As he travels the cobblestone streets, all Mitchell (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) wants is to blend in with the French.
“He does not do a good job since he’s wildly American,” Ferguson explains. Another new wrinkle for the Los Angeles–based production: cold weather. “That alone was different for us, with coats and scarves, which we don’t own,” he notes. “Wardrobe had to bring warm clothes for us.”
The moody cityscape allows Cam (Eric Stonestreet) to bring out his melancholy(ish) alter ego, Fizbo. “It’s Cam’s dream to [literally] clown about on the streets of Paris,” Levitan says. And it’s his nightmare when a doppelgänger named Fizbeau (Jean-Pierre Pivolot) surfaces!
For himself, the American actor found comedy in French cuisine. “I ate butter and thought it was cheese,” Stonestreet confesses, laughing.
Gloria (Sofia Vergara) and son Manny (Rico Rodriguez) tag along so her husband, Jay (Ed O’Neill) — as the founder of Pritchett’s Closets & Blinds — can receive a prestigious Parisian award.
Vergara loved the idea of a final cast trip, saying, “Every time we travel as a group, we have the best time.” Also, she squeezed in “a lot of shopping.”
“We tried to not be too cliché and capture the essence of the city more than ‘Here we are at the Eiffel Tower,'” Levitan says, “but it is in a shot.” The romantic landmark makes sense: It’s Valentine’s Day, and Claire (Julie Bowen) is destined to rendezvous with “Claude Bixby” (Ty Burrell as role-playing husband Phil), a local relation to suave “Clive.”
Before signing off on April 8, Modern Family's Pritchett-Dunphy-Tucker clan tops off 11 seasons' worth of travel (Wyoming! Hawaii! Australia!) with one last big trip. Destination: Paris.
"To end on something that felt anticlimactic didn't seem right to us," executive producer Steven Levitan says. And in the spirit of fraternité, the sitcom's hard-working crew got tickets too. "We invited everybody who worked on the show to join, whether they were [involved with this episode] or not," he says.