily should be raised. Clair feels that the new age techniques Cam is trying to implement don’t really work. Meanwhile, Phil is surprised to see Mitch walking into his office despite having fired him. Mitch tells Phil that he will stay on until July as they had agreed. Phil then takes him aside, walks into an elevator with him and just as the doors are about to close Phil gets out and tells Mitch who is still in the elevator that, he is fired.

Somehow the elevator door gets stuck halfway and a shocked Mitch questions Phil, about Phil firing him. Mitch tells Phil that he doesn’t even like the job, and is even more shocked to know that he is considered lazy by the people at Phil’s office. Later, Manny is shocked to know that Luke actually accepted the medal, without a shame or a blot on his conscience. Meanwhile, the Pritchetts and Dunphy’s are readying for a photograph for Alex’s art project. All the underlying tensions between the family members come to the fore during the preparations. Alex in the end receives a B- for her efforts, but is happy that her art teacher remembers her name. Later, Phil, Clair and Luke in one car, Manny and Gloria in one and lastly Mitch, Cam and Lily in one car are heading for Jay’s favorite diner.

They all are discussing the issues that have taken place with them in the recent past. Each feeling that, they are right in their own perspectives. But slowly each one of them begins to see reason, and realizes their own mistakes. Jay in the meanwhile is waiting for them at the diner. The whole family then comes in and meets up with Jay. They all apologize to each other for their mistakes and make up. Gloria then orders Jay’s sandwich for everyone. It is then shown that, earlier when Mitch was stuck in the elevator at Phil’s office he was offered a piece of cake by Phil. The cake was distributed on the occasion of someone’s birthday. Mitch is hungry and just as he tries to take the cake; the elevator door closes right on the cake, much to Mitch’s dismay. The episode ends at this point.

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Warning: Modern Family season 3 episode 23 guide may contain spoilers
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