The Last Walt

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Comedy/Romance/, USA, 2012

Synopsis Some bad news: Phil (Ty Burrell) and Claire's (Julie Bowen) old neighbor, Walt, passed away. They had to break the news to Luke (Nolan Gould), 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 (Ed O'Neill) and Gloria (Sofía Vergara) were heading to dinner with Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) and Cameron (Eric Stonestreet), as Cameron's father, Merle (Barry Corbin), was in town. That meant their house was free for Haley (Sarah Hyland) 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 (Rico Rodriguez) 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 other's 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 (Ariel Winter), 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. (And Phil tried to help her along by scaring her into labor.) 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.ALEX: You know a day I'll never forget is the day my dad tried to create a special memory for me. Or when the pregnant lady slipped in my vomit.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.

Directed by Michael Spiller  

Starring Ed O'Neill, Sofía Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, more...

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