Grace and Frankie (S05E03) “The Aide”

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After the chaos of the previous episode, things are finally back to normal for Grace (Jane Fonda) and Frankie (Lily Tomlin).

[There will be spoilers below.]

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The episode opens with Grace and Frankie unpacking, and everything back in its place in their house. They seem much more relaxed than in the previous two episodes. However, both Bud (Baron Vaughan) and Mallory (Brooklyn Decker) arrive on the pretence of other tasks.  They are actually checking up on Grace and Frankie.

The plan of action that Grace and Frankie come up with is to separate them. Grace uses this as an opportunity to grill Mallory about what Brianna (June Diane Raphael) is doing with Say Grace. Mallory reveals that Brianna is selling off Grace’s lines in a flash sale. Simultaneously, Bud has managed to convince Frankie that they do need in house help.

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The episode progresses with Robert (Martin Sheen) folding Peter’s (Tim Bagley) laundry, who is still living in his house. Although Sol (Sam Waterston) is not pleased about this, Robert is doing it so he can influence what show Peter picks. Peter is the head of the theatre group. In my opinion this storyline is a bit inconsequential and not the most riveting. I find Peter to be a bit demanding and whiney as he just lays on their couch smoking while Robert does his tasks.

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My favourite arc of this episode is that of Grace and Brianna. Grace arrives into the office to confront Brianna. After telling Brianna that Brianna needs her help, Brianna arrives at the house to swallow her pride and ask Grace to come back. She makes it clear that she has conditions such as “I get final say” and “I’m going to call you Grace.” After a touching anecdote about a lemonade stand, it seems that they are both on the same page about things.

However, when Brianna arrives to work she sees that Grace is already concluding a meeting she had behind Brianna’s back. Clearly, this means war. I love the interactions between these two, as they are such clear carbon copies of each other and can match each other’s quick, dry wit impeccably.

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While all of this has been happening, Bud has been forcing Frankie to interview live in help. She avoids picking someone for as long as possible before  when she picks “Toby”(Eddie Shin). Grace isn’t happy, as he makes her feel “old and in feeble”. It is clear that they are going to need to put their foot down and come up with a different solution.

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As the episode concludes Frankie finally comes up with a solution to their “in home aide” problem. As she declares that “she’s coming”, after telling Grace that she hired someone, it is revealed that she hired Joan-Margaret (Millicent Martin). Joan-Margaret was just arrested for forgetting to pay for a chicken in a “senior moment”. Sol managed to clear her name earlier in the episode. Frankie decides that this is what makes her perfect as she won’t make them feel “old or slow”. Grace agrees as Joan-Margaret is not a stranger, is older than them, and finally concludes that it is the perfect solution.

Overall I did really like this episode. I definitely enjoyed the interactions between Grace and Brianna. They always manage to provide entertainment together.  I can’t wait to see what happens as the issue of Grace’s company unfolds between them. Judging by Brianna’s reactions, this is war.

The one thing I will say about Bud’s forcing Frankie to hire help, is it seems we’re still at the whole “these old ladies are incapable” stage. Now that they have hired Joan-Margaret I hope that we can move onto other issues. These women are clearly still very capable!

Season 5 of Grace and Frankie is available to stream on Netflix.