Previously on Grace and Frankie
What a perfect ending to a great season. This finale expertly portrayed each of the show’s best features: humorous dialogue, genuinely emotional moments, an overall heartwarming tone, and, best of all, the focus was primarily on Grace and Frankie. As I’ve mentioned previously, finding a new dynamic for the leading ladies was essential to the success of the show moving forward. Exploring their unique bond, and developing that into an equally unique friendship, was what made season two so special. This episode only continued the evolution of their connection, and brought them to an entirely new place. One that I certainly didn’t see coming but am thoroughly pleased with. Grace and Frankie are now business partners.
Though this announcement doesn’t come until close to the final few moments, the episode’s larger narrative sets it in motion right from the beginning. After attending Babe’s memorial, Grace and Frankie are contemplating what comes next. Their mutual friend always devoured life and they’ve been inspired to do the same. An extra nudge in the right direction comes from the thank you gifts Babe leaves for them. For Frankie, it’s a set of paintbrushes that allegedly belonged to Picasso and a paid-for gallery space for Frankie to fill her artwork with. For Grace, it’s a vibrator. While the second gift doesn’t seem to hold too much weight in the moment, it’s actually an integral part of what sparks Grace and Frankie’s new venture.
The other motivating factors arise when everyone gathers for Bud’s “8th” birthday – he was born on a leap year – and several circumstances collide to ignite their passion. Grace is feeling unloved and left out when she discovers that Mallory confided in Robert about her troubles with Mitch, instead of her. Matters are only made worse when she finds a box of gifts, which Robert had purchased in bulk, complete with pre-written notes so he had one ready for any occasion. This offers Grace a new clarity on her broken marriage. Nothing was personal; nothing was out of love. Each gift was just an easy way to pacify Grace and give Robert the appearance of the thoughtful husband. Grace confronts Robert about the issue, and as the tension heightens, Frankie steps in to defend her.
She doesn’t simply stand by Grace in her time of need, either. In an effort to make her friend feel less isolated, Frankie also reveals a disappointing truth she had just learned from Sol. Kenny Loggins never actually bought her painting, “Hitler’s Circumcision.” (We only catch a quick glimpse of the painting, but it’s everything you’d expect from Frankie.) While Sol’s is not quite the same type of lapse in judgment as Robert’s, it’s not exactly dissimilar. Both men are guilty of not truly understanding the kind of love and support their ex-wives needed. But what separates Grace and Frankie further from their exes, only brings them closer.
United together, they call out everyone in the room for the dismissive and disrespectful ways in which they have treated them. Sol and Robert for obvious reasons. Mallory for thinking her mother is merely a dupe. Coyote and Bud for believing their mother is losing her mind and is unfit to drive. Brianna for never acknowledging the fact that Grace and Frankie gave her the best new product for Say Grace since she took over the company, and for how unsympathetically she treated Frankie during their business relationship. The bottom line: they’re tired of being seen as just two helpless old women who everyone should take pity on. It’s an unusually long scene for this show, but it’s only something you realize after the fact thanks to how mesmerizing Fonda and Tomlin are.
The effort put into making Grace and Frankie’s bond feel genuine and nearly unbreakable, is evident when Grace unexpectedly announces that she and Frankie are going into business together. There was never a conversation about it, not even a hint, and yet, Frankie is immediately on board. Their business idea couldn’t more suited to them, either: vibrators for women with arthritis, and possibly other sex toys of that nature. It’s a shame they can’t get the rights to that yam lube as well. Perhaps the idea had been mulling around in Grace’s head after her own arthritis flared up after only 30 seconds of masturbating, but the importance of the plan is how quickly and naturally Grace and Frankie became a team. And they’re more than just a team now. By the end of the episode, they’ve admitted that if they ever chose to go out like Babe, they’d rely on the other to help them do so. I truly believe it was their special way of saying I love you.
This is the type of finale that any good show should strive for. It’s one that manages to bring enough closure on the season as a whole, and encourages considerable anticipation for what’s still to come. So much potential has opened up now thanks to Grace and Frankie’s new endeavor, and I couldn’t be more excited about the journey season three is bound to take us on. There will undoubtedly be squabbles between them, which always leads to hilarious banter, and the notion that a major storyline will be focused on sex toys for older women is just downright fantastic. However informal their business partnership may be at the end of this episode doesn’t matter; the spirit and emotional significance behind their decision to take this next step together is all that does.
Grace and Frankie S2E13 = 9.2/10