How Dolly Parton Helped ‘Grace & Frankie’ Say Goodbye On Netflix


SPOILER ALERT! Do not read until you’ve binged the seventh and final season of Grace and Frankie on Netflix. 

As promised, Dolly Parton joined her 9 to 5 co-stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin as a guest star in the series finale of Grace and Frankie — and she behaved like an absolute angel!

Actually, Parton’s Agnes is more of a “working class angel” in heaven who hasn’t “had a promotion in 250 years.” She was the one who greeted Grace (Fonda) and Frankie (Tomlin) at the proverbial Pearly gates after they lost their lives in a freak accident involving booze and a mic. But a clerical error was inadvertently made on Gracie’s behalf; her time on earth was not meant to be over. Frankie, however, was right where she belonged — until Agnes granted her stay and sent both women back to the land of the living.

In the meantime, Robert (Martin Sheen) agrees to see a neurologist about his memory loss before Sol (Sam Waterston) surprises him with a romantic return to the hotel where they had their first tryst. Coyote (Ethan Embry) fake marries Jessica (Christine Woods); Nwabudike (Baron Vaughn) finally quits his job, and Brianna (June Diane Raphael) considers starting a new business called Beauty Bitch with Mallory (Brooklyn Decker).

In the final moments of the season seven series finale, Grace helps Frankie paint a picture of themselves on the beach before the they go for a stroll on the sand. “Now what?” asks Grace.

In a conversation with Co-Creator Marta Kauffman before the finale, the plan was always to keep the show’s ending upbeat and full of hope.

“It’s a show about how could start your life over at any point,” explains Kauffman. “And we knew that the end of the show had to have that feeling that it isn’t about doors closing. It’s not about things that are taken away from you as you age. It’s about what are the possibilities. We also knew we wanted Robert to start dealing with his memory issues, but we didn’t want to end in a sad place. I think everybody knows with a show like Grace and Frankie, it’s going to have a positive ending. I think it would be wrong and disappointing if we had gone in the direction of something sad and tragic.”

And that also meant keeping Grace and Frankie living together in that tony beachfront abode. “They have to,” insists Kauffman. “The show’s called Grace and Frankie. It’s about the love between these two women and how they’ve helped each other out of an incredibly difficult situation. You can’t separate them!”

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