Modern Family: Season 3, Episode 20 “The Last Walt” (B+)
After taking up all of Phil’s time in last week’s episode, it’s only fitting that Walt should dominate an episode in which he doesn’t even appear. Luke’s lack of a reaction to the death of his friend affected both Claire and Phil much more, as they dealt with the situation in extremely different ways. Claire’s inability to hide her smile when she delivered the bad news resulted in a hilarious scene with the Meals on Wheels woman and the UPS guy. Phil taking Alex with him to throw Walt’s dog tags into the ocean didn’t turn out so well when the bird flew away with them as soon as they got out of the car, but they did end up having quite a wild adventure as Phil drove fifty miles out of the way for the world’s best milkshake, only to find that the machine was broken. His excitement at delivering a baby was amusingly undercut by the arrival of actual doctors, and his over-feeding of Alex resulted in her expected vomiting. Casting Barry Corbin as Cameron’s father was a great choice, and it was entertaining to see Jay and Merle bicker over which of their sons is the wife and try to imitate their laughs. Oddly enough, the cleverest person in this installment was actually Haley, who casually told her mother that “her uncle” would be supervising the party she was throwing. Only on this show would the preteen prove a stricter chaperone than the adults. Gloria’s reaction was priceless, forcing him to go out and be a kid and break the rules.