‘Modern Family’ 2.23 Recap: “Don’t Stop Believin’, Get This Party Started!”

Ignoring the awkward and relatively uninteresting story between Alex and Haley, ‘See You Next Fall’ is a solid episode of ‘Modern Family’ and a great way to lead into the season finale next week.

‘Modern Family’ has its ups and downs this week, but the funnier moments make up for the less compelling business between the two sisters who completely lack chemistry during the episode.

Alex is the valedictorian of her eighth grade class, and as such has the honor of giving a speech at the graduation ceremony in front of all of her peers. Her first instinct is to call out those who she feels wronged her, albeit indirectly. Haley catches wind of this and immediately tries to put a stop to it.

In the end, Alex gives a crowd-pleasing speech with little actual content and ending with song lyrics. While it’s nice to see her friends and family so proud of her, the message here seems to be that you should change to suit other people instead of staying true to yourself. It’s not exactly inspiring.

Alex and Haley seem to have completely lost what chemistry they used to have. Maybe it’s the director or maybe the actresses where having an off day, but the sisterly bond just wasn’t there. It felt off.

Phil ties to instigate an emotional breakdown in Claire. He knows that one is on the way as it is, and he needs it to happen before he heads off to Vegas. In the end, Phil breaks down too. The kids are growing up and it’s hard to deal with. This is kind of a sweet moment.

What might be the funniest part of the show is the fight between Cam and Mitchell. Mitchell laughs hard when Cam falls into a kiddie pool on accident, and I can’t blame him. Cam takes a good fall.

Cam takes offense, though. He holds it against Mitchell. It gets even worse when he walks into a door and realizes that all the Pritchetts are laughing at him. There’s no real resolution here, but it seems like everything’s forgiven and forgotten by the end.

The final episode of the second season, ‘The One That Got Away’, airs next week.


    • TJ Kats

      Agreed. The only time I really remember laughing was when Cam first fell other than that this was a pretty weak show.

  1. EM

    While I wouldn’t place this episode among the crème de la crème of the series, I agree with Dick’s assessment that the episode is solid.

    However, I disagree with some of his criticisms. While this episode did not particularly showcase Haley–Alex chemistry, on the other hand they were arguing. And I felt it was pretty clear that, despite Alex’s failure to see it throughout most of the episode, Haley was arguing because she genuinely cared for her little sister, not because she was selfishly concerned that Alex’s nerdiness would harm Haley’s social life. And I was glad that the episode managed to put that through without being ham-handed about it. I also disagree with Dick about the message of this story thread (indeed, I‘m not sure there really is one). I don’t think Alex’s choice entailed her abandoning her higher values; I think it was a pragmatic decision. Haley was right: Alex’s original speech would likely have backfired on Alex for the next four years (if junior-high “stuff” is difficult, senior-high “stuff” is generally more so) and produced no positive changes in her classmates. I think the planned speech was ill-considered, and something more moderate would have been better. (I would have preferred something less vacuous than what Alex ended up with, but come on—it was the last moment, and she was winging it.) Alex made the right choice for Alex, and she showed wisdom by not starting an ill-timed battle. That doesn’t mean she’s betrayed her values.

    Finally, I also disagree about the lack of resolution of the Cam–Mitchell storyline. The resolution came when Mitchell caught Cam laughing at Phil and Claire’s clumsiness as they rushed to reach their seats at the ceremony. Although Cam tried to cover by insinuating some specious distinction in his behavior and Mitchell’s, it was clear that Mitchell had successfully knocked Cam off his moral high horse, putting the two of them on common ground, and that Cam knew it.

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