So, you’re back? Same.
We all gathered at our bars, our watch parties, our respective bath houses, to see Grace and Will reunite and settle the score from that finale — which, by the way, didn’t happen. And while the tone of the show was heavily political and sometimes forced, you’re here because you believe in reinventing yourself. You believe that charades can become Heads Up! You believe in more than Just Jack!™ (May it rest in peace, because we DO NOT discuss it.)
And speaking of Just Ja — God, I’m sorry…speaking of Jack, he’s a daddy now. If you’re not in familiar with the term, let me elaborate. Daddy is, in some circles, a compliment. Daddy is a term that you earn with age or wisdom or salt-and-pepper hair, where you’re an attractive older gay who offers something more than the youths can. They get their own sections on Twitter and, um, other apps and websites.
While Jack is getting hit on in Daddyville, Tony winner and Gay of the Moment™ Ben Platt appears out of nowhere to hit on Will. Jack is mortified, but Will lands a date with Ben Platt, who has renounced his role as Evan Hansen and is waving through the window as new character Blake, only to have Will very enthusiastically waving back at him. Isn’t it nice when musical-based aspirations come true?
In Karen’s world, Rosario has been replaced by Bridgette, and honestly, I’m speaking for you all — we’re livid. Unfortunately Shelley Morrison is retired, so we’ll get what we can get. When Jack shows up looking for ways reverse the Daddy Syndrome he’s been assigned via the C–k Pit, Karen and Bridgette do what they can to help. They offer him an ironclad compression garment — think chastity belt, but for the abs.
While Jack rejects his Daddy-ship, Will is leaning into it. Blake shows up for a date with his best friend on FaceTime (millennial Will & Grace interjection: As a gay man in love with Ben Platt, I have to argue…most of us have never done and would never do this). Will rolls with it — and he is not the only one bending with the times. Jack revisits the bar with his new compression garments on because #PrettyHurts. And while it works, Jack can’t get it off when ~the moment~ comes.
If anything hurts worse than that, it’s Will’s date with Blake. When Will says that Madonna’s “Borderline” got him through a bad breakup in 1994, Blake admits he was actually born the same year.
Let’s step away, guys, because you came to this recap for evaluation, right? Sure you did. This is what the revival needed. I wasn’t Will’s age when Will & Grace aired, but like many others, I used this show to come out and own being out. That was the essence of Will & Grace. So there’s something wonderful and perfect for all generations when the reboot stops being so “woke” in the second episode in exchange for being relevant. It’s serving you ’80s daddies (be proud, you sexy tigers) while remembering these ’90s and ’00s (LORD) kids who needed an example. It’s Will & Grace in perfect 2017 action. And in the meantime, we get Grace and Karen locked in a shower because comedy is incredible.
Mid-date, Jack shows up to Will’s place to get himself cut out of his titanium girdle. And in the middle of his magnetic moment, we get the most relevant Will & Grace moment thus far: that disconnect between generations. When Will asks if he should actually be dating a 23-year-old who doesn’t respect Madonna, Jack says, “He should be beaten with a VHS tape of Evita.”
Meanwhile, Karen and Grace are trapped in Karen’s mechanically locked shower because Grace won’t give Karen a raise, and they’re neck deep in water. Think third-class-of-the-Titanic-level water. As the water rises, Karen reveals that the passcode to open the door is her “safe word,” but she can’t remember it because it’s been years since she’s used it. Grace starts shouting “Hillary Clinton!” but if it hasn’t worked for all of us, why would it ever work for Karen?
Back on Will’s date, he and Blake talk about coming out. While Will’s coming out was complicated and awkward, Blake came out to his parents and they both threw him a coming-out party on the same weekend, which was hard. Will deals with it, but when Blake can’t tell the difference between Stonewall and, um, Stonehenge…Will loses his mind. And when given the choice between hook-up and lecture, Will chooses…oh yes…daddy chooses lecture. (In Jack’s apartment, he chooses full make-up — the final cover-up attempt before the lights turn on, which probably tells you how that date went.)
Fed up with Blake, Will goes off on a diatribe, and it’s wonderful. He launches into a speech on how important it is to not forget gay history and the fight of the generations before and Madonna and how if we do forget the past, that will be the night the lights went out in Georgia (if you’re still reading, and you better be, take a moment to cross your heart for sweet, gorgeous Reba McEntire).
In the shower of doom, Karen and Grace are still low-key drowning. But in their panic, Grace realizes that she needs Karen Walker, and she’s willing to give Karen the raise she asked for at the beginning of the episode. And when Karen says, “I love you, Grace Adler,” the shower turns off. Grace Adler was Karen’s safe word after all. Kinky?
Post dates, Jack and Will decide they don’t want to be daddies, no matter how much of an honor that is. They agree that it’s best to find someone with shared values and interests, but you know, not each other because…that’s not what they want…Can you even imagine?
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