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William, Tell is the 6th episode of the first season of Will and Grace.

Grace gets obsessed about Will keeping another secret from her after finding out about an old fling.

Synopsis

Due to attorney-client privelege, Will does not disclose to Grace that her assistant Karen has sought his services, seeking legal counsel about her marriage.

While Jack fills in for Karen at the office, Grace finds out about an old fling of Will's she does not know of. This worries Grace so much that she and Jack rummage through Will's things to find clues of what else he may be hiding. On his planner, they find out that he is having dinner at the Astor Cafe with "K".

Grace, completely obsessed at this point, goes to the restaurant to confront Will and becomes speechless learning that he is meeting Karen as a client. Back home, she apologizes to Will admitting that she acted uncontrollably paranoid because the last secret he kept from her was that he is gay and it changed her life completely.

Cast

Main

Guest

  • Philip Levesque (Delivery Man)

Notes

  • The title is a reference to Swiss folk hero William Tell.
  • Will's coming out is referenced for the first time. This is explored further in the episode Lows in the Mid-Eighties. When Grace recalls this time during their college years, she mentions it was during Christmas Break. However, in the flashbacks, it was actually Thanksgiving.
  • Gary Grubbs (Harlin) is credited but does not appear.
  • The episode was the first time the story line was divided between Grace and Jack, and Karen and Will.
  • Grace competes with Jack to determine who knows Will better in this episode. She later competes with Vince regarding this again in the episode Key Party. In the episode New Will City, Will grows jealous that Jack knows personal things about about Grace that he does not.

Cultural references

  • As she teases Will drinking protein to bulk up, Grace does an impression of Austrian bodybuilder turned actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  • When Jack comes in an alien costume, Will does an impression of Spock from the Star Trek series. Will's fondness for the series is referenced more in later episodes, especially during the appearance of George Takei in the episode Buy Buy Baby.
  • According to Grace, she and Will bonded over the controversial 1970 coming-of-age novel Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume.
  • Will refers to himself as Ricky Ricardo, after asking the waiter to have the "crazed redhead removed". Ricardo is the husband of Lucy, the plucky redheaded lead character in the 50s sitcom I Love Lucy.
  • Karen compares herself to notorious businesswoman Leona Helmsley, who married multi-millionaire real estate entrepreneur Harry Helmsley in 1972. Interestingly, Suzanne Pleshette who plays Karen's mother Lois also played Leona Helmsley in the 1990 biopic Leona Helmsley: The Queen of Mean.
  • Will implies that 1973 film Serpico was filmed in or near his office building.
  • Grace rents the movies An Affair to Remember (1957), The Client (1994), and I Know What You Did Last Summer (1997), to allude to Will's affair with his "client" during the previous summer.
  • While trying to figuring out Will's secret, Jack refers to Grace as Nancy Drew the titular teenage detective of the novels.
  • Will alludes to the opening scene of the film Scream (1996) when he mentions feeling like "a sorority girl in a bad slasher movie". Grace then quotes the villain Ghostface's famous line "the call is coming from inside the house."

Media

Quotes

You know I thought I knew everything about you. But you’re a mystery. Wrapped in a riddle. Surrounded by an enigma. Growing boobies. Grace

Karen files her nails and thumbs through catalogs all day. What's she going to do on a vacation? I guess office work. Will

Secretary:Karen Walker's here to see you.
Will:You're kidding.
Will:You girls are going to have a ball, braiding each other's hair and talking about boys and doing the Cosmo quiz.
Jack:Oh, you mean, like, "How to tell if your best friend's a bitch?" Yeah, I already took it. You are.
Will:Where are you?
Grace:It's a secret. Now tell me, how does that make you feel?
Will:Like a sorority girl in a bad slasher movie. Where are you?
Grace:Let's just put it this way: the call is coming from inside the house.

The day you know more about Will than I do is the day I gladly kiss your butt. Graceto Jack

I guess in a lot of ways I'm kind of like a younger, much more beautiful version of Leona Helmsley. First, you marry for money, and then, you find yourself loving the old coot. Then he drops dead, and you get the money anyway. It's a win-win. Karenon her marriage

Grace:Sort these tassels.
Jack:Do you want me to sort them by color? By size?
Grace:By 5:00.
Grace:God, what is he keeping from me? Oh, my god. It's drugs. It's drugs. He's doing drugs. Without me. Not that I do drugs, but I'd like to be asked.
Jack:You know what else he wouldn't tell either of us? If he's sick. He needs a kidney! Oh, my god. He needs a kidney. Not that I would give him a kidney, but I'd like to be asked.
Delivery man:Just your name, sir. I don't need your phone number.
Jack:Don't be so sure... sir.
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