Thursday, November 1, 2018

REVIEW: 'Will & Grace' - Grace Confronts Her Father About a Traumatic Experience in the Past in 'Grace's Secret'

NBC's Will & Grace - Episode 10.05 "Grace's Secret"

When Grace joins her father on a road trip, a secret from her past is finally revealed, causing father and daughter to address something that will change their relationship forever. Will, Karen and Jack celebrate Jack's engagement at a gay bar run by legendary drag queen Miss Coco Peru. When it's revealed that Jack has chosen both of them to be his best man, Will and Karen have a lip-sync monologue throwdown to determine who truly deserves the coveted title.

In 2018, it has become very difficult to keep up with every television show out there. It's even more difficult to provide adequate coverage on this site about the episodes that air every week. Not every show can get full coverage because of my busy and hectic viewing schedule. As such, some reviews will now be condensed to give only some summary thoughts. But it also affords a space for me to jot down my thoughts on the various episodes. And so, here are my thoughts on this week's episode of NBC's Will & Grace.

"Grace's Secret" was written by Suzanne Martin and directed by James Burrows

These last two episodes of Will & Grace have been very strong and powerful. They both function in a similar way too. Their success comes out of Will and Grace revealing some secrets from their teenage years to someone close to them who had no clue about them whatsoever. Previously, it has how Will had suicidal thoughts after coming out to Grace in college. And now, Grace tells her father the tragic story of how his best friend assaulted her when she was working for him at 15 years old. It's a heartbreaking story that should make any rational and empathetic person enraged. It's the kind of story that is all too familiar as well. Grace is only telling her father about it now because she needs him to understand that his sexist talk is painful to her. She wants him to be more aware of the world around him. The #MeToo climate of the world is more than just a simple joke. He has to take it seriously. He can't just excuse his behavior as being from a certain time and that he is too old to change now. Grace didn't want to go on this road trip with her father. She didn't even want to have a deep conversation with him. Will was the one who pushed her to have a genuine conversation with him that could open up a whole new level of respect between two adults. His suggestions don't lead anywhere though. Instead, true honesty comes from her talking about her own experience with sexual assault. This is only the second time that she has told someone about it as well. The first was her mother who told her to keep it a secret from her father because he could never understand. That's why Grace has been keeping this inside for all of these years. And yet, her father has long revered this guy and continues to bring up the story of how Grace stole money from him and never apologized for it. There is nothing that Grace can do now to have some sense of justice for what happened to her. Harry is already dead. His memory finally dies for Martin as well. It does forge a stronger bond between them. It proves that he is able to step up and be protective and understanding of his daughter now. He has a better reaction than Grace or Bobbi expected. That's very liberating as well. Hopefully, it leads to some true soul-reflection on his part as well. He still behaves in a suggestive way that can make women feel uncomfortable. Perhaps now he will adjust accordingly. It would be great if he came to that realization without having a personal connection to someone who has been abused by a man. And yet, it's important that he comes to that conclusion at all. That's the moral of this story. The show highlights how these are conversations that need to occur despite how painful they can be. It can be difficult talking with parents. But it can be rewarding as well if both sides are willing to understand the situation from the other perspective. Elsewhere, it's just fun to see Will and Karen compete to be Jack's best man. This friend group is so close with each other that that decision was always going to be difficult. As such, it felt inevitable that Jack would buck from tradition and have two best men at his wedding. He loves them both. But it's also just so amusing to see them compete in lip sync battles with iconic gay monologues to determine who is the better friend. They both do a stunning job as well - with it all having a solid punchline of Jack delivering his own monologue that will become infamous at this bar.