Television Review: Saving Grace, "It's Better When I Can See You"
by R.J. Carter
Published: December 2, 2007
Saving Grace returns to TNT with new episodes this week with the force of a Texas tornado. Several of them, in fact, as the weather puts a deadly hitch in an investigation of a school bus crash which resulted in the death of a handful of first graders.
Detective Grace Hanadarko (Holly Hunter) learns the cause of the accident was due to faulty parts on the bus -- parts that had been recalled by the manufacturer, but which were left in service and covered up by the owner of the bussing company. While grilling the company owner as he and his employees are batoning down the hatches, the tornadoes begin to touch down. But a little thing like killer weather doesn't bother Grace. She knows who's behind such acts of God, and she's not afraid to tell Him off.
For those new to the series, Saving Grace is more than just a procedural police drama. It's more like CSI: Houston meets Highway to Heaven meets Garth Ennis's Preacher. Because Grace has a literal guardian angel named Earl (Leon Rippy, who plays the role with a blending of Billy Bob Thornton and Tommy Lee Jones), an irritating cuss who appears to Grace in times of crisis, trying to get her to come around to getting past her mad-on at the Almighty. It's a mercy job, and he's got his work cut out for him, because Grace is as tough as they come.
Grace isn't the only one that Earl visits regularly, though. Imprisoned Leon Cooley (Bokeem Woodbine) is also on Leon's "to do" list, and Leon's had just about enough of it. Leon has his own vision of what Heaven must be like, and he chooses another road to get there, making a decision that will surprise -- and possibly even shock and outrage -- viewers.
"It's Better When I Can See You" premieres Monday, December 3, at 10pm (9pm CST), with future episodes airing at the same time Decmeber 10, 17, and 18, on TNT.