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July 7, 2015

Rescue Me: Disease

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jun 23rd 2009 11:00PM

Steven Pasquale as Sean Garrity on 'Rescue Me.'
(S05E12) "...you guys have been getting divorced for like eight years. Isn't it time you took that old dog into the woods and put one in it's head?" - Lou

Considering who he's starting to hang around with again, is Lou even qualified to give advice like that? If anyone should be wary of getting back in bed with someone, it's him. At least Tommy knows that Sheila and Janet aren't going to rob him blind ... well, at least not for as much as Candy took from Lou.

We're starting to see the effects of what 22 episodes has done to Rescue Me (in a good way). After last week's first musical number featuring the comatose Sean, "Disease" featured more moments that, while not completely out of place, certainly seem to be a result from the extra breathing room.

The most obvious of these moments? The opening fire scene featuring Tommy, Franco, Black Shawn, and Mike. Set to a song by, I think, Duffy(?), it featured no dialogue amongst the firefighters and completely stood alone from the rest of the episode. It actually reminded me a lot of the minisode finale from last summer, "Smoke." Just a really well done moment that required us, as viewers, to simply watch and enjoy rather than having to analyze the whole scene.

The big thing worth analyzing in this episode? The bet made between Tommy and Lou - that Tommy's no strings attached arrangements with Sheila and Janet would crumble before Lou caved to Candy's advances. Kind of a pointless bet, don't you think? For two guys that know each other so well, you'd think one of them would have backed out, fully knowing they'd both fail. Lou is obviously going to cave to his own loneliness and Tommy is obviously going to create his own strings, as evidenced by his conversation with Katy near the end of the episode. Janet, Sheila, and Candy won't have to lift a finger.

I found it interesting that Katy, much like Mickey, was so easily able to decipher all of Tommy's code phrases. While she's obviously far more gullible than Mick, she still sniffed out Tommy pretty handily. Is he in denial? Gee, you think? What was most troubling (and this is where he created his own strings) was how smoothly Tommy lied to his own daughter to help support his own agenda. The real problem now is going to be how he's pulled in two directions, as a direct result of him choosing to commit to two women - drink with Sheila or stay sober with Janet.

A few thoughts on "Disease" --

  • This episode was chock-full of great one liners - Terrence talking about how he's gonna beat off to the nurse later, Franco admitting that Mike has learned too much about picking up women and now he must destroy him, the "cucumbive or potative" pun in Sean's musical, Lou's Archie Bunker jab, and Tommy's "wheelchair height" epiphany were all great. This might be the best episode Evan Reilly has penned for Rescue Me yet.
  • What exactly does Feinberg have on Needles that will trump the dirt Needles has on Tommy?

As for Sheila saying that Tommy is just like Keith Richards? I'm not sure I'd take that or "functioning alcoholic" as compliments. Much like the subtext to last week's Mickey Mantle scene, who the hell wants to be like Keith Richards?

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