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September 2, 2014

Rescue Me: Clean

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 22nd 2009 3:48AM
Rescue Me(S05E16) Drunk dialing usually doesn't turn out well. But when I got a call in the middle of the night asking me to cover Rescue Me this week, I gladly obliged. Apparently, Jonathan Toomey has been on an all night bender with a bunch of his dead relatives, and I'm not one to get in the way of family. "You work it out, buddy," I told him, "And we'll be here for you in the morning."

I didn't discover Rescue Me until the second season, but I was immediately drawn in by the intimacy and idiocy of the boys. Watching Tommy try to rise from the pits he'd fallen into was impressive, as was the strength he showed. But even more painful, and yet far more riveting and satisfying, is watching him slowly falling flat on his face, and yet he has no idea the pavement is coming. Season five is blowing me away ... so how about next year, Emmy?

Sheila has to be one of the absolute best characters written ever on television. Her special brand of crazy is so brilliantly portrayed by Callie Thorne. Only Sheila can take a discussion about bacon, drive it through "does my ass look big?" and smack into "I bet you're thinking about her tits right now." And it all wraps up with her crying and running to her room before coming back with a giant bin of pills.

Back at the firehouse, I keep going back and forth on how Needles feels about Tommy. I think he cares about him as former friends and perhaps even wishes some of that could come back. But stronger than that is an overwhelming frustration that while he'd love nothing more than to get rid of Tommy completely, he's just too damned good a firefighter to let go, and the squad really does need someone like him. A tough spot to be in.

It showed how much he knows his guys that Needles pushed Tommy to the point of no return just to get him to snap. He's learned that Tommy only deals in various degrees of anger, and it is only in anger that he can be reached. Too bad his plan to blackmail Tommy into quitting the bottle backfired; apparently he'd rather do Probie's work than stop drinking.

I gave props to the living Gavins using Tommy's sponsee Derek to lure Tommy into an intervention. But Tommy's a dick. He deals only in anger, so there was no way this was going to work. I didn't, however, see it backfiring quite so tremendously. Tommy's such a dick he's going to take down his entire family with him. But all the Gavins are totally screwed up, so it's not as surprising as it may have seemed. But it can't bode well for their collective future. Will there soon be more Gavins on the dead side of the bar?

Needles bought a Russian mail-order bride?! Did I miss this? Only Rescue Me could make a plotline out of the boys trying to look up a hot chick's skirt to see if she's wearing panties, and furthermore if she's shaven. Lewd, crude and brilliantly executed. Lou split his ass trying to look up Russian bride's skirt. Awesome! Franco whacked his head on a barbell trying to look up Russian bride's skirt. Even better!

I love the idiocy of Garrity and Mike. How many shows can spotlight two morons and make you care about them anyway? But I've really missed Garrity's special brand of stupidity. So it was great seeing him argue with Probie about carpe diem being about carps, completely with an explanation of how fish have to live for the now. So glad Garrity pulled through. I have a feeling Rescue Me is really going to need its lighter side in upcoming episodes.

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John

I heard from another person that this is what's considered a "bottle episode" where they use all the sets from pre-existing episodes to save money (because they've blown it all on fire special effects). I rewatched the episode here, and I could definitely see how that is true:

http://rescuemeepisodes.com/2009/07/season-5-episode-16-clean/

Good episode regardless, but I found that little insight interesting... :)

July 27 2009 at 9:40 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Andrew

Definitely one of the best eps I have seen from this show... the sequence w/ everyone trying to look up Needles' wife's skirt was absolutely hysterical

July 23 2009 at 2:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lobes17

Best episode of Rescue Me in a long, long time. I literally almost peed myself laughing throughout. Bravo, and the Emmy talk is well deserved.

July 22 2009 at 4:13 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dgm103

A REALLY great show. The best in a long time!

July 22 2009 at 3:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
michael

Lou: Do you think I am fat? I mean fatter?
Needles: Yes

Lou had some great lines in the episode.

Callie Thorne's portrayal of Sheila is nothing of brilliant. The explanation for each pill was so chilling especially compared to the scene where she tells the documentarian that she blames Tommy for her husband's death.

When Damion dies, Sheila will be a basket case.

July 22 2009 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
starflower

Dean - I have been wondering that as well, Wyatt I think is what Janet named him. Tommy brought a bag of blocks for him a few episodes ago when Michael J. Fox was on the show, and I think Tommy referenced him again after that, but who is taking care of him?

Callie Thorne is so awesome as Sheila. She must be having a ball this season playing all kinds of crazy! My fav scenes this season have been her telling her 911 story to the french journalist (emmy worthy, imo), the sene with her and Damian in the restaurant where she went a LITTLE nuts, and last night's kitchen scene where she COMPLETELY lost it! How is Tommy gonna break the news to her about Damian/Lou? She will fall off the deep end for sure!





July 22 2009 at 1:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dean

what ever happened to the baby janet had with tommy's brother?

July 22 2009 at 11:56 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jables

What a great episode! Some highlights for me:

- Tommy's facial expression when he got the glimpse of what was (or wasn't) underneath the "p*ssy belt".

- After the guys run after Mrs. Needles, Lou saying, "They'll sure sleep good tonight!"

As soon as the intervention became obvious, based on the people in attendance, I totally called Tommy turning it around and getting them all to drink. Wow, what a total dick move.

July 22 2009 at 10:29 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Fullman

As I was watching that scene with Tommy and Sheila last night, it finally dawned on me: my gosh, this woman is ABSOLUTELY F'ING NUTS! The look on Tommy's face proved it, confirmed by his signature sigh/sneer of "eeghh."

It definitely showed how the writers and Callie took her character from a quirky widow to something unpredictable and volatile. That scene is worthy of a "for your consideration" submission alone out of most of the show's 5th season's episodes.

July 22 2009 at 9:51 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Pamela

There was no dialogue about Lou's relationship with Candy in the last two episodes. Is she still in the picture?

July 22 2009 at 9:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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