Thoughts on SAVING GRACE finale.

Heads up: The latter part of this contains some spoilers.

Season two of Saving Grace wrapped last night.

It was very powerful and left me drained of all emotions.

For those of you unfamiliar with the show, Holly Hunter plays Grace Hanadarko, a chain-smoking, hard drinking, foul-mouthed, sexed up, but very good, Oklahoma City police officer.

One night, a very drunk Grace hits a man. After praying for assistance, she is visited by an angel named Earl (Leon Rippy). At first, she does not believe he is an angel (Perhaps because he looks like he just came from a Lynyrd Skynyrd reunion concert), but he ultimately convinced her of his divine nature.

The man she hit (which was a sort of dream), was Leon Cooley (Bokeem Woodbine). Cooley is on death row for killing a guard. Not only do Grace and Leon both have Earl as their last chance Angel, but also share some sort of bond. In the final episode of season two, we find out that Leon knew Grace’s late sister (who was killing in the Oklahoma bombing), having helped her with a flat tire.

For Leon, Earl’s job was to help prepare him for heaven and bring him calmness and peace in his time of need. During the first two seasons, Earl worked to help Leon find his way to God, to help him develop his own relationship with him. It was especially interesting to see Leon convert to Islam. He thought he would lose Earl, only to open his eyes and see Earl still there, smiling. Earl explained that God does not care what name you use or your manner of worship, only that you do.

The writing beyond the break contains spoilers, you have been warned.

The season two finale ended with Leon’s execution. It was shown, not simply inferred. Leon’s fear and sorrow was evident and left me weeping, completely forgetting it is a show. The ending, painful as it was, made total sense for the show.

And while season one began with that shared dream, the one that linked Leon and Grace, season two ended up with a similar one that connected Grace with another young lady. That dream appears to be setting the stage for season three.

Overall Saving Grace is a damn impressive show. Hunter is utterly amazing, but the entire cast does an exception job. In particular Laura San Giacomo and Tom Irwin have really stood out. Laura is Rhetta, Grace’s best friend, a forensic scientist for the police department. Tom is Grace’s brother, Father John Hanadarko. Those two spent a lot of time attempting to get Leon’s sentence turned into life instead of death. Their scenes in the last couple of episodes made the execution all the more agonizing to watch. They did an excellent job of displaying power amounts of emotion, without overacting.

I shall miss Mr. Woodbine and look forward to watching his future endeavors.

The future, I think, is quite bright for Saving Grace. Season two saw the show find a nice groove, Holly did not seem to try so hard to make Grace edgy. Of course some credit must go to the writing staff. By mid-season, you had no problem believing these folks were close to one another. Overall, season two saw Saving Grace stand tall as one of the best dramas on television.

Season three of Saving Grace will start, on TNT, on June 16th.