Rescue Me: Jump
(S05E21) "That was some real father son type shit there, Tommy." - Black Shawn
The penultimate episode. Only one hour left to go in Rescue Me's massive 22 episode fifth season. There's been a lot to love, a lot to hate, orange (and teal!) penises, and plenty of drinking. Before I go on, I should point out that FX did end up sending out the final two episodes to critics (which is the only reason you're reading this right after the show has aired), and in an effort to make sure my reaction and speculation is as pure as possible, I watched and wrote up my review of "Jump" without having laid an eye on the season finale yet. So rest assured that anything that follows isn't a spoiler, and if it is? Well, good for me then.
I think the easiest way to break this down is scene by scene, and then I'll offer some thoughts on what I think is coming up next week ... here we go:
- The boxing match - Kind of funny, but was really hoping for Franco to knock the crap out of his female opponent. That being said, the draw that the fight ended in was a lot more satisfying, especially since Franco went from questioning her sexuality to asking her out for a drink. As for the rumble that Mickey instigated with the bull-dykes? Eh ... the guy drinks all the time now (I'll have more to say on this later), so it wasn't a surprise. The only loose thread? We still don't know why Carla called Franco last week. Maybe it was to warn him about how tough his female opponent was going to be?
- The jumper - Right from the moment this scene began, I knew that guy was going to jump off the bridge. Something dark had to happen. Led to some great stuff from Larenz Tate -- really serious character development for Black Shawn. Tommy, too. Hearing him agree with Shawn about how he's an asshole and has destroyed his family and scarred Colleen was a pretty big step for Tommy.
- The Apache Stone audition - Pointless comic relief that served only one purpose -- to wrap up what's been a pretty slow and meandering b-plot. I loved how Sean unloaded three VW Routans to the A&R rep from the record company, though.
- Lou and Candy's new apartment - LOU! FOR THE WIN! Just an all around feel-good scene. He had been on to her the whole time, "her" being Barbara Callahan ... not Candy. She was still duping guys and stealing money, and he figured it out. Two questions: 1) Did she actually love him or was her desire to get married simply a way to lay low, and 2) now that Lou spent all the money that Barb stole from the guy in Tampa, doesn't that somehow make him an accessory? Regardless, this just made me smile. He got his revenge. Also, I spit ice tea all over my lap when he said that at least he still had his Heiman (trophy, no S!) intact.
- Kelly's apartment - Another really great scene for one simple reason -- Kelly is Tommy. She lost an infant daughter because of a heart defect, much like Tommy lost Connor at a young age. She's disconnected, unconcerned with others, and addicted to booze and drugs. No wonder Tommy seems to get her. So, do we think there's anything else we don't know about her, or is this it? That is an awfully big box for just a bong and an old snapshot. For the record, I've completely changed my tune on her. When's the last time we've ever seen Tommy Gavin console and hug a woman? There is definitely a connection between these two.
- The bar - Easily the most important scene of the episode. Tommy, alcoholic pied-piper that he is, has everyone boozing and laughing and proclaiming that they'll follow him anywhere as long as he's pouring. He can't deal with his own problems, and rather than let others help him, he drags them down instead. I've been saying all season long that it wouldn't end well, and Ellie's car accident (death?) was fairly predictable. The question now is will his drunk relatives (especially Teddy) turn and blame him for it just as quickly as they raised their glasses in his honor?
So what's next? Well, you may have noticed that neither Sheila nor Janet were in this episode. Tommy has been debating over both of them. Yet now, in his mind, Jimmy telling him that he did indeed "have" Janet, seems to suggest that to deal with his own guilt of sleeping with Sheila, Tommy has to demonize Jimmy somehow. Who does that mean Tommy picks? Feels like neither, especially now that Kelly plays a bigger role.
Just really starting to feel like we have a serious confrontation brewing, and the one question I have is this: who's playing who, because it's starting to feel like mind games as Tommy "convinces" himself of something that may or may not be true in terms of the Janet/Jimmy affair. The saddest part of that? Tommy's life is so screwed up at this point, that the Janet and Jimmy rumors, true or not, really just don't matter. Family matters, and between the scene with Black Shawn and the moment with Kelly, it feels like Tommy might finally be realizing that.