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"Caught in the Act" received mixed reviews from critics.
According to the Nielsen Media Research, "Caught in the Act" dropped four percent in the ratings from the last episode of the series to air in its regular timeslot and received a 4.6 rating/12% share in the 18-49 demographic.
While Claire and Phil hide out in their bedroom, the kids leave the house and talk about what happened over ice cream, with Luke noting that he would rather have parents who do that then parents who are divorced like many of his friends; they make a deal to sit stone-faced through Claire's subsequent address to them, which makes Claire happy — along with Phil stating that every anniversary with her makes him happy.
Co-creator Steven Levitan & Jeffrey Richman wrote the episode and Michael Spiller directed it.
The episode originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in the United States on January 19, 2011.
Despite this, the episode won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.
The Dunphy children prepare a nice anniversary breakfast for their parents, but end up walking in on them while Phil (Ty Burrell) and Claire (Julie Bowen) are having sexual intercourse.
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It featured guest star Rachael Harris as restaurant owner, Amelia.In the episode, Gloria and Jay are about to go on vacation while Manny is away visiting his father, but their plans are interrupted when Gloria accidentally sends an insulting email to Claire.When they go to the Dunphys' house to apologize, they find Claire and Phil in a state of dismay because their kids have just walked in on them having sex.Meanwhile, Mitchell and Cameron have trouble getting reservations at a popular new restaurant so they try to ingratiate themselves with the restaurant's owner, who is one of the parents at Lily's preschool.
Luke (Nolan Gould) is not quite sure what happened while Haley (Sarah Hyland) and Alex (Ariel Winter) are reeling with shock and horror because they know exactly what happened.
Claire is much more upset about the kids seeing them than Phil is, largely due to her memory of walking in on Jay (Ed O'Neill) and her mom having sexual intercourse when she was a child.