Rescue Me, season 4 -- An early look
Tommy Gavin is back and while it's probably a waste of breath, I'm gonna state the obvious anyway. Entering its fourth season, Rescue Me continues to be one of the best dramas on TV. Since we last left Tommy and the rest of the 62 Truck crew, about nine months have passed. You'd think with almost a year gone by that some new story-lines would have had time to develop, but for the most part things are the same. That's bad news for Tommy, but very good for us because the show is just as entertaining as ever. You can read on for a bit of an overview, but be warned -- it gets a little spoilery despite my attempts to be as vague as possible. But hey, who doesn't like to play with fire?
I've had the chance to screen the first three episodes of the season and Tommy's household is a wreck when we pick up. Janet has had the baby and the father is still unknown. Could be Tommy's, but more that likely, it's his late brother Johnny's. In the meantime, they've decided to not name the baby yet and Tommy has officially dubbed their son "Lil' No Name." Colleen is just as reckless as ever and while she's moved on from her lesbian phase, she's living up to the Gavin name by becoming an aficionado of all things sex, drugs, and rock n' roll.
Of course the big question on everyone's mind is the aftermath of the beach-house fire. Obviously Tommy survived the fire, but the big question is Sheila. Did she make it or not? An answer to that question is finally given near the end of the premiere episode and all I'll say is prepare to be shocked. The big issue for Tommy is the insurance companies. Since he has no real recollection of the night, they're trying to pin the fire on him and his half-assed answers aren't cutting it. Much like Vic Mackey in The Shield, the higher-ups have gotten wind of Tommy's situation and see it as a way to push him out of the department for good.
Elsewhere, Franco is still going strong with Natalie. Look for some more extremely funny scenes between him and her mentally-challenged brother Richie. Lou is still involved with Theresa, who's now officially an ex-nun, but he's having a hard time dealing with her insatiable sex drive. The same problems exist for Sean, who can't seem to get Maggie to stop watching porn. Following his stroke, Jerry is exercising like crazy in an attempt to rejoin his crew but things don't go as planned. The character with the least developed plot early on is Mike (he's no longer "the probie"). His mother is sick and this is sure to lead to problems later in the season.
Other returning characters include Jimmy, Cousin Mickey, Cousin Eddie, Uncle Teddy, Chief Pecher (co-creator Peter Tolan), Alicia (Susan Sarandon), and newcomers Nona (Jennifer Esposito) and Bart (Larenz Tate).
Also worth mentioning? The fire scenes. I don't know what it is, but they seem to get more violent and scarier with each season. What I'm trying to say is they are very cool to watch. Of course, the hallmark of the show still rests in the ability of Tolan and Leary to so effortlessly blend gut-wrenching drama with gut-busting humor. You'll know what I mean after the season premiere. Rescue Me returns to F/X on Wednesday, June 13 at 10PM.