We gave it a B+
Well, well, well. Pin a rose on Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s nose and call me fabulous — this is another wonderful episode of Will & Grace. This new season is trying to find a place in the past as well as the present, and man if it doesn’t mesh those worlds together like a car wreck this week. I think that’s a good thing? I’m not entirely sure yet. But I can say one thing: If you’re curious if this show is filmed as close to airtime as it could be, I’d bet you a roll of Bounty paper towels that it is…we’ll get back to that in a second.
So, it’s a Saturday in Will & Grace‘s world, and Karen is being forced to work while Jack pops over for a shower. Why a shower at their place? Well, (1) the water pressure is better, (2) there’s a great hand attachment (LOL), (3) and (4) two dates with a bear clogged his drain. Grace is confused because she thought that Jack was into twinks, twunks, and all the other things Dr. Seuss wouldn’t write about.
After Karen and Grace take off, Will and Jack are almost immediately interrupted by a visitor. It happens to be Skip, who is Elliot’s son, which makes Skip… Jack’s GRANDSON. Jack flips out and retreats because he’s still mad. Elliot moved to Texas and married a conservative woman, and Jack cut him out of his life because what’s he’s supposed to talk about with Elliot now?
But when they return to the living room, Skip pops a squat on the couch in the sleepover position, a position it’s confirmed no straight man has ever sat in. Jack FREAKS OUT because genetics are ruling again, but when Will tells him to calm down, it’s all confirmed — Karen waltzes back in and grabs her purse and Skip is entranced.
Meanwhile, once Karen gets to Grace’s office, she’s harassing Grace’s actual working assistant again, and when Grace calls her out, Karen throws him a roll of paper towels à la our…um…preside…Let’s just call him Don. But every time she does it, he makes her donate a grand to hurricane relief.
Back at Will’s place, Skip is talking about Lady Gaga when he reveals that he’s in town with his parents because he’s going to camp upstate. When Jack runs off to grab his low-key drag to show Skip, Elliot and his wife show up to get Skip because they have to get to that camp…you know, that conversion camp. Camp Straighten Arrow. As Skip gets on the elevator, he says, “It’s the camp my parents found to fix me, so I can be normal.” And here I am, on a Thursday night, cursing the name of Mike Pence at the television because all of a sudden Will & Grace is making me cry?
Other than being a conversion camp, the camp is pretty wonderful. It has Jane Lynch and Andrew Rannells teaching kids how to be straight, which you know can’t go too well. Will and Jack head up to the camp so that they can do as much to help Skip as they can, but while Will hops into action, Jack is caught by Elliot. Elliot tells Jack that he can’t just accept Elliot and his wife for the beliefs they have, which is hilarious considering they’re all at a conversion camp, and by hilarious I mean it’s a pretty accurate representation of 2017, and by 2017, I mean I just finished a pint of ice cream and am starting another because what’s there to left to diet for? Hahaha, LOL, I want to feel hopeful.
Hard pivot: We head back to Grace’s office, where she and her assistant are exchanging some songs, you know, with varying degrees of talent. When he puts his hands on Grace, she can barely contain her excitement at being touched by a man, and she literally sings it. And that’s when she runs away out of shame. Karen intercepts her and tells her she has nothing to feel bad about because that’s what happens when you ignore your hoo-ha, ya know?
Back at camp, Will steps up to distract the counselors, and you’d think that this plan wouldn’t work, but this is New Will & Grace and anything goes here, just like the musical says. Will suggests that his conversion camp that he runs across the lake is so successful that he could kiss any counselor and wouldn’t feel a thing, Andrew Rannells takes up that offer real fast, and all these little homosexuals in the making get to presumably witness their first man-on-man kiss. And what a great duo to represent for the team. Andrew goes in for a second round, but Jane Lynch strikes him down with a shock collar because that’s the olden days.
Outside, Jack sits down with Skip to talk to him about what it means to possibly be a gay man, and how in the future, you get a lot of dinner parties and chosen families, and that’s true. But the moment that really brings the tears is when Jack tells Skip that he’s going to be there for him as much as possible, but when he can’t, Skip should imagine him in his head, looking at him the way he is right now, and he’ll always tell him that he’s exactly the way he should be. Later that night, Elliot comes back and tells Jack that he had a change of heart and a falling-out with the woman he calls his wife, and ultimately, he decided to take Skip out of that camp. And if that wasn’t enough, he asks Jack if he wants to take his grandson to his first Broadway show, and don’t look at me; YOU’RE crying, not me. I’m fine. I’m THRIVING.
So, we’re four episodes in. The newness has worn off, and I’m sure there are a bevy of opinions, but Will & Grace seems to be functioning in the space that it needs to be in. It’s learning to exist in 2017, and who are we to expect anything more than that?