Jay's ex-wife comes to town to apologize to the entire family for "the incident." What's the incident, you ask? Well, let's just say the incident is… pretty darn funny.
Dede Pritchett (guest star Shelley Long) surprises her son Mitchell at his front door. She's in town because she wants to move to the next level of her recent spiritual awakening. The only way she can do this is by asking the entire family to get past an incident that took place at Jay and Gloria's wedding when Dede made the worst wedding toast in the history of bad wedding toasts. Here are just a couple of excerpts:
- "I knew they were perfect for each other when I saw his wallet and her boobs."
- "35 years we were together and he couldn't wait 10 minutes to run off with Charo."
Dede wants closure before she moves to Canada to live with a logger. He's not a lumberjack; he's just a guy who logs in blood samples for cholesterol checks. Dede feels she must make amends with the family before heading north to live her new life. So Mitchell invites her to a family dinner at Claire's.
Jay tells Mitchell that there's no way Gloria will go to the dinner if she knows Dede will be there. His solution: Lie. Jay won't mention it to his new wife and he will also feign surprise when he sees his ex-wife at Claire's. This way, only Mitchell gets the blame for the ruse.
When Dede arrives at the Dunphy house, Claire and Haley are in the midst of an argument. Haley wants to go on an overnight trip to a concert with a group of friends that includes her boyfriend Dylan. Dede recalls a time when Claire stayed out until four in the morning with her boyfriend. Claire gets defensive and then tells Haley to invite Dylan to dinner to prove she has an open mind about the boy.
Manny went to a slumber party where his friends drew a magic marker mustache and beard on his face as he slept. Jay suggests Manny prank his friends back to show them he can give as good as he gets. Unfortunately, Manny releases his inner-Rambo and sets a boy's bike on fire. Yes, revenge is dish best served Schwinn.
When Jay and Gloria show up at Claire's, Dede delivers a heartfelt apology where she says she wouldn't blame Gloria if she punched her in the mouth. Gloria looks over at Manny, who still has markings all over his face. She says, "I think we've had enough revenge in this family for one day." Gloria forgives Dede, who then tries to strangle Gloria. Apparently, the alarm clock for her spiritual awakening has a snooze button.
The family separates the two wrestling women, with Phil being more than willing to restrain Gloria. Surprisingly, Dylan chimes in with some poignant words that seem to give the entire family pause. He says that one of the reasons he likes Haley is because of her "killer confidence." It's a quality that can only come from being part of a killer family like this one. With this speech, Dylan has totally won over Claire. With a tear in his eye, Phil says, "He's perfect."
There's a lot of love in the room and it's the perfect time for a song. Fortunately, Dylan has his guitar and he plays a tune he wrote for Haley called "In the Moonlight." We're not going to tell you too much about the song. You have to experience it for yourself. Let's just say that when the family hears it, they go from feeling warm and fuzzy to uneasy and disturbed. We're thinking it may have something to do with the line, "Baby, baby, I just wanna do you." You guessed it. It's a love song.