Frankie is ready to redefine herself and begin discovering who she is without her ex, while Sol is preparing to tell Robert about his one-night-stand with her. The former couple’s plans are derailed when Robert is rushed to the hospital after suffering a heart attack. The episode gets pretty wacky from there, with Robert insisting he and Sol be married before he undergoes bypass surgery, and Grace, surprisingly, taking on the role of hospital wedding planner. At the heart of this premiere, and the reason all that wackiness manages to stay grounded and feel plausible, is the now thriving friendship between Grace and Frankie. Season one put a lot of time and effort into growing the relationship between them, and it’s very evident in “The Wish.”
Both Grace and Frankie have become, more or less, tolerant of one another’s little quirks and aren’t as irritated by them anymore. They’re still an odd couple, but their bickering has evolved from being antagonistic into something more playful. They may have vastly differing approaches to their new lives, but when it really counts they can rely on each other for the type of support that’s unique to their very specific situation. It’s not just about Grace knowing how Frankie likes her coffee, (she takes it with ice cream) either. Sol is the last person Frankie wants to see at the moment, but when she learns Robert is in the hospital, she’s by Grace’s side in an instant.
Their increased bond is further explored as Grace appeals to Frankie’s spiritual side, when persuading her to officiate Robert and Sol’s marriage. Sure, Grace’s motivation is slightly selfish in that it comes from her guilt over what she said to Robert – that instead of leaving her for someone else it would have been easier if he had died. But the way she understands how to reach Frankie can only be evidence of their time spent together, learning to appreciate what’s important to each of them. The same is true for Frankie; she’s learning to cope in different ways thanks to Grace. The only way Frankie was even able to get through the ceremony was by channeling her new bestie’s ability to push down her feelings and be neutral in the moment.
Grace and Frankie are lucky to have one another as they deal with the ongoing emotional trauma from their severed marriages. There’s still a lot for each of them to process, even more so now for Frankie because of her and Sol’s affair. Sol seems more upset about one night of passion with a woman he spent 40 years with, than keeping Robert a secret from her for at least half of their marriage. It’s a real gut punch of a scene. Though Grace is going above and beyond for Robert in his weakened state, she makes it clear to him that she’s still angry and that anger still needs to be addressed.
“First I wasn’t allowed to get angry at you because you’re gay. Now I’m not allowed to because you’re sick. I have 40 years of anger built up, and it would be really shitty of you to die before I get to say the things I need to say to you.”
“The Wish” is as an impressive start for Grace and Frankie’s sophomore season. The same laughs and heart are still at the core of its atmosphere, but there’s an added confidence in the air. Where many sitcoms feel overly contrived when an event brings the entirety of its principal cast under one roof, here it unfolds in a completely organic way. Without feeling forced, we’re able to catch up with the secondary players – Brianna is pursuing her feelings for Barry, and Mallory is pregnant with twins – in a way that adds depth to the coming season. There’s a lot to look forward to in the next 12 episodes, not least of which is how Grace and Frankie will continue to evolve not only as friends but also as individuals.
Frankie’s best lines
“There’s no leeway? Even with this new pope? I mean he really seems to be shaking shit up.”
“We’re old. We have to pack a lot of shit into a day.”
Grace and Frankie S2E1 = 8/10