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May 23

Modern Family – Recap & Review – Goodnight Gracie

photo: abc

photo: abc

Modern Family
Goodnight Gracie

Original Air Date: May 22, 2013

Wyner C – Senior Reviewer
wyner@thetwocentscorp.com

The season finale also marks the end of Gracie Dunphy, Phil’s mom. The family is in Florida to support Phil after his mom’s passing. Deaths are hard, let’s see how the funny family maneuvers through this difficult time while putting a smile on our faces.

Cam fits right in Florida, befriending a group of senior women. Being the cow manure stirrer that he is, Cam innocently reveals each of the women’s secrets – cheating at mahjong, stealing cookies, or drinking issues. The friendly group turn on each other and Cam wonders why drama follows him – ‘cause he’s a gossiper monger?!!

Gloria is a wanted woman in Florida. She had sublet her apartment to move to California and her tenant ran a brothel – Gloria is wanted for promoting prostitution. Fitting the stereotype, Jay asks Mitchell to go to court with his step-mother. In court, Mitchell helps out other people with their cases – hamming it up with accents and hyperbole (kinda awesome). At first, Gloria is unimpressed with Mitchell’s skills but he presents evidence to clear her. Case dismiss! Now, if Mitchell can venture to Texas for Gloria…

Jay sees Frank Dunphy’s neighbor, Charlotte, and realizes she’s his first! Right before deployment to Vietnam, young Pritchett got his freak on with an older woman. They reminisce and she whips out a box to show him the gift he left her (at first I thought it was a child!). Except after whipping out few mementos, none of it is Jay’s – she was a one-woman sendoff for the army!!

Gracie Dunphy takes care of people – that’s what she does. She gives Phil a letter with a last request – setting up Phil’s father with a woman of Gracie’s choosing: Annie. Claire pushes her husband to fulfill the request – unfortunately, the person who opens the door is a man, oops Gracie. Later, Gossip Monger Cam tells Phil the man is the brother, not boyfriend. After witnessing widowed vultures circling Frank, Phil man-up and talks to Annie. He talks about his mother, her quirks, and motherly ways. Tears. Also, Gracie was right, Annie is a great woman.

Gracie left each of her grandchildren a gift and a note. She gave Haley jewelry, Luke a pocket watch and Alex a lighter. A lighter? Alex is perplexed and in a Dunphy moment, didn’t realize the note is folded and can open – everything sticks together in Florida. When Frank tells her to open the note, it becomes clear why Gracie gave Alex the lighter.

At Gracie’s memorial, Alex light fireworks with the lighter – breaking many rules. Gracie was waitressing Paul Newman who left the lighter. Normally not a rule-breaker, Gracie takes a leap and pockets the lighter. A customer sees this but tells Gracie don’t worry, her secret is safe with him. The customer? Frank Dunphy. So sweet!! Gracie wants Alex, who is very much like Gracie, to break some rules – it can lead to unexpected surprises. Tears.

Favorite moments/Things to ponder:

1. Who’s taking care of Lily?

2. Mitchell is going to quit his job because he wants to go to court more often. You have to love what you do but is he any good in court without the theatrics?

3. Claire saying she’s a vacuum salesperson that didn’t bring the product was hilarious!! Who would actually invite a salesperson in their home?! And Phil making Claire say out loud that she made a huge mistake?!! The best!!

4. Quote of the episode:
“Yeah, it scares me that winning is such a surprise for you.”
~ Gloria to Mitchell after he celebrated winning a petty theft case. Seeing your lawyer celebrate like he just won the Superbowl is not comforting.

5. Family moment(s) of the episode:
~ When Phil, unexpectedly, breaks down while speaking of his mother. When a loved one dies, wave of emotions tend to be unpredictable. It’s real and reminds us family is important and to cherish it. I know I’m a sucker but I teared up a bit.
~ When Alex read her grandmother’s letter. The significance of the lighter, Alex’s gesture – so sweet. Imagine, the lighter was the start of Frank and Annie – the start of Phil Dunphy and the Dunphy clan. Best gift ever.

This was a bittersweet kind of episode. I felt the emotion and the love – I laughed. What more can I ask for in an episode? How great was Alex’s gift? I felt the love and importance of it!! Did you enjoy the episode? Will Mitchell make a good court lawyer? I want to see more of his courtroom theatrics!! Did the episode make you tear up just a little? Discuss away!!!

See you next season where we’ll probably see Mitchell and his courtroom antics!!

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