Dolly Parton reunites ‘9 to 5’ co-stars in ‘Grace & Frankie’

Warning: “Grace & Frankie“Spoilers ahead.

Good heavens!

Friday marked the series finale of Netflix comedy Grace & Frankie about the golden years – now one of the most successful senior-centric shows on TV since The Golden Girls.

As the series comes to an end after seven seasons, stars Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin have blessed fans with a guest appearance from icon and friend Dolly Parton.

The country queen joined her 9 to 5 co-stars for the ending of her beloved show, portraying Heaven’s Gatekeeper.

In the finale, the characters of Fonda and Tomlin (Grace and Frankie, respectively) join their friends and family to celebrate the engagement ceremony of Frankie’s son Coyote (Ethan Embry) and his fiancée Jessica (Christine Woods).

However, while sipping her signature martini, Grace drops it on Frankie’s microphone, and a fatal electrocution sends the two women straight to the Pearl Gates.

They come to the sound of a doorbell in a white, office-like room. “Shall you knock on heaven’s door?” Frankie asked.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 23: Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda attend the Los Angeles Special FYC Event For Netflix's "Grace and Frankie" at the NeueHouse Los Angeles on April 23, 2022 in Hollywood, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin attend the final season premiere party on April 23.
Getty Images

The two strolled over the doorstep and saw an angel before them: their old pal Parton.

“Well, hello girls!” says Parton and welcomes the women to the Great Beyond. She introduces herself as a “working class angel” named Agnes (see what she was doing there?) who “hasn’t had a promotion in 250 years”.

Apparently heaven has a “list” – a memo full of names for people ready to enter paradise forever. Grace tries to tell Agnes that something went wrong and that she is not supposed to be dead yet.

TV DAILY Grace & Frankie Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton had a memorable cameo as an angel named Agnes in the series finale of Grace & Frankie.
Credit: Saeed Adyani/©NETFLIX

Agnes explained that this happens “occasionally” and that Grace only needs to put a “RETURN” stamp on her records. But Frankie has to stay in heaven because of her name is on the list.

“If I can’t be with Grace, I’ll be in so much emotional pain all the cheese in heaven won’t help,” a worried Frankie sobbed to Agnes.

But as God’s emissary, Agnes declares that she will not bend the rules for anyone. She watched as best friends Grace and Frankie said their tearful goodbyes.

The Netflix series ended in April 2022 after seven seasons.
Suzanne Tenner

As their foreheads touched, Frankie lamented to her friend, “I love you, Grace.” Her friend returned the sentiment affectionately.

That’s when old Agnes steps in to surreptitiously imply there’s nothing she can do to prevent the mishap if she turns around for a brief minute and someone happens to stamp Frankie’s paperwork.

Grace and Frankie decide to coin Frankie’s paperwork together, and they say a heartfelt goodbye to Agnes before waking back to reality in front of her family. The crowd tries to see if they’re okay, and Frankie tells them, “A little jet lag is all.”

The show’s co-creator Marta Kauffman told Deadline that they always intended to end on a high note.

“It’s a show about starting your life over at any time,” explains Kauffman. “And we knew that the end of the show had to have this feeling that it wasn’t about closing doors.

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