MODERN FAMILY “The One That Got Away” (Season Finale) Review

MODERN FAMILY (ABC) The One That Got Away

MODERN FAMILY “The One That Got Away” Season 2 Episode 24 (Season Finale) – While MODERN FAMILY once again ends its season with Jay’s birthday, it switches up character pairings with both surprising and hilarious results in the “The One That Got Away” second season finale.

I love it when TV shows establish traditions. Yes, it makes me a sap, but Jay suffering through another birthday “disaster” tickles me, especially since it is once again all so cluelessly well-meaning. Sexy phone. Hee. As much as Jay grumbles (“Now the old Jay would have said, ‘I want to be out on the lake, not bopping around in the pool. I miss the old Jay.”), I think we all know he wouldn’t trade one moment of new Jay’s life. Plus, how adorable are he and Manny together? Adorable enough that Mitchell’s worried “Manny gets everything” will get a share of the inheritance, too, that’s for sure, but I don’t know whom he thinks he’s kidding. Gloria for the win on that one, baby!

There are some terrific character pairings this episode. First off, it means Cam and Mitchell aren’t bickering. Next, Mitchell and Claire are one of my favorite brother-sister pairings ever. They’re chaos even before they start hitting the wine. By the way, how proud would the Cul-De-Sac crew be of Claire’s nifty bottle opening trick? Anyway, Mitchell and Claire’s picture outfits are too cute (though not even Mitchell the sailor can top spaghetti-splattered Phil) and Jesse Tyler Ferguson and Julie Bowen have perfect rhythm together. It’s so easy to take this exceptional cast for granted, but it really is one of the best comedic ensembles ever.

As much as I adore all things Phil, his over-the-top attraction to Gloria has always been more than a little creepy, so I expected just another squickfest tonight. “Oh, very happy, Gloria. Very happy.” Instead we get a perfect resolution to Phil’s obsession via his jealousy of an old cheerleading rival. While we know the spell is broken when Phil barks “What now” when Gloria needs him, the money shot is Phil’s “I’ve got Claire” in a terrific callback to “Princess Party.” Sometimes it really is great to be wrong and I’m sorry I underestimated the Modern family writers.

This is a surprisingly good Cam episode. Between his sweet interaction with insecure Manny (I never thought of a tennis racket as a bubble bath frother, but awesome), paternal frustration, and his oh-so-wrong but too hysterical turn as Manny’s Cyrano de Pedophile in the bakery, he has me giggling through the entire episode. As for Mitchell and Cam—I think it’s a nice touch that they both realize they want to expand their family on a day when Lily so frustrated them both. That sounds like parenthood to me, and Mitchell wanting Lily to have what he and Claire have melts my heart.

Favorite lines:

“Why no offense? It’s a sausage—It’s not on our flag.”

“Lily was driving me crazy all morning. I had to get rid of her.”

“Boys only do that for girls—or really dreamy boys.”

“Why don’t you try being a little less special?”

“You know who did your job in my day? A hose.”

“Well, we could try telling him we used to live there.”

“No, it’s not what you’re thinking. I’m talking to a little boy.”

“Gloria’s going to be mad at me and she can be mean in Spanish.”

“Let’s wrap this up, Princess.” “Okay, love you. Bye.”

“We’re sorry—sorry you said rectum.”

“Twelve times a year I get sausage. What the hell am I going to do until June?”

“I don’t think Grandpa’s having the best time. He keeps going and getting more drinks.”

While last week’s “See You Next Fall” felt more like a traditional finale, I’m glad this is how Modern Family chose to end the season—mixing up the characters, throwing in just enough sentiment while keeping the laughs coming, and topping it off with the kids’ terrifically adorable video that lets us relive some high points of the season. “Chirp” gets me every time.

What did you think of “The One That Got Away?” Which were your favorite moments? Will Cam and Mitchell’s potential new baby finally give Lily something to smile about? Let me know in the comments.