Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Saving ‘Grace’ … and Leon, Dion and Grandma
PTR Staff Writer
I was just wondering: was last night’s episode of Saving Grace about saving Grace, saving Leon, or saving the community from Bigtime Dion Reynolds and his grandmother?
Did anyone else need a roadmap to figure out where the heck the episode was going?
One minute, we’re getting shot raiding the house of a supposed crack dealer; then we’re in the hospital for two seconds; then we’re back at work, hanging with the boys, eating pizza and drinking beer; then Angel Earl is dealing with death row inmate Leon’s sudden realization he’s losing his son and ex-wife to another man; then we’re harassing Bigtime Reynolds (and grandma) who are supposedly linked to said crack dealer; then we’re going to fallen comrade’s funeral (who, unlike Grace, didn’t survive the raid).
Get all that?
It was disjointed to say the least - which isn’t anything new with the way this show has been going.
Now, I did like a couple of things.
1) No sex romps for Grace this week (shocking, yes, I know; I’ve had enough Holly Hunter Wardrobe Malfunctions to tide me over for years, thank you).
2) The raid. This was intense. Now, I recognize this was a little too much guns-ablazin’-shootout-at-the-OK-Corral-ish (which was over dramatized for television given this sort of thing doesn’t happen on a daily basis in most police precincts around the country), but I liked Grace getting the stuff knocked out of her. I guess this must be the year for female detectives to get shot at?
3) The anger/rage of the detectives in wanting to nail Bigtime Reynolds for the death of one of their fallen officers. Any real-life cop will tell you: one of their own gets killed by a bad guy, it’s a big flippin’ deal. They stop at nothing to get the guy who did it, and I thought this was done perfectly in this ep.
4) The goofball names thought up by Bigtime Reynolds for Grace: “Detective Handjob” (accurate) and “Detective Hanadyko” (not so accurate … just ask all of … well, the entire male population of Oklahoma City, I guess).
Things I didn’t buy whatsoever:
1) Grace, after being shot so hard the impact of the bullet stopped her heart and bruised the entire left side of her upper body, is back on the street without missing a beat save for a few winces of pain here and there. Huh? Excuse me, but no. Where is the psyche evaluation (a lá Brenda Leigh Johnson’s close encounter with a serial killer and Lilly Rush’s are-we-really-sure-she’s-ready-to-return-to-work dilemma?). And no, five minutes with her Catholic brother priest does not count. Of course, I think one actually has to have some sort of heart or conscience to be affected by trauma, which we aren’t really sure Grace has at the moment. So perhaps she can just turn into Sarah Connor (Terminator 2), brush it aside and keep on after the machines, er, bad guys. Throw in the occasional fleeting moments of wanting to attend fallen officer’s funeral – even though she did not go to her sister or father’s (wow, priorities anyone?) – and hey, I guess it’s all good. Whatever. Of course one could take this as a sign she’s “changing.” Who knows at this point.
2) Zero to cold-blooded-grandmother killer in less than 30 seconds. I’m sorry, but that was just a little too quick for me. It’s one thing to have her being a cool-as-ice woman, angry that her son was killed whilst simultaneously having to defend his son (her grandson) and his crack dealing thuggery. It’s another to suddenly have her shoot grandson and his cohort, end up in interrogation, and after two questions, go, yep … that was me. Um, ‘kay. Makes it seem like The Closer and Cold Case take way to long to solve their cases.
3) Too much going on. Period. All the stuff with death row inmate Leon was just way out of place. I know he and Grace “share” Angel Earl (as it were), but I swear it felt like they were trying to wrap up his storyline or something. And, did it not seem strange Angel Earl was spending more time worrying about whether Leon could deal with his now ex-wife getting remarried and son being adopted by new husband than whether Grace was dealing with having the stuffing knocked out of her? I guess he just thought she could handle it. Or God is done babying her.
Like I said last week, I still think this show cannot make up its mind about what it’s supposed to be doing – the cop stuff almost seems to get thrown in just for the heck of it. You have no real interest of any case given it’s always some footnote abbreviated – dead body, two suspects, solved (Tah-dah!). And we already know Grace's routine is getting old. Also, throwing 4,790 things at the audience in one episode to make you think what you're watching is compelling actually makes it even less so. We are smarter than that, thank you.
Still wondering how there is going to be a second season to all of this.
The first season finale of Saving Grace airs next Monday at 10 p.m. on TNT.
** PTR Note: I will be on vacation next week, so the final review of the Saving Grace finale will be delayed.