Will & Grace Season 3, Episode 15
Posted by Sarah
Fifteen episodes into this season, and I’m FINALLY getting finale vibes. After weeks of trying to figure out what the hell is happening to my show, “Broadway Boundaries” felt like we finally cut our way through the weeds to let the end come into view. And now that the end is in view, everything in this episode had that extra dash of feels. From Will and Grace finding out the gender of their babies, to Will and Jenny having a true heart to heart about their future, to Karen making sure Jack knows how important he is to her, there was so much of what I love about this show baked into these thirty minutes. And it was truly an instance of me getting hit with how much I’m going to miss having these characters back in my life the way they have been for the last three seasons.
We’ve got a lot to cover, so let’s dig in!
I’m not a huge fan of gender reveals, but since they continue to be a thing in this day and age, I guess it was only natural that Will and Grace would have one. Will is over the moon excited to find out that he’s having a girl, and doesn’t hesitate to call Jenny – who’s out to lunch with an old boyfriend – to tell her the good news. But while he keeps using language like “we” and keeps poking his nose into Jenny’s love life, Jenny keeps trying to remind him about boundaries and the fact that, at the end of the day, this surrogacy is a business transaction. That doesn’t stop Will, though. After a random coming out phone call from Dr. DiLorenzo (you know, that hair plug doctor from the beginning of the season that you probably forgot about, because this season is all about bringing back characters that were definitely fine as a one-off), Will takes this opportunity to ask him on a lunch date, using him to spy on Jenny. And it goes exactly as well as you’d think it would.
Was bringing Dr. DiLorenzo back necessary at all? Absolutely not. Did I enjoy the hell out of him anyway? ABSOLUTELY YES. Something about him trying to get the snapping down really sent me, and I’m fine with it. Jenny, however, is not as amused as I am now that she’s caught Will red-handed. She’s obviously and rightfully upset. It doesn’t matter how much Will cares about her and it doesn’t matter how good his intentions are; it doesn’t erase the fact that this is a clear overstep of boundaries. But once they sit down to have a heart to heart, Will does his best to explain how much she means to him, even if he makes a few missteps because of how much he cares.
Will’s not the kind of person to just forget about someone like Jenny after she has his baby, and he’s not going to quit until Jenny realizes it. It’s one of the things I love most about him; he can’t just flip a switch that tells him to stop caring about someone he’s gotten to know and grow fond of over these last few months, especially when that someone has given him this incredible gift. It’s so heartwarming how adamant he is in refusing to close off that space in his heart for Jenny once his daughter is born. So when Will tells Jenny, “I have so much love for you, and I don’t know what to do with it,” the impact is incredible, because you know how true it is. And you can tell how much love Jenny has for Will, too. Neither of them want to lose this connection, but thanks to Jenny’s prior experience with surrogacy, she’s wary of getting too attached. Will’s not giving up, though. He wants to do this their way. He wants Jenny to be part of his life. And Jenny’s willing to work through her doubts to keep him in hers. Which is honestly how it should be. Jenny was such a great addition to the Will & Grace family; she fit in so perfectly that any other ending to this plot would have flown directly in the face of everything that had been established over the season. It’s a wonderfully happy ending to Demi Lovato’s run on this show.
And as for Dr. DiLorenzo? Jenny’s ex just asked him to cosign a loan, so…you know…that’s clearly happily ever after right there.
Okay, who had Grace monologuing to a balloon on their “What the Hell is This Final Season?” bingo card? (Actually, I wasn’t mad about it; I swear I wasn’t. I just never in a million years thought that this would be a thing, but here we are.)
We’ve seen Grace worry about her age during this pregnancy, as well as worrying about being a single parent and doing this on her own. But we haven’t really seen her worry about what kind of parent she’s going to be until now. Seeing how excited Will is about having a girl and not a boy throws Grace into a panic; now, she’s not sure how she feels about any of this and doesn’t want to know what she’s having just yet. She’s completely freaking out here. On one hand, if she has a girl, she’s convinced she’s only going to model Bobbi’s parenting skills and end up messing her daughter up for life. On the other hand, if she has a boy, she’s convinced she’s going to parent him to the point of him becoming a complete mama’s boy. While I don’t have kids and don’t plan to, I’m sure this kind of thought process has gone through so many parents’ minds at one time or another; that self doubt just feels inevitable to me when you’re faced with the prospect of being responsible for a whole other human being. And we all know Grace has a tendency to spiral and spiral fast; so that worry mixed with Will’s excitement over getting the gender reveal he had been hoping for was just a recipe for disaster. It’s no surprise that the thoughts racing through Grace’s head become too much for her. And even though she immediately regrets it, it’s no real surprise that she would end up doing something so seemingly final as throwing the balloon off the balcony instead of popping it and getting it over with.
I feel like there’s some alternate version of this plot out there in some other timeline, where Will’s with her as she has this freakout, and is trying to talk her down throughout all of this. And if I’m being honest, I kind of love that that isn’t the plot we got. For a hot second, I thought Nurse Sheila was going to be the weird voice of reason when Grace calls to try to find out the gender of her baby after throwing away the balloon, but in true Sheila fashion, she’s of no help. But I like that Grace is working this out for herself. I like that she’s not being swayed by someone else’s input. You know that no matter what that gender balloon revealed, she’s going to love her child. But once she miraculously gets the balloon back and accidentally pops it, and once she reveals to her friends that she’s having a boy, that happiness is all hers. It’s the kind of happiness that instantly melts away any kind of doubt. It’s a happiness that’s instinctive, that doesn’t come from having someone else keep reassuring her that it doesn’t matter what that balloon reveals, that tells her what she already knew deep down. It was a truly lovely moment to see the sheer joy on Grace’s face (along with the glitter), and it just filled me to see her share that with the people she loves the most.
So, it’s all happy endings for Will and Grace. But Jack and Karen have got some exciting things on their horizon, too.
The Millstones are playing for the championship title, and our favorite sidekicks are in Blattsville for the big game. But just as the biggest day in Karen’s career as an owner gets underway, Jack gets word that he scored a Broadway audition. Karen helps him prepare as much as she can, but once the game hits a critical point, Jack has a crisis of faith in himself. He’s convinced that he’s not a Broadway caliber actor and never will be, he’s questioning whether or not he can even do this at all. He’s not about to take away from Karen’s day, though, telling her she better get out there and support her team.
But for Karen, choosing between the game and Jack is a no-brainer.
Kids, you know how much I love a good Karen Walker Feels Things™ moment, and this was one for the books. It was a moment reminiscent of the original series finale. It was this episode’s equivalent of Jack and Karen twenty years into the future, living together at the manse, while Karen points out how they’ve been together longer than they’ve been with any of their husbands or boyfriends; honestly, if they had broken out into another duet of “Unforgettable” this time around, it would have felt right to melt into the puddle of never ending tears that moment always reduces me to. But duet notwithstanding, Karen telling Jack how much their relationship means to her in this most recent episode was more affecting for me somehow. Sure, we’ve seen Karen go through the divorce process with Stan and dive into a couple of failed relationships during the original run. But we’ve spent far more time watching Karen move through her divorce with Stan in this revival. We’ve seen how hard she’s had it at times, how much she’s actually had to go through. So when she tells Jack that their friendship is the most successful relationship of her life, it hits harder. And when she tells him exactly what he does for her (”When I’m down, you make me believe that something great is just around the corner”), we already have a laundry list of instances in the last season alone that fit the bill, and you know just how important having that in her life is to her. And by the time Karen hits that final note of encouragement (“You’re a dreamer, Jackie. It’s the very best part of you.”), I’m so far deep in my feelings that it’s no use trying to climb back out of them. This exchange is the embodiment of what this show has always meant to me; I’m so glad Jack and Karen got this moment, and I’m so glad we as an audience got this moment.
In the end, everything’s coming up Poodle and Kare. Karen takes Jack to his audition. Jack nails it and gets the part. The Millstones win the title, Karen finally gets to stick it to Stan and Danley, and no longer wanting the responsibility of owning the team, gives the Millstones to Friday (sorry, not Friday…we’re back to Amy now). And they both make it back to 9C in time to hear Grace’s big news and love on their friend. It all played overwhelmingly like a show that knows it’s in its very final episodes, and frankly, that’s what I need right now. I need to be in my feelings about the end. I need the reasons why I love this show to be right in front of me. Not as a reminder, even though the choices that have been made this season have made me want to yell and throw my TV out the window. But as a way to be surrounded by all the best things about Will & Grace until the very end, to get as much of it as I possibly can before we hit that final episode.
Even with how off the rails as this season has been, it’ll be too hard to say goodbye again. I wasn’t ready the first time, and I won’t be ready this time. But it’s plots like this that get to the heart of why it’ll be too hard. And if I’m being completely honest, I’m glad it’ll be too hard. Because it proves just how wonderful this show has been over the years. It proves that that impact isn’t going away any time soon.
Honey…What’s This? What’s Happening? What’s Going On?
- GRACE FINALLY HAS A BUMP FIFTEEN EPISODES IN, WHAT IS LIFE.
- Tag yourself, I’m Karen popping Will’s balloon to get this gender reveal party over with.
- “Honey, I’ve got nothing prepared. I barely know where I am right now.” God love you, Karen Walker.
- Get yourself a friend who will score your powerful DiGiorno commercial audition pep talk with dramatic music he has at the ready on his phone.
- In a pretty cool detail, all of the Millstone team uniforms have the last names of some of the show’s creators, director, writers, and producers on them. During my watches, I caught David Kohan, Max Mutchnick, James Burrows, Steve Sandoval, Jon Kinally, John Quaintance, and Tim Kaiser being represented in that locker room.
- Can we talk about how this was the one time Grace’s voice didn’t do that weird tone deaf vibrato thing when she sang that messed up lullaby Bobbi used to sing to her? (I’m not counting the time she sang with Will on the rooftop before her wedding to Leo, because that was clearly a choice to not ruin the gravity of that moment.)
- “So much to process being newly gay. Actually, I’ve known for 26 years, but Saturday, I tried on a pair of short shorts and said, ‘These legs belong on a man’s shoulders.’”
- Jack and Karen mention that this is Jack’s first Broadway audition, but season four’s “A Buncha White Chicks Sittin’ Around Talkin’” begs to differ.
- I…would like to know more about the gun Jack threw in the river for Karen?
- Was I supposed to get emotional when Karen finally called Friday by her given name? Because it happened, and I’m fine with it.
- Finally, a programming note: the next episode is the show’s tribute to I Love Lucy, and I can not tell you how excited I am about this one. I grew up idolizing Lucille Ball, and had the Vitameatavegamin commercial memorized almost as soon as I saw it when I was single digits…you know, like any run-of-the-mill child of the 90’s. I know this season has been weird to say the least. But I also know they know how much Lucy means to so many people, so while I’ve been wary about most of the decisions that have been made this year, I actually have faith in this episode. And I can’t wait to geek out about it in the next recap.
What did you think of “Broadway Boundaries?” Let’s chat in the comments!
Featured Image Source: Chris Haston/NBC