Jacob deserved a happier ending in ‘Grace and Frankie’ #Jacob #deserved #happier #Grace #Frankie Welcome to Eye9ja
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Grace and Frankie is a near-perfect show. Marta Kauffman and Howard J. Morris’ comedy offered chemistry and humor, warmth and connectedness, substance and truth. The longest-running Netflix series came to an end (or “The Beginning,” as the final episode is called) in May, offering promises of a new chapter for each of its beloved characters.
Sol and Robert return to the origins of their romance. Brianna and Mallory form both a bond and a business relationship. Frankie overcomes her fear of death — not before hosting her own fake funeral.
However, there’s one who didn’t quite get the ending he deserved: Jacob.
Played by Ernie Hudson, Jacob is the show’s dedicated “Yam Man” and long-term boyfriend to Frankie (Lily Tomlin), appearing in five of the series’ seven seasons. From his introduction in Season 1, episode 8, Jacob was an ideal partner for Frankie, following her divorce to Sol (Sam Waterston). He shares her love for yams, nature, and weed. He celebrates and truly gets Frankie’s quirks — for example, he just knows Frankie will forget to pick him up from the airport in the first episode of Season 4. He shows kindness and understanding, providing a steady hand and an open mind for Frankie in times of need. He’s also patient: Frankie takes significant time to see that Jacob’s interested in her, and even longer to give the relationship a chance.
The first time Jacob and Frankie break up in Season 4, episode 9, the circumstances make sense. Who among us didn’t breathe a sigh of relief that Frankie returned home to Grace (Jane Fonda), as opposed to living with Jacob in Santa Fe? The move was never going to go in any other direction. The end is painful to watch (“I think long distance beat us,”), but the moment’s in line with their main relationship value: honesty. The scene is a bittersweet end, but the love between Jacob and Frankie survives. Audiences (and Frankie) bid adieu to Hudson’s character, but not for long.
Sol’s best shirts from ‘Grace and Frankie’, ranked
When Jacob returns in Season 6, Frankie has moved on and is dating Jack (Michael McKean), a fellow *** fan of the Grateful Dead. At an auction, Jack and Frankie both vie for Jerry Garcia’s Converse, a meet-cute that leads to Jack not only giving Frankie one sneaker, but also asking her out. While McKean is a commendable guest star, adding another comedic dimension to the show, I was still partial to Hudson’s Jacob. When the latter sprung back to the screen in Season 6, episode 8, I was delighted. He drives 13 hours from Santa Fe after hearing the fake news of Frankie’s death, thanks to Sol’s facetious Facebook post. It’s a sweet reintroduction that exemplifies Jacob’s care for his former partner, and the tender hug they share in this scene is just the cherry on top. Jacob tells Frankie he’s not going back to Santa Fe, and the door for their romance opens once again.
“I didn’t know what I had until it was gone,” he says to Frankie (typical, but let’s hear it). “And I am not going to make that same mistake again.”
Credit: Melissa Moseley / Netflix
In the next episode (“The One-At-A-Timing”), however, Frankie can’t choose between Jacob and Jack. She actively decides to juggle the two men, against Grace’s advice and her better judgement. In the brief moments she shares with Jacob — going for laser tag and enjoying good food — they seem perfectly at ease. It just fits. This could have been a second chance for the Jacob-Frankie romance. But by the end of the 30 minutes, Frankie is caught by both Jacob and Jack, who leave the beach house, essentially ending each relationship.
While it’s hard to judge in matters of the heart, this seems out of character for Frankie. Her own experiences with relationships have made her empathetic and sensitive, even insecure considering Sol’s betrayal. For her to inflict the same circumstances onto Jack and Jacob is an interesting choice by the writers. Frankie’s core traits are spreading love and goodness; even if she did make a mistake, her character would not have tried to justify it in the way she does: “Are you two upset or is this just society telling you to be upset?” For this episode to accelerate Frankie’s narrative like this seems like a waste of two loving relationships, both of which meet unlikely endings.
This is how we say goodbye to Jacob? No!
Credit: Melissa Moseley / Netflix
For Frankie, we all knew there was only going to be one person in the end.
Soulmates are a recurring theme in Grace and Frankie. The word is frequently mentioned. The concept draws Sol (Sam Waterston) to Frankie years after their divorce, causing a massive rift between him and Robert (Martin Sheen). The idea sits beneath almost every interpersonal relationship in the show, even for the children of the two couples. Whether or not you believe in “soulmates” (if not, you may just be a Robert!), it’s hard to deny that Grace and Frankie come as close as any two people can.
Grace and Frankie grapple with finding love after their respective divorces, but all roads lead home to the haven that is the beach house, where they battle ageism, their kids’ opinions, and new relationships daily. And because of this unbreakable bond between the two women, the men in their lives don’t really stand a chance. Grace’s second husband, Nick (Peter Gallagher), tries to get around this (“I’ve done everything short of inviting her into the marital bed,” he tells Grace in Season 6). He fails. Jacob, the predecessor to this cause, similarly fails, when Frankie chooses Grace over living with him in Santa Fe.
Jacob was worthy of a more graceful goodbye.
After the love triangle confrontation of Season 6, episode 9, Jacob and Frankie part ways. This time, however, feels both abrupt and unfair. This is the last we see of Jacob, who doesn’t return to the show. It’s far more bitter than sweet. We are left to imagine him enjoying a life of farming, tucked away in Santa Fe with the family he joined there. That’s the hope at least. There is no redemption arc for Frankie either, never getting to apologize to Jacob or speak to him again. Jack, oddly, does receive this treatment, being lucky enough to get an apology from Frankie and reunite Garcia’s shoes.
Somehow, it feels undeserving of Jacob to have returned to Grace and Frankie only to depart in this way.
Jacob may not have been Frankie’s soulmate. They didn’t have to be together and the show’s narrative didn’t require this either. Grace and Frankie rightfully ended with the eponymous heroes, arms interlocked, walking down the beach (sob). But Jacob was worthy of a more graceful goodbye, perhaps one in which Frankie and he still shared an untarnished love for what they once had.