Last night, the Modern Family season 4 finale wrapped up another superb year for the best comedy show on TV. The final episode of the season was filled with the perfect balance of light-hearted moments drizzled over a few subtle dramatic themes. It was a sleek reminder of just how well crafted Modern Family is as a show.
The season 4 finale brings the Pritchett clan down to Florida for the funeral of Phil’s mom. The retirement home where this episode takes place is a nice backdrop for the litany of plot lines on display. Most of them are enjoyable, but the weak link is definitely Mitch and Gloria’s dalliance to the court house. We see Mitch put on his best flamboyant rendition of courtroom lawyers from film. It’s a lazy and confusing premise. One that is obviously there to set up Mitch for more interesting plot lines involving his workplace next season. This may not be bad idea however. The episode where Mitch comes to work as the only person dressed up for Halloween, and in a Spiderman costume no less, was priceless.
One of the stronger character plot lines was Cam’s afternoon with three older ladies playing Mahjong. Cam fits in like a glove with the old woman characters and finishes every sentence with a solid punchline. He also sticks his nose where it shouldn’t belong and causes some light hearted drama amongst the women. At one point Cam is explaining how he wouldn’t want to stir anything up as he’s literally stirring the punch bowl. It’s a wonderful ironic moment and a typical smart joke from the writers.
Early on in the episode we learn that grandma Dunphy had a final wish to play matchmaker for her widowered(?) husband, Phil’s dad. We get the reliable performance from Fred Willard as grandpa Dunphy, complete with half-way landing, can see them from a mile away, punchlines. But there is a nice payoff towards the end of the show where Phil finally meets the woman his mom wants to set his dad up with. Ty Burrell flexes his acting muscles in this scene. It’s easy to see him having a bright future once the show has run it’s course.
Alex spends the episode wondering if the special bond she had with grandma Dunphy was authentic. This storyline ends up making the perfect send off for this season. Once Alex realizes there is more to the final note her grandma left her, she has a moment of clarity. What transpires is a moving, nighttime fireworks display at grandma Dunphy’s funeral. In typical Modern Family fashion they pull on our heart strings the hardest during the final moment of the season. The Modern Family season for finale could be their best one yet.