This week, tornadoes are tearing through the state, Grace is trapped with a woman responsible for a bus crash, prison!guy converts to Islam, Rhetta and the mortician get drunk in the morgue, and Butch and Ham fight it out. The gist of Ham's story is that he is forever losing Grace - she just wanders off to do her own thing. He's worried about her, he loves her, and he doesn't know if she wants him around. There is a scene at the close of the episode between the two of them that is lonely. Butch scolds Grace for going off alone, and Grace apologises to Ham, telling him she needs him as her partner.
The scene between Ham and Butch is hilarious. On the one hand, it echoes and inverts an earlier scene where a grieving father takes his frustrations out on Ham and Butch is behind them, ready to support his friend. On the other hand, it's farcical. They're fighting, letting out their frustrations, but it's not really bad blood. Ham is constantly worried, and Butch is too but he takes it out on Ham by teasing him that he's lost his partner again. Ham's jealousies reawaken, which is why the fight starts. But there's no real malice in it. I love when Ham lifts and repeatedly slams Butch against the wall. The captain ends the ordeal by spraying them with water. It's fabulous. "Thank god," she says, "I was worried this might have been filled with silly string," which is a reference to earlier in the episode when Butch tells Ham there's something wrong with the torches, and Ham goes to check the batteries, only to have a party spring launched at his face. The relationships here are beautiful and strong.
Grace goes it alone this week, and that's sort of the point. Earl leaves her trapped in this collapsed building, and Grace finds herself wanting to save this woman - a woman who, as it turns out, is one of the two people behind a case of negligence resulting in a bus crash which killed a lot of children. (As a sidenote, Grace is originally with a paramedic played by Jason London; boy has certainly grown up. The two of them were lovely together, friendly, professional. They were both on scene for survivor recovery after the Oklahoma Bombings. We learn Grace has been on the force 21 years, and it hints towards her fear of being buried alive.) A lot of things are going on concurrently. Firstly there's Grace's simple human connection to the woman; secondly, there's her anger at God and Earl, and wanting the woman to just live; thirdly there's Earl's comment at the end: she doesn't understand that in forgiving the woman, in not killing her, in wanting her to live, Grace redeemed her. It's a haunting narrative, and Grace's sadness is palpable.
Things that I would like to see more of: Grace and Butch. I love their relationship so much. As Butch points out to Ham - he knows her better because he's known her longer (which makes me question when he transferred from Texas; or maybe he just went to college there? I freaking love his Bulls shirts). We already know that the two of them used to date, we already know that they've slept together recently. We know that Butch definitely knows about Ham and Grace. But what I like about them comes through so clear in Butch's conversation with Grace when he and Ham come into the bar: they're beyond the physicality of their relationship. They love one another in the way of true friendship, and when Butch chastises Grace, he's doing it as someone who has known her for a long time, and someone who cares for her. They share mutual respect. And I love seeing that in play.
Also, hopefully we'll see more of Grace's fabulous family in the next few episodes, and possibly more scenes where Earl meets Grace's friends and family. That whole set up tickles me. I'm even a little invested in prison!man's storyline. (This week was great because he obviously did not understand that all gods are the same God. That 'reveal' was wonderful.)
No Bobby this week, unfortunately. Plus: no repercussions from Grace's reveal in the last episode before the hiatus, which is a shame, but understandable. I'm so pleased it's back. I enjoy this show so much.