Will and Grace, Will & Grace

NBC

Will & Grace said goodbye to a beloved character in the Thursday, Nov. 2 episode, "Rosario's Quinceanera." Warning, spoilers follow.

In an emotional half hour, Megan Mullally's Karen Walker said goodbye to her beloved maid, Rosario, played by Shelley Morrison during the show's original run and later featured in the cast's election PSA that jump-started Will & Grace's return to NBC. The episode, which also featured the return of Minnie Driver as Lorraine Finster and Charles C. Stevenson's Smitty, saw Rosario suffer a heart attack and die from complications—all off screen. Morrison, 81, is still alive.

 

Will and Grace, Will & Grace

NBC

"Shelley has decided to retire," series co-creator Max Mutchnick told press at TCA 2017 summer press tour. "It was with a heavy heart that she gave us that information and that we received it, but it is the way that it goes. It is a choice that she has made. We really wanted Shelley to be a part of this series, so we find ourselves having to figure that out moving forward. It was not an easy decision to make, but it's one that she made."

Karen had planned to throw Rosario a quinceanera after she was discharged from the hospital. That never happened, so in true Will & Grace fashion, Rosario's funeral was a hybrid quinceanera. Grace (Debra Messing), Jack (Sean Hayes) and Will (Eric McCormack) all took turns comforting Karen. Grace addressed her own mother's death (the character was played by the late Debbie Reynolds) and her own emotional reaction, and despite Hayes' impressive feat of physical comedy, it was McCormack's Will who got through and understood Karen's grief. She missed the mass, but had her own moment to say goodbye.

 

"Sorry I wasn't here, but come on, what the hell was I going to say? She was my maid, she was my sparring partner, she was my best friend? You were my everything, Rosario Yolanda Salazar. You know it's funny, people keep asking, ‘What do you need? What do you need?' I need for you to not be gone. Here honey, I want you to have something that was my mother's. Makes sense you should have it, lord knows you've been eying it for years," Karen said handing her a ring. "Honey, I'm not going with you to cemetery, so don't get mad, OK? I just can't watch them put you in ground. I have to remember you my way, so if it's alright, I'm just going to sit here with you for a while."

Karen sprayed the coffin with cleaner and scrubbed it with some tulle as punctuation to the emotional goodbye.

"Te amo, mommy," Karen said.

If this episode doesn't clinch Mullally an Emmy nomination for her expert work in this revival then nothing else will.

Will & Grace airs Thursdays, 9 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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