It wasn’t the Modern Family wardrobe stylist responsible for that heinous crime against googly eyes. In September we were told that a “significant character” was going to die in an episode. That death happened last night, and don’t worry – you don’t have to scatter the floor beneath you with pillows in anticipation of falling off your chair from shock. “Significant” might have been a misleading word choice, because no one who appears in the opening credits died.
Show creators Steve Levitan and Christopher Lloyd have previously said that they wanted to end the show with a big birth, death, or wedding. It’s still not known if Modern Family will end this year (its 10th season) or next. But last night’s Halloween episode gave us that death we were expecting. Last night Modern Family killed off – spoiler alert! – Claire Dunphy and Mitchell Pritchett’s crazy mom, DeDe played by Shelley Long.
The death happened in the first few minutes of the show, after Claire (Julie Bowen) gets a phone call from her stepfather with the news that DeDe is D-E-A-D. Claire calls Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson). Because it’s Halloween, this news is all delivered while everyone is in costume, like Eric Stonestreet in butch queen Duchess Meghan drag.
Modern Family's Cam and Mitchell Channel Their Inner Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for Halloween https://t.co/kCWv50v9Rd
— People (@people) October 24, 2018
Calling Shelley Long a significant character is a bit of a stretch. She’s appeared in seven of the show’s more than 200 episodes. Stella the Dog has seen more screen time! But she’s gone, and her character died in her sleep. That’s a pretty boring end for the always-dramatic DeDe. Maybe she died in her sleep after partying for 36 hours straight with Claire’s dirtbag limo-driving ex-boyfriend Robbie in Reno. That’s the reality I choose to believe.