Holly Hunter, Saving Grace

At the beginning of Saving Grace's final season, Grace Hanadarko's secret is out.

TNT sets premiere date for Saving Grace's final season

For three seasons, the heavy-drinking and promiscuous Grace (Holly Hunter) has been under the watchful eye of her "last-chance" angel, Earl (Leon Rippy), who wants Grace to give her life over to God. After surviving a 12-story fall without a scratch in the Season 3 finale, Grace has her share of questions, including one she must ask herself: Does my life have a divine purpose?

"That fall puts Grace in brand-new terrain with questions that have now become demands," Hunter tells TVGuide.com. "Grace answers those demands in a really kind of an extreme way, which is how she normally confronts issues. Grace really goes on a journey, in many ways very much alone. The singularity of her journey very much takes shape in this last season."

Of course, Grace has never been prone to blind faith, and that will not change, creator and executive producer Nancy Miller says. "It's one thing to believe in something; it's another thing to act on it," she says. "She fell 12 stories and walked away without a scratch. That's just not possible. Now what do you do with that?"

Check out photos of the Saving Grace cast

In the premiere, that struggle leads Grace to church, where she plans on having it out with God once and for all. Instead, she meets Hut (Gordon MacDonald), a mysterious man who is obsessed with the darkness in the world.

"His involvement with Grace is quite intimate," Hunter says. "He is a force that she instinctively recognizes."

Miller says Hut's appearance is connected to Oklahoma City's past tragedy in a way that will be explored in the series' final three episodes, in which a dramatic event will completely change Grace's life. Hunter says the magnitude of the event and the series' end date opened up the show's creativity.

Saving Grace to end next summer

"I think it's been elevated to a new place — this is a new playing field that the show operates on in these last episodes," Hunter says. "I've always felt, from the beginning of the show, I wanted an end. I like knowing the end when I start. When I do a movie, I know the end. You gauge your character; the story can kind of take you. This has been gratifying to me to know an end because it allows me to be taken by the story a bit and there's something wonderful about it."

Miller says much of the final season is about whether Grace will follow Earl's advice. "The entire series, in a way, has been a love story between Grace and Earl, and that love story plays out and deepens," she says. "We find out even more of Earl's limitations. He is a messenger for God, humans have free will and there's only so much that he can do for Grace."

Still, Miller maintains that Grace's final choices will be characteristically unpredictable. "Grace is a character, I've found, that goes where she wants to go and I kind of follow her," Miller says. "Her unpredictability led us to places. It's not that we sat down and said, 'What unpredictable thing can Grace do?' It's that this is the thing this character has to do, so how do we do it?

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"There are so many layers of each scene, and if you pay attention, you're going to see how... we wrap it all the way around from the pilot to our last episode," Miller says. "We bookend it. That's where we're headed, and it was tough to get there."

Saving Grace kicks off the first of three new episodes Monday at 10/9c on TNT. The final six episodes will air starting Monday, May 24.