We promised a season of change this year for the Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan, and it's definitely happening. The first big Modern Family spoiler is upon us: a death in the family. (Stop reading here if you haven't yet watched Season 10, Episode 5 "Good Grief"—or click that link to watch it now.) So who died on Modern Family? Wednesday night marked the passing of DeDe Pritchett (Shelley Long), Jay's ex-wife and mother to Mitchell and Claire. She died peacefully in her sleep, which was a relief to the family members, each of whom spent their Halloween reminiscing and honoring the goofy matriarch in their own ways. Some of them, like Claire, weren't sure how to process the news, and some of them, like Jay, didn't even realize that they were processing the news until they were overcome with emotion. Read on to watch highlights and see how the Modern Family cast really felt about DeDe.
Mitchell and Claire
As DeDe's kids, Mitch and Claire had a complicated relationship with their mother. It becomes apparent, however, that Claire's relationship with her mother was far more complicated than Mitchell's:
Claire later explains that her last phone call with DeDe was a fight, and a pretty nasty one at that. But Mitchell says DeDe told him about it, and that she said she would call Claire to apologize—which is when Claire remembers that DeDe had left her a voicemail. It's the apology, and it's rather sweet.
The Grandkids and the Kids-in-Law
Haley, Luke, and Alex just lost their grandmother, and they all handle it differently. Haley starts eating every last thing she can find in the house, Luke makes inappropriate jokes, and Alex seeks comfort with her new boyfriend (much to the dismay of Haley and Luke, who walk in on Alex finding said comfort). Phil and Cam married into the Pritchett family, so they had to win DeDe over, but both did so successfully. And once they did, they had happy memories of their loved ones' mother:
It's no secret that Gloria and DeDe didn't get along. They even had a physical fight at Jay and Gloria's wedding (though she did later apologize)(kinda). After DeDe passes, the kids find the dolls of herself that DeDe made as Christmas gifts, and soon Gloria is finding them all over the house. She's sure that this is DeDe's way of haunting her, so Gloria does something crazy—she tells "DeDe" how much she admires her:
The truth is out. And it turns out that Lily is planting the dolls everywhere to drive Gloria crazy, because it's what her grandmother would have wanted.
Jay and DeDe were divorced, and not always on the best of terms. Jay spent most of the evening trying to track down just who exactly ate the hoagie that he brought over to Phil and Claire's house—not exactly the preoccupation of someone mourning the loss of a loved one. But sometimes, a sandwich is more than just a sandwich:
More change lies around the corner for your favorite TV family this season. To see what comes next, watch new episodes of Modern Family WEDNESDAYS 9|8c on ABC!