Modern Family Season 4 Finale Recap: Amazing Grace

Modern Family, ABCThis week’s episode of Modern Family takes place in Florida and centers around the death of Phil’s mother, Grace.

Gloria and Mitchell:
Gloria spends the episode dressed in black — mourning is serious business in Columbia. I am talking full veil and all. Except the veil is more to hide her face since she is wanted for prostitution in Florida. Back in the day she lived in Florida for a while, and after she left, the apartment she was in was turned into a brothel. Since her name was still on the lease she was charged as an accessory. She talks Mitchell into going to court with her to clear her name.

While in court Mitchell ends up helping pretty much the entire docket of people. He handles cases from petty theft to parking tickets. He appears to win every case, including Gloria’s, but does so by basically annoying the judge with Southern sayings and a fake accent. Think Matlock only 40 years younger. At the end he is exhausted but when he sees Cam he tells him he wants to quit his job and go back to defending people in court. He missed being where the action is.

As in almost every episode of Modern Family Cam manages to be in the middle of all of the drama. Since this is a retirement community it is mahjong and book club drama, but still.

Cam finds some women holding a book club meeting and since he has already read the book he joins in. When they go to play mahjong he is right there with them. During a game he sees one of the women cheating. Being a gossip, and not being able to keep it to himself, he confides in another of the players. Of course then he sees her pocketing all of the cookies from the refreshment table and he sees another one spiking her coffee. This starts a cat fight of sorts and Cam is to blame so he leaves them to go back to Frank’s place. Poor Cam.

Frank’s neighbor comes outside to greet the family, telling them how sorry she is for their loss. Jay looks at her and can’t place it but thinks she looks very familiar. After some pondering it comes to him. She was his first….you know his first. He was 18 and shipping off to Vietnam and she was 31 and experienced. She doesn’t remember him at first but after some prompting from Jay she seems to recognize him. She gets a box out of tokens and pulls out a class ring, except it isn’t Jay’s ring. Then she pulls out a medal, but again it isn’t Jays. Neither are the letters she comes up with next. Turns out she sent a lot of men off to war with a little something special. Jay actual feels the memory is quite cheapened by this turn of events. I wouldn’t say heartbroken but he is upset.

Phil & Family:
Phil’s mother has passed away but it wasn’t unexpected and Phil was able to be there for her passing. The rest of the family heads to Florida to join him and to pay their respects. While there Phil’s dad Frank gives Phil a shoebox containing notes and gifts for the kids as well as a note for Phil. Haley gets a necklace, Luke gets a pocket watch and Alex gets a lighter. They all have great touching notes from their grandmother except Alex. Her note simply reads, “This is a lighter.” She can’t understand since she felt she had such a close bond with her grandmother.

We will get back to that in a moment though. First we have to talk about Phil’s note, the note contains a request. She wants Phil to set his father up with a woman that lives a few streets over. She knows it is sudden but she doesn’t want the other neighborhood harpies to get to him when this woman she has picked out seems so nice. Phil is resistant of course and after Claire tricks him into going over there he finds he likes the woman. He tells her about Grace’s last request and she hugs Phil who states his mother was right she really is a nice person.

The episode ends with Grace’s memorial service. Amazing Grace is played on a clarinet and then Alex gets up to speak. She has the lighter and with it she lights a fuse that starts a fireworks display saying her grandma would have loved this.

Then we get to hear what was written in the note Alex got. Do to the humidity in Florida it was stuck shut. It reads, “This is a lighter. It belonged to my favorite actor, Paul Newman. One day he came into the restaurant where I was waitressing and accidentally left it behind. For the first time in my life I did something I wasn’t supposed to, and slipped it into my pocket. One of the customers saw and said, ‘Don’t worry, your secret is safe with me.’ That customer turned out to be the love of my life, your grandfather…Every once and a while don’t be afraid to break the rules. You never know what might happen.”

That was a nice touching episode to end, what I thought, was a solid season. Let me know in the comments below what you thought.

Modern Family will be back this fall with all new episodes on ABC

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