'Modern Family': Jay's Birthday Surprises
Emmy-winning series starts its fourth season with an announcement
"Modern Family" returned last night, freshly Emmy-ed and expecting a new cast member. Gloria (Sofia Vergara) is pregnant, as we remember from the Season 3 finale, and her husband, Jay (Ed O'Neill) -- who doesn't know -- asks for only one thing on his 65th birthday: No surprises.
Phil (Ty Burrell) apparently didn't get that memo, since he shows up with Jay's buddies -- Shorty (Chazz Palminteri) and Miles (Ernie Hudson) -- to kidnap him.
Cam (Eric Stonestreet) and Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) have decided against adopting a baby brother for Lily (Aubrey Anderson-Emmons). However, they are refusing to discuss the elephant in the room, which happens to be a giant stuffed elephant in the room. (It was a gift from their good friend, Pepper.)
“Gay guys having kids is relatively new, so our community has not yet learned how to modulate baby gifts," Mitch explains.
They decide to donate it somewhere, along with the 800-lb. gorilla which happens to be a giant stuffed gorilla. (Alas, the charity they haul them to refuses them for fear of bedbugs.)
“Where’s my little baby brother?” Lily demands to know. “Can I see him? Can we name him Larry?”
They’re not getting Larry, Cam and Mitch tell Lily, who then requests a kitten named Larry as a consolation prize.
Haley (Sarah Hyland) greets her mom in the kitchen, pretending not to be hung over from prom the night before. Her boyfriend, Dylan (Reid Ewing), also wakes up, on a couch just off the kitchen. Claire (Julie Bowen) is less than thrilled.
Haley asks her mom if Dylan can move in. "Sure," Claire replies. “You know what? Why don’t you guys take our room?” (Haley is pleased by the news. Sarcasm will not be her college major.)
Claire learns of the pregnancy. Convinced that her dad will take the news poorly and “say something stupid,” she tries to get to him before Gloria does.
During a pool game, Luke (Nolan Gould) tries to convince Manny (Rico Rodriguez) that he will be neglected once the baby comes. Manny denies this logic.
“You’re right,” Luke retorts. “You’re way cuter than a baby.”
Cam, Mitch and Lily are denied by what appears to be a cat adoption agency. There’s a process, they are told by a snooty woman. It involves a home visit.
Cam’s argument that his family members are animal lovers is hampered significantly by the sight of the giant elephant and gorilla tied to their car roof. (As the car inches up, it makes the stuffed animals appear to be having sex.)
Jay returns from forced fishing. Claire corners him with the news that someone is about to drop a bombshell on him. She begs him to “be supportive.” Cam and Mitch enter and announce their intention to adopt a cat. Jay says they have his “full support,” although he’s just hoping “this little one over there” doesn’t get jealous. Jay points at his dog, but Manny assumes it’s at him.
“Oh this little one knows where he stands,” Manny grumbles, “in the shadow of your new baby!”
And that is how Jay discovers -- on the day he becomes a senior citizen -- that he’s also becoming a father again.
Claire, of course, is right about her dad saying something stupid. “You gotta be kidding me” are his exact words. Gloria explodes.
“I can raise it on my own!” she screams. “I have done it before and I can do it now!”
After asking if she’s finished, Jay adds, “That’s the greatest news I’ve ever heard.” It turns out, he spent the day feeling life his life was ending, but this gives him a new start with the woman of his dreams.
“I think I’m gonna cry,” he says. (Cam is way ahead of him.)
The action flashes forward a few months to show that Gloria did not get as fat as she was worried -- and Claire hoped -- she would. A few setups also pay off, including a beard Shorty encouraged Phil to grow, a trip to Europe from which Cam and Mitch just returned and Cam picked up Madonna’s accent, and Dylan's housing situation. (Not only has he moved in; he refuses to move out and, just before the closing credits, is evicted.)
"Modern Family" airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.