Modern Family season finale recap: Gloria is pregnant!
“WHOA.” That’s the text I got from my colleague Michelle Profis after last night’s bombshell baby revelation. Earlier on Wednesday, we had resigned ourselves to accepting that the season finale of Modern Family would be relatively unshocking, as the Cameron/Mitchell adoption storyline has been stretched out all season long and would almost definitely be resolved. We couldn’t imagine a situation in which viewers didn’t meet their second baby, but that’s definitely not what happened last night. As another unfortunate development impeded the Pritchett-Tuckers on their way to becoming a foursome, we got a different — and very unexpected — revelation: Gloria’s pregnant!
The baby mama drama started when Cam and Mitchell got the phone call that sent them scurrying off towards Calexico (let me get that started for you) to get their newborn baby. Lily — being the needy black swan that she is — had an important ballet recital, which the dads handed off to Jay, Manny and Gloria. A second phone call, this time from the mother’s Spanish-speaking sister (named Juanita, whom you’ll need to know for later), made it clear that the boys would need Gloria to come along for the ride to act as translator at the hospital. You know, just in case anything casual came up.
As the trio entered the hospital, I couldn’t be the only one who squealed when I realized exactly where Modern Family was about to take this. As soon as a Spanish-speaking priest emerged from the delivery room with a warning — in Spanish — for Spanish-speaking sister Juanita, the telenovela was on! Cam and Mitchell looked on in confusion as Gloria attempted to relay the melodrama unfolding. In comes a nurse! Wearing no clothes! And she slaps Juanita! Because she told the baby’s mother’s mother about the baby! And now there’s a ranchhand! ¡Que scandale!
For a brief moment, Cam and Mitchell basked in the news that their baby was the center of a real-life Univision soap opera. Until the final development, which came as a total devastation to Cam, Mitchell and us the viewers. The baby’s abuela came out of the delivery room, did a little yelling and dropped the bomb that she was not going to give Cam and Mitchell the baby. Outside the hospital, Cam and Mitchell broke down.
The sadness continued during a stop for gas. As Gloria ran inside to get something for her apparent motion sickness, Cam grew frustrated with the gas pump while Mitchell took off for the highlands. Cam ran after Mitchell, who finally broke down about their most recent failure to adopt another baby. Mitchell was tired of the rejection and the pain, which is certainly understandable — and the reason why Cam suggested they take a break from the plan. An odd parting shot for the season, seeing Cam and Mitchell both laying down in the grass, staring aimlessly at the sky. Does that mean we won’t be seeing any new baby in season 4? Not without watching it pop out of Gloria, who revealed in the closing moments that her motion sickness was actually an old-fashioned pregnancy memorandum. Hormonal Gloria, here we come! (But, really now, what does Gloria’s good news mean for Cam and Mitchell’s bad news? If you’re hoping that Cam and Mitchell might raise the baby, remember that Gloria’s spawn is Mitchell’s own
step half-brother, so count that option out.)
NEXT: Haley drops a bombshell (hey, where’s Ellis?)
Last night wasn’t only about infants. In fact, it was also about infant-minded young adults, which of course refers to the delightfully dim duo of Haley and Dylan (with the infant-minded descriptor applying 80-20 towards Dylan). Haley has shown a lot of growth and maturity this season, but pair her up with Dylan and she becomes the whimsically airy star-crossed lover we adore. Personally, I was thrilled when Haley announced her plans to take a gap year (which she took to mean getting a job at the Gap) and move in with Dylan while she went to community college. The entertainment is immediately apparent, and anything that involves more of Reid Ewing’s awesome deadpan is much welcomed on my DVR. But despite my excitement, Claire and Phil were decidedly less enthusiastic about the idea.
It’s always a treat to see panicked Claire and frightened Phil team up for some joint parental discouragement. The Dunphys tried to convince Haley to abandon her life decision, as she would most likely get pregnant, lose her beautiful skin and struggle to live while wearing Alex’s hand-me-downs for the rest of her life. The cosmetic threat didn’t look like it would spook Haley out of her choice, though, especially after Phil started talking about nuclear codes and the robot wars. Instead, in a surprisingly sweet turn of events, Luke revealed to Dylan that he didn’t want Haley to leave and as such, hid her college acceptance letter from the previous day. How much did you love the rare Luke-Dylan scene?
Dylan, being ever so gallant (and of course still copiously goofus), brought the news to Haley, Claire and Phil. The revelation effectively pulled the plug on Dylan and Haley’s co-habitation aspirations, but brings season 4 into an exciting new direction: college! I can’t wait to see how Claire and Phil handle the move-in process, the almost-weekly phone calls and the booking of a hotel for graduation four years in advance. Oh, alma mater!
In a subplot that seemed to wrap itself up rather speedily, Alex went to prom with a date who turned out to be ostensibly gay. The prom storyline wasn’t anything too exhilarating, although I laughed the hardest when Alex’s date posed for a photo and then added jazz hands after Phil commanded, “Now one with flash!” I just giggled again while writing that.
The last storyline involved Jay and Manny having to babysit Lily and take her to her ballet recital after Gloria, Cam and Mitchell headed to Calexico. It was funny enough to see Lily distracting perennially elderly couple Jay and Manny as they attempted to build a model airplane, but the real touching moment came backstage at Lily’s recital. Jay was sent to talk to his granddaughter after she refused to go on stage (evidently she was upset that her dads were absent and that she was going to have a sibling). I really wanted to get choked up at the tenderness between Ed O’Neill and the young actress playing Lily — it was a beautiful image, with the bright vanity lights illuminating both of their silhouettes as Jay gave the littlest Pritchett a pep talk. After the conversation, Lily of course convinced Jay to dance in the recital with her, which he did. O’Neill has really been the MVP this season, and this could be his year to finally nab an Emmy or Golden Globe — although the promise of a pregnant Gloria stands to give O’Neill an even better year next season!
NEXT: Some of the night’s best sound bites
Mitchell: How cool would it be if you turned into Wonder Woman right now?
Cam: Can’t even talk about it.
Mitchell: That mother from Calexico, she picked us!
Cam: She did?
Mitchell: She went into early labor, she’s having the baby today!
Cam: She is?
Mitchell: We have to go to Calexico right now!
Cam: We do!?
Mitchell: Just assume that everything I say is the truth.
Gloria: Good news! Mitch and Cam are getting a new baby today!
Jay: Really? That’s fantastic!
Gloria: And it’s Latino!
Manny: How’s that giant fence workin’ out for ya?
“Well, I don’t like how far down that zipper goes, but on the plus side it looks water-resistant.” – Phil
Haley: Proms are lame. It’s just an excuse for dressed up dorks to ride in limos and hump each other.
Phil: Okay. Now I don’t like the idea of Alex going.
“You know what? I might just go crazy tonight and hook up all over him.” – Alex
“Hola. Soy Cameron. Como esta? Hold on, could you slow down just a little bit? What does frenetico mean?” – Cam
“Let’s get those arms going. No, no, no, no! Arms down here says I’m white and I’m sorry, but arms up here says you don’t know what I am!” – Phil
“Listen, I know that you’re concerned, but I’m designing t-shirts now, and they’re gonna be huge. Also in medium and small.” – Dylan
“Yes, my bad boy prom date is gay. He just doesn’t know it yet, so I’m basically his beard. Pre-beard. His stubble.” – Alex
“At first, it’s a blast. Buying a dishrack, hanging a sheet up to turn one room into two!” – Claire
Haley: Mom, can I borrow that purple dress I said you were too old for?
Claire: In spite of that, yeah.
Parents just don’t understand… and neither do kids or spouses in this hit ensemble comedy