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September 2, 2015

'Rescue Me' - 'Comeback' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 14th 2010 2:00AM
John Scurti, 'Rescue Me'(S06E03) In case you're one of the fans of 'Rescue Me' who gets a little annoyed when it becomes 'The Tommy Gavin Show,' this third episode finally started to spread the love out to the ensemble a bit more. It's not necessarily good news that they're all getting more attention, as attested by that haunting final image. It's one of those moments on screen that stays with you, and leaves you on the edge of your seat for the next installment.

I'm glad to see the show stretch its wings a bit beyond the saga of Tommy's drinking problems. As you mentioned in the comments last week, there's only so much you can do with that story line that makes for compelling television. Yes, it's realistically portrayed that he keeps struggling to stay off the booze, which makes it great that they're staying honest to the subject matter, but it takes more to flesh out a whole television show.

Things are still swirling around this early in the season, so it's not quite clear what the main focus is going to be. And Tommy's not the only one with problems.

It's typical "guy" behavior to pretend like nothing's wrong, as Lou was doing throughout this episode. Clearly he wasn't right, as evidenced by his disappearing when the crew arrived at the grate incident. The way he was clutching his arm by the truck made me think of heart attack, but it could be any number of things. As he told Tommy, food is his addiction, and it's a vice that may just sideline him permanently, if it doesn't take his life.

I have a hard time believing the writers would take Lou away from Tommy; the two have been best friends for the longest time, and Lou is the only one he can really open up and be honest with. But, they've never blanched from taking a life on this show if it serves the story, and to their credit they've never taken one haphazardly, either.

I do have a sinking feeling all our guys won't be around come the end of the season. It might be more shocking for Lou to almost die, and then one of the far healthier guys on the truck to lose his life on the job. It's the nature of the beast, and it might help Tommy convince Damian the job is too risky ... unless of course it's Damian who falls. Sheila would go off the rails then.

I'm not sure what Damian said to his mother in the car this week, but the Sheila who was telling Tommy he was off the hook and that he was a good uncle was the very sweet/very terrifying Sheila we've come to know and flinch away from. There's a fire brewing under that smile, and it's an inferno Tommy may not be able to hide from.

It's typical Gavin logic for Tommy to think switching from "booze" to "wine" is a positive progression to his and Colleen's alcoholism. Having Colleen stumbling around drinking all the time is a weird progression for her character. We need to step away from Tommy long enough to have some scenes with Black Shawn and Colleen to get a better feel for where she's at and what's going on.

They hinted at a developing bond between him and Tommy over concern for Colleen, and that's something that should be explored further. Black Shawn admitted to being stressed over the Colleen situation, so it's definitely time to show the impact her problem is having on their relationship. It will add weight to those scenes of her drinking at home, as well as give the audience some perspective for why Black Shawn was acting out this week.

Black Shawn has grown into a really good character for the house. We already had Tweedledee and Tweedledum in Sean and Mike, so it's good that he's portrayed as sharp and witty. I had as much fun as he did when he was making fun of Sean and Mike for being so stupid. It's always been an interesting dynamic of the show that they have two idiots in the cast.

The dingbat is a staple of comedy shows, but it's generally limited to one character. 'Friends' pushed the envelope a bit with both Joey and Phoebe, but the latter showed depths of intelligence underneath her flighty personality. Digging deeper into Sean and Mike just shows the limits of their intellect, and leads me to wonder how they can possibly be good firefighters. How can they make the right quick decision in the midst of a fire, when they think being a bachelor has something to do with earning a Bachelor's Degree?

But it all came down to that final image of Lou sprawled out in the garage with one unseeing eye. That it was open made the moment that much more horrifying. This isn't just passing out, this is something far worse. It looks like these last two seasons are going to be one hell of a ride for everyone in the house.

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Typically shows that last this long tend to develop a pattern, but clearly Rescue Me throws some curve balls at it's audience and catches us by surprise here and there. If I could make an assumption off of where the season is going with Janet and Franco, I don't think Franco will be the one to last come the season finale. My guess is also that Lou will last throughout the remainder of the series (even if Tommy doesn't).

July 14 2010 at 2:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

While Sean and Mike might be dense and lacking in some fashion it all comes down to how well they do their jobs, call it a gift or talent. Think every profession is only filled with mensa candidates? Just to keep with the content of this site I'm sure you can go through lists of actors, singers, and athletes and come across really dense or stupid people but they manage to function at their professions.

July 14 2010 at 5:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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