The second episode was good, but I like the show when everybody in the family mingles together and interacts. The show works at its best when they take every character and let them interact and talk with one another. The way everything merged in the end was very satisfying and reminded me that this show really is one of the best new comedies on television right now, let alone one of the best new shows, period.
Phil remains my favorite character by a longshot. Maybe it's just because I've grown partial to strange and silly lead characters in TV shows (Micheal Scott? Murray Hewitt?), but his awkwardness and attempts to connect with his children by acting somewhat like a child himself is great. The storyline with him and Jay was great and showed how around him, he's nothing more than a young son trying to get his dad's attention.
The show had the challenge of juggling four storylines and combining them all at the end, somehow trying to make sense of them. While it's certainly no Seinfeld or Curb Your Enthusiasm, Modern Family still effectively finds ways to end their episodes without them feeling like a letdown.
It boggles my mind to see the ratings of these episodes (on TV.com, not the actual ratings). 6.9 for the previous episode? It's hard for me to understand, but I have to say, three episodes in and I'm hooked. The more I learn about these characters, the more I want to see them.