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October 7, 2015

Rescue Me: Drink (season finale)

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Sep 1st 2009 11:02PM

Denis Leary(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.

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A bit late for the finale party but here are my 2 cents: Tommy isn't dead and the guys get Teddy to come to and he may kill himself when he snaps out of it and get Tommy some help...Tommy finally begins his healing from a dysfunctional upbringing, his survival guilt of 9/11 and the feeling he may not have done enough to save his brothers, his messed up relationship with his kids will settle out to a dad who is f-ed up but loves them, Shelia moves away with her momma boy son and Janet sets her eyes on addressing her own dsyfunction and housewife alcoholism and maybe, just maybe she and Tommy grab onto the love they really have for each other and hang on to it instead of being afraid of it, which is common in adults of dysfunction ...and the show closes for good with neat little lesson on of "hey, life sucks and then we die".....and I'm left with nothing to watch that's worth while in 250 stations...good time to start penning that book I've been meaning to write....peace out

September 26 2009 at 7:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

First thing I did after reading your comments was to check if you were a man.

I LOVED the part with Sheila and Janet. The petty, juvenile, downright evil behavior..gold! When Sheila brought up the baby, I got chills. But she is who she always has been. And Tommy knew that. Even Janet with her more "subtle" use of the kids and various sexual partners to manipulate him. He should have left both years ago. But his selfish and self destructive behavior prevented him from doing so...so he reaped what he sowed.

The Teddy part was the low part for me. For someone who went to jail for killing a drunk driver, I would think he would put the blame where it belonged. With himself. I can't see how anyone could view that Tommy has gotten away with anything.

September 07 2009 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This was a great finale. The Pesci line was perfect, but my favorite line of all time was this gem:

"Sweetheart,... believe me,... this is way, way more bad boy than you're ever gonna be able to handle. Do yourself a favor,... go blow a drummer."

September 04 2009 at 1:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I have an idea about next seasons first episode....Damion is going to be the key...He walked in on his mom,,,gonna get mad at tommy ....grabs a gun that im sure shiela has in the house and beelines it to the bar..walks in on whats happened.. gun is used on teddy instead of tommy...damion saves the day...

September 03 2009 at 8:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm sure they'll pick it up six months or so down the line with Tommy recovering on light duty or off the job. The fact that 6 months have gone by since filming ended and the drastically different weather in NYC would prevent them from picking it up exactly where they left off. Rescue Me usually jumps ahead in real time to match when they are filming.

September 03 2009 at 4:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I'm sure what will end up happening is the story will pick up six months or so down the line with Tommy still in recovery mode with some major life changes. It will end up being some "the old Tommy died that night" and was reborn as someone new. There will be some off hand mention of how this all came to be, what happened to Teddy, ect.... Tommy will probably off the job or on light duty at the beginning of the season. The fact that in real life six months have passed since the end of filming and the drastically different weather will prevent them from picking up where they left off. Unless they shoot the entire first episode indoors, then they could probably do it. But knowing how Rescue Me generally operates. Time usually passes in "real time" when moving to the next season. I'm doubtful that we'll get to see what actually goes down.

September 03 2009 at 3:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree with nosidam. Joe Pesci with tits was the best comment of the season and possibly the whole series.

September 02 2009 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The Sheila-Janet street fight is comedy gold y'all. And the final Teddy-Tommy confrontation is drama at its best. Plus, the empathy b o n e r bit is simply classic. What a show!

September 02 2009 at 2:15 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Best episode of the season

September 02 2009 at 8:30 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This episode shocked the heck out of me! SO, "Rescue Me". The writers wait, draw you in, & a story line comes along & "Bam"! I was truly shaken at the end. The review was a good one, and in Toomey's criticism of the behavior of Sheila & Janet, it's believable to me because I've seen that sort of "stop at nothing" behavior by women before. Down & dirty, the lowest form possible. This is a superb series in every way.

September 02 2009 at 8:26 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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