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When the news of Will and Grace's primetime revival became public, there were generations of fans that were elated. The concept of seeing the four lead characters back for more hijinks was too good to pass up, and things became even more exciting as a variety of returning supporting cast members were announced to return as well. But one big character has been noticeably missing: Shelley Morrison's Rosario Salazar. Rosie was a mainstay of the original series, as Karen's maid, best friend, and the subject of her torment. But Morrison is now in her 80s, and was happily enjoying retirement when the show began filming. Will and Grace finally addressed her absence in tonight's episode, and essentially broke everyone's heart in the process.
Because Will and Grace ended up killing Rosario off screen about midway through the newest episode, titled "Rosario's Quinceañera". After suffering a sudden heart attack, Rosie was briefly hospitalized before ultimately passing away. Afterward, Karen decided to give her services a typically offensive theme: a Quinceañera. And while the episode was chock full of surprises and comedy, Will and Grace was sure to slow things down and let Karen actually show some vulnerability.
Rosario's services brought back the return of another fan favorite character. Because in order to properly pay respects for the maid that kept the Walker mansion going, Minnie Driver's Lorraine Finster returned for a new appearance. While she and Karen have never gotten along, Rosario didn't seem to make an enemies. This is just the latest in a line of original actors returning for guest slots, including Harry Connick Jr., Leslie Jordan, and an upcoming appearance from Bobby Cannavale.
But once the services truly began, Karen was nowhere to be found. Will eventually left and found her at a local bar (of course). Serving her was none other than Smitty, the bartender who was seen six times in the original series- usually when Karen is lamenting about her own life. This prompts Smitty to tell a far more tragic story, with Karen usually cracking up in response. Will attempts to bring Karen back to the funeral- although she's unable to do so. So instead, she waits until the other guests have left so she might have some alone time with her life companion.
It's here where the show's most tender moment happens. After cracking a few jokes, Karen tells Rosario that she loves her. The episode ends with Karen placing her hand on Rosie's coffin and saying "Te amo, Mami", before she sits with her one last time. This will surely break the hearts of the hardcore fandom, although there is silver lining knowing that Shelley Morrison is alive and well. Now we'll have to see if Karen's new Irish maid becomes a larger role in the upcoming episodes.
Will and Grace airs new episodes Thursday nights on NBC. Be sure to check out our fall premiere list to plan your next binge watch.