It was the biggest question mark following the January announcement that NBC would revive its hit comedy Will & Grace: How would the show handle its flash-forward series finale? As Must See TV watchers will recall, the two-parter ended with Grace’s (Debra Messing) grown-up daughter, Laila, marrying Will’s (Eric McCormack) son, Ben. Would the series become Will & Grace & Laila & Ben? Nope.
Last month, EW learned that creators David Kohan and Max Mutchnick would ignore the events of the finale.
“When the decision was made to bring the series back, we were like, well, we left them with kids, right?” Kohan told EW. “And if they have children, then it has to be about them being parents, ‘cause presumably it would be a priority in their lives. And if it wasn’t a priority in their lives, then they’re still parents, they’re just bad parents, right? We frankly did not want to see them being either good parents or bad parents. We wanted them to be Will and Grace.”
And so, with Thursday’s return, “Eleven Years Later,” we discovered how exactly they pulled it off.
We open on Will, Grace, Jack (Sean Hayes), and Karen (Megan Mullally) in Will’s apartment playing Heads Up! Well, Karen’s not so much playing as sleeping with her eyes open and clutching a martini glass. She awakes disoriented, having had a bizarre dream in which Will was married to a “swarthy man in uniform” and Grace was married to a “Jew doctor.” Not fake news, it turns out, but both couples are now divorced. Yet, the questions don’t stop there.
Karen: “What happened to the children you had who grew up and got married to each other?”
Will: “That never happened.”
Jack: “Yeah, I mean what would be funny about that?”
Karen: [Mimes a zero]
We hardly knew you, Laila and Ben! And with that bit of business dispatched, here’s a full status update on the fab foursome:
Grace: She’s in the middle of a divorce from husband Leo (Harry Connick Jr., who appears in the next episode) and is staying in Will’s apartment while the dust settles. Her interior design business seems to have gained a hunky assistant named Tony and still operates out of the REI flagship.
Will: He’s also single again, having parted ways with husband Vince (Bobby Cannavale). He continues to do lawyerly things.
Jack: The erstwhile actor was last seen living with Karen, but he’s been on a decade-long entrepreneurial journey, launching businesses that include Jack It Up energy drink, a stretch-and-kick workout titled Jack Be Nimble, and a pumpkin carving business called… Scary Orange Balls. He’s now back to living across the hall from Will and journeying inward.
Karen: Supports Trump and still likes the sauce.