Thursday, July 30, 2009

'Grace's' New Promise

Season 3 of 'Saving Grace' Airs on TNTBy LillyKat
PTR Senior Staff Writer

Thank you, Laura San Giacomo, for reminding me once again why I love you.

And Rhetta.

You saved the first season of Saving Grace for me.

You got me through the second season.

And you are now poised to become an even more critical role to the continued character development of Grace Hanadarko that it makes me just want to ... well, buy you a beer.


This week's episode of Saving Grace was all about Rhetta for me.

I didn't care about the case (some old fogey who died after some woman he was involved with lost his money in gambling or something? Sorry, but I wasn't even paying attention given the Rhetta's-husband-is-cheating-on-her bombshell that was dropped before opening titles even rolled. I will say, though, Grace seemingly moving into the old timer's place and going through EVERY piece of anything the man owned was ... weird. Like, wearing his old bomber jacket? Having Captain Perry over for dinner? Go home, Grace. It's not your house, eh?)

But in all seriousness, this week was all about Grace catching Rhetta's husband having an affair - or the beginnings of an affair - with the woman who is selling their farm.

As in, Rhetta's family farm.

The one owned by multiple generations.

The one that holds her blood, sweat, tears, memories, legacy and everything else that has ever meant anything to her.

Yup, that would be the one.

Laura San Giacomo's performance in this ep was just phenomenal. She portrayed the shock of the revelation in a way that was so stunningly real. Her subsequent calm, methodical questioning of every male officer on the squad as to their thoughts on cheating, infidelity and affairs was painful yet brilliant to watch. And her scientific examination of her husband's clothes - to which she could identify perfume that was NOT hers on three different shirts - was equally as poignant given it was her only way to cope with the bombshell that had just exploded unto her life.

But the kicker was her confrontation with Grace.

The anger at Grace's out-of-control sexual escapades that has lead her to be - on a bazillion different occasions - "the other woman" to so many married men, and the source of the pain for all those married women; threatening to forfeit their friendship unless Grace promises to abandon that behavior given she could no longer love Grace if she selfishly causes so many women the same pain Rhetta is now enduring.



So Rhetta.

From Day 1, Rhetta has always been the moral compass of the show, and specifically, to Grace. She has quietly comforted, cleverly cajoled, secretly investigated and unconditionally supported Grace's development - especially as it pertains to Earl, and even more especially as it pertained to Leon Cooley.

To see her deliver this ultimatum to Grace once again proved that the show is doing some of its best work this season.

Now we wait to see if Grace actually KEEPS that promise.

New episodes of Saving Grace air Tuesdays at 10 p.m. on TNT. You can watch full episodes of the show anytime over on the show’s official Web site. You can also visit to share your stories of how you embrace your inner-Grace.

1 comment:

John said...

As a minor aside (and I agree the case was an aside), the case involved a 99 year-old man who placed a bet that would pay off big (relatively) if he lived to be 100. The bookie murdered him the day before he turned 100 to avoid paying the bet. He had also murdered a woman in another city to avoid paying off on another specialty bet. It was her daughter that was flirting with Ham.

As to Rhetta’s cheating husband and the fall out from that, I agree with all you said. L.S.G. was great and Rhetta’s pain was very real.

I am guessing the husband’s excuse is that he feels bad about the farm and Rhetta is distant and the auctioneer is sympathetic. To me, all that means is he is selfish. If he hasn’t had sex with her yet, it is (or at least was) just a matter of a short time.

I have no opinion on whether Rhetta should forgive him or not (I wouldn’t in her place), but she should do what is best for herself.

I did like her coping techniques. Falling back on technical problems to hold the emotional impact at bay for a bit is a good approach as long as you eventually do deal with the real issues, which she is started to do.

In the past I doubt Grace would have been able to keep her promise or even treat it as anything more than some words to easy Rhetta’s pain and to be soon ignored. The new and improved Grace will certainly try to keep her word and will feel horrible if she fails. That is some progress anyway.