Jay had a great idea for New Year's, besides never again eating the grapes Gloria has at midnight and makes a wish. He's taking Gloria, Phil, Claire, Cameron, and Mitchell to Palm Springs to a hotel he used to frequent that had a wonderful New Year's package. The kids? Haley volunteered to take care of them, mainly because she didn't want to go to any parties and hear how awesome college is from her friends. Phil and Claire were happy to put her in charge. Translation: Alex was in charge, who didn't have any parties to go to and thank you for reminding her. But at least Lily was relieved Alex was in charge.
Oh, in case you were wondering, Jay was last at the hotel in Palm Springs around 1974-1975. And the hotel didn't look like it had been upgraded since that time, even though the pictures in the brochure looked beautiful. Phil and Claire weren't too impressed with their room, but the bellhop told them there was a secluded hot spring nearby. Claire brightened up at that, since it had been at least a month since she...you know. Phil thought it would be rude to ditch her father, but Claire talked him into it, saying she didn't want to hear Cam and Mitch talk about how Lily saved the kid who was choking on his gum. Mitchell and Cameron had a similar idea, given a hot gay nightclub wasn't far from the hotel. And again, the Pritchett in the family was enthusiastic about it, and the one married to the Pritchett was thinking about disappointing Jay. Plus, Cam would have to be the one to fake a stomach cramp. But that beat hearing the same story from Claire about how Luke gives the pediatrician the funniest one-liners.
Back at home, Haley wasn't all that up for playing The Hunger Games with everybody else. But Luke had other plans for the evening. Her name was Becca. And Manny was suddenly his wingman to Becca's friend, Joyce. And yes, their introduction went as well as wingman introduction go. It didn't. But Becca had no problem ditching Joyce to go to Luke's room. Haley and Alex were confused, to say the least. They didn't think they should go up, but then they wouldn't be doing their job as babysitters. Lily just walking into the house right then would tend to lean towards the latter. Haley and Alex go up to Luke's room, but they try a compromise, saying he had to leave his door open. Which creeps out Luke because he thinks they want to watch him make out with Becca. That round goes to Luke. And Joyce's snotty attitude finally gets Manny ticked off. Even LILY said she was being mean.
MANNY: I'm not going to start the New Year with this kind of negativity. By the way, if you're hungry for broccoli later, there's a piece stuck between your teeth.
Sure enough, Phil and Claire were telling Luke stories, and it was actually putting Gloria to sleep. Mitch and Cam get even more upset when Claire pulls the fake sickness out before they can. Fortunately, Gloria can't seem to wake up, so Jay takes her up to the room, hoping he can still have some Cherries Jubilee with the family. By the time he gets back, they ditch him. But he'll still take the Cherries Jubilee.
Cam and Mitch make it to the Beacon, where they can't get waited on by the bartender, they're the only ones who are wearing shirts, and get hit in the face by some underwear while they were dancing. And not dry underwear, either. Phil and Claire finally figure out the bellhop was a bit crazy but that didn't help Claire, who bemoaned the fact it had been over a month since they had sex.
CLAIRE: Day after Thanksgiving. I remember because I came in under budget on all of my Christmas gifts and you know how that gets me going.
PHIL: Ah, yeah. I remember. And then I made that joke about your clothes were half off.
CLAIRE: And yet, we still did it!
Claire was losing it. She didn't want them to turn into a couple where they have twin beds and he starts calling her 'mother' and...that's as far as she got when Phil laid a kiss on her. And they go to find the hot spring to go have sex. And it worked great, until the Nude Year's Eve party going on in the hot spring. (Yes, I spelled that right.)
Meanwhile, Jay was ready to call it a night, but Gloria was snoring in the New Year. Thankfully, there was a poker game going on with Billy Dee Williams as Billy Dee Williams. He was glad there was someone at the poker table that had seen one of his movies that came out after Mahogany. Actually, Jay enjoyed that one...well Mitchell forced him to watch it.
As for Cam and Mitchell, they decided to keep trying until they found a place because they wanted to feel young. And they found a gay bar for the octogenarian crowd. Well, at least they felt young.
On the good side, Joyce apologized for her behavior and was having a good time with Manny. Joyce thought he was such a good friend for boosting her self-esteem, and Manny was suddenly ticked he ended up in the friend lane. He coldly drops her and Luke starts having his own problems with Haley and Alex. But give Haley credit; she correctly guessed Becca's parents didn't know there was no adults in the Dunphy house at the moment and got the boot. Luke lashed out at Haley but Alex took Haley's side. Luke storms out, saying he hates her.
HALEY: You hate me now, but someday you'll thank me! (click!) I think I owe Mom a huge apology!
LILY: (covered in makeup and jewelry) Is anybody watching me?
Jay's night was a lot of fun, and he even said so. With Gloria right behind him. Billy Dee Williams introduced himself to Gloria. (GLORIA: Nice to meet you, I'm Gloria Dee Wife.) Despite Jay's excuse everybody ditched him, Gloria needed her dozen grapes for her midnight tradition. Billy offered to take them to his house, since every night was New Year's. Billy actually heard of this tradition since he did that episode of The Love Boat with Charo. Gloria saw Billy's Rolls Royce Corniche. (GLORIA: In my village, if you didn't drive one of these, you couldn't consider yourself a drug lord!) Billy let her drive it.
Everybody makes the best of the New Year, including Jay, Gloria, and Billy Dee Williams watching the L.A. Fireworks from high above the city.
HALEY: New Year's is so weird. The way it makes you think about time. I think that's why people put so much pressure on themselves to have fun. I guess I sort of get it. Like right now, I just wish I could slow down time. Because I am so not ready for him to grow up yet.
ALEX: Me, too. I just want him to stay our stupid little brother.
They enjoy their drinks as midnight hits. Well, Haley did. Alex wasn't sure what was in her drink, but Haley gave her the wrong drink.
Best of all, now everybody had new stories to tell.
- Lainie Kazan as Eleanor
- Billy Dee Williams as Himself
- Brielle Barbusca as Joyce
- Paris Smith as Becca
- Clint Tauscher as Male Nudist
- Lyle Kanouse as Hugo
- Khali MacIntyre as Female Nudist
- Hansford Rowe as Bugs
- Kevin Kirkpatrick as Robby
- William Dennis Hunt as Elderly Gentleman
- Guerin Barry as Waiter
- Hamilton Mitchell as Older Bartender
- Justin James Hughes as Hot Bartender
- Jay talks about the Billy Dee Williams film Mahogany. His The Love Boat appearance with Charo is mentioned.
- Mitch is compared to Van Johnson.
- Haley calls Luke's date "Nicole Bitchie", a reference to Nicole Ritchie.
- Alex mentions "walking in" from "Caught in the Act".