Modern Family Season Finale 2012 “Baby On Board” Review

Modern Family Season Finale 2012 "Baby on Board" Season 3 Episode 24 (3)

After spending so much time prepping and hoping for an adoption approval, Mitch and Cam finally got the call they had been waiting for in tonight’s Modern Family season finale, “Baby on Board.”

Mitch, Cam and Gloria drove down to Calexico to meet the newest addition to their family but things didn’t go at all like anyone expected at the hospital. In what might be the most absurd parody Modern Family has ever tried to pull, Mitch and Cam faced heartbreak as an outrageous real-life telenovela unfolded before their eyes.

Although this kind of gag seemed out of place for a mostly realistic show like Modern Family, I enjoyed the hospital telenovela bit because it was a spot on spoof of some of the crazier Spanish language soap operas that I’ve seen. It was a daring choice to deliver a major plot point though this gag, and while I found the soapy stuff to be hysterical, it also made it difficult to take Mitch and Cam’s emotional pain in the hospital seriously.

It wasn’t until Mitch and Cam were able to step away from the circus at the hospital that their reality hit home. We frequently see Cam and Mitch as fathers who are preoccupied with the struggles of parenthood, but we don’t see too much of them dealing with their relationship apart from their extended families. Their conversation in the field let us peek into a much more serious side of Cam and Mitch’s life.

As soon as Mitch started talking to Cam about his frustration and disappointment, it took everything I had to keep my waterworks under control. This gut wrenching reality seemed so far away from the silliness we had seen at the hospital just a few minutes before and it was incredibly moving stuff.

Jay and Manny had been keeping an eye out on Lily while her dads and Gloria were in Calexico. Lily was struck with stage fright at her dance recital, forcing Jay to try and talk her into doing her dance. The scene backstage between Jay and Lily was very sweet and I laughed out loud when Lily asked Jay to dance with her and he immediately threw out a counteroffer of “how about fifty bucks?” My heart melted seeing the two of them dance on stage together after that.

Back at the Dunphy home, Alex was headed to her first prom while Haley was boycotting her senior prom. I felt bad for Alex being the butt of her whole family’s backhanded geek commentary. It’s clear they love Alex, but they don’t understand her at all.

I don’t think the flashy gay teen stereotype was one that needed to be perpetuated here, but I couldn’t help but giggle when Alex’s doesn’t-know-he’s-gay-yet prom date posed for photos. I did like the comfortable manner in which Alex talked about her date in her aside to the cameras. She didn’t seem to treat him differently based on her suspicions about his orientation and she seemed more worried about her parents embarrassing him than anything else.

Haley had been trying to show her parents how mature she was so that they wouldn’t flip out when she told them that she planned to move in with Dylan. No amount of cooking, cleaning, or job hunting would prevent Claire and Phil from freaking out about their daughter moving in with her boyfriend right after high school.

Claire and Phil tried to reason with Haley and give her an idea of what her life might be like with Dylan. Their stories initially started out as very realistic scenarios and, thanks to Phil’s crazy imagination, they eventually became stories of full blown nuclear disasters.

Ultimately it was Luke that held the key to keeping Haley from moving in with Dylan. Luke had been stealing mail from his own mailbox and one of the many intercepted parcels happened to be a college acceptance letter for Haley. The later scene with Luke going through his stolen mail inventory with Phil and Claire was total brilliance and I loved all the callbacks to stories from earlier in the season.

In the big cliffhanger twist at the end of tonight’s Modern Family, Gloria revealed that she was pregnant. On one hand I’m thrilled for her, but on the other hand, there’s a sort of cosmic unfairness in seeing how hard Mitch and Cam had struggled to adopt another baby while Gloria became pregnant without trying at all.

There was so much unexpected joy and disappointment mixed into one brief moment and I was struck by how much this twist felt like something that would happen in real life. We’re always told that life isn’t fair. We know that not everyone gets what they want or deserve. I look forward to seeing how the families on Modern Family come together to share in both the happiness and suffering that will undoubtedly come from these latest developments.