Chris Haston/NBC
Justin Kirkland
December 05, 2017 AT 09:30 PM EST

Will & Grace

type
TV Show
genre
Comedy
run date
09/21/98
performer
Sean Hayes, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing, Megan Mullally
broadcaster
NBC
seasons
9
Current Status
In Season

We gave it an A

Back at Carolyn’s place, they’re still 10 dollars short on rent, even after selling off Smitty’s wooden leg. She hides the kids again as a visitor reappears, but it’s not Billem. It’s John Patrick, and he’s discovered some information on Billem. He is a sweeper of chimneys, which is the most charming new way of referring to someone’s homosexuality I’ve ever heard. But it takes a few more references before Carolyn picks up on the fact that Billem is gay. That’s when John Patrick reveals that as a sailor, it’s different. He’s had sex with men, BUT ONLY ON BOATS. And it didn’t make him feel gay, just a wee bit queer. (Damn, there it is. Worked that time.)

Billem does eventually show up with Fanny in tow, and that seriously gets in the way of John Patrick and Carolyn’s plan for him to seduce Billem. At that moment, Carolyn’s baby cries out and Fanny says, “Have mercy on this woman; her children are living in the closet.” Billem responds, “What’s wrong with living in the closet?” To cover his own tracks, he stomps his foot and tells Carolyn she’s about to be evicted, but Carolyn says that stamping his foot is disrespecting her honor, and John Patrick and Billem need to settle it outside.

And then Will & Grace (or Billem & Fanny) does what it’s been trying to do all season. But this time, it absolutely nails it. Fanny tells Carolyn that immigrants, whether Irish or Jewish, don’t always have it easy. Neither do women. But this country is about succeeding, not keeping people down. “It may take longer than it should, but we always get it right, eventually.” Of course, it’s short lived because Carolyn’s opium kicked in and she heard none of that. And at that moment, we hear thumping and Billem saying, “Oh my God!” before emerging with a cigarette to tell Carolyn she can stay in her house. Fanny says the Christmas spirit must have gotten inside of him, and, well, that’s one way to put it.

After seeing that (very specific) story, the group has new feelings about Christmas. But, you know, then they learn that Carolyn served four years in prison, John Patrick died at sea, and Billem was convicted of sodomy. But Fanny was the first woman to vote in New York! Oh, um, she was also the first woman murdered for voting in New York. So there’s that. In any case, it’s a reminder to the group that things are better now than they used to be. Jack says, “The arc of history is long, but it bends toward justice,” which should be a Martin Luther King Jr. quote, but turns out Jack dated a guy named Justice and the arc of history is what they called his…oh, never mind.

At the end of the night, the bells strike midnight, and that 65 degree weather somehow produces the snow that Karen promised Jack. Grace erupts into a rendition of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and you know what? It is a merry little Christmas, with its own set of episode bloopers.

Some Christmas Notables

  • BIG shoutout to Grace Adler as Barbra Streisand as Fanny Brice. Would like a recreation of that Debbie wall portrait, too.
  • “Karen promised me a Christmas miracle, and rich people don’t lie” — Jack
  • “I was downstairs, ringing the Christmas goose” — Billem
    “Don’t you think you should do that in private?” — Fanny
  • “Who loves women, survived scurvy, and has big news!?” — John Patrick
  • “1888 called. They’d like their drapes back” — Carolyn
  • And most importantly, Beverley Leslie’s hot boyfriend Benji still exists in 1912.

God bless us, every one. And see you, Will, Grace, Jack, and Karen in the New Year.

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