Posted: 06/15/2009


Saving Grace Season Premiere On TNT


by Laura Tucker

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One of the most interesting discussions/debates in life is religion vs. science, and while we’ve entered into this territory before in entertainment, and even had shows about angels, this is the first time it’s all combined to make it seem so realistic and how life would actually happen. Saving Grace actually leaves me asking questions about life, and I have to honor anything that can do that.

The second season of Saving Grace ended with Grace (Holly Hunter) starting to see more of the omnipotence of God and that there is a plan for everything. She was introduced to a few people in the episode, and just like the old email story that people come into your life for a season, a reason, or a lifetime, she started to see that. A man on death row, Leon Cooley (Bokeem Woodbine), came into her life, and after realizing he connected with her sister and nephew a few days before her sister died, she thought her role was to save him. She couldn’t. There was a deeper purpose there.

As if being shot wasn’t life-changing enough, in piecing together the moments surrounding her shooting, Grace remembers a young woman with a nose ring. She sees her again, and the woman runs away. She learns from Leon that this young woman is in her life for a reason. Just like Cooley, Neely (Yaani King) is there for a reason.

In the first episode of the third season, premiering Tuesday, July 16 on TNT, The storyline is continued, with Grace still searching for Neely, wanting to know why she was brought into her life. Neely also connects with Grace’s angel, Earl (Leon Rippy), so she knows the young woman’s life is on the line. Grace is simply trying to fix the situation and help her, but only seems to make it much worse.

In the third episode of the season, with Grace and Earl still working to help Neely and piece it all together, another angel shows up, Matthew (F. Murray Abraham). This angel has quite a competitive streak about him and resents Earl’s status with saving souls. In the one moment that I found unbelievable between the three episodes, they run through a list of famous souls they saved, including Mother Theresa. It was just a little too much brevity. Matthew has heard so much about Grace, and figures it’s another way to put a feather in his … wings, and makes Grace all sorts of promises if she allows him to save her instead of Earl.

Saving Grace doesn’t feature one certain religion, but does focus on faith and its importance in life. Grace doesn’t have the best lifestyle, but there’s good in there somewhere, and Earl is intent on finding it and getting Grace to agree to give her life to God before her time is up. It’s not exactly the way I would imagine angels working, but it’s close enough to really make me think about it.

It’s also an interesting take on it all with the darkness of the people involved. It’s not just the bad guys in this detective show that need to be saved. It’s also the good guys. Grace isn’t a murderer or rapist, but she’s lost her faith after the death of her sister during the Oklahoma City Bombing. She has plenty of bad habits and on top of it all was having an affair with a married man, but she has goodness in there that Earl, and apparently God, recognizes. All of that serves to make Saving Grace so much more real.

Laura Tucker Laura Tucker is the webmaster of Reality Shack, and its accompanying Reality Shack Blog, and is a freelance writer providing reviews of movies and television, among other things, at Viewpoints. She is also an Associate Instructor and 2nd dan black belt in tae kwon do with South Elgin Martial Arts. Laura can be reached at

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