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Series / Perpetual Grace LTD

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Perpetual Grace, LTD, is a darkly comedic drama series created by Steven Conrad (Patriot) and Bruce Terris. The story centers on a disgraced firefighter who gets roped into trying to steal the fortune of two old grifters by the couple's wayward son. The plot quickly gets out of their control and grows to involve a dozen other oddball characters and storylines.

The cast includes Ben Kingsley and Jacki Weaver as the grifter couple, Damon Harriman as their son, Jimmi Simpson as the former firefighter, Luis Guzman as a Mexican sheriff, Terry O'Quinn as a Texas ranger pursuing the son, and Kurtwood Smith as "Uncle Dave."

The series ran for a single season on the ePix channel before its cancelation. A miniseries was planned to provide a conclusion but was ultimately scrapped.

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Tropes:

  • The Atoner:
    • James wants the money so that he can become the secret benefactor of the 11 daughters of the firefighter whose death he indirectly caused.
    • Paul reveals himself to be one, and plans to turn himself in over the accidental death of the little girl he'd kidnapped.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Car saleswoman Valerie flirts with male customers by insulting them, which his how she seduces them into buying cars.
  • Berserk Button: Newleaf will kill anyone who insults his parents. When on trial for first degree murder, he calmly explains to the judge the extenuating circumstances that his victim had recently cursed out his parents. However, the trope gets subverted toward the end of the series, when Deloach deliberately insults Newleaf's parents to enrage him, but Newleaf decides not to kill him.
  • Best Served Cold: Newleaf executes the man who insulted his parents with utterly cold blood.
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  • Book Dumb: Glenn has apparently never been to school and didn't even watch educational programming on TV. He's thus remarkably ignorant about the world and common phrases.
  • Catchphrase: Byron's mantra, "Get the rhythm! Get the rhythm! There you go! There you fucking go!"
  • Corrupt Cops: Hector Contreras is a Mexican sheriff who agrees to participate in the plan.
  • Honey Trap: Valerie seduces Hector to entice him into the plan, promising to run away with him afterwards, but she's actually Paul's girlfriend.
  • Improvised Weapon: Pastor Byron kills a cartel gangster in jail with a shoe.
  • Left Hanging: The series ends on a major cliffhanger, never to be resolved.
  • Manly Tears: Based on his experience, the macho Newleaf's advice for surviving in prison is, "When you cry, do it in your own cell and do it as quietly as possible."
  • Meaningful Rename: Newleaf changed his name after getting out of prison because he wants to "turn over a new leaf" in his life. He later considers changing his name to "Spacejunk" in a fit of depression.
  • Miscarriage of Justice: Uncle Dave is a convicted sex offender. It turns out that a child barged into his changing room while he was trying on underwear.
  • Overly Long Gag: Newleaf admits that he has an excellent fastball, but it takes him 27 minutes to psych himself up to throw it. We then cut to a montage of a younger Newleaf psyching himself up on the mound, with a time code in the corner of the screen as he wanders around, stretches, meditates, and otherwise wastes time.
  • Pet the Dog: Paul is a rather enigmatic character for much of the series, as he is obviously quite crooked but also very childish. He ultimately proves that he's a decent guy when he reveals himself to Newleaf to save the life of James.
  • Prison Rape: Paul believes that a small man like him will be regularly raped in prison, so he plans to master all 11 major forms of martial arts before turning himself in.
  • Riddle for the Ages: Due to being Left Hanging, the show leaves a few mysteries unsolved:
    • Newleaf admits to killing two people before the man he most recently went to prison for. We see in a flashback that he committed manslaughter by hitting a man in the face with a fastball, but the second killing is never revealed.
    • Why does James' father wear a space suit around town?
  • Stage Magician: Paul's passion is stage magic. He's very adept at disappearing and reappearing in other locations, which involves "hunkering" and "scurrying."
  • Start of Darkness: Pastor Byron's start was being persuaded by Donald to murder a fellow orphan at the orphanage to make a statement to the other kids.
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: Paul is revealed relatively early on to have a nearly supernatural ability to appear and disappear with his stage magic. In the final episode, he suddenly reveals that he's also a master of kung fu.
  • Weak, but Skilled: In the final episode, Paul notes that he's a small man and so worries about getting raped in prison. He's mastered kung fu and plans to master the other ten major forms of martial arts before turning himself in. Newleaf tells him that he's going to need all of his skills to survive.
  • When Elders Attack: Pastor Byron is in remarkable shape and is holy hell in a fight. He's able to best James in arm-wrestling and beats a cartel gangster to death with a shoe.
  • Wouldn't Hurt a Child: Paul, a scummy criminal sort, is suspected of murdering a child. He protests, "I would never do that! Never ever!" But then we learn that she found out about one of his plots and was going to inform on him, making his innocence uncertain. It's eventually revealed that he kidnapped her and intended to free her after completing his plan, but she escaped and died of a tragic accident while in the wilderness.
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