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October 9, 2015

Rescue Me: Initiation

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Jul 14th 2009 11:00PM

Andrea Roth and Denis Leary
(S05E15) "Oh, god no, Tommy. No, if you're affectionate with me, I might actually start liking you." - Janet

See? This is what I meant earlier in the season when I said that no strings for Janet and Sheila doesn't mean no strings for Tommy. The guy cannot have meaningless sex with either of these women. But whenever he tries to bring more to the table, whether it be a hug or an expression of concern, both woman have shot him down. Lou was right last week - Tommy is a whore. His payment is supposed to be the lack of strings attached and to complete this terrible analogy, the bank in his heart has no idea how to deposit that kind of currency.

He cares when he doesn't need to and he's indifferent when he should be invested. However, when it comes to Damien, that devotion is unquestioned and it played a large part in this episode. The opening scenes as we watched Damien get hazed for the first time were funny (the guys' endless list of hazing acts actually reminded me a lot of the How I Met Your Mother episode "Old King Clancy") but it was the fire scene later in the episode where Damien's true presence was felt, and Needles picked up on it immediately.

He holds Tommy back.

As a result, Tommy can't be Tommy and guys like Franco, Black Shawn, and Mike are then forced to make Tommy-esque decisions in his "absence." Bad idea. Putting Damien with Lou is probably safer for the kid and under Needles' reasoning, without Tommy playing Mother Hen, Damien probably will grow into a formidable firefighter just like his dad. The problem? Sheila wants Damien to be held back, to never be like his dad and Tommy's involvement was the key to that. What I don't get is why Jimmy, aka Tommy's conscience, wanted Sheila to know the truth. How is the knowledge that her son is going to truly follow his father's footsteps supposed to be comforting for her?

Some other highlights from "Initiation" --

  • Sean's return to the house and his subsequent "live life to the fullest" speech might have been the smartest, most concise thing he's said - ever. Then he went and smoked a cigarette. Hilarious.
  • Also funny? His mother telling him she loved him less than his brother Terrence.
  • Nice touch with Tommy giving Damien his dad's old jacket. I assume that was same jacket Tommy was wearing around last season?
  • Needles as the no-nonsense "doesn't take crap from nobody" battalion chief is growing on me. He's starting to remind me of Jerry in some ways...
  • The scene with Tommy and Lou and the slimy politician was classic. So was the sex scene with Tommy, Sheila, and the multiple outfits.
  • Three words: Comanche Ball Sack. Great band name.

Next week's episode, "Clean," looks pretty good. The official description? "An outburst lands Tommy cleaning duty as a mysterious woman strolls through the firehouse; the Gavins confront Tommy about his alcoholism, but their plan does not unfold as expected."

At this point, I'm caught up with the rest of you as tonight's episode was the last one FX sent for early review. I'm really hoping that the "mysterious" woman is the long awaited Maura Tierney guest spot.

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I agree, Tommy telling Sheila is the right thing to do. But also, it may be Tommy's way of reminding Sheila that Damien's not a little boy anymore, that in order for Damien to become an adult and effective firefighter, she needs to cut those apron strings. No one can ... nor should they ... protect this snot-nosed kid. He needs to grow up and stop being coddled by everyone. Only then will he grow out from under the shadows of his dad Jimmy, uncle Tommy and mother Sheila and prove himself worthy of wearing Jimmy's jacket and work in the 62nd.

July 15 2009 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to rockincat68's comment

The important thing you must remember is that all the 'ghosts' that speak to Tommy are really him, Tommy that is. These are hallucinations and deep parts of Tommy's psyche are revealed whenever they speak to him.

July 15 2009 at 8:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think the point about telling Shelia is that Tommy knows it won't comfort her, but it's also the right thing to do.

July 15 2009 at 12:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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