Modern Family S10E5 Script

Good Grief (2018)

PHILIP: Okay, honey. Doorbell's installed. How does it sound?


That is so cute!

Could you come in here and help me with this web?

Sorry. Gotta fly.

I'm gonna do that one again when there's more people around.

Okay. So, you gotta put that up on the hook because the trick-or-treaters are gonna be here any minute.

PHILIP: I'm caught.

Don't pull. It's just gonna get worse. PHILIP: Oh.

No, I can, uh... No. Stop moving.

I'm gonna get some scissors.



Hey, Jerry.

What's wrong?



Oh. Thank God, you're back.

There's a real spider in here and it's getting closer.

That was Jerry, my mom's husband.

Is everything okay? No.

My mom's dead. PHILIP: What?


I can't believe Nana's gone.

(SCOFFS) If God really is an old white guy, he's about to get an earful. (DOOR OPENS)

Oh, my God, Claire. Mitchell.

Wait, can you... I don't know how to... Please help, thank you.



CLAIRE: All right.

Who are you supposed to be?

Uh... I'm Prince Harry.

Oh, does that mean Cam is...

Hear ye, hear ye.

Presenting the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan...

No, no, no, that was for Pepper's party, we're not doing that anymore.

Go console your cousins.

Oh, sweetie. CLAIRE: Oh, hey.

Can I get in there?

CLAIRE: Hang on. Oh. CAM: Wait a minute.

Yeah, I had the same issue with this. CAM: There it is.

CLAIRE: Oh. Oh, sweetie.

Who needs a drink? I do.


Okay, how are we gonna handle this?

You mean, because the two most emotionally-complicated people on Earth are facing the loss of the most complicated relationship of their lives?

So, not an edible arrangement.

We just have to be there for them. Whatever they need...

It just feels inappropriate being dressed like this.

I should be in something darker with a cap sleeve.


This is so surreal, I can't believe this.

I just talked to her right before she left.

She was so excited about her trip to Greenland with her women's group.

CLAIRE: Mmm. Still no word on what happened?

No, Jerry called.

He said that she had a heart problem she didn't wanna talk about.

We're still not sure if that's it.

He did promise to reach out as soon as he has some answers.

We're here to support you in any way we can.

Anything you need, anything at all, we're on it.

Soup. Tissues.

Try this meditation exercise.

Yeah, no, you guys are being so sweet.

Yeah, but we cope with things a little less touchy-feely, and a little more... Irish, yes.

Right. Right.

You know, have some drinks, tell some funny stories. CLAIRE: Mmm.

Do you remember the time Mom was so mad because Laverne and Shirley moved to California?


Oh, no. Remember how she used to always bring her own ice cubes to restaurants.


Remember when she got thrown out of Scientology?


Our mother is dead, Phil.

I thought we were...

Maybe you should just give us a little space.

Of course. Sure. CAM: Yeah. Sure.

You know, I don't know how we all feel about the afterlife, but I myself would like to imagine DeDe surrounded by loved ones, hearing...


I'll disconnect that doorbell. CLAIRE: Oh, God.

Hey. We were out trick-or-treating with the kids. CLAIRE: Dad.

GLORIA: We left Joe with Manny.

We came as soon as we heard. So sorry. (DOOR CLOSES)

Come here, you two. Get in here. MITCHELL: Oh. Thanks, Dad.


Look, I know that your mother and I had our differences, but she was a good woman. Yeah.

She, um...

And she had great legs.

Oh, really? That's your tribute?

Of course not. She was very educated, as she often told me.

She, um...



I can't watch this. It's like watching a fish panic at the bottom of a boat.

She gave you us, your wonderful children.

There you go. And for that, I will always be grateful.

CLAIRE: Yeah. Mmm-hmm. We have so much to be grateful for.

She was a wonderful mother, and I am so glad that I was able to tell her that during our last call.

And I didn't know it at the time, but in a lot of ways, it was the perfect goodbye.

Huh. Oh.

Do we know what happened?

Not yet, no, but you know what?

I need to be around happy things, cute kids in costumes trick-or-treating.

I'm gonna go hand out some Halloween candy.

You know what? I'm coming with you. CLAIRE: I'm good.

I'm good. Yeah. CLAIRE: You're good.

Uh... You make plans, the universe steps in and says, "Nope."

Life is so unfair. Damn right.

I just waited in a line around the block for a hoagie everybody's talking about, then my ex-wife drops dead and I'm too sad to eat it.

I'll give it another hour.

Oh, I'm so sorry for your loss, Jay.

I don't know why I thought getting this out would help.

What is that?

Nana had these little statues of herself made.

They were her Christmas gift to each of us.

Now I feel better about my stupid well in Africa.

Hey, hitting that candy pretty hard.

Didn't even take the wrapper off the last one.

I'm sad, shut up.

I heard that if you die on Halloween, you come back as a zombie.

I can see that.

Nana would be all, (IN EERIE VOICE) "Brains.

(SNIFFING) "Nope. Brains." (ALEX GRUNTS)


I just remember Nana, when we were little, she would... (CAN SPRAYING)

She would... (CAN SPRAYING)

Oh, my God, what is wrong with you two?

What? Our grandmother just died.

Luke's over here making tasteless jokes and you're stuffing your face.

Show some respect.

I am so sorry what happened to your grandmother.

She was a wonderful woman.

Thank you, Gloria. Finally, someone with a normal reaction.

Didn't Nana try to strangle you three times?

Yeah, but one of those times, I was able to see again my favorite abuela for one second.

So, I really should thank DeDe.

Anyways, any issues that your grandmother had with me, they're behind her.

She's at peace. She's living in a better place.

What the hell is that?

Mmm. Pretty lifelike, right? Christmas gift from Nana.

Oh. It's very cute, but it's amazing how her eyes are following me wherever I go.

I know that this is going to sound crazy, but I have always worried that when DeDe died, she was going to come back and haunt me.

Maybe it's because she whispered it to me at my wedding.

Happy Halloween!

Thank you. Thanks.




You okay?

Yeah, I was just thinking about this great Halloween with Mom.


I wasn't really fitting in in high school, so Mom took me to go get ice cream at this place in West Hollywood, and the parade was going on, and before that, I'd never been to a gay event.

BOY: Trick or treat?

Here you go. Happy Halloween.

The thing is she didn't force me to talk about it.

She just let it be, you know.

And I think that that was her way of saying that she was okay with me.

I remember once Mom told me that I ate ice cream like a prostitute.

Oh, come on. (CLAIRE SIGHS)

Why haven't we heard anything yet about what happened to her?

This is ridiculous.

I know. It's bad enough we lost our mom.

Now we just have to sit here, expecting the worst.

PHILIP: Hey. CAM: Hey.

Heard some raised voices. Just making sure...

Where have you guys been? Yeah, I don't know if you've noticed, but we're kind of going through something today.

Well, you said you wanted some space, so we were giving...

So, now you're gonna logic us to death?

Yeah, yeah, 'cause that's what we need right now.

I am totally confused about what we're supposed to do.

No, I have an idea.

Mitchell was just talking about a great memory he had of DeDe taking him for ice cream in West Hollywood.

We could go pick some up. It would be a perfect tribute.

That's great.

Plus, I don't know why, but there's something about the way Claire eats ice cream that I just enjoy.

I just wish I could remember the name of it.

I'm on it. Anderson Scooper? Priscilla Queen of the Desserts?

CAM: Mmm-mmm. Sherbert and Ernie?

Mmm-mmm. It was something very specific.

West Hollywood Ice Cream Shop?

That's it. Let's go.

This can't be happening. Oh.

Oh, Jay. It's a hard day. Tell me.

I put a sandwich in there with my name on it 10 minutes ago, and now it's missing. Who the hell took it?

Really? On a day like today, you can get this worked up over a sandwich?

Come here. Yeah, hey, it's okay.


You're smelling us. I smell guilt and pickles.


Sorry, fireman habit. Your mom said you were up here.

You're the best boyfriend.

That's her, huh?

You know, people said she was difficult, but she was an amazing woman who didn't conform to anyone's idea of who she should be.

There are a lot of photos of her being escorted out of places.


Well, it must feel good to know that...

I mean, not good. Everything must feel bad.

I'm sorry, I'm bad at this whole death thing.

And I see a lot of it at work.

I mean, nobody ever feeds the station goldfish.

It's not just hard for you.

My brother can't stop cracking jokes.

My sister is eating like a bear about to hibernate and, meanwhile, I'm just sitting here thinking, "Wow."

You're here one second and then poof.

You're not.

I know how sad you must be.

Take off your shirt. What?

Fine, I'll run things.


Okay, very funny, who did this?





Hey, I haven't seen Alex since she yelled at us.

Is she okay up there?

Now that I think about it, it did sound like she was crying a minute ago.

We should check on her.

This is classic Alex.

She is criticizing how we're processing Nana's death because she doesn't know what to do with her own feelings.

Meanwhile, she is taking it harder than anybody.


BILL: Oh, that's not good. ALEX: Get out!



Do you remember when, um, she wouldn't pay for my voice lessons because she said she wanted to save the money in case I ended up with Dad's nose. (CHILDREN CHATTERING)

You know, we could stick to nice stories today.

Mom was a real person. She was flawed.

She made me wear pants to prom.

She said it would "slow down" whatever mistake I was about to make.

Well, I guess I never brought out that side of her.

Or maybe you just let her get away with everything.

Trick or treat! Happy Halloween.

What are you supposed to be?

I was gonna go as a unicorn, but then I decided to be Pajama Girl.

That was two weeks of sewing well spent.

Well, kids don't always appreciate what moms do for them.

Moms can be controlling.

Well, sometimes moms don't want their daughters to embarrass themselves.


Like throwing a surprise moon goddess party for their daughter's first period?

It was a celebration of your womanhood.

Every year I say I'm not coming back to this house.

Okay, just today... Oh, God, just today, could you not harp on how awful Mom was to you?

She would have done anything for us.

Mitchell, just because Mom is dead doesn't make her a saint.

MAN: Hey. CLAIRE: What?

You're scaring the kids.


What is wrong with me? Nothing is wrong with you.

You're just a freak that gets turned on by tragedies.

Oh, my God. Is that why I'm dating a firefighter?

Oh, I hope I'm more to you than that, babe.

By the way, there was a plane crash in Tustin.


You know, there is a deep psycho-spiritual connection between sex and death.

Look at Freud. Thanatos, Eros, locked in an eternal struggle.

How do you know any of those words?

I don't know, maybe I remembered something from school somehow?

They say everything you've ever heard is locked in your brain somewhere.

Another fun fact, your brain burns 20% of the calories you consume.


Another one?

Oh, my God.

I think your brain is finally working because, for the first time ever, you're not starving yourself.

That is a credible hypothesis.

JAY: Huh. Eating, are we? HALEY: Mmm.

You didn't happen to grab an Italian hero out of the fridge, did you? No, but that sounds delicious.

I'd go to town on an Italian hero right now.

That's funny, 'cause Alex just... I will rip your tongue out.

(HORN HONKING) Oh, gosh, what was I thinking, coming to West Hollywood on Halloween night?

(BANGING ON CAR) Hey, give the horn a rest, the parade's going by, you're going to be sitting here awhile.

Sorry, Officer.



I don't get down to this part of town that often.

That's not a real cop, right? Um...


You know, I'm impressed you're still wearing that dress.

Oh, well, I'm wearing two pairs of Spanx and was on diuretics for 48 hours.

As we say where I'm from, "You don't teach your dog to play the banjo

"and then skip the talent show." (BOTH CHUCKLE)

Oh, man, this ice cream's gonna melt.

Well, grab a spoon.

Somebody should enjoy it. Yeah.


You know, we've been so focused on Mitchell and Claire, I haven't had a chance to really...

Yeah, I know.

First time I met her, she threatened to murder me if I ever made her son unhappy.

(PHILIP CHUCKLING) Went into pretty graphic detail.

Described how she'd get rid of my body and everything.

I was like, "Wow, this woman will never trust me."

That's so her. (CAM CHUCKLES)


And one time she overheard me talking about drinking dandelion wine with my grandma.

She went over to the kitchen cabinet and pulled out a bottle.

Apparently, she had an aunt who taught her how to make it.

We sat there at the kitchen table, drinking and swapping stories about growing up in the boondocks.

PHILIP: Hmm. The wine made me go blind for a bit, but I'll never forget her voice slurring in the darkness, telling me she understood why Mitchell loved me.

I remember dropping Haley off at school for the first time.

Her staring at me with those giant eyes.

Her lips quivering, crying for me to stay, and I, uh...


I told her everything's going to be all right, and then I staggered back to my car and I started crying.

You know who was there waiting for me?

Well, if it's not DeDe, it's kind of a touching but pointless story.

It was DeDe.

She knew it was gonna be a hard day for me.

I can't believe she's gone.

I'm gonna miss her.

Me, too.

To DeDe. To DeDe.





Okay, you want to talk? Let's talk.

I know that you never liked me.

And I was always nice.

Okay, fine. One time, I did use your toothbrush on Stella.

But mostly, I admired you for raising such wonderful children and for helping make Jay the amazing man that I fell in love with.

I guess I never thanked you for all of that.

So, if you can hear me now, thank you.

And can you please tell Rosa Garcia to stop haunting me, too?

And Marta Blanco, Marisol Gutierrez and Cecilia Matos. Gracias.

Look, I'm sorry.

I think I've been trying to make Mom into the bad guy.

It's not gonna make it any easier. That's not it. I...

I just feel so guilty. Why?

Because, sometimes, I was as mean to Mom as she was to me. Oh.

She was just hard on you because she believed in you so much.

Why do you always have to defend her?

Because I loved her. I...


Can't believe I'm saying that in the past tense. I...

I'm sorry that I had a better relationship with her, and I'm sorry that it bothered you, okay?

You have a better relationship with Dad, and I know he loves me just as much.


Yeah. And when Dad dies, he's gonna leave knowing how much I loved him.

I'm not sure Mom knew that.

Of course, she did.

Really? Because, unlike you, the last time I talked to her, we got in a huge fight.


You get to remember telling her you loved her and laughing, and I get to remember getting into some stupid argument about a Facebook post.

Uh... The one where she said putting eucalyptus oils on the soles of your feet is a natural birth control?

Yes. Yes, that's the one.

And you have a 12-year-old daughter who reads those posts.

You might want to tell her that's not science.

Okay, okay. Remember that last amazing conversation I had with Mom?

For God's sake! I'm sorry, but there's no other way to describe it, okay?

She told me about your fight, and she told me how upset she was.

She said she was gonna call you to apologize.

Oh, my God.

She left me a voicemail a couple of days ago.

But I was saving it till the next time I had to yell at somebody at work.



DEDE OVER VOICEMAIL: Hey, honey. It's Mom.

I just want to apologize. I should not have lost my temper.

Shaman Phoenix Feather's family planning advice may not be for everyone, and you just want to keep your daughters safe. I get it.

I have a daughter of my own and I know how much she means to me.

Anyway, I'm sorry. I love you, and I always will.

(VOICE BREAKING) Love you, too, Mom.

DEDE OVER VOICEMAIL: Also, I saw your new photo on social media.

Are you part of some protest where you're not allowed to wash your hair?

Or are you just trying to be...

(CELL PHONE BEEPS) I'm gonna listen to that later.

JAY: Huh.

Weird hearing her voice.



You already know this, but I'm gonna say it again.

We both love you so much.

Yeah. And I know we've had our ups and downs, but I've loved being your son.

Are you buttering me up 'cause you ate my sandwich?

Oh. What is wrong with you?

Seriously, what is this obsession with a sandwich?

I waited in line.

(CLAIRE BLOWS RASPBERRY) I was thinking about it for months.

You know who would get this? DeDe.

That woman appreciated a good sandwich. CLAIRE: Hmm.

And she made the best ones.

You know, when we were first married, that little house in the Valley, we didn't have any money.

She would go miles out of her way to get the bread with the crunchy crust from that French bakery.

It was hard on the outside, soft and warm on the inside, and she'd say, "That's just like you, Jay."


She was nice to me back then. CLAIRE: Yeah.


It's funny, I happened to drive past there awhile ago.

That bakery is not there anymore.

And damn if I wasn't depressed for a week.

You know, I didn't realize

how much it meant to me till it was gone, you know.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.


Look at that beautiful family moment.

Yeah. Look right at it.

I asked myself, "What would Nana want today?"

She'd want me to mess with Gloria.

Also, I ate Grandpa's sandwich.

Oh, God.

Jerry forwarded me an e-mail from Mom's women's group.

I... I can't even read it. You do it. Oh, okay.


"Our sincere condolences on the loss of your loved one, DeDe."

Yeah. What happened to Mom?

Let's see. Um... Yeah.

"On the third night, DeDe wandered away from the group

"and encountered a pack of starving timber wolves."

Oh, my God, Mom. Oh, my God, Mom. (ALL EX CLAIMING)

"As you know, DeDe long believed she could communicate with animals.

"So using a mixture of howls and barks, "she convinced them to seek food elsewhere." Huh.

Guess that wasn't it. Let's see.


"Later, she ignored a 'thin ice' sign and plunged..."

ALL: Oh, no. Hang on. "Saved by one of the wolves."


"She deeply offended a tribe of Inuits by interrupting a sacred dagger dance.

"Briefly swallowed by a whale." Oh.

PHILIP: Uh... Wait, here it is.

"On the trip's final morning, DeDe was found in her room.

"She had apparently passed peacefully in her sleep, "as a smile graced her face, "and her hands clutched 10 pages of suggestions for the hotel staff."

That is so Mom. Easy.