Thursday, November 29, 2018

REVIEW: 'Will & Grace' - Will Has an Honest Conversation with His Mother After a Sudden Loss in 'So Long, Division'

NBC's Will & Grace - Episode 10.07 "So Long, Division"

Will convinces Grace that her boyfriend, Noah, isn't in the wrong by refusing to let her meet his daughter, Katie. When Grace goes to apologize to Noah, she unintentionally meets Katie. Will's mom, Marilyn, visits after the death of her beloved dog, and becomes upset when she doesn't get the emotional support she expects from her son. Jack gets into an argument with his rec center boss, Theo.

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.

"So Long, Division" was written by Adam Barr and directed by James Burrows

This episode is played as the second half of a two-parter alongside "Kid 'N Play." However, the only major story to really carry over is the tension in Grace and Noah's relationship after the reveal that he has a teenage daughter. Yes, there are still plenty of jokes about Jack putting on a play about Abraham Lincoln having a gay romance. And yet, that's not the basis for Jack's story here. In fact, his story is the most inessential of the hour because it's far removed from everything else that happens to be going on. He's getting into a debate over which group of marginalized people has suffered the most. It all ends with the positive message of everyone needing to respect the suffering of others and only then can unity really occur. But that's also a simple and concise way to close this story that mostly just tries to bring some levity to everything else that is happening here. With Grace, she is upset that Noah loves her but doesn't want to introduce her to his daughter, Katie. He wants to be absolutely sure about their relationship before making that introduction. He doesn't want Katie to get hurt after forming a bond with Grace. It takes Will pointing out the honor in Noah's actions for Grace to actually see his point. This is what she should want from dating a single parent. She wants to know that Noah is a smart and responsible parent. Moreover, she actually likes Katie too. Sure, it's awkward how she thought she wouldn't run into the daughter when going over to Noah's house in the hopes of making things up with him. It's even more ridiculous that she tries to pose as the new math tutor. That's a joke that doesn't really work at all and fortunately isn't dragged out for too long. And yet, the basis of this story is Noah operating as if this relationship is going to end even though he loves it right now. Grace can't have that mentality in her life. She needs to hope for the best. She needs to believe this relationship can work for the rest of their lives. She doesn't want to be realistic in that regard. She wants to believe in the fairy tale aspect of this story. Noah is able to give that to her. And so, they are still stable as a couple. This is just the biggest hurdle that they've had to overcome so far. But they succeed in doing so which may only make them stronger. Meanwhile, Will has a tense but honest conversation with his mother as well. She's upset because one of her dogs has died. Will isn't willing to give her any support because she is showing more emotion to the loss of a dog than she has ever done in any previous circumstance. He didn't see her this upset when his father died. He believed that she was coping well with that sudden tragedy. This is the first time the show has really talked about the impact of Will's father dying. It has told many stories about the loss of Grace's mom. But the absence of Will's father is just as important - especially now that Marilyn and Martin are married which makes Will and Grace siblings. Will has never had a close relationship with his parents. They are just emotionally distant people. As such, he doesn't know how to react in this situation. He can't replace the dog with a new one. Of course, that gives Karen a pet in her life for the first time. And yet, all of this has a sweet ending with Will promising to have a stronger relationship with his mother moving forward. He has to put in the work to be a part of her life and she has to be willing to accept that this is the relationship they have which shouldn't be compared to anyone else's.