Conventional wisdom states that sitcoms don’t really have shocking twists: They can occasionally surprise us, sure, but the joy mostly comes from seeing the truth in the jokes, delivered week after week. Well, Modern Family certainly turned that totem on its head last night: All season, we’ve been hearing about Mitchell and Cameron’s quest to adopt a baby boy. Last night, it looked like they, and viewers, were finally going to get their wish. Right away, Mitchell got a call that a woman had selected them, and she was in labor right now. They rushed off to a border town in California, with trusty Gloria around as a translator. In the car ride over, Cameron and Gloria talked about the Spanish-language soap opera they’re in love with. (Remember, Jay is a pretty big fan as well.)
When they got to the hospital, their own overdramatic soap opera played out, with doctors, nurses, abuelas, and even a random rancher arguing over the baby. The gag was pretty amusing, but mostly because I (and I’m sure most viewers) assumed that it would end happily — with Michell, Cameron, and a baby. But the birth mom chose to place the baby with her own mother, leaving a devastated Cameron and Mitchell.
At a gas station, Gloria went to get medicine for an upset stomach, and Cameron and Mitchell headed out into a cornfield where Mitchell then proceeded to have a mini-breakdown. Mitch explained that he simply needed to take a break from trying to adopt again: It’s exhausting. They sprawled out together in the field and it was all very bittersweet. I would have accepted that as the finale; a bookend to a chapter of their life that I'd be sure would re-open someday. But like any good soap opera, there was a last-minute twist — Cameron and Mitchell may not be having a baby, but Gloria is. She’s pregnant!
NEXT: The finale's best lines!
I’ll say this for the Modern Family creators: I did not in any way see this coming. And while I’m sure many will peg this as a shark-jumping moment, I’m cautiously optimistic. We saw Jay get down with his inner kid last night, dancing onstage with Lily to help her get over her stage fright. And, oh, the comedy potential of seeing a baby around a couple of old men, Manny and Jay!
In other news, it’s Prom night for the Dunphys. But not for the daughter you’d expect. Haley is sitting out prom, saying it’s for lame losers, but Alex (who somehow is in high school now, though in my mind she’s 12) is going to the prom and is totally going to “hook up all over some guy.” Unfortunately, her family laughs in her fact. Bru-tahl. But also, they were right, because Alex’s “bad boy” prom date turned out to be an obviously gay guy who posed just a little too hard during pictures. Alex knows though. She just needed her family to be impressed.
Haley still hadn’t heard back from any colleges (or so she thought… ), so she was moving onto a new plan: A job at Gap and a home with Dylan. Hooray? Her parents weren’t so thrilled, despite the fact that Haley cooked dinner to break the news. Phil and Claire may not have been having it, but I totally would watch a spinoff with Haley and Dylan in an apartment – Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica wouldn't have anything on this duo. Nonetheless, Luke wound up saving the day (although he also created the problem to begin with). Turns out, Haley’s college acceptance letter arrived a day earlier, but Luke had hidden it because, awww, he’s going to miss her. Dylan agrees with everyone — Haley should go to college. And now she will.
A college-bound Haley means one less kid at family dinners, so luckily Gloria has everyone covered. 'Til next season!
Mitchell and Cameron: “How cool would it be if you turned into wonder woman right now?" “I can’t even talk about it."
Manny to Jay: “How’s that giant fence working out for you?” (Modern Family goes political!)
Cameron's contagious exuberance: “I kept it in as long as I could… We’re having a baby!”
Alex: “I’m going to hook up all over him.”
Phil, teaching Alex how to dance: “Arms down here says ‘I’m white and I’m sorry.’ Arms up here means ‘I don’t know what I am.’"
Phil to Alex: “Honey you look super sexy."
Alex: “I’m basically his beard, pre-beard… stubble.”
Phil: “All the cool kids were totally laughing with us."
[Image Credit: ABC]