Jay wants to spend his birthday fishing in the second-season finale, but his family decide he really wants a big party, which leads to Claire and Mitchell being trapped in the yard of their childhood home, Phil’s encounter with his college nemesis at the mall and Cameron getting into trouble at the bakery
As the family prepares for Alex’s middle-school graduation, Jay tries to hide a cosmetic-procedure mishap, Cameron is upset about Mitchell laughing at his expense, and Phil antagonizes Claire.
Phil and Claire’s decision to reverse their respective “good cop, bad cop” roles throws the kids for a loop. Meanwhile, Jay offers advice to an entrepreneur (Lin-Manuel Miranda) about a dog-training business; and Cameron has a bout with the flu that threatens to ruin Mitchell’s plans to attend a Lady Gaga concert.
Claire and Gloria’s Mother’s Day excursion outdoors with the kids turns into the mother of all disasters. Meanwhile, Phil and Jay share an awkward moment when they stay home to prepare dinner for everyone; and Cameron worries about gender roles in his relationship with Mitchell.
To safeguard Lily’s future in the event of an emergency, Mitchell and Cameron covertly evaluate Mitchell’s family for legal-guardian material, but none of them make a convincing case, especially when they witness Alex and Haley’s delinquent behavior at school and learn of Claire’s secret trips with Luke to a child psychologist.
Cameron is overzealous in his planning of the spring musical performance at Luke and Manny’s school; Jay’s brother visits; Phil convinces the family to be in his new ad.
Claire wears herself out trying to make peace between Alex and Haley; Phil sneaks off for a day at the spa; Cameron decides to write a book.
Phil and Claire had a huge fight and Phil hasn’t a clue as to what it was over, so Gloria steps in to counsel Phil and Jay takes Claire. Meanwhile, Jay may have some regret in buying Gloria a karaoke machine, and Cameron is in full prep mode for a huge fundraising event and enlists […]
Fizbo is disinvited from Lily’s birthday party; Mitchell and Clarie’s mother DeDe (Shelley Long) comes to the party with Claire’s ex-boyfriend (Matt Dillon).