Season 3, Episode 24
Baby On Board
It’s my final finale of the season! And the honor goes to Modern Family. For a comedy, tonight’s episode featured some dramatic intrigue, shocking twists, and genuine Spanish telenovela moments (literally)! It also delivered laughs and baby news—just not the baby news I was expecting! Maybe some of you out there called it early on from the hints and themes being planted throughout the episode, but I didn’t see it coming. And that led to a pretty enjoyable cliffhanger ending.
I Hope You Dance
The Dunphy household was abuzz with prom preparations, but not for the daughter you would think. It seems that Hayley has been in a bit of a reclusive mood lately because she has not yet heard from her waitlisted college and is struggling with post-high school plans. At least that’s what her parents think; however, Hayley has been busy making some pretty big plans! She enrolled in community college to take some courses for a gap year to find herself—and also work at The Gap. She also secretly agreed to move in with a special someone “named me” (i.e. Dylan). She plans to break the news to mom and dad during a dinner that she herself is cooking. Meanwhile, the family teases poor Alex about going to prom sans glasses, and boy does Alex look adorable…errr…super sexy…errr…flawless! Yes, Alex’s date is gay but just doesn’t know it yet. So Alex is his beard and she is cool with that. And she really does look pretty–go Alex!
After Alex has left to bust some sweet white-person dance moves at the prom, Dylan lets it slip out that he and Hayley plan to move in together. This news certainly doesn’t help Claire and Phil digest their taco dinner. Claire and Phil immediately pull their daughter aside for a worst-case scenario talk to scare her: Claire goes for the horrors of getting knocked up and having to wear Alex’s hand-me down clothes, and Phil goes for a post-apocalyptic sci-fi future. But at the end of the day, it is Luke who holds the game-changing information, among other critical information. Apparently little Luke has been hiding certain pieces of mail that could have implications for members of the house, such as Phil’s jury duty notice that would have cancelled Disneyland, or a coupon that the gun range sent Claire. I enjoyed these little callouts to previous episodes this season, but the big news Luke has in his possession is Hayley’s acceptance from the college that waitlisted her! This means our lovable Hayley will be headed to college this fall and not shacking up with Dylan. While I am happy for her, I am sad for us—a spin-off featuring Hayley and Dylan’s life in a studio apartment would truly be something special. The lovable duo decides to celebrate by going to the prom at the last minute, and they clean up nicely!
Cam would make an excellent addition to Lifetime’s Dance Moms. He wants Lily to succeed in her dance recital and even rehearses all the moves with her. Plus, I would love to see Cam go at it with one of the Dance Moms over who has the better daughter and have a throw-down with Abby Lee Miller! Ah, these are my scripted-meets-reality-TV fantasies. Then the phone rings and it is the adoption agency with big news: a Latina mother from Calexico (yes, that’s a real border town at the very southern edge of California) is going into early labor and she has picked Mitch and Cam! I wish we had seen throughout this season more of the ups and downs of the adoption process but we pretty much just have to go along for the ride with Mitch and Cam. It turns out that Gloria also has to go along for the ride, physically. They need her to be their translator at the hospital.
Since Mitch, Cam and Gloria all have to hit the road, that leaves grandpa Jay and old-man Manny in charge of Lily and her dance recital. I really enjoy Jay and Manny scenes—especially when they bond over a shared hobby like model planes—but mostly because Jay really is a great stepdad to Manny, even if he does sometimes feel a little too old. The great thing about Manny is that he is an aged gentleman in a kid’s body, so the two share their exasperation over dealing with a toddler. At Lily’s dance recital, she gets stage fright and misses her dads. Jay reluctantly steps up to give her a pep talk and even dances on stage with her (so cute!), proving that he is also a great grandpa. But does he have it in him to do it all over again?
After Mitch and Cam are forced to miss Lily’s dance recital so they can get to the hospital in Calexico, they hop in the car with Gloria with high hopes of meeting their son. Gloria, however, isn’t as excited as she wants to be thanks to some motion sickness. Good thing she can keep her mind occupied by filling Cam in on the latest happenings in the Mexican soap opera that
Jay she watches. Yes, we learned earlier this season that Jay has a secret guilty pleasure: Fuego y Hielo. Once they arrive at the hospital, they quickly enter a live version of a cheesy telenovela complete with a handsome priest, sexy nurse, scorned lover, rugged ranchero and innocent abuela. This entire scene is exaggerated to perfection and absolutely hysterical as smoldering looks and confrontations unfold regarding the birth of the baby. But in true soap opera form, a dramatic twist rears its ugly head, but this is no laughing matter. The grandmother chooses to keep the baby, which means Mitch and Cam will have to go home baby-less. They stop along the road during the drive back and have a heartfelt conversation about how exhausting and disappointing it is to have hopes dashed time and time again in the adoption process. It is a touching moment that shows they have a “rock solid” relationship despite the bumps in the road.
But this episode was called “Baby on Board.” Which means that Gloria realized her motion sickness was actually morning sickness. Gloria is thrilled…but does Jay have it in him?
Overall, this was a very solid finale because it delivered on some hanging storylines, like Hayley getting into college; it reminded us of some great moments this season, like Manny and Luke taking a joy ride; and it gave us some surprising news to look forward to this fall! The one thing we didn’t do this year is celebrate Jay’s birthday, which the show has always recognized at the end of each season. Ah well, were you as pleased as I was with this finale?
That’s it from me for a while…I will be taking a hiatus for a bit to work on some other projects, but I always make time for TV and will get back to writing as soon as I can.