Oh, honey! Welcome back.
Since we last spoke, I watched seven seasons of Designing Women, had a working lunch with Vicki Lawrence, Reba McEntire, and Tanya Tucker (but only her B-side), and have been waving through a window ever since, and good God and Barry Manilow am I exhausted! But still we meet here at this bath house of a recap every week to discuss the newest episode, check out cute fans in the comments section, and live our truths. Because if we can’t trust each other, who can we trust? Our ex-husbands? Too soon, I suppose because that’s where we’re at this week. Let me explain.
We start the episode with a win! Jack has landed a gig as a dog food spokesperson. Well, mostly. It’s between him and three other guys, and Jack is STOKED. Karen wants to take him out to celebrate. Jack has a temp job to go to, but Karen educates him on how to call out of it because Karen is a professional at calling out on Grace. And speaking of Grace, she appears in a VERY festive dress looking radiant because she’s going
on a date wait, sorry…to the gyno? Jack and Will are not having it, even after Grace makes the argument that they “both came out of vaginas.”
“Not me,” Jack says. “I’m a platinum-star gay.”
- Gold-star gay: Never been with a woman
- Platinum-star gay: Never been with a woman, and also born via c-section
And that throws us right into the gyno (okay, not my best phrasing) with Nurse Sheila, whom you may remember from past seasons at the sperm bank. If you really care, you also know that Laura Kightlinger, who plays her, is a writer and consulting producer on the show. It turns out Grace has some abnormalities and could have cancer, so they’ve called her emergency contact and OH MY CHER, it’s Harry Connick Jr. It’s a startling reminder that he’s dreamy but also the worst part of Hope Floats, and also that you should regularly be updating your emergency contacts. How did this happen? Well, Grace had Karen chan — oh…
Anyway, Jack heads to his temp job to meet up with Alvin to do some theater work, but it’s not what he expected at all. Just as he’s about to bail, he gets the notice that he didn’t get that commercial, which means he’s stuck with the theater program at the Boys and Girls Club of the Bronx and stuck with Alvin (not like ALLLVIIIIN, because that joke is tired).
So Jack dives in. His first lesson is that acting is about rejection, and if they’re not interested in acting, they should LEAVE. He wants their undivided attent — oh, Karen shows up! She pops a squat and waits until Jack is finished so they can do some beep boop (that’s Molly).
Leo grabs Grace from the gynecologist and takes her home, where she promises she’ll change her emergency contact. He says it’s not a problem, and they launch back into that Leo-and-Grace banter, and you know what? I didn’t really notice before, but Debra and Harry have serious chemistry. Grace isn’t feeling it, so she tells Leo to leave because she can handle this on her own. But as soon as she opens the door, she crashes into Will’s metaphorical arms. And when Leo overhears, he agrees: Will should have been her emergency contact because Will will always be her person, and boy, Grace does not like that. (Recap continues on page 2)
Back at Jack’s theater class, Karen has it out with one of the kids, who asks about the lady doctor. Karen shuts her down, but the girl lives with her dad and brother, so there’s clearly a lack of information in her household. When Karen wants more information though, the girl shuts her right back down until Karen declares they’re done. Period. Do you get it? PERIODS. Okay, moving on. Jack continues to work on his theater class, which is having trouble performing. But when Jack gives young Jordan a pep talk, he shines, and Jack takes all the credit.
Elsewhere, Will shows up ready to take Grace’s mind off her near-cancer, but the thing is, Grace is cancer free. At least literal cancer free. She’s at a new place, wondering if her relationship with Will actually ruined her marriage. That’s when Will launches into what’s been plaguing him all episode: Princess Diana. It’s at this point I’m going to step aside, because your girl here…she knows about Princess Diana. And when Will launches into his sadness at watching the remastered wedding and funeral, I get that. This metaphor he’s leaning into is good.
Will brings up how he and Grace both hated Camilla Parker Bowles, Duchess of Cornwall (JUSTIFIABLY because she’ll never be England’s rose, but I digress). But ultimately, Camilla didn’t break up Diana and Charles. She just helped her realize that the storybook romance wasn’t true. Somehow, Leo is Diana in all of this, and Will is Camilla. And ultimately, Grace and Leo’s marriage ended because they weren’t happy.
Back at the Boys and Girls Club, Karen takes that nice girl on her period under her wing. She tells her own story of her first period in the summer of fifty, um, sixty, well…’79. Karen’s mom gave scotch to everyone in the neighborhood. When her new friend says, “You’re not really mean, are you?” Karen erupts, only to bring her close, tap her nose, and say, “Mind your own business.”
Elsewhere, Grace shows up to educate Leo on why their marriage ended. She insists that it wasn’t because of Will, and he agrees. It was because Grace couldn’t forgive him for cheating the first time. And she realizes that, too. She tells him that she doesn’t have cancer, but he already knows. He spoke with Will. As she goes to leave, he says, “You took my heart,” prompting Grace to launch into a speech about how he took hers, but they’ll find love again. But, you see, Grace actually took his heart, because she knocked over his anatomical model, and the heart fell into her purse.
When Leo goes to retrieve his heart, he and Grace launch into a passionate kiss. But that’s all it is…a kiss. He says, “See ya around, Adler,” and as the door closes, she says, “Last word,” because that’s Grace.
So, there we are. If the first episode tried too hard and the second episode felt like old times, the third episode of season 9 took us to a new place, a strange world that works perfectly with the times we’re in — recognizing the beautiful relationships of the past, the future we have ahead, and, of course, Princess Diana.