Will & Grace Season 2, Episode 12
“The Real McCoy”
Posted by Sarah
Remember last week, when I said Will deserved to be with someone worthy of him? Yeah…I’m not entirely sure that someone is McCoy Whitman. But at least the guy is trying? And maybe now that he’s gotten the creepy Google Earth His Mom’s House phase out of him, this prospect will finally start to look up. On the other hand, this week we got yet another A+ storyline courtesy of everyone’s favorite batshit crazy neighbor, Val Bassett. Honestly, the fact that they used a callback to season four’s “Fagel Attraction” to rope Val in to the New York Society of Interior Designers was kind of brilliant, and I am always game to see Molly Shannon do her insanely hilarious thing on this show.
We’ve got hawks and second chances and a shiny new president of the People Who Tell People Where to Hang Wallpaper to discuss, so let’s get down to business!
Jack’s finished the seating chart for his wedding, and he is adamant that he takes no pleasure in seating Will at the singles table (pay no attention to the fact that he can’t complete a sentence about it without laughing all over the place). And while Will fully intends to bring a date to this shindig, it’s not like he has any options at the moment. That is, until he and Grace watch the news coverage of the rare red-tailed hawk that built a nest on the ledge of their building, and he’s reminded of the date he once had with the show’s main anchor. Just like that, Will brings McCoy back to 9C for a second chance. And considering how the last date went, it’s going as well as you’d expect it to. McCoy is still stuck in his douchey “Look at how great I am” mode, and Will is just so over it (as am I). So Will tries a different path; he tells McCoy that he doesn’t need to try so hard, that what he really wants is to get to know who McCoy is underneath the surface.
Be careful what you wish for, Will. Because the McCoy that’s underneath the surface is a McCoy who can’t stop crying because Will’s the first person who’s ever wanted to dig deeper with him, who thinks that the story of the hawk was fate since he couldn’t stop thinking about Will, and who’s about to dive head first into a relationship that isn’t even technically a relationship yet. Buckle the hell up.
When Jack accidentally crashes Will’s date to hand him his wedding invite (with “Will Truman plus zero” printed in what I can only imagine is the fanciest font available), Will is all too eager to let him know that he’s inviting the hottest guy in the city to the wedding. And when Jack doesn’t believe him, McCoy conveniently comes out of the bathroom after having a moment to collect himself, and Will ceremoniously asks McCoy to the wedding. Of course, McCoy accepts and of course Jack freaks out about it as he makes his exit. But where Will just thinks this is a casual victory, getting back at Jack for making fun of him about being single, McCoy thinks this is a big step in their relationship. And after the two celebrate in bed, McCoy is all too eager to send flowers and champagne and whimsical socks the next day…you know, along with doing the whole “I love you” thing literally the day after they reconnect. Yikes, man.
Look, I get not being used to someone wanting to be with you for who you really are instead of some idea of you. And I get that you might start to feel things about that someone pretty quickly. But damn, sir, learn to read a room. It’s not like they had a great start to begin with (lest we forget the events of “Anchor Away”), and now with all of this piled on top of their disastrous first date, Will decides he can’t take it and promptly gets the hell out of there, dumping McCoy and leaving him to mope in the hallway. Which is exactly where Jack finds him during a patented heated phone call with his mother (bless). When he finds out that Will broke up with McCoy, Jack makes a conscious decision to put aside his personal feelings and helps McCoy get to the heart of the issue, that it can be hard to navigate being in love for the first time. And he does it in the most brilliantly Jack way possible:
Jack: It’s like when you first try cotton candy, and you think, “This is all I wanna eat and I wanna eat it all right now.” And your mom’s like, “You’re gonna get sick.” And you’re all, “I KNOW MY OWN BODY, JUDITH!” And you end up with blue vomit all over your clothes.
Never ever tell me that Jack McFarland is a superficial man. I have always held firm to the belief that he’s a far deeper person than a lot of people give him credit for, and this is just one more example for me to keep in my arsenal. The analogy he gives is absolutely perfect; you think it’s going to be a little ridiculous at first because he landed on cotton candy, but it quickly rises to a level that surprises you (and really, isn’t that Jack McFarland in a nutshell?). The fact that he’s able to help McCoy in his own way, despite the fact that he’s rooting against him, is incredible. He just wants Will to be happy, even if it means he can no longer joke about sticking his friend at the singles table. He’s precious, and we should protect him at all costs. Armed with this advice, McCoy goes to Will one more time and tells him that he knows he’s moving too fast. He’s never been in a real relationship before, but if Will is up for it, he’d really love to try again. And Will? Will’s got an appetite for a little cotton candy.
I’m still not completely sold on McCoy; “Anchor Away” just left a really bad taste in my mouth when it came to him. But once he got past the intensity of rushing through this newfound relationship, I could almost see the potential? He clearly saw how wrong he was about Jack being an idiot, and he’s clearly taking Jack’s advice to heart and trying to change his ways. I’m curious to see what the rest of the season has in store for Will and McCoy, and after this episode…dare I say, I’m hopeful?
Meanwhile, we’ve finally gotten back to Grace’s campaign to be the president of the New York Society of Interior Designers, and she’s in the home stretch now. The election is just around the corner, and she needs to make a last minute effort to drum up some more votes. With Karen as her campaign manager, that’s not really going to happen without my girl pulling some shady tricks to make sure that her girl wins. And with Val as a voting member of the guild thanks to that period where she became a designer because she could only self-soothe by pretending to be Grace, that election might be further out of reach than Grace expected it to be. Karen has a plan to get Val on board with Grace as president, but come on, you know it’s not going to be the most ethical thing in the world. And while Grace wants to do things by the book, she also wants to win the presidency. So she tells Karen to go do her thing and keep her out of the loop. Because that always works out so well, doesn’t it?
When Val swings by 9C, she’s decked out in a new wardrobe that honestly looks fantastic on her, and she reveals that Karen talked to her and said that Grace told her to buy her things so that she would vote their way. And maybe that’s not entirely factually accurate, but as long as it works, does it really matter? The thing is, Val refuses to vote for a dirty politician like Grace and decides the organization deserves a better president than that. And fueled by Article 172 of the bylaws that Grace completely didn’t know existed–girl, I know reading isn’t necessarily your favorite thing, but come on–Val lures Grace out onto the terrace with the false promise of a pizza-delivering drone and locks her out of the apartment so that she can throw her name into the election at the last minute.
Classic Val, you guys. Classic Val.
I don’t know if I was the only one, but the entire time Grace was on the ledge, I was getting strong I Love Lucy vibes the entire time (the “Lucy and Superman” episode in particular, which also has Lucy stuck on a ledge), and I was living for it. And I know this isn’t the first time I’ve told you that Debra Messing has given me Lucille Ball vibes, but I will stop saying that as soon as she stops doing it (and I don’t want her to stop doing it). The comedy here was just delightful. And when Grace is finally able to get off of that ledge–after being attacked by the hawk, naturally–and gets herself to the office for the election, her descent into madness is everything. Her clothes are torn, her hair is, to use Karen’s phrasing from the original run, “such a disaster, the Red Cross wouldn’t give it coffee,” and she’s frantically explaining her plight to the voters. After all of this, there’s no way Grace can pull off a win, right?
But there goes our dear Gracie Adler, defying all the odds and becoming president of the Helena Bonham Carter Something Something.
After everyone’s left, Grace can’t enjoy her victory, because “They knew I was corrupt and they voted for me anyway.” Karen, in her infinite wisdom, does her best to cheer her up (“Honey, they voted for you because you’re corrupt. Where have you been?”), but Grace isn’t sold just yet; she resolves to make it up during her tenure as president. But considering how rarely this season has touched upon the campaign until this point, are we really going to see that happen? Honestly, who knows. But this storyline was the kind of bonkers fun I live for, the kind that’s essentially guaranteed every time you hear that Molly Shannon is coming around again. And after last week’s episode, this felt like such an improvement. I just wish we could have gotten more of the campaign process beforehand; did this show even realize how much of a goldmine they were sitting on with these two in cahoots with each other?
Honey…What’s This? What’s Happening? What’s Going On?
- Malcolm is Karen’s plus one for Jack’s wedding, and…ugh. I guess this is a thing we have to deal with. Just refer back to last week’s recap for my feelings, and I’ll leave it at that for now.
- “You would have called me the wrong name in high school, and I would have let you.”
- Where’s the lie though:
- Real talk: if they could throw back to Val’s snow globes and that time she kept stealing Grace’s designs to destroy her business, then they could have easily checked to see whether or not they just accidentally killed off Stan’s first wife the other week. Just saying.
- “Would it have killed you to be nice to her?!” “Maybe!” I mean, seriously, we’re dealing with Val, that’s extremely valid.
- There’s something about Karen adamantly shouting about the stakes involved with The Presidency of the People Who Tell People Where to Hang Wallpaper that makes me lose it every time I see it. It seriously derailed my recap process for a hot second because I kept going back to it.
- “Mama will take care of this.” Yes, hello, I have fallen madly in love with Finger Guns Karen, and I do not wish to be saved. She can rig an election for me anytime.
- Jack has a place for Cher in the seating chart for his wedding, and my heart is so full. (But no seriously, petition for Cher to guest star on season three…her tour should be done by then, right?)
- Bless this show for bringing back the Judith phone calls. Also, LET JUDITH MCFARLAND VISIT HER SON 2K19.
- Aww, remember when Jack stalked Kevin Bacon? Those were fun times.
- Karen knows the bylaws of the New York Society of Interior Designers and Grace doesn’t, and I know that’s such a small thing about this episode, but I think it might be my favorite thing? (Besides Finger Guns Karen, of course.)
What did you think of “The Real McCoy?” Let’s chat in the comments.
Featured Image Source: NBC