In this week’s episode of “Modern Family” Season 7, Phil Dunphy learns how to let go and let his ducklings thrive. Episode 11 is titled “Spread Your Wings” and the Dunphy ducklings get the opportunity to finally fly, thanks to a lesson learned from Alex. Elsewhere, Jay helps Mitch with Lily’s sleepover, and Gloria tries to meet a big order for her hot sauce.
Phil (Ty Burrell) is visiting his daughter Alex (Ariel Winter) because he feels that she’s starting to become more distant. He tries to reconnect with her, but his quirky antics fail to get to her. Later, she confesses that she wants to get out of her dorm and return home. She says she can commute from home, rather than put up with the childish college dorm antics.
Phil fears that she’s not fitting in well, so he encourages her to stay and try to socialize. Alex misunderstands, and thinks that Phil doesn’t want her to return home. Phil tries to make it up to her by buying her a prom dress that she can wear during an annual freshman tradition, which involves students jumping into the school pool in a prom dress.
Back at home, Phil’s wife, Claire (Julie Bowen) as well as their other kids, Haley (Sarah Hyland) and Luke (Nolan Gould) have a problem. They have gotten tired of having Phils ducklings running around their house. Phil hatched three abandoned duck eggs earlier this season, and now, months later, the family is starting to get fed up with sharing their home with three growing ducks.
— Modern Family (@ModernFam) January 13, 2016
While Phil is away with Alex, Claire, Haley and Luke attempt to set the ducks free in the local pond. While trying to do so, they realize that the three ducks have personalities similar to the Dunphy kids, and that’s why Phil likes them so much. They bring the ducks back home, and are surprised to find Phil waiting for them. They get a bigger surprise, when Phil decides to set the ducks free himself. After spending time with Alex, he realized that he might have been holding back his kids and the ducks, because he’s been overprotective. He learns that he needs to let them spread their wings, so that they could thrive.
In the end, the family head to the roof, where they let the ducks fly to their freedom.
Meanwhile, Mitch (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) is also dealing with some parenting challenges. He has invited Lily’s friends from her Vietnamese dance group, in an effort to fit in with the other parents. He and Cam are the odd ones out, being the only white and gay parents.
Jay (Ed O’Neill) comes over with some inflatable mattresses for the kids, and offers Mitch some sleepover advice. Mitch tries to act like he knows what he’s doing, but after the young girls walk all over him, he finally concedes and asks for Jay’s help. Jay then proceeds to help Mitch find ways to get the children to use up all their energy, so that they would pass out early. He gets then to do a series of Jane Fonda 80’s workouts, as well a few other silly, energy-consuming activities.
While Mitch and Jay are busy with the kids, their spouses Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and Cam (Eric Stonestreet) are busy with a project of their own. After Cam convinced Gloria to sell her family’s heirloom hot sauce at the local farmer’s market, he’s also gotten her a big order from a prestigious gift basket company. The big problem is, she’s run out of the main ingredient for the sauce, the special Colombian blood pepper. Cam says they could use serrano peppers, but this doesn’t go down too well with Gloria, who values the original family recipe. Luckily, Manny knows that the local botanical garden grows the exact pepper that they needs.
Manny then orchestrates a heist, so that they can have enough peppers, just to prove that he’s not a "goody two-shoes." The heist is successful, and Gloria is able to make the sauce. Unfortunately, she thinks that she won’t finish in time. The production also hits a speed bump, when Gloria gets fed up with Cam. First, he suggested replacing the peppers in the recipe. Then, he’s made a label for the sauce, which features his face instead of Gloria’s.
— Modern Family (@ModernFam) January 14, 2016
Cam is livid at first, when Gloria says that she doesn’t want to be partners with him anymore. Luckily, she has a special way of handling breakups, and Cam ends up feeling encouraged and empowered. Cam decides to put up his own hot sauce business, but only after helping Gloria finish her big order.
They get Lily and her dance troupe friends to help, in order to make the deadline and give the kids something to do. Everything goes well, until one of the girls’ parents arrives and hilariously finds what looks like an underground child labor operation.
“Modern Family” Season 7 airs every Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. ET on ABC.