Modern Family season 10, episode 1: I Love a Parade

Back for its 10th season, Modern Family hinted at a few story arcs to watch for this season. Particularly those involving Jay, Luke, and Haley.

Modern Family returned last night for its 10th (and potentially final) season. If you were looking closely, you saw clues as to the way this season will go for several of the main characters.

This season is a big one for many reasons. Besides the show potentially ending, we also learned that someone in the family will be dying this season. The Modern Family writers wasted no time dropping a hint as to who that might be.

Jay and Gloria

At the start of the episode, Jay and Gloria are way too excited for the 4th of July when Jay receives a call. When he returns from the call he tells Gloria that he’s been asked to be the Grand Marshall for the 4th of July parade (because the original Marshall was “MeToo’ed.” Gloria mentions that the only thing left on his bucket list is to bare-knuckle fight a Russian.

This could have been a small joke but felt like foreshadowing to me. Jay is the most obvious candidate to be the one who is passing on this season and a reference to his bucket list within the first minute of the season doesn’t feel like a mistake.

Cam and Mitch

We ended last season as Cam’s sister was being sent to jail and they chose to take in her son. They’ve told her that he was flourishing but that is far from the truth as he can’t say his ABC’s or catch a ball.

They decide to edit a video to make it look like their nephew has learned a lot since she last saw him. They play the video for Lily and it’s clear that it’s not going to work. None of the acts they’ve faked look remotely real.

They had given up until they arrive at the 4th of July festival and Cam, after pointing out how great their nephew is at hugging, sees that there’s a mutton busting (bull riding but on a sheep, for kids) area. He realizes that the kid will be great at it and they manage to get a video of their “big for his age” nephew “busting at a 1st-grade level.”

Phil and Luke

The Dunphy men are preparing for a hot dog eating contest but Luke just isn’t into it. He’s struggling to choose his classes for college and Phil isn’t helping by putting a ton of pressure on him about the contest.

Later, Phil realizes that Luke is stressing about picking his classes because he cares and points out that this is a good thing. It looks like Luke’s arc this season is going to center around him getting his life on track after being a goofball for nine seasons.

The parade

Gloria is distracted because Manny is traveling back and won’t make it in time for the firework show and ends up starting the parade prematurely. Normally this would have ruined Jay’s day but he was able to put his needs aside for her.

He leaves to get her a slice of apple pie (part of her tradition with Manny) and Claire gets a computer so Manny can watch the fireworks with her via Skype. Jay doesn’t get to give his speech but he made his family happy.

MODERN FAMILY – ABC/Kelsey McNeal — Acquired via Disney ABC Press


The final big storyline from the episode involved Haley. Arvin stops by briefly before heading off to catch a flight. The two have an incredibly awkward goodbye and it’s obvious this isn’t really working.

When talking about her feeling weird about she and Arvin, Haley reveals that Dylan admitted to her in the hospital that he and his wife got a divorce. He described their relationship and it sounded exactly like Haley’s relationship with Arvin (his wife was a doctor.)

Haley stalks Dylan but tries to convince herself that he’s stalking her. She kisses him and leaves, saying she didn’t feel anything but we see her face and it’s clear she did. Her season arc will likely center around her ending up back with Dylan, and perhaps a proposal/marriage.

Next: Which Modern Family character will die?

This episode felt like it packed in a lot and if this is the final season there is likely plenty that needs to happen for the writers to be satisfied with what they’ve made. We’ll continue to watch the progress of the seeds that were planted.

There was a point where Dylan coming back felt forced but both he and Haley are showing signs of growth so that could be a story arc that works out for the show. We’ll continue to monitor all of the developing arcs as the season progresses.

Modern Family returns next Wednesday at 9/8c on ABC. 

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