Modern Family Recap: Arrested

This week on Modern Family, Jay’s crazy ex-wife, Dede (Shelley Long), pops by for a visit; Luke and Alex wind up in the hospital; and Haley gets arrested.

The show opens with a scenario many of our families have gone through: parents receive a phone call in the middle of the night and freak out. In this instance, Haley has been arrested for underage drinking. It’s both funny and heartwarming to see the extended family band together in crisis mode.

Team Phil and Claire recruit lawyer Mitchell and head to Haley’s college to bail her out. But upon arrival at the police station, they’re informed that Haley has been charged with resisting arrest and assaulting a police officer! It was pretty obvious to me from the blurry footage that there was more to the story—Haley basically drops from the sky and lands directly on an officer, yikes—but Haley’s in big trouble regardless.

This storyline allowed us a look at the inner-workings of Phil and Claire’s parenting skills. Claire thinks Phil is too calm under pressure, and as it turns out, when they collect Haley, his immediate response is that they should all “go get some waffles.” But when Haley throws on a revealing dress for her hearing and flippantly says that’s what Legally Blonde taught her to do, Phil snaps. “Haley, this is real life, not an excellent movie.” He then launches into the single scariest Phil-as-a-father moment we’ve ever seen, laying into Haley about how she’s made a series of bad decisions and has been completely unappreciative of everything her parents have done for her.

Haley (now in conservative clothing) appears before the school’s disciplinary committee, at which point it looks like she’s going to redeem herself. She admits fault, echoing Phil’s words about having made “a series of bad decisions,” and she seems to come across as a mature student who made one mistake. But then she word-vomits everything else she’s screwed up so far at college (cheating the salad scale in the cafeteria?), and it gets awkward. Jarringly, by the end of the episode, Haley has been kicked out of college.

Wow. Welp, at least we don’t have to endure those Skype sessions anymore.

Meanwhile, since Phil and Claire are otherwise occupied, Cam has volunteered to take care of Alex, Luke (and Lily). But when Cam forces his home-cooked soy-bacon on the kids without telling them what it is they’re eating, Luke has an allergic reaction. His throat closes up, and Team Cam rushes to the hospital. Cam’s already worried that Claire thinks he’s a bad parent, so when she calls to check that the kids got to school okay, he refuses to tell her what’s going on. All those hospital noises on the background? Oh, that’s a movie. “That sounds like Alex,” Claire remarks. “No, just Amanda Bynes,” Cam lies effortlessly. Made me chuckle. Later, Alex is mistaken for a resident (must be one of them child prodigies that are always running around them hospitals), and she tails a group of doctors/residents making rounds.

By the end of the episode, Alex has been wheeled back in on a stretcher: She passed out when she saw a C-section. She’s bummed because this means she’ll never be a doctor . . . or have kids.

And finally, against Jay’s wishes, Dede stops by to pick up a photo album. Jay’s terrified that Dede will become enraged if she finds out Gloria’s pregnant, but when the two women actually interact, Dede seems pleased. Gloria’s pregnancy makes her less of a trophy and more of a human being in Dede’s eyes. But Jay’s not off the hook that easily; Dede convinces Gloria that Jay is totally useless when it comes to helping raise kids. As a resolution, Jay has to give angry, anxious Gloria yet another of his impassioned speeches about how they’re going to work together to raise this kid. I cannot wait for her to have the baby already!

Also, it’s worth noting that Dede and Manny have some amazing bonding scenes. Turns out Manny’s been writing Dede letters, and the two share a love of spoken word poetry. That’s actually perfect.

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