‘Modern Family’ Season 3 Finale Recap: The Telenovela Baby

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"Modern Family" sometimes veers into well-established sitcom territory with predictable endings that typically reaffirm the family's love for each other. Reliable entertainment is fine, but "Modern Family" entered the scene as something new and wildly different. It set an amazingly high standard for itself and the Season 3 finale reminded viewers of the show's ability to draw emotion in unexpected ways.

Cam and Mitchell's Baby

The lovable couple spent the past season trying to bring a new baby, preferably a boy, into their lives. The show treated it with humor when the adoption agency rep saw their messy house, they wooed and lost a potential birthmother through song, and drunkenly agreed to use Claire's egg in "Aunt Mommy." However, the finale added a twist when Cam and Mitchell missed Lily's big dance recital because a woman suddenly chose them to adopt her baby.

The excited dads invited Gloria as interpreter and drove to a border town to meet their new baby. A telenovela scene played out, and the grandmother decided to raise the newborn. They were devastated, but Mitchell deviated from his usual role as the rational one. He admitted he was tired and disappointed. Cam appreciated Mitchell's burden as the rock in their relationship. Their brief conversation gave a glimpse into their secret sorrow hidden behind flashy fashions and witty comments.


Gloria's Surprise

Gloria was supposed to babysit Lily, but that duty fell to Manny and Jay. Lily tested their patience and disrupted their plan to assemble a model plane. Once again, Jay reluctantly revealed his soft, paternal side. He helped Lily overcome her performance anxiety by joining her on stage and shamelessly twirling alongside her. He and Manny both agreed they were too old to deal with kids.

Throughout the long drive, Gloria complained of carsickness. She went inside the gas station and bought a pregnancy test while Cam and Mitchell shared their emotional breakdown. Why she needed a pregnancy test during a road trip is a sitcom mystery, but the result was positive.

Haley's Future

Claire and Phil worried about Haley's future, but she decided to enjoy a gap year and live with Dylan. Her plan prompted Luke to ask if she and Dylan were "doing sex." Her parents tried to scare her with stories of an impoverished future with a wardrobe of Alex's hand-me-down clothes.

Luke interrupted and presented the college acceptance letter he hid from her. Dylan told Haley she had to go to college instead of living with him. They went to prom together to create a special memory. Alex went to the dance with a boy who she said was gay, but didn't know it yet.


Season 4

Cam and Mitchell's adoption heartache makes a depressing and almost cruel contrast to Gloria's bonus baby. She is too excited about motherhood to give her baby to them. Besides, Cam and Mitchell already decided it would be weird to raise a baby from Claire's egg and adopting Mitchell's half-brother sounds even stranger. Undoubtedly, "Modern Family" will combine sitcom magic and a hint of reality for a satisfying solution next season.

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