The recently renewed Grace and Frankie premieres its fifth season January 18 on Netflix. As with many streaming shows, it feels like forever since we last saw our favorite senior BFFs. Before diving into the new season, here’s a brief refresher on what went down last season.
When Season 4 began, Frankie (Lily Tomlin) was living in Santa Fe with her boyfriend, Jacob (Ernie Hudson), while Grace (Jane Fonda) had a new roommate Sheree, played by Lisa Kudrow (a reunion for the guest-star—Friends co-creator Marta Kauffman is also a co-creator of Grace and Frankie). Sheree was a manicurist but helped Grace sell the vibrators that Grace and Frankie made on the side. When Frankie returned to town, she admitted how unhappy she was in Santa Fe, which sparked jealously toward Sheree who was monopolizing a lot of Grace’s time. The reunited friends helped Sheree break into her former home in order to help prove her claim of ownership. And with that, just three episodes later, the former Friend was gone—adios Sheree! Grace belongs with Frankie, thankyouverymuch.
Peter Gallagher returned as Grace’s younger boyfriend Nick, and she struggled to come to terms with their age difference, which became a recurring theme throughout the season. Even when Grace had knee surgery, Nick wanted to prove to her that he could care for people in need. Later, when Nick wanted to attend the funeral of one of Grace and Robert’s friends, she told him not to come; he did anyway and Grace was embarrassed by people’s reactions to her new beau. By season’s end, she cut Nick loose, still unable to cope with their differing ages.
Frankie got some surprising news while at the bank one day: she was declared legally dead. The governmental mistake caused her to re-evaluate her life and priorities. These moments of introspection led her to visit her estranged sister, Teddie (Talia Shire). The two sisters talked about their family and resolved some past beef, but they also agreed that they “amicably dislike each other.” It happens!
As the season builds, Grace and Frankie’s children discovered everything their mothers had been up to, from getting lost while taking the newborn baby on a trip to almost-Mexico, to Grace’s drunken scooter accident that involved a cop car. The house falling into utter disarray didn’t help their case either. The adult kids were worried, reasonably so, believing that their moms’ shenanigans had finally gotten out of hand.
Grace and Frankie wound up moving into an assisted living facility after some clever manipulation from the kids; Bud and Coyote convinced Grace to go to be there for Frankie, while Brianna and Mallory pulled the same hijinks on Frankie. Soon, both Grace and Frankie separately began to wonder if maybe they needed the help of assisted living for themselves too. The ladies soon realized they’d been hoodwinked by their kids, but agreed that they were happy to be going through the aging process and life together as a duo. In the season finale, Grace and Frankie fled the facility with some stolen goods in hand, only to arrive at their former home and find a “Sold!” sign outside.
Grace and Frankie returns to Netflix with its new season January 18. Check out the Season 5 trailer below.