'Modern Family' Season 4 premiere: Jay doesn't like surprises
How do we know that? Because Jay ( Ed O'Neill) is celebrating his birthday in the episode, and past seasons of the show well established that it's in late spring. Starting there makes sense from a story-telling standpoint as well: It would be sort of hard to buy Gloria ( Sofia Vergara) keeping her pregnancy secret from Jay for an entire summer.
Anyway, Jay announces in this first clip from the episode, "Bringing Up Baby," that he doesn't want any big surprises for his birthday. Cue worried talking-head scene with Gloria.
Phil ( Ty Burrell) apparently also didn't get the "no surprises" memo. He's arranged a fishing trip with Jay's buddies Shorty and Miles ( Chazz Palminteri and Ernie Hudson, reprising their roles), but the way he goes about is vintage Phil Dunphy -- which is to say, anathema to Jay.
Finally, we're not entirely sure of the context for this clip, but based on the evidence presented we infer that A) Haley ( Sarah Hyland) is hung over; B) her hangover somehow involves Dylan ( Reid Ewing); C) Claire ( Julie Bowen) is not happy about it; and D) it's pretty funny.
"Modern Family" premieres at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday on ABC.