PTR Senior Staff Writer
I sure do like it when everything comes full circle.
Especially for show I gave up on LAST season.
If I recall correctly, I did my best Detective Lilly Rush impression and closed the case of Saving Grace - swore it wouldn't be re-opened, thought I had wasted my time on a show that really seemed to be more about pushing the envelope than in giving us much substance to go along WITH that envelope.
But last June, when I visited the set, the passion of the entire cast and crew forced me to take a second look at the series.
I'm still glad I did.
Yes, I had my gripes this season - which were about the same as they were last season: stop the endless downward spiral of Grace; give us something to care about in her character; separate her away from that co-dependent mess of a relationship she has with Ham Dewey; force her to grow up, be accountable and act like an adult; give some of the other characters a chance to shine.
When the show DID do all of this, it really worked for me. And with last night's second season finale, I think it was the best the show has had on offer.
Grace owned up to not only having been awarded a last chance Angel, but also in accepting her responsibility that comes along with that gift. She faced down her fear and demons - SOME of them, anyway - and was forced to understand her role in the larger circle of life.
That is, it really is NOT all about Grace Hanadarko.
We didn't get the happy ending with Leon Cooley earning a stay of a execution (which was the stronger play story-wise), but we did get some serious soul searching on the part of Grace that brought her face to face with Leon in the end.
And of which allowed her to make some peace not only with Leon, but within herself.
We didn't get the holier-than-thou lecture from Angel Earl (not that he ever really does that), but instead, more of the equal partnership between her and Grace as to the turn of event(s) that have brought them both to this point in time.
It was a page out of Touched By An Angel in that the angels on that show didn't always know the whole "plan" ahead of time. Sometimes, they had to learn it on the job. Or at the last minute. Or all of a sudden. And they had to identify with their human assignment in the same uncertain, uncomfortable kind of way, only being able to offer reassurance there IS a big plan.
Trust in it.
This is the second time in as many episodes that I can make a TBAA comparison. And THAT is a good thing for this viewer (since Grace generally likes to be anything BUT TBAA).
And we also saw the leveling of the playing field between Earl and Grace, which has been progressing nicely for most of this season. That is, they have become friends, gotten to know each other, have come to almost understand one another. And in the end, when Grace really needed Earl, he was there for her though perhaps not with the all-knowing answers that she had expected.
Which forced Grace to own up to it all by herself.
And I have to say, I am proud of her for doing so. I'm happy with where the writers have left her to start the third season. She turned a huge corner in this finale.
Is it temporary? Will she go back to her old ways? Probably. But I'd like to think it may be tempered somewhat, that there may be an even heavier conscience weighing on her now given the loss of Leon - and her role IN that loss.
Don't quite know how I feel about Ham having finally divorced Darlene FOR Grace. Line of the night goes to Darlene:
Darlene: "Does she love you?"
Ham: "I don't know."
Darlene: "Then what are you doing?"
My own personal
Obviously, it's not up to me, and I don't know what the writers have in store for the third season. But if this finale left us with anything, it would be a sense that Grace DOES actually seem to be worth saving.
Can't say I felt that way at the end of the first season.
How's that for full circle?
New episodes of Saving Grace return this summer. If you missed any of the second season, you can watch full episodes of the show anytime over on the show’s official Web site. You can also visit EmbraceYourGrace.com to share your stories of how you embrace your inner-Grace.