Modern Family Goodnight Gracie

Modern Family Goodnight Gracie

Modern Family New Year's Eve

Modern Family
ABC
May 22, 2013

If this had been any regular episode, it would have been really good. However, as a season finale, I really felt that it came up short. It felt anti-climactic and (unlike most season finales) I didn’t feel like it was building to much for the next season. At the same time, it didn’t feel like a series finale either, so I assume that we’ll get more Modern Family, come fall.

The family has gone to Florida to attend a memorial service for Phil’s mother, who recently died. As Claire explains it t wasn’t unexpected and Phil was there when she passed, so he got to say goodbye. Overall, it’s a very peaceful passing. When they arrive, his father is at peace, and she’s been cremated and is ready to be put to rest.

Phil’s father gives his son a box, of things that his mother left for him and the kids. Inside is a note, where she asks Phil to set up his father with a nice neighbor down the street, although she admits to not knowing her very well. Phil thinks it’s crazy, and wants to let his dad pick his own girlfriend, but Claire is determined that they respect his mother’s wishes and do what they can to make the match happen. She even tricks Phil into going to the woman’s house, on the excuse of going for a walk together. When a man answers the door with her, they immediately assume that she already has a boyfriend – or is married – and make up a phony excuse about being vacuum salespeople.

The letter from his mother warned Phil that she wanted him to set up his father because the neighborhood ladies would swoop down on him the moment they smelled fresh meat of a single man. After discovering the woman and her man, Phil and Claire go home to find just that – lots of neighborhood women flitting about the kitchen, trying to get his father’s attention. Phil also learns that the man was the neighbor-lady’s brother, not her boyfriend. So he goes back to talk to her again and explains the situation to her. She is confused, but gives him a hug and he agrees with his mother: She is very nice.

Cam doesn’t really do much. He plays Mahjong with some retired women. Mitch, however, has a bigger adventure. Apparently Gloria has a bench warrant out for her in Florida, because she once lived there and her roommate used the apartment for a small-time prostitution ring, after Gloria moved out but before she was off the least. Figuring that it should be no problem, Mitch (who I just learned tonight is a lawyer) goes to court with her, to help her out. They’re low on the docket, however, and Gloria asks him to help some of the other defendants, to make things go more quickly. Instead, it makes things go much more slowly, since he has to get a feeling for each case and make a real argument as to the defendant’s innocence.

After this goes on for…a while…it’s finally turn for Gloria’s case. The judge is so tired of listening to him that she just dismisses the case, letting Gloria go. That night at the memorial, Mitch tells Cam that he wants to quit his job (something corporate, I assume?) and go back into the courtroom. Mitch doesn’t seem too bothered by the fact, but I think he was still distracted by his Mahjong ladies and perhaps didn’t hear him properly.

Finally, we have Alex. Haley and Luke were both very satisfied by the gifts left to them by their grandmother (jewelry and a pocket watch, respectively). Alex, however, got a lighter with a note saying simply “This is a lighter.” Since she was certain that she was very close to her grandmother, Alex is naturally baffled by this fact. After worrying about it for a while, her grandfather points out that the letter opens. We learn that the lighter originally belonged to a celebrity that she admired. He left it at a restaurant where she was waitressing, and she decided to keep it instead. A customer saw her but promised to keep her secret…and that customer ended up being her husband.

As the episode ends, Alex lights up some fireworks and sits back as they celebrate the life of Grace Dunphy.

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Modern Family Games People Play

Modern Family Games People Play

Modern Family New Year's Eve

Modern Family
ABC
May 15, 2013

As the episode begins, Phil calls his family together for a Family Fun Meeting. It seems that he’s sold a house to the owner of a car dealership, and the man was so happy that he gave Phil an extra gift, as a thank you. That gift is a brand new RV, which Phil is welcome to take on the road whenever he wants. He and the kids are all very excited, especially when he suggests that they take the RV out down the coast. He then reveals to Claire that he plans to take them to Yellowstone that summer. While Claire is fine with the idea of a day trip, she is less enthused by the idea of sticking her children into a metal box and listening to them fight for a trip halfway across the country.

She doesn’t want to crush Phil’s dream, however, and she really doesn’t think that he’ll listen to her anyway. So she decides to let him learn this lesson the hard way – see what the kids are like on a trip for himself. At first, everything is going really well. The children are getting along, they aren’t fighting with their parents… It seems like a dream come true. This only frustrates Claire, though, because she cannot admit that she might be wrong about her children. So she tries to instigate an argument between them, to prove her point. That plan doesn’t work, but eventually a bee does her dirty deed for her.

Her point made, Phil parks the RV and storms off for some alone time. While he’s gone, Claire regrets her actions and tells the kids that they need to find a way to give Phil his Yellowstone trip after all. Realizing why his father wanted the RV to begin with, Luke reveals that he can’t go anywhere that summer because he’s failing pre-algebra and will be in summer school. While Alex asks why he didn’t ask her for help, Claire learns a great deal about her children that she missed out on, while she was busy searching for her career path. She decides that she had it all wrong and goes to Phil to tell him that they must go on this trip, because she needs the time to force their family to bond again.

While the Dunphys are on their road trip, Mitchell and Cameron are at a gymnastics meet for Lily, who’s been taking lessons. At first, Mitch has no high expectations, but as he sees Lily performing well, he gets a little…too competitive. Between him cheering for children falling off the balance beam, and Cam being accused of sabotaging hair-dos, it’s really no surprise that the facility and parents require that they stay 100 feet from the building from that point on, by the end of the match. The good news is that Lily made pre-team, right? Whatever that is…

Meanwhile, Manny has lost his backpack. He needs to find it that day, because he has a poem in it that he needs for a poetry reading that he’s going to that night. He doesn’t want his parents to attend, because he says he’s going through a darker (i.e., anti-clingy-mother) stage and he doesn’t want Gloria to get the wrong idea. He first thinks that he left it at Phil and Claire’s house, so they go there first and, finding them not home, almost give up and leave until Gloria breaks into the house for them.

Manny doesn’t find his backpack, but he does discover how nosey his parents are. Realizing that he must have left the bag with Mitch, who picked them up to school before taking them to Claire’s, he requests that they go there next. After breaking in (again), and snooping (some more), they discover that Mitch and Cam must have hosted a game night that they weren’t invited to. While they argue about the reason that they weren’t invited to game night, Manny informs them that it’s probably a combination of both their behavior. He’s no sooner finished yelling at them, however, than he discovers the invitation in his backpack that he forgot to give to them. So he “kindly” lets them off the hook for his poetry reading, before hiding the invitation where they’ll find it, and sneaking off. They do find the invitation, but it’s also not hard for them to discern what really happened. Perhaps, they decide, Manny isn’t such a goody-two-shoes after all.

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Modern Family My Hero

Modern Family My Hero

Modern Family New Year's Eve

Modern Family
ABC
May 8, 2013

At the beginning of this episode, Mitch and Cam run into Mitch’s ex-boyfriend, Teddy. They explain to the audience that Mitch had only one boyfriend before Cam, who he dated right after coming out to his family. Teddy is a doctor and invites them to a fundraiser to collect money for vaccines for underprivileged children and, with Cam insisting that he’s fine, they agree to go. While this is happening, Claire is babysitting baby Joe for Jay and Gloria. When they return home to relieve her of her duty, they tell her that they have an exciting offer for her: Jay wants to offer her a job at his company. Claire apparently worked there for a summer many years ago and she feels it could have gone much better. So, not wanting to take the job but also not wanting to hurt her father’s feelings, she elects to not answer his phone calls instead.

Cam, Mitch and Lily arrive at the fundraiser – which is being hosted at a roller rink (that we later learn Claire once worked at). Cam is still insisting that he’s fine with the Teddy situation, and he is…at first. Then he learns that Teddy invited Mitch’s entire family. It seems that the family is all very close to Teddy, and they’ve stayed in touch with him long after he and Mitch broke up.

As the night progresses, Claire works hard to avoid Jay, Phil makes a disastrous attempt to teach Gloria how to skate (that involves getting his face sliced open on a car door and her pantsing him), Manny discovers that something is very wrong with Luke when he catches him binge eating, and Cam gets progressively more upset. Finally, Cam confides to Mitch that he doesn’t feel threatened about their relationship by Teddy, but instead by how close the rest of the family is to him. He feels that he worked very hard to be accepted by them, and he feels betrayed that they seem to prefer Mitch’s ex-boyfriend. He asks Mitch to ask them to back off, and he does, though they don’t really listen to him.

Claire runs into…I guess the owner of the rink? He asks her to man the snack bar while he goes to clean up a mess that one of the skaters left on the rink. She does so and soon learns that he’s upset because he had an assignment to write about his hero. Phil assumed that Luke would write about him, but he wrote about Claire instead. Claire is touched, and when Jay comes up to ask her about the job, she tells him how she really feels about it. But then she feels bad about that almost immediately after.

She overhears Jay telling Cam some nice things about how he never liked Mitch with Teddy, and he thinks Cam is a much better match for him. Seeing a different, less critical side of her father, Claire reconsiders his offer and ends up taking the job after all. I’m sure Phil will be relieved, since this means that Claire can go to work without working for his real estate rival, as it seemed she would last week.

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