Spoilers for last night’s Modern Family below:
Little time for a big writeup because of (1) upfronts and (2) everything else upfronts have kept me from doing. But let’s take a moment to give credit to a nicely themed and executed Modern Family, which embodied some of the series’ best aspects.
When I first watched “See You Next Fall,” I mistakenly thought it was a season finale, because of the timing, the title (which, duh, actually references Cameron’s spill into the pool),the story (which brought the family together for one occasion) and the valedictory (as it were) tone of the climax and resolution. There’s actually another episode next week, but this would have worked nicely as a finale: it nodded to the idea that time is moving on and the kids are getting older and gave us a lot of high-quality interaction among the three family groups.
If I have one quibble, I’d rather Alex didn’t actually reference “insecurities” in her valedictorian’s speech at the end of an episode that was plainly about insecurity. But other than that, the speech was a sweet conclusion, without putting too neat a bow on the episode, and the touch of having Haley mouth “Get this party started” to Alex was a great way of acknowledging the bond between these very different sisters without being cloying.
The other subplots, meanwhile, gave us a sampler of pretty much every way Modern Family knows how to make us laugh: pratfalls, freak-outs, absurdity (the high-speed tandem bike chase), Jay’s hidden vanity, Luke’s belief that he’s developed telekinesis, Claire and Phil’s touching empty-nest anxiety, and little grace notes of delivery like Manny’s realization that his Phantom mask covers the un-Botoxed side of Jay’s face. Let’s hope the actual finale measures up.