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 Zucker
Production code 1ARG06
Original air date November 4, 2009
Guest actors
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 series Modern Family. It premiered on ABC in the United States on November 4, 2009. In the episode, Manny takes up fencing and he is quite talented. Jay is very proud of Manny, which stirs up resentment in Mitchell. These feelings cause Mitchell to confront Claire about something from their past.

The episode was written by Danny Zucker and directed by Randall Einhorn. The episode, "En Garde" became the highest rated scripted show in its timeslot and has received positive reviews from critics with Jesse Tyler Ferguson (who plays Mitchell) naming it his "personal favorite" episode.[1] This episode won a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation.[2]


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.

When Manny tells them that he is retired from fencing, Jay tries to change his mind when Gloria says that if Manny feels like it's not fun anymore and he wants to quit, she supports him. When Manny explains he does not want to compete against a girl, Gloria gets mad and convinces him that's not a good reason.

Before the finals start, Jay and Gloria find out that the girl Manny's competing against had many bad things going on in her life and they try to tell Manny to let her win but he gets the wrong message.

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 his sister, Claire (Julie Bowen) because she was the one who quit their team and stole his moment. Cam (Eric Stonestreet) knowing about the ice skating, tells Claire so she can talk with Mitchell and put an end to it, so Mitchell can move on.

Meanwhile, Phil (Ty Burrell) after seeing Manny being the best in something, he is trying to find Luke's (Nolan Gould) hidden talents. He is trying baseball, but later, while Phil is showing a house to a client, discovers that Luke is "a natural" on selling.



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.[3]


"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."[4]

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."[5]

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."[6]

Jason Hughes of TV Squad said "So far, they've managed to pack every minute of each episode, and this week was no exception".[7]


  1. ^ Jesse Tyler Ferguson's personal Twitter account (February 17, 2010). ""En Garde", MY personal favorite episode of Modern Family re airs tonight. If u get bored of the olympics turn over and watch Fire and Nice!". Twitter. 
  2. ^ Nominations: Official Primetime Emmy Award Nominees. Emmys.tv (2010-07-08).
  3. ^ Robert Seidman (2009-11-05). "TV Ratings, Wednesday Broadcast finals: Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds repeat were up a tick". Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  4. ^ Hochberger, Eric (November 5, 2009). "Modern Family Review: "En Garde"". TV Fanatic. 
  5. ^ Bowman, Donna (November 4, 2009). "En Garde". The A.V. Club. 
  6. ^ Canning, Robert (November 5, 2009) http://tv.ign.com/articles/104/1042472p1.html IGN Retrieved 2010-06-13
  7. ^ Hughes, Jason (November 5, 2009) http://www.tvsquad.com/2009/11/05/review-modern-family-en-garde/ TV Squad Retrieved 2010-06-13

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