Last night’s episode of Modern Family reminded me why I originally fell in love with the series. The triumphant returns of Haley and DeeDee, as well as the mixed family dynamic were just what the doctor ordered. The night was filled both with tender moments and blink-and-you’ll-miss-it comedic gold, making the episode my favorite since the season premiere.
The episode opened with a high note — and loud ring — when Claire got the 3 a.m. phone call that every parent dreads. No one died, but Haley did get arrested. Let’s face it, (as Cam later confides to Lily) it was only a matter of time. This led to a string of calls to the Pritchett-Delgados and Pritchett-Tuckers, who all woke up abruptly and made a mad, frenzied dash to the phone, just like Claire and Phil did. Claire asked Mitch to accompany her and Phil to jail to lend his legal “expertise,” then called her dad to ask about his “judge friend.” The entire opener was amusing, but the scene when Jay got the call from Claire was especially hilarious. Jay told Claire that his “judge friend” died, causing an almost teary Gloria to sympathize with him. “He died five years ago,” he responded, further confusing her. Manny then walked in, already convinced that someone’s death led to the call, and Gloria informed him about Jay’s friend. He also apologized for Jay’s loss. Like mother, like son …
So Claire, Phil, and Mitch headed to Haley’s campus under the impression that she was arrested for underage drinking only to learn that she had been charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer as well. Only a month and a half into school and she’s already in danger of suspension. Mitch, confirming his dad’s suspicions, proved to be useless during the ordeal. After all, what does a panda lawyer know about criminal justice? After she’s bailed out of jail, Haley admitted that she had been drinking at a party when the police were called. She proceeded to run away by climbing down the fire escape when an officer yelled “put your hands up.” Like any good citizen, she raised her arms, let go of the fire escape, and fell directly on top of a policeman. I’m just glad he was there to break her fall.
Phil, who Claire thinks is too calm under pressure, finally put his foot down tonight. He scolded Haley for making excuses instead of taking responsibility for her actions, dressing inappropriately for court (as though “entertaining the secret service,” as Claire put it), and for not bothering to thank her parents for driving to her rescue or apologize to them for her recklessness. Phil’s reaction took me back to last season’s episode when he and Claire switched parenting roles. The role of bad cop suits him well. He didn’t force Haley to clean the bathroom this time around, but she definitely learned her lesson. Haley fessed up to all wrongdoing later that day during her suspension hearing, but took her dad’s advice a little too close to heart. She also admitted to a few unrelated acts, including breaking a few school policies with a TA … twice. So she’s kicked out of school. And forced to move back home. There are worse fates.
While the Dunphys were tending to Haley, Cam watched over Luke and Alex. Although lovable Cam is usually the perfect — if insecure — parent, he dropped the ball a few times during babysitting duties. He first fed the kids fauxcon (you know, fake bacon!), causing Luke to have an allergic reaction to soy, then left them unattended at the hospital, allowing Alex to run off and become a medical school intern… and faint after watching a C-section. Aside from the fact that Alex realized that she could never become a doctor or have children, no harm was done. Poor Cam was so concerned with proving Claire wrong about his poor parenting skills, that he forgot to parent. Luke and Alex later informed him that their mom thinks he’s a wonderful father — but a poor baker. I think that was an even bigger blow to his ego.
While the kids were away, DeeDee returned to town to pick up a family photo album from Jay’s house. Despite his attempts to shoo her away, she blabbed on and on about her telescopic uterus, until a very pregnant Gloria returned home. DeeDee was shocked at the sight of her baby bump, but instead of attacking the now “bigger, slower target,” she empathized with poor Gloria. After all, Jay didn’t change a single diaper during their marriage. Gloria got upset (you could tell because she made plenty of noise in the kitchen) once she suspected that Jay was stuck in his inattentive ways. She was soon reassured by her loving husband that this baby would be the exception.
Whether due to the death (or murder) of her cat Francis, change in medication, or Manny’s hand-written correspondences, DeeDee is now in a better place. Just in time for Manny’s poetry reading!
Here are tonight’s best lines:
Mitch: Haley got arrested.
Cam: That explains the chickens.
Cam: She has a daughter behind bars and she’s got the nerve to question my parenting?
Gloria: Take a lot of cash and when you hand it to the police but don’t say anything. Let your eyes do the talking.
Lily: She’s in jail.
Cam: Lily, what did I say?
Lily: That it was only a matter of time.
Mitch: Yeah, fauxcon disgusting.
Cam: You can’t even tell the difference.
Cam: Luke, put the fauxcon down!
Luke: I’m using it to scratch my throat.
Jay: You just woke up, how are you tired?
Gloria: Maybe because I’m turning food into a human!
Jay: If you had a husband who wanted to pick a stroller with you, you wouldn’t be pregnant.
Manny: I can’t believe this, I’m living in a cultural wasteland.
Jay: With a heated pool.
Mitch: That’s what I do, dad. I defend pandas in court.
Phil: That’s adorable.
Claire: That sounds like Alex.
Cam: Nope, just Amanda Bynes.
Phil: Was the cop wearing white socks and dark shoes? Because that really sets her off.
Haley: Where are you going?
Claire: To get that man a waffle!
Jay: Turns out Gloria being pregnant made DeeDee think of her as less trophy, more human.
Gloria: If you don’t change your useless ways, you’re going to make me crazy too, like DeeDee.
DeeDee: I’m on a better path.
Manny: It’s a journey.
School administrator: This is a disciplinary hearing, not JDate.
Haley: I don’t know what the policy is on dating TAs, but I think I broke it … twice.
Lily: What does this do?
Luke: I don’t know, but thanks to Obama, you’re paying for it.
Cam: You can tell your mother that my scones are appropriately crunchy on the outside and perfectly dense on the inside.
Phil: Where are my keys?
Haley: They’re right there on the makeup table.
Claire: Oh honey, that’s a desk.