|Modern Family episode|
Phil (Ty Burrell) comes up with the idea of "Express Christmas"
|Episode no.||Season 3
|Directed by||Michael Spiller|
|Written by||Cindy Chupack|
|Original air date||December 7, 2011|
"Express Christmas" is the tenth episode of the third season of the American sitcom Modern Family, and the series' 58th episode overall. It was aired on December 7, 2011. The episode was written by Cindy Chupack and directed by Michael Spiller. Express Christmas is the second Christmas episode of the series.
The episode starts with the whole family together next to Jay and Gloria's pool. Everything is perfect until the moment Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) announces that their mom canceled for Christmas because she will go for a cruise with her new boyfriend. Claire (Julie Bowen) is also upset with the cancellation and Jay (Ed O'Neill) makes things worse when he says that on the day of Christmas he, Gloria (Sofía Vergara) and Manny (Rico Rodriguez) will be traveling to Mexico. The family realizes that this day (December 16) will be the last time the whole family will be together before New Year. Phil (Ty Burrell) has the idea of them celebrating Christmas that day and he names it, Express Christmas.
The family members get into groups so that everyone has something to do and get everything ready for their Christmas Day. Mitch and Alex (Ariel Winter) go for a tree along with Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons); Phil and Manny go to the grocery store; Jay and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) are responsible for wrapping the gifts; Claire and Haley (Sarah Hyland) go to the store to buy the last minute gifts and Gloria with Luke (Nolan Gould) need to find the Christmas angel for the tree and the ornaments that are packed in the house's attic.
Mitch and Alex search for the perfect tree while the tree salesman points them where they could find what they are looking for. They mistakenly think that he points them to a pink tree and Alex immediately stands up for her uncle saying that because he is gay that does not mean they have to buy a pink tree. Eventually, after the misunderstanding, they get a tree and load it onto the car but it falls off the rack and into traffic. Gloria happens to pass that moment from there and she runs over the tree with the car. She is not the only one and Mitch and Alex end up to take the tree back home in pieces.
Gloria and Luke have to find the Christmas ornaments but Gloria is afraid to get into the attic because there are many spiders in there. They manage to find everything they are looking for, including the angel Mitch and Claire want and their mother made for them when they were kids. On their way home, Gloria sees a spider on the angel and she throws it out of the car. The angel gets run over just like the tree and it breaks. Gloria "glues" the head back with a chewed gum but Mitch discovers it.
Claire and Haley are at the store to buy the gifts. They find everything they have on their list, except from the nightlight for Lily. While Claire is heading to the register, Haley goes to find the nightlight. She gets there but there is only one left and it is taken by another man. Haley, to manage get it from him, she dressed up like an employee and she offers to bring his items to the register while he shops. She gets to Claire with the nightlight and they now have everything they wanted.
Cam and Jay wrap the presents and while they do it, Cam tries to have an emotional moment with Jay. He gives him a present and when Jay opens it, there is a cork in the box. Cam tells Jay that it is from a moment they drank wine together but Jay does not remember which one. Cam gets all teary and explains Jay that it was from the time they watched their first football game together. Jay offends Cam that he is too attached to things and Cam leaves the room.
Phil and Manny finish with the groceries and they now wait to meet with a guy at the parking lot. Phil talked with the guy in the internet and he wants to buy a baseball card, gift for Jay. Manny though freaks out with the whole situation (Luke convinced him that child-snatching is very common) and he just wants to go back home. The guy gets there and while he discusses with Phil about the price, Manny whips out his mom's stun gun but he accidentally zaps Phil. The guy takes the money and the turkey Phil bought for the dinner and the baseball card is crushed.
The family finally gathers back together at Phil and Claire's home; the tree is in pieces; the angel is ruined; Claire does not have a turkey to cook and Phil is still vibrating after Manny zapped him with the stun gun. Everyone is disappointed since nothing is going right so Jay makes a proposition. Instead of celebrating Christmas they could all go to a Chinese restaurant and celebrate Jewish Christmas. Everyone agrees and the moment they get out of the house they see that there is fake snow everywhere.
In its original American broadcast, "Express Christmas" was watched by 12.20 million; down from the special Thanksgiving episode.
"Express Christmas" received generally positive reviews.
Leigh Raines from TV Fanatic rated the episode with 4/5. "My two favorite parts of the episode, not counting the tear-inducing snow scene, were Phil's explanation of Craigslist's shadiness before Manny tasered him and Haley working her magic at Target."
The review from Wetpaint was really good. ""Express Christmas," had everything with love about Modern Family: plenty of jokes, mishaps, Phil-isms, Gloria mispronounciations, bickering, and heartwarming good cheer."
Despite these positive reviews, Noel Murray of The A.V. Club rated the episode a C-.
- Gorman, Bill (December 8, 2011). "Wednesday Final Ratings: 'X Factor,' 'Up All Night,' 'Modern Family,' 'Next Top Model' Adjusted Up; 'Happy Endings' Adjusted Down". TV by the Numbers.
- Raines, Leigh (December 8, 2011). "Modern Family Review: Manny Get Your (Taser) Gun". TV Fanatic.
- Ziemba, Christine (December 8, 2011). "Modern Family Review: "Express Christmas" (Episode 3.10)". Paste Magazine.
- Wetpaint Entertainment Staff (December 7, 2011). "Modern Family Review: How Funny Was Season 3, Episode 10, Express Christmas?". Wetpaint.
- Murray, Noel (December 7, 2011). "Express Christmas". The A.V. Club.