Rescue Me: Drink (season finale)
(S05E22) "You won't go to AA? I'll bring AA to you." - Teddy
After 22 episodes that didn't always feel all that cohesive, this was a finale that truly tied it all together. Rescue Me has had some memorable cliffhangers in the past, but this easily trumps them all not only for dramatic effect but for the potential lasting effects as well.
We'll get to all that because there really is a lot to discuss when it comes to "Drink." From the pettiness of Janet and Sheila to Damien's place at the 62 Truck house to the Gavin drinking epidemic, it was all answered in the comically twisted and dark fashion that we've come to expect from Rescue Me. Bottoms up.
Let's start with Janet and Sheila. This was a low point - even for them. The thing that you have to remember is that we've never known Tommy other than how he is. We were dropped into this universe post 9/11. After his marriage with Janet went sour. After he had been sleeping with Sheila. We've never seen what a content and happy Tommy looks like or if one even exists. Kelly represented that - she had hope and promise as Tommy put it.
The notion that Sheila and Janet could actually boil it all down to "one of us or nobody" isn't terribly surprising, but it still made my jaw drop. How they expected to somehow win back Tommy's trust or love by doing what they did is beyond me. They understood the grief connection. So how is creating more grief the answer? It really is just a game to them. More than anything, it just makes me wonder how screwed up Tommy would be if Janet and Sheila weren't in his life. I'm guessing not as much.
However, despite Kelly seeing right through their little plan (her amusement park ride analogy was great), Janet and Sheila still succeeded. The daughter comment. The street fight. Kelly didn't like any of it. What did surprise me was how quickly Kelly crumbled and gave up on Tommy. Clearly they shared a connection and it would have been far more satisfying for her to have believed Tommy rather than kick him to the curb so easily. Knowing that Janet and Sheila won again sucks. Especially since we know Tommy was really trying this time - after all, hugging, holding, and comforting came before any sex. Maybe Sheila and Janet should ask themselves why Tommy doesn't treat them like that. It ain't him...
Tommy's revenge was sweet though. Handcuffing Sheila and dumping her meds was amazing to watch and seeing Janet's eyes when Katy was "missing" (at Colleen and Tommy's apartment) was brilliant too. The fact that Sheila was left only to be found by Damien and Katy admitted to hating Janet? That stuff was just the icing on the cake. Those two women are miserable.
Speaking of Damien, like I said, he had to witness the results of his loose lips. Being a momma's boy is most certainly looked down upon at the firehouse and if you think he's still in with the crew, ask yourself why he wasn't out drinking with them at the end and went home to Sheila's instead.
Moving on to the end. Let's just get it out there - Teddy shot Tommy twice and he's gonna hold the bar hostage until Tommy bleeds out and dies. It's safe to assume that Teddy blamed Tommy from the beginning, despite telling Tom and Mick that he had no hard feelings about Ellie. That was crap and so was Teddy's ruse about wanting someone to kill him. Don't buy it. He came to that bar with one goal - kill Tommy.
For those of you in awe that he could do something like that, I ask why? He's done it before! You can make the argument that Tommy is responsible for Ellie's death. So how is what Teddy is doing now any different than what he did to Connor's killer at the end of season two? Eye for an eye. Period.
The saddest part about this is how Tommy was continually blamed in this episode for things that weren't really his fault. Yes, he told Lou about Kelly's daughter but Damien is the one who overheard it and squealed. Yes, he peer-pressured his whole family into drinking again, but you can also make the argument that it was still Ellie's choice to raise the glass. Teddy said that karma was just coming back to bite Tommy in the ass because he was due for something bad to happen to him. But why? Overall, Tommy really isn't a bad guy. Usually, he means well.
So what's next? Well, Rescue Me has been renewed for 19 final episodes. With the end date set right before the show goes back into production later this month, maybe it means Leary will finally get his wish for Tommy (something he's been public about numerous times): death? Would make for an interesting final two seasons should Tommy Gavin be on the other side.