Modern Family: “My Hero” Season 4 Episode 22 Review

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Whoa, okay, sometimes this show has still got it.

The reason Modern Family was such a hit in the beginning was because it offered a real take on a family. It showed the humor within that without being overly sappy. It was as unapologetic as it was sweet. This season for the most part has been tacky and redundant, but I can’t deny that My Hero was a classic with the feel of a season one episode.

First off, there was one major story that pretty much included the whole family with small subplots scattered throughout. My Hero was about Cam overcoming the feeling that Mitch’s family likes his ex-boyfriend better than him, and it never forgot that. Too many episodes have storylines that vary in quality. Not here.

The backdrop of the roller rink was perfect for comedy purposes. Is it easy to get laughs out of Gloria falling all over the place, Phil caught with his pants down, and Cam’s epic fall? Yes, but not one of these moments felt manipulative and instead served the story and its characters. That’s the sign of a good comedy.

Showing every family member’s specific connection to Mitch’s ex was both hilarious and important for the big payoffs later in the episode. Cam punching the game was really quite funny, as was his and Mitch’s conversation that followed. Of course, after a few words with the always wise Jay, Cam felt better about the relationship he has with his in-laws. But the tag of Mitch’s ex punching the balloon (“That’s the first punch I’ve ever thrown!”) and Cam saying under his breath “I never want to see him again” was perfect.

Structurally, the episode did some cool things with Luke and Manny writing a paper on their hero within the family. This was tied with Jay trying to get Claire to work for him. Ironically, the rink is where Claire used to work, and one of her former co-workers is still there. She ends up behind the counter, serving nachos and collecting tips while spewing about how much she’s changed. Perfect. Luke, in a sweet moment, tells her he is writing about her, inspiring her to take the job. Meanwhile Manny is going to write about the whole family. In a talking head before the final commercial he complains he got a C- with the comment “This was not the assignment”.

Seriously, this felt like a much older episode of Modern Family. Was this the best of the season? It’s close between this and the episode where Gloria has the baby. These are the only two classics of the season, showing that when they try hard enough, this show can still deliver in the way it used to. Grade: A

By Matt Dougherty


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