A proposal, an attempted elopement, a bailed-on ceremony, a second attempted elopement, and then finally the late-night vows… all in the same day? Now that’s some Modern love.
Haley (Sarah Hyland) and Dylan (Reid Ewing) — that shallow-meets-fallow couple, those on-again-off-again-what-are-we-again? lovers — officially tied the knot on Wednesday’s episode of Modern Family. The journey to the makeshift altar proved to be an unusual one for the couple, who earlier in this tenth season of the ABC family comedy were surprised to learn that Haley was pregnant; they then doubled their stupefaction when a sonogram revealed that twins were on the way.
This episode, accurately titled “Can’t Elope,” began on a literal painful note — with Braxton Hicks contractions — and then an awkward one, when the doctor mistook Dylan for her husband. Haley, who had spurned several of Dylan’s proposals, decided that she actually did like the concept of being his wife, and she got down awkwardly on one knee and proposed to him in the hospital parking lot. They decided to elope, but when they sneaked over to the house to enlist Alex (Ariel Winter) as their witness, Claire (Julie Bowen) interrupted the plan, and the next thing any of them knew, Claire was putting together a ceremony with the entire family, including Phil’s dad, Frank (Fred Willard), via video-screen robot, oddball guests such as Orson (Thomas Lennon), the handler of canine influencer Arthur Goodboy, and sure, Alex’s boyfriend, Bill (Jimmy Tatro) on bagpipes. It should be noted that Arthur Goodboy got caught up in the romance of the event and mounted Stella just as the ceremony, which was being co-officiated by Phil (Ty Burrell) and Dylan’s mom, Farrah Marshall (Rachel Bay Jones), was set to begin.
With chaos heating up, Haley’s feet grew cold, and Claire called for a private meeting with the couple in the kitchen, where she urged them to just make a run for it and have the wedding that they wanted. Later in the night, though, Haley and Dylan returned home and woke up Phil and Claire to let them know they didn’t go through with it, because, well, the perfect wedding involved them. And so, in the wee hours of the night, in the Dunphy living room, Farrah and Phil married the couple at the antler altar, sealing this holy matrimony in hippy-dippy harmony.
Where did the idea for this surprise fake-out ceremony come from? What does this union — and the upcoming birth — mean for Haley and Dylan? And what would be an appropriate wedding gift for the couple? There’s no Sophie’s Choice here; just throw on your shaman robe, head over to a Peruvian campfire, and sit on a high-end whimsical dog bed as co-creator Steve Levitan takes you behind “Can’t Elope.”
We went through scenarios with each of her boyfriends from the series. At the end of the day, we liked it being Dylan because he’s a funny character, his presence annoys Claire the most and, since Haley and Dylan were on a date in the pilot ten years ago, it’s where the series started.
We’ve put them both through a lot this season, so this was just one more step in their journey. Actually, one of the joys of this past season has been giving Sarah Hyland a chance to shine. She’s such an incredible actress — every moment feels real and she knows how to find the laugh. I’m thrilled that she finally got the opportunity to really dig in.