En Garde (Modern Family)

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"En Garde"
Modern Family episode
En Garde (Modern Family).jpg
Claire (Julie Bowen) and Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) ice-dancing together
Episode no. Season 1
Episode 7
Directed by Randall Einhorn
Written by Danny Zuker
Production code 1ARG06
Original air date November 4, 2009
Guest appearance(s)
Season 1 episodes
Episode chronology
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"Run for Your Wife"
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"Great Expectations"
List of Modern Family episodes

"En Garde" is the seventh episode of the ABC sitcom Modern Family and the seventh episode of the series overall. It premiered on ABC in the United States on November 4, 2009. The episode was written by Danny Zuker and directed by Randall Einhorn.

In the episode, Manny takes up fencing and he is quite talented. Jay is very proud of Manny, something that causes Mitchell's childhood ice skating trauma to resurface. These feelings cause Mitchell to confront Claire about it, who he finds responsible for it. Phil tries to find Luke's hidden talents after Manny's success but without any luck.

"En Garde" became the highest rated scripted show in its timeslot and has received positive reviews from critics with Jesse Tyler Ferguson naming it his "personal favorite" episode. It also won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation.


Manny (Rico Rodriguez) becomes interested in fencing and the whole family comes to cheer him on during the match. He is really successful and he manages to reach the finals where he has to compete against a girl. Jay (Ed O'Neill) and Gloria (Sofía Vergara) are really proud of him and they want him to take the trophy. Instead of wanting to compete though, Manny tells them that he is retired from fencing. Jay tries to change his mind while Gloria supports Manny's decision and says that if Manny feels like it is not fun for him anymore and wants to quit, then he should quit. When Manny explains his decision - he does not want to compete against a girl - Gloria gets mad and convinces him that this is not a good reason to quit.

Before the finals start, Jay and Gloria find out that the girl Manny is competing against, had many bad things going on in her life and they try to tell Manny to let her win. Their signals though send him the wrong message and Manny wins the competition. Jay is not sure if he has to be proud or not with Manny's trophy.

Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) seeing his dad being so interested in Manny's success, his childhood trauma regarding his ice skating resurfaces. He is mad on Claire (Julie Bowen) because she was the one who quit their team years ago and stole his moment to shine. Cam (Eric Stonestreet), knowing about the ice skating, talks to Claire and asks her to talk to Mitchell about it so he can move on. The two siblings chat and Mitchell is now free to move on, but not before having a last "ice skating moment" with Claire.

Meanwhile, Phil (Ty Burrell), after seeing Manny being the best in something, he tries to find Luke's (Nolan Gould) hidden talents. He tries baseball but Luke is so bad at it. When he decides to give up, he discovers that Luke is "a natural" on selling while he takes him with him to show a house to a client.



In its original American broadcast, "En Garde" was viewed by an estimated 8.770 million households and received a 5.3 rating/8% share Nielsen Rating and also got a 3.5 rating/9% share in the 18-49 demographic coming second in its timeslot after the World Series according to the Nielsen Media Research.[1]


"En Garde" received positive reviews.

Eric Hochberger of TV Fanatic named the show a "sitcom heaven". "Overall the best moments were with the family coming together and we loved it. We've heard criticism from around the web that the voiceovers and shared themes are cheesy. To those people we say find another show because we're pretty sure Modern Family is sitcom heaven to us."[2]

Donna Bowman from The A.V. Club gave a B rate to the episode saying: "These last couple of episodes have been a mixed bag. We're seeing, I suspect, an excellent sitcom experiencing the growing pains of a long American season. Tonight there were at least two moments that rank among the best the show has produced. Yet the overall storyline doesn't feel like it has the energy or inventiveness we saw at the start of the season."[3]

Robert Canning of IGN gave the episode an 8.3 calling it "Impressive" and also said "The series has had a knack for this so far, and "En Garde" continued the trend with ease and wit."[4]

Jason Hughes of TV Squad said "So far, they've managed to pack every minute of each episode, and this week was no exception".[5]


"En Grande" won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation.


  1. ^ Robert Seidman (2009-11-05). "TV Ratings, Wednesday Broadcast finals: Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds repeat were up a tick". Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  2. ^ Hochberger, Eric (November 5, 2009). "Modern Family Review: "En Garde"". TV Fanatic. 
  3. ^ Bowman, Donna (November 4, 2009). "En Garde". The A.V. Club. 
  4. ^ Canning, Robert (November 5, 2009). "Modern Family: "En Garde" Review". IGN. Retrieved January 18, 2016. 
  5. ^ Hughes, Jason (November 5, 2009) http://www.tvsquad.com/2009/11/05/review-modern-family-en-garde/ TV Squad Retrieved 2010-06-13

External links[edit]