"The Last Walt" is the twentieth episode from Season 3 of Modern Family, it aired on April 18, 2012.

Plot Summary

Claire delicately helps Luke cope with the fact that his friend and their old neighbor, Walt, has passed. Phil takes Alex for some father-daughter bonding time, and Haley throws an unauthorized party. Meanwhile, Jay and Gloria go over to Mitch and Cam's to have dinner with Cam's father, Merle, who is in town visiting - and awkwardness and tension seem to be the rule of the night.

Episode Description

Some bad news: Phil and Claire's old neighbor, Walt, passed away. They had to break the news to Luke, only he didn't react the way either of them wanted. In fact, a little smile crept across Claire's face when she tried to emphasize to Luke that Walt died. (Claire apparently turns into the Joker when delivering bad news.) Still, Luke had no emotional reaction at all, other than to go into Walt's house and claim the one item Walt said he could have after he died. Luke opted for the television, so he could have one in his bedroom.

Jay and Gloria were heading to dinner with Mitchell and Cameron, as Cameron's father, Merle, was in town. That meant their house was free for Haley to have a pool party. Haley convinced Gloria there would be a chaperone, someone very responsible, like her uncle. Of course, remembering the family tree, Manny was technically Haley's uncle, so that worked for her. Not that she told Gloria that, and she only told her parents her uncle graciously volunteered to chaperone. And Manny did...even better than Phil or Claire would have.

Over at Mitch and Cam's, Merle and Cam were having their usual arguments about Merle not liking Jay. It turns out, Jay had a good reason. Merle always treated Mitchell like he's the 'wife' in Cam and Mitch's relationship, even buying Mitchell a women's watch as a gift. Sure enough, when Merle told the story of how Cam threw a tractor tire through a chicken coop when he was 3, Jay countered with Mitchell needing 17 stitches when he karate-chopped a plate glass window.

GLORIA: Oh, I love that story. Which Charlie's Angel was he trying to be?

Actually, Merle knew that already because Mitch had told him the story...and even giggled about it, much to Jay's consternation. Jay claimed Cam had the higher-pitched laugh, which degenerated into a 'top this' argument about giggles. Which for some reason, Mitch and Cam interpreted as the two getting along from the kitchen. But Cam admitted to Mitch that Merle thought Jay came off as a tough guy sometimes, which would rub a real tough-guy like Merle the wrong way. Suddenly Mitch was defending his father. But Cam said Jay was 'city tough' as opposed to 'farm tough'.

MITCHELL: Oh, you mean cities, where there's gangs, as opposed to farms, where there are ducks...

But on the good side, the two dads bonded over the new bed Cam never was able to finish. Both of them admitted wanting to see the others son as the 'wife' in the relationship because the relationship was a lot to get used to at their age.

Phil, realizing he never had a lot of father-daughter adventures with Alex, asked her to accompany him to throw Walt's army dog tags into the Pacific, since Walt's daughter hadn't talked to him in ages. Alex thought some otter might find them and choke on them, but a passing bird grabbed them off the roof of the car to make that irrelevant. Unfazed, Phil took Alex 50 miles to get the 'world's greatest milkshake', only the machine was broken. But there was still hope, as their waitress at the diner was ready to give birth at any moment.

Meanwhile, Claire ordered Luke to return the TV to Walt's house and was still upset Luke wouldn't react to it. Of course, her smiling while she told the Meals on Wheels lady about Walt dying might have been worse. Same with telling the UPS delivery person. Even Luke thinks she is crazy, but she tells him to put the TV back where he found it. He put it in the spot where he could see it from his own bedroom and knew Walt was awake at night if the TV was on. It was enough for Claire, and she gave him a hug.

Phil was still trying to get the waitress into labor, even resorting to making her fix the table in the diner while he pounded on it. Alex was embarrassed, naturally, but it actually worked. The waitress started feeling labor pains...right as a couple of doctors entered the diner. Alex finally confronted Phil about it, who admitted Walt didn't have a relationship with his daughter and he didn't want to make the same mistake. He wanted to be like Eugene Cernan, the last man on the moon, who drew his daughter's initials into the lunar surface so there would always be a message for her. Alex admitted that was pretty cool that Phil wanted to bond...although not over her throwing up from eating too much food at the diner. But Phil did have one last trick up his sleeve: drawing Alex's initials into the sign of the Moonbeam Diner where they ate.

At the end of the night, though, Gloria was ticked at both Manny and Haley. Haley for throwing the party and Manny for not enjoying it.

Main Cast

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

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

Guest Starring


Cultural References

  • The episode title references the concert The Last Waltz.
  • Mitchell was said to be pretending to be one of Charlie's Angels doing a stunt; Cam's dad said he was being "Farrah", a reference to Farrah Fawcett, who played Angel Jill Munroe.
  • Phil talks about astronaut Eugene Cernan, who wrote "TC" (for his daughter Tracy Cernan) in the lunar soil.