The main protagonist. A detective with the Oklahoma City Police Department's Major Crimes Unit. she leads a hard-living in every imaginable aspect, from chain-smoking to binge drinking to sleeping with multiple men and everything between. After running over Leon Cooley, she meets Earl, her "last-chance" angel.
- Action Girl: More than willing to kick some ass when necessary.
- The Alcoholic: Gets drunk frequently, even driving drunk.
- Amicable Exes: With Butch.
- Belief Makes You Stupid: Thinks this at the very beginning of the series.
- Byronic Hero: Has no qualms about sleeping with married men, occasionally drives drunk, and does many other things that would get her thrown off the force, but the woman's got a heart of solid gold.
- Bulletproof Vest: Saves her life in "Everything's Got a Shelf Life".
- Chained to a Bed: Naked, with the name of the culprit who locked her up written on her butt, just in time for her partner/lover to walk in and see it. Happens in "A Language of Angels".
- Consummate Liar: Earl even has a lengthy list to prove it.
- Cool Aunt: Grace is definitely this to Clay.
- Cowboy Cop: Grace tortures a confession out of one suspect and kidnaps another, but it's okay because they were bad guys. Also, her boss has absolutely no problem with her obvious corruption.
- Doomed Protagonist: Given that Earl is a "Last Chance Angel" and what happened to his other charges (Leon and Neely) it could be argued that people given a Last Chance Angel are not long for this earth. This could mean that Grace was one of these from the start.
- Drunk Driver: What starts the series is Grace driving drunk and hitting Leon Cooley.
- Evil Stole My Faith: Let's face it, if you were being raped by a priest multiple times in your youth and you had to bear witness to the aftermath of the Oklahoma City bombings, you'd have trouble holding on to your faith, too.
- Fair Cop: Oh, yes.
- Functional Addict: All the booze, cigarettes and sex in the world can't stop her from being a good cop.
- Good Is Not Soft: She has punched, kicked, tripped, and outright tortured some suspects to get a confession.
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Big time.
- The Hero: Ya think?!
- The Hero Dies: In the finale.
- Heroic BSoD: After accidentally killing a little girl.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Rhetta.
- I Need a Freaking Drink: Often.
- The Lad-ette: A man-bedding, hard-drinking, chain-smoking, perp-punching, Sooner-loving gal.
- Lying to the Perp: More than once.
- Masquerade: Subverted, Grace has definitely blabbed to folks about knowing an angel.
- Missing Mom and Disappeared Dad: Grace's sister and father died in the Oklahoma City bombing.
- Modesty Bedsheet: Never happens. Heck, Grace hardly ever has sex in bed.
- Ms. Fanservice: Grace is naked and riding the baloney pony in almost all episodes and happily flashes her next door neighbor everytime she steps out of the shower. Naturally, for the guys she boinks we have a Right Through His Pants situation.
- Ms. Vice Gal: Sex, gambling, drinking, and smoking are among her hobbies.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Has this moment after hitting Leon Cooley with her car. She's promptly to introduced Earl immediately afterwards.
- Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The 5'2" Grace has floored more than her fair share of opponents.
- Rape as Backstory: Grace and her deceased sister were both molested by the same priest.
- Really Gets Around: And HOW. Grace loves to boink and has waxed poetic about it to Earl. She prefers to boink Ham, but she was never at all exclusive about it. Especially highlighted in "Is There a Scarlet Letter on My Breast?", much to Grace's embarrassment and Ham and Henry's chagrin.
- Smoking Hot Sex: Loves a good cigarette after a good boink. She loves cigs in general, come to think of it.
- Survivor Guilt: Struggles with this after accidentally killing a little girl. See Heroic BSoD above.
The "last-chance" angel of Grace, Leon, and Neely.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Prone to the occasional outburst about getting right with God, at which point his wings turn red.
- Guardian Angel: Subverted, he's more of a voice of calm and advice to Grace and Leon. He does provide plenty of forms of comfort, however.
- Invisible to Normals: Sorta? Earl can supposedly only be seen by Grace and Leon- and at times, nobody else sees them, like when Earl is hanging out in Leon's cell. And yet, Earl pops up all the time to talk to Grace's various friends and relatives in bars and whatnot- they just don't know who he is. (Which would really kill Rhetta if she knew she'd met Earl.) Also, Grace and Leon can't recall what Earl looks like when he's not there- all they can recall is that he's white and wears different shirts.
- Rhetta does meet Earl again AND finds out who he was later. Grace can't resist making a "touched by an angel" joke.
- Limited Wardrobe: Earl dresses about the same, EXCEPT for his different shirts that he gets while globe-trotting. Leon is in Institutional Apparel, which accounts for Grace catching him in a lie that he told to Rhetta.
- Mission from God: Earl's job.
- Nice Guy: Yup.
- Offscreen Teleportation: Despite the wings, Earl gets around like this. And sometimes he takes Grace or Leon along.
- Our Angels Are Different: Naturally. Earl is touchable, eats food, shops, gets tattoos, and chews. (And leaves chew bottles around for Grace to find.) His wings appear to have some kind of orgasmic effect. He has no DNA in his spit and he's a different kind of life form.
Hamilton 'Ham' Dewey
Grace's partner on the force. He is sexually involved with her despite being married to his wife, Darlene.
- Excessive Mourning: After the death of his brother Rafe, his grief messes him up to the point that he acts like an asshole, unable to do his job.
- Heartbroken Badass: In the last seconds of the show, after Grace's death.
- Hurting Hero: After Rafe dies.
- The Lancer: Since Grace is The Hero, it makes sense that her partner fits this role.
- Manly Tears: Is prone to these. Ham is definitely not a man who is afraid to hide his emotions.
- Sad Clown: Despite laughing at the cue ball prank pulled on him at the beginning of "Are You an Indian Princess?", it's very clear he's still messed up.
- Sex for Solace: With Darlene after Rafe dies.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Butch, especially when it comes to their mutual history with Grace.
- Wall Bang Her: Has done this with Grace a few times.
- Your Cheating Heart: Ham is married and boinks Grace anyway.
Grace's best friend and the MCU's forensic specialist. She often gives advice on Grace's encounters with Earl.
- The Chick: Also doubles as The Smart Girl.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Grace.
- We Need to Get Proof: Rhetta collects forensic evidence of Earl's existence that Grace brings her (feathers, chew bottle, whittled duck, etc.) She also proves that the blood left on Grace's button belonged to Leon Cooley.
- Your Cheating Heart: Her husband Ronnie cheats on her in the third season. It spurs Grace to quit having sex with married men.
A detective that works with Grace and Ham. Played quarterback for the Texas Longhorns, which leads to trading barbs with Oklahoma Sooner fans Grace and Ham.
- Academic Athlete: Played quarterback for the Texas Longhorns, and is also an adept detective as a well as a Boy Scout in his youth and possesses a knowledge of physics.
- Amicable Exes: With Grace.
- The Big Guy: The guy to chase after running suspects. Helps that he used to play quarterback for the Texas Longhorns.
- Fair Cop: Look at the picture above. Try and convince us otherwise.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Bobby.
- In-Series Nickname: Kate calls him "Benny," which is short for Benedict Arnold, as he went to and played quarterback for the University of Texas, the Arch-Enemy of the University of Oklahoma.
- Nice Hat: He is frequently seen with a brown cowboy hat.
- Non-Idle Rich: Comes from a wealthy family and is a very active detective.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Bobby's blue, preferring to take the lead in interrogations while Bobby observes.
- Vitriolic Best Buds: With Ham, especially when it comes to their mutual history with Grace. Also, Butch is a fan and former player for the Texas Longhorns which subjects him to ribbing from his fellow detectives, as he is in Oklahoma Sooner territory.
- Your Cheating Heart: Bobby suspects him of this after being pulled out of his undercover assignment, which causes tension between them for a short time. In reality, his fury comes from being unable to do anything about the victims of the child sex ring he infiltrated.
Butch's partner, has Native American & Hispanic heritage. Also an Oklahoma State Cowboys fan.
- Deep Cover Cop: Goes undercover for 5 episodes in the second season.
- Friendly Rivalry: When it comes to college football, he has a more amicable rivalry with Grace, Ham and Kate when it to comes to pitting his OSU Cowboys against their Oklahoma Sooners than that of the constant teasing between the Sooner fans and lonely Longhorn fan Butch. He's just as likely to laugh at Butch's anti-OU jokes, however, and the two partners have more of a mutual respect when it comes to OSU-Texas.
- Heterosexual Life-Partners: With Butch.
- The Infiltration: Of a child sex ring. It has a profound effect on him after he is pulled out of the assignment.
- Only Sane Man: The most down to earth, calm and rational member of the MCU.
- Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Butch's red, letting Butch take the lead in interrogations while he observes.
- The Smart Guy: A very observant and knowledgeable detective. The squad's chemistry tends to suffer without his presence.
Grace, Ham, Butch and Bobby's boss.
- Black Best Friend: To Grace.
- Black Boss Lady: Being that she's the captain and played by Lorraine Toussaint, it's a given.
- Da Chief
- Reasonable Authority Figure: She's friends with Grace, and has a Friendly Rivalry with Butch, but also has a knack for knowing when to rein in the more hard-headed of her detectives.
- It's Personal: In "I Killed Kristin," he interferes with an investigation, along with a group of fans, to get any potential suspect off the hook for the murder of a rock band front man's girlfriend, due to relating to the band's music, as well as the fanbase's hatred of her. This is despite the fact that the proof was pointing right at the band. It promptly gets him kicked him off the Explorers program.
- Morality Pet: To Grace.
- Nice Guy: His faults in seasons 2 and 3 aside, he's a really sweet kid.
- Peer Pressure: Likely the reason he shoved a cake into a girl's face.
- Took a Level in Jerkass: A minor one in Season 3, which was to be expected as he becomes a teenager, but his behavior in "I Killed Kristin" wasn't exactly altruistic to say the least.
- What the Hell, Hero?: Lets the then-married Ham know that he's not OK with him seeing Grace outside of his marriage.
- Yoko Oh No: Saw Kristin as this.
A death row inmate and one of Earl's charges along with Grace.
Father Johnny Hanadarko
Grace brother, a Catholic priest who is skeptical about Earl.
A drug addict and another one of Earl's charges.
- Addled Addict: Is badly addicted to meth. It eventually kills her.