Terms of Employment is the 8th episode of the second season and 30th overall.
Grace is planning to sue a client who backs out after she had already made an expensive purchase, so she asks Will to represent her. He finds out that Grace's client is notorious lawyer Ben Doucette so Will prepares himself for a meeting after being unemployed for a month. However, upon meeting Doucette, Will and Grace are shocked when he offers Will a five-year contract instead.
On Will's first day at the firm, Doucette instructs him to make Grace's case against him "go away", implying Will must defend his new boss instead of Grace. She learns of this and naturally feels betrayed and refuses to accept Will's money.
During arbitration, Will decides to side with Grace and Ben reveals that he was planning to pay her all along and was just testing Will's integrity.
Jack gets hired to act in an employee training video about sexual harassment in the workplace. On the first day of the shoot, Jack's female co-star gets sick and is replaced by Karen, who drove him to the set. As part of the scene, Jack puts his tongue in Karen's ear and she is uncontrollably turned on, which results in a total of 148 takes.
- Eric McCormack (Will Truman)
- Debra Messing (Grace Adler)
- Sean Hayes (Jack McFarland)
- Megan Mullally (Karen Walker)
- Gregory Hines (Ben Doucette)
- Robert Clendenin (Bob Dent)
- Aaron Lustig (Marv Buhl)
- Dan Sachoff (Announcer)
- Jo Marie Payton (Mrs. Freeman)
- First appearance of Ben Doucette and Mrs. Freeman.
- Will finally starts his new job at Doucette & Stein since the closing of his firm in Polk Defeats Truman. He eventually becomes partner in season 7, but resigns later the season in the episode From Queer to Eternity to pursue a more meaningful career.
- Jack spoils the ending of The Usual Suspects (1995), to Will, which is regarded as one of the biggest plot twists in film at the time.
- Sensing Will's self-doubt, Grace refers to him as Mrs. Doubtfire after the cross-dressing character in the eponymous 1993 film.
- When Jack tells Grace that he is going to get ice cream before heading out to his acting class, Grace jokes that he just combine them and study under "Uta Häagen-Dazs", a play on famed acting teacher Uta Hagen and the ice cream brand Häagen-Dazs.
- During their first meeting where Ben puts his intimidation tactic on Will, he suggests stroking a white cat, referencing the James Bond villain Ernst Stavro Blofeld, especially his appearance in From Russia with Love (1963).
- When Karen causes trouble on Jack's set, he threatens that she will wake up with Rosario's head in her bed, a reference to the iconic scene from The Godfather (1972) where an adversary of the Corleone family wakes up in his bed with the decapitated head of his prized horse.
- Will mentions a Gays for Buchanan rally being held at a phone booth. Pat Buchanan is a conservative politician known for his opposition of gay rights.
- As Karen puts her tongue on Jack's ear, he tells her he is trying to imagine Matt Damon. Damon later appears in the episode A Chorus Lie.
- When Doucette lets Will keep his job after testing him, Will compares him to Willy Wonka from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Coincidentally, Mr. Stein, the other half of Doucette & Stein, would later be played by Gene Wilder who played Willy Wonka in the 1971 film version.
I'm raiding your closet. They said, "dress like a repressed straight guy." — Jack, to Will
Do I hear a doubt, Mrs. Doubtfire? — Grace
You can do this. As Jane Seymour says to her wheelchair-bound husband in every Lifetime movie..."I believe in you." — Grace
|Ben:||I know who you are. Your reputation proceeds you.|
|Will:||And, Mr. Doucette, your reputation proceeds you.|
|Ben:||And, Mr. Truman, my reputation proceeds your reputation. |
I can't believe I said that without a cigar.
Honey, when I agreed to drive you to the set, you didn't say it was on Staten Island! How the hell am I ever gonna get the stench of landfill and working class families out of tropical lightweight wool? — Karen
|Ben:||I'm gonna make a wild guess here and say that you two are more than friends but less than lovers. You're gay, and she's straight.|
|Will:||Very good. Now if you can guess my weight, you'll get a T-shirt that says, "That's really none of your business."|
|Will:||What's with you and the nuts?! Are you gonna eat one or what?|
|Ben:||I don't like eating them. I just like crushing them.|
|Will:||Give me a break. Shouldn't you be stroking a white cat while you say that?|
Meats and cheeses! You are rockin' my clock, Mary! — Karen, enjoying Jack's tongue on her ear
|Ben:||I'm going to a dinner. They're honoring African-Americans who run big-time law firms in New York City. It's being held in a phone booth on the Upper East Side.|
|Will:||That the same phone booth where they held the Gays for Buchanan rally?|
|Grace:||May I approach the bench?|
|Buhl:||You'd have to build one first.|
|Will:||But wait, wait, wait, wait! So, what? This was just a test? Like this is Willy Wonka and you've just given me the keys to the Chocolate Factory?|
|Ben:||Will, you've got your job. But, please, don't refer to me as "the chocolate factory.|