Grace and Frankie Season 1 Episode 4 Review: “The Funeral”

Grace and Frankie

After the strongest episode of the series thus far, Grace and Frankie continues on with “The Funeral,” written by Emmy nominee Alexa Junge, best known for her work on Friends (which was co-created by Grace and Frankie‘s Marta Kauffman) and The West Wing.

“The Funeral” opens up with Grace and Frankie getting ready to go to the funeral of one of Robert and Sol’s law partners. Grace is dressed, as she is trying to get there and pay respects before Robert and Sol show up, but Frankie is trying to figure out a way to avoid attending. Sol, meanwhile, is stressing out, as this will be the first time that he and Robert are out (in all meanings of the word) in public. Robert decides to establish some ground rules for how to act in public so that they neither draw excess attention to themselves nor embarrass their current wives more than absolutely necessary. Grace and Frankie decide that this will also be the moment that they remove their wedding rings.

At the funeral, the women struggle more than they expected with seeing their friends and acquaintances in public for the first time. They spy Robert and Sol, and Grace believes that things are much easier for those two than they are for her. Little does she know, though, that the men are struggling just as much trying to explain their current status as “partners,” with all relevant meaning.

Robert has an odd encounter with his sister, Lydia (played by the extraordinary Christine Lahti), in which she seems only moderately okay with her brother’s open homosexuality, and she ditches Robert to hang out with Grace (who also ditches Frankie). Frankie is forced to continue explaining her husband’s new revelation to her friends, and she and Sol have an uncomfortable conversation in which they realize that they are both progressing in moving on (even if Frankie is still incredibly angry at him). Meanwhile, Grace and Lydia have a good talk to reaffirm their friendship in spite of everything, but Lydia shocks Grace by uninviting her to a family event, with the reasoning being that they are technically no longer family. Sol’s actions at the funeral cause Robert to have an unexpected breakdown, and he realizes how much he actually misses Grace. As everyone prepares to leave, Grace and Robert have a chance encounter in which he tries to talk to her, but she accidentally says that she is “stuck” with Frankie as the other woman passes by the room that the former spouses are in.

While not quite as strong as the much-improved previous episode, “The Funeral” continued  Grace and Frankie‘s current “streak” (if you can call a two-episode run a streak) of solid episodes. This one didn’t feature the children, unfortunately, but it did continue to prove that the four leads are as strong as any others on television. Christine Lahti did incredible work in the role of conflicted sister/sister-in-law, and the storyline  for “The Funeral” was a defining point in the lives of Grace, Frankie, Robert, and Sol.

[Photo via Netflix]

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