Modern Family Wiki
Modern Family Wiki

The Escape[1] is the twenty-first episode from Season 9 of Modern Family. It aired on May 9, 2018.

Plot Summary

Haley meets Arvin's parents but when things don't go as planned, fate leads to an unexpected reunion with all of her ex-boyfriends. Meanwhile, the family seizes on a nursing home visit with Jay's mean sister, Becky, to settle old scores. But as Jay, Claire and Mitchell compete for her time, Phil, Cam and Gloria end up getting trapped in the home's basement with no way out.

Episode Description

The adults head to a retirement home to visit Jay's mean sister Becky, who just recovered from a stroke and is suffering from amnesia. Jay, Claire, and Mitchell each have their own personal reasons to confront her. Jay wants to reclaim the cabin that his father gave to Becky, and tries to coax the access code out of her. Claire tries to refresh Becky's memory with the elderly woman's rancid tomato soup in order to get back the necklace that she stole. And Mitch has another opportunity to tell her about his sexuality after her less-than-favourable reaction when he came out previously.

But Becky fooled them. She never actually forgot, so Jay has no chance to get the cabin, and poor Mitchell can just tell her that he is actually... a lawyer – earning a similar reaction from the insensitive Becky.

As their spouses are busy with their Becky issues, Phil, Cam, and Gloria leave to go to an escape room. They take the wrong door and find themselves trapped in a basement without no way of escaping, until they look for clues and find the hidden key.

Meanwhile, Haley meets Arvin's parents for the first time but Arvin hides Haley's fashion job from them, instead passing her off for an academic like himself. Haley feels insulted so she leaves the restaurant after an outburst at the table. While escaping, Haley passes out in the street due to the uncertified anti-stress patches from her work that she put on her arm. When she wakes up at the hospital, she learns that all her emergency contacts – her boyfriends, past and present – have been called. First to arrive by her side is Andy, who was in town for a seminar and now has a girlfriend, a barnacle scraper. Then Dylan shows up, saying that Haley has to forget about him and move on. Third is Arvin, who is apologetic. Andy and Dylan explain to Haley that she also has a responsibility in making the relationship work, prompting her to declare her love to Arvin, who reciprocates. At the moment, Rainer shows up with gifts, asking about Haley's forecast.

In the tag, Phil and Claire successfully reclaim Claire's necklace, but are pursued by the angry wheelchair-bound Becky while trying to escape in their car.

Main Cast

(The characters striked out do not appear in this episode)

  • Jay Pritchett
  • Gloria Pritchett
  • Manny Delgado
  • Joe Pritchett
  • Claire Dunphy
  • Phil Dunphy
  • Haley Dunphy
  • Alex Dunphy
  • Luke Dunphy
  • Mitchell Pritchett
  • Cameron Tucker
  • Lily Tucker-Pritchett

Guest Starring


  • Alex, Luke, Manny, Lily and Joe do not appear in this episode, though Manny and Joe are mentioned, making Haley the only kid who appears.
    • De facto, this is the first episode in which Dylan appears but Manny does not, making Dylan the second actor of the non-parent cast to have appeared in episodes in which at least one kid is missing, and never in the same. The first was Ben in "It's the Great Pumpkin, Phil Dunphy".
  • This is the first appearance of Jay's sister Becky, who was previously mentioned in "The Kiss" and "Sarge & Pea".
  • Jay and Becky hadn't spoken in 9 years, while Gloria has only met her once at her and Jay's wedding.
    • Since 9 years was at the start of the show, it's possible that Becky doesn't know about her nephew Joe, who was born 4 years into the silence between her and Jay.
  • All of Haley's on-screen ex-boyfriends, Dylan, Andy Bailey and Rainer Shine, return.
  • This episode was broadcasted exactly six years after "Disneyland".
  • Andy incorrectly tells Arvin that he was Haley's previous boyfriend, but it was Rainer.
  • Phil never mentions Rainer while delivering a speech to Haley's boyfriends.
  • Jay is presumably younger than Becky, making him the middle child, like Mitchell (who is between Claire and Joe) and Alex (who is between Haley and Luke).


  • Dylan's 31st appearance.
  • Andy's 22nd appearance
  • Rainer's 7th appearance, though he only appears 5 seconds. He also had a cameo in "The Alliance".
  • Arvin's 4th appearance.
  • Every family member has been injured or hospitalized as of this episode.
  • This also is the second episode to have the word "Escape" in the title, as well as the second episode to have an old character who pretends to have Alzheimer, the first being Frank in "Ringmaster Keifth", which was also an episode not to feature Luke.
  • This is the first episode since "Sleeper" in which a man who is called Fred, according to the press release, is never named during the episode.
  • Andy and Rainer's last episode.

Cultural References

  • Phil is called "Fonzie."
  • Haley confuses Grey Goose and grey goo.
  • Phil references Die Hard and The Shawshank Redemption.
  • Escape rooms became popular around 2011.
  • Arvin's father exclaims, "10 points for Gryffindor!" – a reference to the Harry Potter books and movies.


  • The A.V. Club gave it a "C".