Will & Grace Season 2, Episode 8
Posted by Sarah
Did you ever watch “Love Plus One” from season three, get invested in the hijinks that came along with Will feeding Jack lines via headset in a Banana Republic changing room to make Patrick Dempsey think Jack’s smart, and wonder what it would be like if the roles were reversed? Me either, but I’ll gladly accept the reverse “Love Plus One” scenario this week’s episode had going on. Because sometimes, lust makes you do things like adopt the persona of your best friend and give a hot news anchor the performance of a lifetime. And sometimes, you end up defending your best friend to said hot news anchor in a moment that makes some people add it to the pile of evidence that the two of you are headed straight towards Endgame City. This storyline had “Classic Will & Grace” written all over it, and it was so much fun to watch.
And in other news: KAREN WALKER DESERVES BETTER. I mean, good lord…Stan is acting like he never did a single thing to hurt Karen in their entire marriage, and I have had it with him OFFICIALLY. But at least we got Minnie Driver back this week in a plot that made way more sense to have her in than “Rosario’s Quinceañera” did last season. And we got a moment between Karen and Lorraine that ended up making me unexpectedly emotional? Not to mention Grace is off dancing in Spanx in the middle of all of that in an attempt to help Karen. And honestly, that’s friendship.
We’ve got a lot to unpack this week, so let’s get to it!
While Will and Jack are at the coffee shop, Will’s reading up on what’s going on in Venezuela when Jack thinks he should be checking out the guys. He is a professor now, after all; he should totally be playing up that vibe. Which is exactly what Will intends to do when local news anchor McCoy Whitman walks in the door (I feel like that name lets you know EXACTLY what level of douche this guy is right off the bat?). Jack, however, instantly pegs McCoy for someone who doesn’t really go for the intelligent type, and he is right on the money; the second Will starts to say things he’d think someone like that would go for, McCoy latches onto it and asks him out. So what do you do when you’ve got a date with someone who’s got a definite type, and you’re definitely not that type?
You employ the help of the friend McCoy assumes is the smart one (I mean, the glasses definitely helped, Jack).
When Jack comes by unannounced for dinner and realizes Will is cooking McCoy a meal with a name he isn’t supposed to know how to pronounce, in an apartment full of books that definitely makes it looks like a smartie lives there, he knows his friend needs help to land this guy. The plan is…simple? All they have to do is pretend like this is Jack’s apartment that Will sometimes uses, and he’s actually the one who cooked the meal. But when Will still doesn’t think he can pull it off, Jack reassures him that he’s got this: all he has to do is think of a person in his life who isn’t particularly bright and act like them. And I wonder who Will ends up picking?
Guys, Will’s Jack impersonation is so on point, I can’t stand it. The dramatic entrance, the exaggerated Cher impression, the patented three-named celebrity exclamation. All of it is so brilliant, and it’s clearly working for McCoy. But it isn’t until Will says his dream is to bring back his one-man show Watch Will (maybe not quite the same ring that Just Jack has to it?) that Jack fully understands what’s going on and pulls his friend out into the hallway. But instead of yelling at Will for picking him as the model for this little experiment, Jack’s flattered by it. According to him, “You could have chosen anybody to be that hottie’s ultimate boy toy, and you picked me. And that means so much.” I honestly love how I was almost expecting Jack to be upset and yet I was in no way surprised that he was honored by it? He wants to milk it for all it’s worth, too; now that he’s monogamish with Estefan, he needs to live vicariously through Will as he pursues McCoy. So when the right moment finally comes to leave Will and McCoy alone, Jack tries to make his exit, and is almost successful…until McCoy stops him to pick his brain about what’s happening in Venezuela.
When it becomes glaringly obvious that Will and Jack essentially switched roles, McCoy immediately loses interest in Will and sets his sights on Jack, calling him an idiot like that’s a good thing to say to someone you’re hot for. And Will refuses to let his best friend be disrespected like that. He stands up to McCoy, telling him Jack was the one who had him figured out from the get go and realizing just how insecure McCoy is if he refuses to be challenged by his dates. When McCoy finally leaves, Jack can’t believe Will just blew his chance at a one night stand with him (semi-unrelated sidenote, but I love how Elizabeth seems to be Jack’s default name for people? I mean, yes, he middle named Will with it in this episode, but also, remember how he refused to call his Out TV assistant Dave by any name other than Elizabeth in the original run?) and walks out in disgust. Or, to be more accurate, “disgust.” Because he circles back for an insanely endearing moment that made my whole heart swell.
Look, I have never once pictured Will and Jack being anything more than friends during the original run. I don’t know what it is about the revival, but the last two seasons have been particularly heavy on the moments that make me think they’re preparing us for these two to be endgame; the end of this episode is no exception. And the more I think about being a possibility, the more I kind of want it? I know I’ve touched on this last season, but it bears repeating: clearly, throwing the two of them into a relationship in the middle of the series would mess with the dynamic and be a detriment to the show. BUT…if they happen to end up together when this show eventually does end for a second time? I think I’d actually really like that. This show keeps throwing these little moments between them at us, and you can only take so much before you start to give in.
Maybe I’m off base here. Maybe I’m not. All I know is I got a text from my mom, who usually accuses me of reading too much into these things, as she was watching this episode that just said “Jack and Will are going to end up together,” so I feel pretty vindicated.
One more thing about this storyline: about a month and a half ago, it was reported that Matt Bomer was getting three additional episodes this season. But this episode felt like a definitive once and done for McCoy Whitman to me. So I’m just not sure how McCoy is supposed to come back from this disaster of a date, ESPECIALLY after Will stood up for Jack the way he did. Maybe this is just the season of boyfriends who don’t make sense (looking at you, Noah Broader). Or maybe they’ll actually find a way for McCoy to show up again and not make me ask why he’s there. Only time will tell. But I am curious to see how that plays out in the new year.
But for now, let’s turn to my girls and my overwhelming rage towards Stanley Walker.
A call from Divorce Lawyer brings Karen some bad news; it turns out that Stan has photographic evidence of her affair with Malcolm (which…how?), and it could severely limit how much money she gets from the divorce. As she unpacks what she’s just learned with Grace, she lets her friend know that it isn’t really about the money; in her words, “It’s about how after everything Stan’s put me through, he wins.” Look, I know I’m biased as hell because Karen’s my favorite, but the defeat in her voice in that moment broke me; she is really going through it this season, and I feel for her so much. Grace does, too, and immediately brings up the fact that Stan had been cheating on Karen long before Karen started things up with Malcolm. But without any evidence, there’s no way Karen can prove it. And who in their right mind would still carry around photographs from their long-dead affair?
Oh, come on. We all know the answer to that one.
I will never get over how amazing Debra Messing’s physical comedy game is. The fact that Grace kept her Spanx on was such a brilliant choice (not to mention the way she shouts at the men booing her, defending that choice), and that coupled with her bad back made for a hilarious moment on that stage. It’s fair to say that her performance isn’t going to gain her access to any gross photos of Stan. But that’s cool, because Karen has a plan of her own. And after they get the pleasantries out of the way – “Hello, Lorraine. You’re looking…that’s all I got.” – they finally get a chance to talk to one another.
Again, Lorraine is of the mind that Karen thinks she’s better than her, and again, that’s the reason she refuses to give up the pictures on the phone she’s got on her. But where Grace wasn’t able to give a reason as to why they’re more alike than Lorraine thinks, Karen’s got a direct line to her that proves they’re the same: “Neither of us had it easy, and we were both screwed and screwed over by the same man.” Honestly, that is so laser accurate. We don’t know much about Karen’s past, but what we do know of it is filled her mother’s bad decisions and their aftermath. And Stan essentially abandoned both of them; it’s the reason Lorraine ended up back at the strip club (“Also, I love it”). In that moment, they are more connected than they have been before, and Karen wants to give Lorraine a farewell she can truly appreciate: a lap dance.
It just so happens that lap dance has an ulterior motive; by the time Karen’s finished, she’s grabbed what she came there to get through the old “suck up the phone during a lap dance” trick (and if you think that’s not possible, let me remind you that Karen’s ability to crack a walnut and tie knots in cherry stems using similar methods is very much canon). Lorraine’s not even mad about it; there’s a definite sense of respect when she realizes what just happened. And it’s enough for her to let Karen go with her blessing:
Lorraine: Take that fat bastard for everything he’s got.
Karen: Oh, you know I will, honey.
Was that supposed to make me feel all of the things? Because it really did. And I don’t know if it’s because I have been so insanely sick of Stan and the shit he’s put Karen through this season (and honestly, the original run too), or because these two had a genuine bonding moment after so many years of rivalry, realizing that they’re not so different from each other after all, or if it’s a mix of both. But with all that Karen has been going through lately, seeing that she has support from one of the unlikeliest places warms the hell out of my heart. And for the love of god, I really hope they have a solid romantic interest lined up for my girl in the episodes to come. After all of this, she deserves someone who actually knows how to treat her the way she deserves to be treated. And if I’m asking for stuff, would it kill them to let it be a woman? (I’m not going to lie…I saw the announcement of Samira Wiley’s three episode arc and storyline with Karen, and my mind instantly shot to the possibility that I could finally stop yelling about how they should just give Karen a girlfriend already. For all I know, that’s nowhere near what’s going to happen, but for now I’m living in a very happy place.)
Give Karen Walker Somebody Worthy of Her 2K19.
Honey…What’s This? What’s Happening? What’s Going On?
- Shout out to Adam Rippon’s barista character at the top of the episode.
- I would just like to point out that I have, on MANY occasions, told someone that RuPaul’s Drag Race gives me life.
- A manatee in sock garters is a definite image, thanks Karen.
- Jack’s look of confusion when Will tells him how to put the finishing touches on the meal is the look I get on my face when I try to cook literally anything.
- Honestly, I was enjoying Jack in glasses and I think that needs to happen more often.
- Grace trying to make change out of Lorraine’s tips is everything.
- “I’m not really a dancer. I’m more of a singer…ballads, mostly.”
- “PISS OFF DOUG, I’M HAVING A TENDER MOMENT WITH ME MOTHER!” Because nothing says stepmother/stepdaughter bond like a lap dance.
- “If I had any more degrees, I’d be a thermometer.” Using this the next time I need to lighten up the fact that I racked up a ton of debt obtaining three degrees, and I ended up in a job that uses none of them.
What did you think of “Anchor Away?” Let’s chat in the comments. And I’ll be back in January when our Fab Four return for the new year.
Featured image source: NBC