AceShowbiz - "Modern Family" has been teasing the death of one of the major characters in current season 10. The mystery is finally resolved in the long-running ABC sitcom's recent Halloween episode titled "Good Grief" which aired on Wednesday, October 24.
[SPOILER ALERT!] It was revealed that the viewers had to bid farewell to Jay's (Ed O'Neill) ex-wife DeDe (Shelley Long). It was a peaceful death though as she died in her sleep while on a trip with her women’s group.
Jay broke the tragic news to his stepdaughter Claire (Julie Bowen), informing her of the death of her mom, during the show's cold open. The death turned the family's near-annual Halloween episode into a day to mourn the death of Dede. Upon receiving the news, the characters were all reminiscing their moments, both happy and not-so-happy ones, with her.
"I was just thinking about this great Halloween with mom," Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) told his sister, Claire, as they were handing out candy to trick or treaters. "I wasn't really fitting 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 had never been to a gay event. The thing is, she didn't force me to talk about it. She just let it be. i think that was her way of saying she was okay with me."
Claire quipped, "I remember once that mom told me that I ate ice cream like a prostitute."
Toward the end of the episode, everyone was gathering while waiting for an explanation of DeDe's death. It was later revealed that DeDe was befriending a pack of wolves and being saved by one of those wolves after falling through some ice and then offending a tribe of Inuits and being briefly swallowed by a whale before she died peacefully in her sleep with a smile on her face. She also had a list of suggestions for the hotel staff in her hands.
"That is so mom," Claire said upon hearing the explanation.
Co-creator Christopher Lloyd previously teased a death of a "significant character on the series." He explained, "We're handling some bigger life events in this season. We do deal with a death, which is certainly a topic that families have to deal with, and on television, it's not easy to do because that's a heavy subject. But at the same time, it would seem unusual for a family not to go through it."
He further revealed the death "will be a moving event ... that has repercussions across several episodes."
"Modern Family" airs on Wednesday at 9 P.M. on ABC.