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Austin Morgan
Austin Morgan

[S5E24] Bad Portrait

The episode opens to Mordecai and Rigby playing video games (as usual). Pops walks into the room and asks them to pick up a painting. He explains to them that the painting is of Benson and it was commissioned to be displayed in the Hall of Park Managers. Mordecai realizes that this favor is very important and makes sure that Pops wants them to pick up the painting. Pops reassures them that he trusts them and hands them a pamphlet with information on the portrait studio.

[S5E24] Bad Portrait

They go to the studio, almost too late, and receive the painting. As they walk down the street, Rigby talks Mordecai into sneaking a peak to which Mordecai reluctantly agrees. Rigby rips the packaging open and accidentally drops his mustard pretzel onto the painting. He frantically tries to wipe off the mustard but ends up smearing it all over. They both start to panic but then Mordecai suggests that he paints a new portrait.

The next scene opens to Mordecai getting ready to make the new painting. Rigby gets impatient at him for not starting right away. Mordecai tells him that "It's a process, man!" and explains that he needs to "take time to really explore the subject and understand the deeper meaning." Rigby is unimpressed with his excuses and starts to paint the portrait himself. Mordecai tells him that his painting is "way worse" and he needs Rigby to leave so he can concentrate.

Some time has passed and Rigby comes back with another pretzel to check on the progress of the painting. He sees that Mordecai hasn't made any progress at all and asks him why. Mordecai explains that whenever he would paint a portrait for someone, they hated it. Rigby reassures him that he can get over his fear and finish the painting.

Mordecai decides to put in a tape to help him with the portrait. He paints for a little bit, following the tips in the video. He then has a flashback to when he was in art school and he made someone cry because they hated how he painted them. He forces himself to think of Benson and what makes him unique. He enthusiastically paints but ends up hating it.

They take the developed photos and Mordecai attempts the portrait again. Pops then calls to check on the portrait and Rigby answers by telling him not to worry and to "get their hopes way, way up!" Mordecai is annoyed that Rigby said those things because he was afraid they wouldn't like it. Rigby doesn't understand his frustration and tells him that he should be done by now. They start to fight over the painting and Mordecai shoves Rigby away so he doesn't mess up the painting with his pretzel again. Rigby falls back, dropping the cheese on the projector.

He gets up and slips, dropping his dipping sauce onto the projector on top of the cheese. The projector starts to malfunction and smoke. Out of the smoke comes the malformed Benson slides. They take offense to Mordecai's comment, calling them "horrible slides." One of the slides disses the portrait, saying it looks nothing like him and that Mordecai has ruined everything. The slides then try to destroy the painting.

Mordecai and Rigby try to protect the portrait and fight off the slides. Mordecai knocks one of them into the T.V., causing Benny Harris to show up in hologram form. Mordecai asks his advice, to which he tells them to "use what he sees in his mind's eye." Mordecai retorts that that idea didn't work before. Benny responds by saying that Mordecai created something and he should be proud but Mordecai tells him that the portrait "is all wrong." Benny responds with one of his famous phrases, "Sometimes we have to take our accidents and make them a little more chipper." Mordecai seems confused as to how that would help in this situation but Benny tells him to just paint over the slides.

At the Hall, Benson is about to be inducted, but then the announcer asks for the portrait from Pops. He is reluctant to tell the announcer that he doesn't have it but then Mordecai and Rigby burst in and apologize for it being late and ruining the original. Rigby uncovers the painting to show everyone but the audience starts to boo. Rigby then turns it over and the audience seems to like it.

Mordecai tells Benson he would understand if he wants to fire him for what happened but Benson responds by telling Mordecai how much he likes it. The announcer agrees that it is a good picture, but because it is abstract, he cannot use it in the Hall and commission a new portrait. Benson decides to put Mordecai's portrait in his office.

In the episode, Claire makes an effort to take a new family portrait. Gloria and Manny go with Phil and Alex to a Lakers game and share an awkward moment on the jumbo-tron. Cameron gets a job as a wedding singer while Mitchell takes care of Lily and battles with a pigeon that entered the house. Luke interviews Jay for a school project. After many mishaps, the family is barely on time for the portrait but Claire's perfectionism gets on Jay who starts a mud fight. The portrait is not as perfect as Claire was imagining it but she admits that she loves the result.

The photograph of the three families taken in this episode could be seen hanging on the walls of the three families' houses throughout the rest of the series. The series finale of the show concluded with a shot of the portrait followed by a fade to black.

A stray pigeon enters Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron's (Eric Stonestreet) house, and Mitchell battles to get it out. As a result, he destroys the house. Cameron gets a job as a wedding singer and Luke (Nolan Gould) interviews Jay (Ed O'Neill) for a school project. Luke finds Jay's stories boring so Jay invents much more exciting ones. Haley gets a pimple and tries to get her mother to postpone the portrait, something that Claire does not agree to.

All the while Claire battles the Dunphys' broken stair to fix it so everything would be perfect for the portrait. She ends up destroying it completely so she calls Mitchell to ask him to do the shooting at his place. After his battle with the pigeon though, the house is in the worst condition for a photo shooting so he tells her what she is asking is impossible.

Nonetheless, Claire manages to get the whole family perfectly dressed and barely on time for the picture. However various squabbles come up, including the kiss and Cameron being angry over the destroyed house. Claire's perfectionism finally gets to Jay and he starts a mud fight, dirtying their perfect white costumes. This loosens everyone up, and instead of the perfect portrait the family instead take a series of fun pictures in varying positions. While later hanging the framed picture, Claire admits that she loves the result more than any perfectly posed family portrait. 041b061a72


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