This episode boasts the best written opening tease in the shows history - a sequence of telephone conversations concerning the upcoming Thanksgiving Dinner plans. Jack and a drag queen, Jack and Will, Will and Grace, Karen and Grace. It is tightly edited and beautifully realized.
The show itself is broken into a series of vignettes featuring each of the main characters' families. Karen goes to visit Stan in prison and he wrecks her world by suggesting she sleep with other men while he's locked up. She then spends the balance of the episode working out the logistics of whether her morals (!?!) can allow this. The big four pick up Eliot and we meet Jack's step-father, played well by Beau Bridges. We visit Grace's oddball family, including Lainie Kazan and Debbie Reynolds as sisters! And then off to Connecticut to Will's parents - God Bless Blythe Danner!
Allowing a full hour for this madness was absolutely the correct step. I've watched these back to back now at least a dozen times and still marvel at the level of writing, directing and ensemble playing achieved.