Jack and Estefan battle a mouse while Will & Grace deal with baby-fevered dog breeders and internalized homophobia.
One week after catching some heat for tackling bisexual erasure in a very topsy turvy way, Will & Grace doubles down and tackles internalized homophobia. Originally coded as a “PR nightmare for Karen’s baseball team,” Will helps smooth over the problematic remark made by a player and quickly realizes said player might be gay himself. Again, a compelling story with mixed results.
Continuing the puzzling theme of the episode, Grace spends quality time with her stepmother and Will’s mother, Marilyn (guest star Blythe Danner), who attempts to pawn off Grace’s baby on a wealthy, beagle-breeding couple. Meanwhile, Jack and Estefan chase a mouse around their apartment and have to deal with neither of Will and Grace’s heavy subject matter.
Let’s recap the latest episode of Will & Grace with the gang’s five sharpest burns.
1. “Can you imagine being a 50-year-old woman and having a baby by yourself? I mean, you would really have to be braindead.”
Will and Grace have Marilyn over for brunch, which gives them the perfect opportunity to break the news about their baby boom. Side note: How have they already been worried about getting their children into preschool, but they haven’t told their parents they’re having babies? Naturally, Marilyn expresses happiness for Will, but she’s critical of Grace’s decision to do it on her own. Little does Grace know, the dog breeders Marilyn connects her with for a potential designer job might have an ulterior motive.
2. “Throw in a bathtub full of poppers and a famous scientologist, and it’s every gay club from the ’80s.”
Karen, who’s absent for the episode (two of two for Megan Mullally’s mysterious leave of absence), calls on Will to handle a public relations dust up with her baseball team. Hector, one of the players, made a homophobic remark about a teammate, and it’s caused quite the firestorm. Will talks one on one with Hector in the locker room, where he catches Hector checking out another player. Last week, Will & Grace walked a fine line with bisexuality, and this week, it’s walking another tightrope with internalized homophobia. Can they stick the landing?
3. “You know, my son is having a baby… but this is more important to me.”
Marilyn brings over the couple who’s breeding her dog to meet with Grace about the interiors for their new penthouse. However, Marilyn quickly changes her agenda. The couple becomes interested in adopting Grace’s baby, and makes her jump through all the hoops of a show dog — almost literally. Grace realizes there’s something awry, and Marilyn admits to trying to “give her a way out.” In what world is this a good idea, Marilyn?! Oddly, Grace isn’t too angry and realizes Marilyn’s fear for Grace stems from her own past of raising children as a de facto single mother.
4. “Interesting fact: Gays drive cars! How do you think the Miata happened?”
When Will initially presses, Hector denies being gay. But he lets down his guard and admits to the pressure he feels from his Cuban father and career. He feels that he has too much riding on him (an endorsement with a car dealership!) and his family to come out. Will assures him that living his truth will mean more to the queer kids looking up to him than anything else. What doesn’t feel totally right about this storyline is the resulting association that “every man who makes a homophobic slur is secretly gay.” Internalized homophobia is real. That assumption is not.
5. “Well, first, you’re going to work on your eyebrows.”
Ultimately, Will talks Hector through a pivotal moment, a path toward coming out, and it’s a heartwarming ending to an otherwise rocky story. Will promises not to out Hector and allow him to do it on his own time. (We’re not even going to address Karen finding out via the camera in the locker room.) On a lighter note, the episode found Jack and Estefan battling a mouse in their apartment and bickering about who’s the Will, the smart one, and who’s the Grace, the dependent one. In the end, Grace catches the mouse, and suddenly they both want to be the Grace.
What did you think of the latest episode? Sound off in the comments!
Will & Grace airs Thursdays at 9/8c on NBC.