When a television show builds toward a big moment, it’s a whole lot of fun to pull the rug out just as it gets serious. Grace and Frankie picks up mere moments after the season one finale ended, with our titular ladies holding each other on the beach. Grace is single again. Frankie moved out of the house where she raised her children and slept with her ex-husband. Grace is right: It’s been an eventful ten hours.
When they arrive back at the house, we get our first G&F Bicker Session of the season and it’s fabulous. Grace wants to wash the sand off her feet, and Frankie screams “No! No! Drought!” and offers baby powder. Grace insists that the baby powder is hers, and Frankie, much like Pocahontas, knows that the baby powder isn’t just a dead thing one person can claim. Grace pulls an eyelash off of Frankie’s face, and wanting to share the moment, Frankie searches for an eyelash on Grace’s face and settles for an errant chin hair. We’ve all been there.
Grace and Frankie make a wish and Grace doesn’t wish for Phil, an old fling (and my current bae’s name so if this becomes a recurring story line, one of them is gonna need a nickname) to come back into her life. Frankie wishes to discover the real Frankie — the Frankie without Sol. If the post-breakup healing process is the same for seventies-plus women as it is for my college friends, this season Frankie will get an undercut and hook up with a guy at an MIT frat party.
Sol arrives back to his house, dreading telling Robert that he slept with Frankie. When he opens his front door, he finds Robert unconscious in the breakfast nook. That’s a tragically WASP-y sentence. He calls Frankie and his custom ringtone is “DON’T ENABLE HIM.” That’s way more sophisticated than just renaming your ex “asshole” in your phone contacts. Grace answers his call on Frankie’s behalf, and Frankie wants to know if Sol told Robert about “the bed sex.” Grace feels guilty that she pressed Sol to tell Robert. Get ready to explore everyone’s guilt this episode, because they’ve all got some!
Sol is arguing with a nurse about states of water when G&F storm in and Frankie immediately freaks out. Sol tries to get Frankie to just play it cool, but she has never in her entire life been physically or emotionally capable of “keeping it cool.” She finally, utterly breaks down, screaming her subtext: She’s a heartless monster with no moral compass. Brianna and Mallory are trying to get access to their father’s hospital room. Mallory is dressed in pajamas for some absurdly domestic and maternal family ritual and Brianna has her titties out. These women are opposites, and it’s communicated through their clothing.
Frankie cannot stop freaking out, so she informs Grace and Sol that they will have to find a way to calm themselves down about her not calming down. For a woman who is incapable of chill, she should be everyone’s emotional role model. Grace hugs Mallory and immediately notices her weight gain. Drink every time Grace is a stereotypical WASP! (That means you also drink when she drinks clear liquor.) Brianna gloats that her mother called her sister fat and her father almost died; it’s the best day of her life. Grace and Frankie are leaning on each other and finishing each other’s sentences. Grace knows that Frankie takes her coffee with ice cream, something we all should start doing.
Bud and Coyote show up at the hospital, cast a little shade on Brianna’s outfit, and we find out she’s still dating Barry. Sol sends the whole gang home and he tells Frankie they have to process what happened.
He makes the mistake of calling their empty-nest-sex a really stupid “fuck up” and FRANKIE. GOES. OFF. “Not the 20-year affair, not all your lies, the one night with the woman you spent 40 years with in the house we raised our children in, that was the fuck up? That’s fucked up.” Opening up their relationship to all that emotion and intimacy was the dead-ass wrong move.
After Robert gets back from surgery, he learns he has to have a bypass — and they have to do it through the groin. Robert lets Sol know that he doesn’t want to go into this surgery without marrying him because Robert is afraid of dying. Didn’t they put down a ton of deposits on crab cakes and stuff? Whatever, they already have the license and various brown nurses interrupting to stand in for the man of honor. Unfortunately, Sol can’t do it without being completely honest with Robert. Sol, buddy: Now is not the time for one of these hippy moral principled stands. The painkillers are wearing off.
Sol tells the children exactly what happened, and Frankie provides more detail than necessary about the quality of the sex. Coyote tells them, “That shows very poor judgement, Mom.” Bless. Grace pushes everyone to go forward with the wedding for Robert’s sake and she’s got to find some decorations and a minister.
First, Grace goes to the Catholic priest on duty, except he won’t marry two men. Frankie thinks that the new pope is shaking things up and the priest should follow suit. The resident rabbi is down to marry two men, but he will not marry an interfaith couple. What a fun comedic reversal. Grace flips out on him: “There’s a sick WASP upstairs who wants to marry a Jewish man!” Grace and Frankie share a tender moment in the hall and Grace reveals that she’s scared and there’s nothing she can do except help Robert right now. That means convincing Frankie to perform the ceremony: “Get your power back and help you move forward.” Grace and Frankie are learning from each other and it’s beautiful.
Robert wants to see Grace before the wedding and he wants to clear the air. Grace doesn’t let him: “You are not getting off the hook that easy, I wasn’t allowed to get angry because you’re gay, now you’re sick. I have 40 years of anger and it would be really shitty if you die before I get to say everything I need to say to you.”
The family has taken over a hallway and Robert has his Twizzler bouquet and Frankie is attempting to smudge with unlighted sage. Frankie leads everyone in a low hum and a light sway, including all the strangers in the waiting room. It’s a beautiful and infuriating ceremony. After simple vows and a Twizzler bouquet toss (to Brianna and then Grace), Robert and Sol are officially wed and Robert rolls into surgery.
Frankie admits that she pushed all her feelings down and built a wall around them, à la Grace, to get through the ceremony. They’re channeling each other and walk out hand-in-hand, looking for a martini. What a charming way to start the season.