Breaking down Dolly Parton's angelic Grace and Frankie cameo
Warning: Spoilers ahead for the series finale of Grace and Frankie.
Even angels work 9 to 5!
Netflix's beloved long-running comedy series Grace and Frankie might be laid to rest, but its two heroines aren't quite ready to step into the light — even if that light's gatekeeper is a delightful, blonde, mega country star.
In Grace and Frankie's finale episode, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin's titular characters are gathered with friends and family for Coyote (Ethan Embry) and Jessica's (Christine Woods) commitment ceremony. But when Grace steps in to interrupt Frankie, martini in hand, her drink spills onto Frankie's microphone, electrocuting them both.
The duo wake up in a vast white space (apparently the afterlife has a corporate office vibe), and marvel for a moment over the lack of arthritis pain before they hear a doorbell and, lo and behold, a door appears.
"Are you supposed to knock on heaven's door?" Frankie quips, before she and Grace walk past the threshold to find none other than Dolly Parton!
"Well, hi girls!" she says after a dramatic swivel in her CB2 desk chair (which is paired with a sleek lucite desk). She's not the Almighty, as she explains to Grace and Frankie, but your friendly neighborhood "working-class angel," Agnes.
Grace explains that there's been a mistake, which Agnes admits happens "now and again." The easy fix is a simple "RETURN" stamp on Grace's paperwork — but no stamp for Frankie. Her name is on The List.
"If I can't be with Grace, I'll be in so much emotional pain, all the cheese in heaven won't help," Frankie begs the angel. But rules is rules, as Agnes says, before watching as the two enemies-turned-friends give each other a heartfelt goodbye.
With their foreheads touching, Frankie tells Grace she wishes she knew her when she was a little girl, and Grace admits that if she had, she'd be "a totally different person." "I love you, Grace," Frankie says. "I love you too, Frankie," Grace answers. Agnes, for the love of God, how can you let them say goodbye?!
Turns out, she can't. Agnes interrupts the love fest by slyly suggesting that if she turns around and someone just happens to stamp Frankie's paperwork, well, she can't help that, can she? The women giddily stamp Frankie's paperwork together and get a quick goodbye from Agnes before waking up to a frenzy of family members wondering if they're okay. "A little jet-lagged, is all," Frankie reassures them.
In EW's first look at the final season of Grace and Frankie, co-creator Marta Kauffman said that having Parton on set was "the most awesome day."
"She was incredible. She was there. She was game. She knew her lines. She knew exactly what she wanted to do with it. She was funny. It was fantastic, and she's just so lovely. I mean, she's as lovely as you want her to be, as you imagine that she is," Kauffman gushed.
Fans will have to savor seeing Parton, Fonda, and Tomlin together — EW confirmed in 2019 that the previously-planned 9 to 5 sequel is no longer moving forward.