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Modern Family Wiki

"iSpy" is the fourteenth episode from Season 5 of Modern Family, it aired on February 5, 2014.

Plot Summary

Claire and Phil decide to spy on Luke and Manny as they're hanging out with one of their more questionable friends. Meanwhile, Gloria is furious with Jay because she thinks he had a dream about another woman and Cam secretly uses Mitch as a scapegoat to get out of attending a party, while Haley tries to keep her photography exhibit a secret from her family.

Episode Description

Families tend to have some trust issues, and this being a sitcom, we have quite a few of them this week. Forget Phil's "Farewell to VHS Festival" entry of St. Elmo's Fire, which Claire was totally on-board for. Haley and Luke both had things to do, and Alex was still working on a reason to get out of it. Haley was quite cryptic about the photography class she had to take in the evening to show off some photos the students took, but she needed something to break up the time between her naps. As for Luke, he was hanging out with Manny and their friend, Xander, whom Claire thought was a bad influence. (PHIL: Claire, you're a tough one to figure out. You say you don't like bad boys but you married one). Phil was uncomfortable spying on the kids to figure out what was going on, which is why Claire outsourced it to Alex.

Jay was in Gloria's doghouse. Apparently, he was having dreams about having a good time with someone he kept calling "baby," a term of endearment he would never use with Gloria. Naturally, she wouldn't tell him, but she wanted to check Jay's mobile phone for any texts or emails, much to his surprise. Meanwhile, Mitchell was having lunch with his friend Brett, who confessed he got calf implants. And he made Mitch promise not to tell anybody, especially Cameron who can be a big blabbermouth. Unfortunately, Mitch has to work on his poker face. Much like giving Lily a doll when they don't want to explain something to her (like how Santa gets to all of those houses), Mitch got Cam a garlic press to throw him off of his incessant line of questioning about what sort of gossip he heard. But since Cam knew Brett was a major drama queen, he knew there was something. (although the garlic press worked on Lily when she pressed on a few of her questions) Mitch broke down and told him about the calf implants and Cam was already preparing to blab it to all of their friends. (CAMERON: We have to host a brunch!).

As Alex discovered Haley was part of a big photography exhibit by sneaking into her room and finding the invite, Phil and Claire were tracking Luke's phone and discovering he was nowhere near Xander's house. He said he was at Sammy's, but the GPS said that was wrong, too. It was time to break out the drone. Yes, Phil had a little remote-controlled helicopter with HD camera attached that the real estate office used for their videos...and Phil used to show him making sand angels at the beach. Afraid that Luke and Manny were at a place where kids would get high, it turns out the place they were at...Sammy's Salvage Yard...was where they were filming a movie about zombies. (PHIL: They're making a movie! Without me!) Claire was so happy Luke was still their little boy. Until she realized the drone was still flying over their heads. Sure enough, Luke and Manny spotted it and Phil and Claire had to high tail it away. Thankfully, the kids thought Steven Spielberg was trying to steal their idea.

The McCarthy era continues back at home. Jay thinks Gloria went through the emails on his phone, but she denies it. Of course, now she wants to see the phone, but Jay hits some buttons and "accidentally" calls Alex to find out how to delete emails. And now Claire wants to know why Alex just deleted a text from Mitchell. She wouldn't confess, nor would Mitch about what they talked about. People's phones were their own business, according to Mitchell, who was now trying to get Cam's phone after hearing constant text message beeps, followed by Cam laughing.

It was time for some truth to come out, and it just so happened everyone made it to the gallery for Haley's presentation...much to Haley's shock. Luke figured out it was Phil's drone that spied on them, and Claire said she was afraid they were smoking pot. Which was not likely, given how judgmental Manny was about that sort of thing. Gloria still demanded to know what was on Jay's phone, thinking it was related to his dream. It wasn't; Jay gave some money to one of the waitresses at the club because her ne'er-do-well boyfriend totaled her car. The dream was about Joseph getting out onto the ledge of a tall building and Jay was having a nightmare, not a good dream. (Actually, it was Stella, not his son, but what Gloria doesn't know...) Cameron told everyone they were being ridiculous and that everyone's entitled to some privacy...after which Mitchell snatched his phone to prove Cam was gossiping. This gave Claire a chance to grab Alex's phone...only to discover she was going to get Claire a nice birthday present and asked Mitch what the wine was he served at New Year's that Claire liked so much. Alex was upset Claire didn't trust her.

CLAIRE: Oh, I guess we're even because Mitch said he was surprised I remember anything from that night, to which you responded Hahahahaha!!!!!

ALEX: (concedes) Seems fair.

They find Haley's display, which is pictures of everybody, all quite good. Well, not the best for Claire, who was staring jealously at Gloria's cleavage and Mitch looked like he was enjoying the gossip as much as Cam. Haley arrives and is shocked to see everybody. She demanded to know who invited everyone, and Alex had to admit Claire making her going into her room to see the invite. All three kids were livid, but Claire fired back.

CLAIRE: You have no idea how hard it is to be a parent! To figure out what's going on with your kid when all you get is a grunt or a "fine" or a flick of the hair! It's my job to protect you and make sure you're making good choices. And if I step over the line every now and again when I'm doing it, TOUGH! Knowing you're safe is the only thing that lets me sleep at night!

CAMERON: (aside) I thought it was the wine.

Haley's anger is short-lived. The first purchase at the gallery was for Haley's picture of Claire and Gloria. Haley was excited! And Jay said it was a beautiful picture of Gloria.

CLAIRE: (pissed) I'm in it, too, Dad.

Main Cast

(The characters striked out do not appear in this episode)

  • Jay Pritchett
  • Gloria Pritchett
  • Manny Delgado
  • Claire Dunphy
  • Phil Dunphy
  • Haley Dunphy
  • Alex Dunphy
  • Luke Dunphy
  • Mitchell Pritchett
  • Cameron Tucker
  • Lily Tucker-Pritchett

Guest Starring

  • Noah Weisberg as Brett
  • Troy Vincent as Mr. Powers
  • Sebastian Schier as Xander
  • Arden Belle as Rhonda


  • This is Alex's 100th episode. She mentions Claire's birthday.
  • This episode has the joint shortest title of any Modern Family episode, with just four letters, equal to Season 4's "Snip."


  • Haley previously mentioned her photography work in "Three Dinners".
  • Brett's second appearance after Fulgencio.
  • This is also Rhonda's first episode.

Cultural References

  • Phil suggests watching St. Elmo's Fire.
  • When Haley say's she's 420% sure kids get high at the salvage yard, she is referring to weed.
  • The photo of Claire and Gloria references the famous photo of Sofia Loren staring at Jayne Mansfield's chest.