Guest Author - Lizzie Flynn
“Saving Grace” is an original TNT production starring Academy Award winner Holly Hunter as Grace Hanadarko. The show, which is set in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, premiered to rave reviews July 16, 2007 and ended it’s first season to lackluster ratings.
Grace Hanadarko is a troubled, but brilliant detective with the Oklahoma Police Department. She smokes too much, drinks too much and sleeps around a lot. She is fighting crime in any way she can as well as fighting the personal demons that have plagued her since childhood. She’s a brilliant detective with a deeply troubled personal life. Her life is spinning out of control when something happens to change everything.
One night after a particularly heavy drinking binge, Grace runs down a pedestrian and kills him. She gets on her knees and begs God for help. Her prayers are answered in the form of Earl, a wise and weathered old angel who tells it like it is. He tells her that she’s headed for Hell if she doesn’t change her ways and offers to help her. When he leaves her alone he takes with him the pedestrian and any evidence that the accident even occurred. The only thing left to tell Grace that she had in fact injured someone was a small speck of blood. With the help of her friend, medical examiner Rhetta Rodriquez (played by Laura San Giacomo), she later finds out that the accident “victim” is actually a death row inmate who also gets frequent visits from Earl.
Throughout the first season Grace continues to fight her demons as well as Earl. In each episode she is given a clue that will help her on her journey. With Rhetta’s help she decodes the clues to find out what Earl needs for her to do. Still, she doesn’t want to give up her life of debauchery, causing her angel more angst than he wants. When she asks for his help he coyly tells her “I’m like Fed-Ex. I just deliver the messages.” What she does after she gets the messages is completely up to her.
Toward the end of the first season Grace’s deepest secret is uncovered. When she was 9 years-old, she was molested by Father Patrick Murphy. For most of her adult life Grace believed that he was dead. Then Rhetta showed her that the clues were all leading to him. She had come to the point of confronting her greatest demon. She wailed and cursed him in the desert while her best friend held her up. Then she watched as her brother knocked the priest down with a well-aimed punched. She decided to visit Father Patrick one night and took her weapon with her. She held the gun to his head as he begged her for forgiveness, finally telling her “I’m like Fed-Ex. I just deliver the messages.” Then she realized that Father Patrick had been in contact with Earl, or perhaps Father Patrick was Earl. The first season of “Saving Grace” ended with Grace’s gun in Father Patrick’s mouth and fans wondering what she was going to do.
The second season of “Saving Grace” premieres July 14, 2008 at 10/9pm central. Fans will be able to see what Grace decides is Father Patrick’s fate- unless Earl intervenes in the meantime.