Season 2's finale ends with a failed birthday bash for Jay, and the possibility of another child for Cam and Mitchell.

By Lesley Savage
Updated May 26, 2011 at 05:15 AM EDT
Colleen Hayes/ABC

Modern Family

S2 E24
  • TV Show

While I wouldn’t call tonight’s season finale (sniff, sniff) the funniest or best episode of the season, I would say that it did its job. It wrapped up the season nicely by showcasing the wit and wisdom of all the various family members, and it showed us (ever so briefly) some of the highlights from season 2. Tonight’s episode centered on Jay’s birthday — a fitting way to say goodbye, I would argue, as his character seemed to do the most growing this season (come on, he let Manny keep the puppy). While everyone tried to create the perfect evening for him, in typical Modern Family fashion, they ended up ruining his entire day (and night). Poor Jay just wanted to spend the day in solitude, fishing on a boat and eating his sausage of the month – it’s the little things, people. But instead he had to run all over town saving members of his family from dogs, doing errands, and even picking up and paying for his own birthday cake. Well, at least the family had the best of intentions.

For the occasion, Claire and Mitchell planned to re-create a childhood photo of themselves in their old backyard, complete with pigtails and sailor suit – an idea inspired by the brilliant Phil, who had done the same thing for his parents the year before (but of course in that case, it involved a plate of spaghetti dumped on his head). Sadly, their plan was foiled when they broke into the backyard and were chased up a tree by a dog. It wasn’t a total loss, though, because Claire had Jay’s birthday bottle of wine with her, and she and Mitchell proceeded to get drunk while stuck in the tree (did I mention that Mitchell was in a sailor suit?). P.S. Is anyone going to try Claire’s neat trick for opening a bottle of wine without a corkscrew? I certainly am! After the siblings had quality bonding time in the tree (and expressed hilarious jealousy over Manny – “Manny gets everything,” snipped Claire), they asked Jay to come get them, reverting to little kids while riding in the back of his car. It was a moment that proved what perfect siblings Julie Bowen and Jesse Tyler Ferguson make.

Meanwhile, Phil and Gloria hit the mall, where Gloria was shopping for a gift for Jay with Lily, and Phil was dealing with a nemesis from his past – Glen Whipple (Childrens Hospital’s Rob Huebel, funny as always). Seeing Glen Whipple whipped Phil into a frenzy of insecurity, and caused him to go slightly insane, which was apparent when he tried to pass off Gloria as his hot Latina wife to make Whipple jealous. Yet it turned out that the grass is not always greener, and Whipple was actually jealous of Claire, whom he assumed Phil had ended up with. Ah, Phil, will you never learn? Still, his temporary insanity did result in some funny insta-married couple exchanges with Gloria (“What now!?” Phil snapped at her).

Elsewhere on the failed birthday front, Cam couldn’t even manage to pick up Jay’s birthday cake. While on the phone giving Manny love advice (who else loves Cam’s role as manly uncle to Manny?), he was kicked out for being a pedophile (his unsuccessful defense: “No, it’s not what you think. I’m talking to a little boy”). And Haley and Alex hadn’t gotten any decent footage for the family video that they’d been compiling for a year – it may not have been appropriate as a tribute to Jay, but it was one of the funnier parts of the show for us viewers. Luckily (or not so luckily), Luke came to the rescue! And we all know what happens when Luke gets involved in any situation.

So what did Jay end up with? A mutilated cake, a half bottle of merlot, a lip-shaped “sexy phone,” and a 10-second video of his family screaming his name in what ultimately served as a mini season-highlight reel. Though thanks to Manny, he did get a little boating action, and the entire family wound up in a boat in the middle of his pool. (So much for solitude.) The episode ended on a touching note with Cam and Mitchell saying they wanted to have another child – maybe a boy this time. Dare I say cliff-hanger? Will season 3 open with Mitchell and Cam on a plane with another baby? We can only hope.

Other random highlights of the evening:

Lily showing up at Gloria’s door with a rose – have you ever seen anything so adorable?

Manny’s online-dating life

Cam’s secret jock alter ego

NEXT: The best quotes of the night

Now, the best lines of the finale:

“Even if he drinks his other gift first?” –Phil on the “old” card he got for Jay

“Sausage-of-the-month club really nailed it in May, but honey, no offense, they almost lost me last month with that chorizo.” –Jay

“Why no offense? It’s a sausage, it’s not on our flag.” –Gloria’s response

“I only used it once, and that was to take a torte out of the oven.” –Manny on his previous use for his baseball glove

“Well, you’re pretending to be something you’re not, and boys do that for girls or really dreamy boys.” –Cam

“Not my thing…I have a tennis racquet upstairs I only use as a bubble-bath frother.” –Manny on how sports are not his cup of tea

“Wow.” –Cam’s response

“Glen Whipple. My college rival. Captain of the cheer squad. Winner of every robot battle. Every second I spent with the guy just made me feel worse about myself. Only thing I could compete with him in was close-up magic.” –Phil

“I don’t think that does what you think it does.” –Mitchell’s response after Claire said they weren’t trespassing because they used to live there

“You know who did your job in my day? A hose.” –Jay to the dog groomer

“I left mine in your car. I didn’t want to ruin the line in my pants.” –A sailor-suited Mitchell on why he kept his cell phone in the car

“He didn’t stop for the screaming sailor in a tree?” –Claire to Mitchell

“Yeah, I’m just water-washing my hands.” –Tongue-tied Manny, trying to impress a girl

“No, it’s not what you think. I’m talking to a little boy.” –Cam

“She can be mean in Spanish.” –Cam about Gloria

“Let me work my magic. It’s all about creative editing. Just give me two hours, and then another hour. Someone get me a chocolate milk, with extra salt.” –Luke, taking charge of Jay’s birthday video

“Manny got one.” –Mitchell on Manny getting a dog

“Manny gets everything.” –Claire

“You finally did make something disappear.” –Glen Whipple to Phil

“These pants are new – climbing over that fence, I might’ve wrecked ’em.” –Jay, causing Mitchell and Claire to giggle at his unintended use of “rectum”

“Twelve times a year I get sausages, that’s it. Now what am I going to do until June?” –Jay, upset about his planned birthday on the boat with sausages

“I am, as long as I’m using it to roll out dough.” –Manny on using his baseball bat

“Is this a sexy phone?” –Jay on Gloria’s gift of a lip-shaped phone (as opposed to a saxophone)

“Now, the old Jay would have said, ‘I wanted to be on a lake with a fishing rod and sunshine. Not bobbing around at night in a swimming pool.’ I miss the old Jay.” –Jay

And with that I bid you adieu until the fall. So what did you think of the finale? I’m not going to lie: I was a little underwhelmed, but I will still miss my favorite family this summer. Does anyone else think that last week’s episode would have made a better season finale? How will you guys fill the TV void that Modern Family will leave this summer?

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Modern Family

Parents just don’t understand… and neither do kids or spouses in this hit ensemble comedy

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