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Modern Family premiere recap: Season 8, Episode 1

We say goodbye to Cam’s grandma and Gloria’s hot sauce business

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ABC/Eric Liebowitz

Modern Family

TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
run date:

When we left our Modern Fam fam in season 7, each family unit was headed out on separate trips. Phil and Claire’s clan to NYC, Jay and Gloria’s to Mexico, and Cam and Mitch’s to Missouri. That sentence also doubles as a ranking of how those trips went: from good to disastrous.

The Dunphys really loved their trip to New York. Phil and Claire set off for home in the car, thinking they’ll enjoy a leisurely road trip, while Haley, Alex, and Luke are flying back. But once they part, both the kids and the parents decide to secretly stay longer in the Big Apple. After all, Phil and Claire never took a carriage ride through Central Park! (It’s a bummer that we don’t get to see this actually take place. I can just imagine Phil bonding with the horse.) Actually, there could have been a lot more scenes of the Dunphys being tourists. It’s a missed opportunity, especially given how funny the New York scene was in last season’s finale, when a too-trusting Phil asked a stranger for a photo of the family and hands over his phone, which is immediately stolen. We do, however, get to see Haley, Alex, and Luke at the Statue of Liberty, and Luke and Haley think her torch is a paintbrush.

Meanwhile Cam, Mitch, and Lily’s stay in Missouri turns into a disaster. Cam’s grandma is dying. The Tucker family is dressed in black, and Cam is wearing mourning overalls. We all know that Mitch is low-key a terrible person, and he doesn’t handle the delicate situation with very much grace (he turns on the blender to make a smoothie during a solemn family moment). Lily, however, seems to fit right in with Cam’s side of the family: She’s already talking with a country accent. When Mitch reluctantly takes a turn sitting with comatose Grandma, she suddenly grabs his hair, prompting him to yell “Let go!” Maybe not the best choice of words for a woman on her deathbed. She suddenly dies, and the whole family thinks Mitch made it happen.

Meanwhile Gloria, Jay, Manny, and Joe are visiting Mexico for a family wedding, and who shows up? Gloria’s crazy sister Sonia. (Remember last season when she tried to steal Jay away from Gloria?) She seems to be acting sane… so far. Jay mentions Gloria’s hot sauce business to Sonia, which makes Gloria mad and she announces that they have to leave, stat.

So the Dunphy kids and parents managed to make it through their extended New York vacations without finding each other out, and they had a lot of fun. Success. Mexico was fine until Gloria got mad and cut it short. And Missouri was a catastrophe.

NEXT: Sometimes vacations follow you home