The third episode of the season, “Earthquake,” obtained about 11.4 million viewers, which is about half a million less than the previous week.
In the beginning, Haley wants to take a two hour break from studying for her SATs to go to a party but Claire will not let her go. Mitch and Cam are invited to a party by their old friend Pepper, but they don’t really want to attend. Gloria and Manny are getting ready to go to church but Jay wants to go golfing instead and insists that God exists in nature.
Then… an EARTHQUAKE HITS! Hard to see it coming with that title, right?
Anyway, after the earthquake, Claire gets stuck in the bathroom with the plumber who was there to fix there pipes. Phil uses this newly found free time to strap the cupboard, which almost fell on top of Luke, to the wall. Because Phil was supposed to have already done this task, he stalls and makes excuses to leave Claire in the bathroom longer. Haley sees an opportunity to escape and go to the party. Claire hears Haley from within the bathroom and the two confront each other which leads to Haley calling her mother a “psycho control freak!” Since they’re stuck with each other, Claire and the plumber share a conversation about parenting; Claire realizes that her mother, too, was a psycho control freak and the reason she and Haley butt heads so much is because they are so similar. A clever joke I feel the need to mention: before the earthquake, Phil had fixed one of the steps that was loose, but he trips over it after the earthquake, suggesting he didn’t fix it very well. When Claire eventually frees herself from the bathroom, she trips over the step, also. I feel the writers do a really good job incorporating things people laugh at everyday, like people tripping, into the show.
Mitch and Cam decide to use the earthquake as an excuse to get out of going to Pepper’s party, claiming it cause some major damage to their home. Their plan backfires when Pepper insists on coming over to help them clean up the mess. Since there is no mess, Mitch starts to make one by breaking windows and plates. Mitch then calls Cam a mob wife; he doesn’t like to lie, but reaps benefits from it (like a mink coat that “fell off a truck”). When Pepper, played by Nathan Lane, arrives, Cam confesses their lie, and Pepper gets upset because everyone else had cancelled on his party. In an effort to cheer him up, Mitch tells Pepper that the reason they cancelled was because Cam has feelings for him.
Gloria claims that the earthquake is a sign to Jay that he needs to go to church, but he insists that God would not disrupt the entire city just for him. Manny decides to go golfing with Jay after he claimed that God is in nature. While on the golf course, Manny keeps asking questions about God and Heaven. Jay answers the best he can, but Manny always has a more difficult follow up question for Jay; Manny realizes he should have gone to church with his mother. Back at home, Manny is asking Gloria more tough questions about heaven. To put his mind at ease she explains that Heaven has rainbows and butterflies, but that has the opposite effect on Manny,… who is scared of butterflies!