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August 1, 2014

'Rescue Me' - 'Breakout' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Jul 21st 2010 4:33AM
'Rescue Me' - 'Breakout'(S06E04) After last week's harrowing final moment, we didn't waste any time in finding out just what happened to Lou. The whole situation created an interesting parallel for Tommy's own experience when he was bleeding out on the floor of the bar in last season's finale.

And yet, somehow, the creative folks behind 'Rescue Me' managed to make this easily the funniest episode of the season, while staying true to the drama at the heart of these characters' lives. In fact, there was so much going on that it's damned near impossible to say much of anything about any of it without spoiling, so let's get past this jump so we can chat.


Guys rib each other, so I didn't think anything of it when the boys were getting on Lou's case in the hospital for being fat. That's what we do, so it's not a big deal, right? Only sometimes it is a big deal. Lou clearly has a problem with food and emotional eating. He's just as much of an addict as Tommy, only his poison is going to get him via high cholesterol levels or something like that.

Lou's dietician's response, which was to list each guy's physical failings, was a great bit of writing, as was having Black Shawn obsess over the spacing of his eyes throughout the rest of the episode. Nobody's perfect, but nobody really likes to be reminded of those physical faults they can't really do anything about. Not exactly the case with Lou, but the point was still well made.

The beats of the friendship between Tommy and Lou never rang more true than they did in this episode. You could sense that long kinship that's been through so much, but is held together with ties so strong nothing could break them apart. I didn't expect Lou to share his own near-death experience vision, but it was so appropriately poignant when he did. Lou's a good person in a way that Tommy just isn't. He's not perfect, but he's a genuine and decent guy. Tommy's a dick.

Now, in the case of Tommy's jealousy about anyone being around Janet, it's understandable considering that he knows she cheated on him with his brother. But, even before he knew that he was crazy about it ... when all the while he was having sex with Sheila on the side. Still, to get confirmation that Franco's seeing Janet in a different light than just as his brother's wife gave weight to Tommy's concern, while also setting up some serious conflict for later episodes.

The breakout at the hospital was one of the funnier things I've seen in a while, with Lou hopped up on drugs and the boys bickering and bantering like 'The Golden Girls' at their worst. The fact that they did it so Lou could cook for them in their neighborhood cookout against a rival firehouse was classic selfishness and exactly what we'd expect.

How brilliant was that moment when Franco was able to convince the female doctor that he was also a doctor with nothing more than his charm and good looks? Yeah, Tommy's definitely right to be a little worried about him.

I'm a little worried about Sean now, after that sequence with his former buddy and fellow cancer patient. If that guy can relapse so badly, there's no reason to think Sean couldn't as well. And if a relapse isn't the writers' plan, than they're certainly wanting him to at least freak out a little bit about the possibility for a while.

As the season continues to widen its net to include the rest of this brilliant cast and these amazing characters, it's becoming a lot more engaging. As much as I'm fascinated by this dark journey that Tommy's on, he's not likable enough as a character to root for whole-heartedly, so it's good I have so many other great characters to hang my heart on.

With writing this funny and sharp, 'Rescue Me' is poised to go strongly and confidently into its home stretch, and then I'll have another genius FX series I can look back on and miss terribly (I still think of you, 'The Shield'). And I learned something tonight: On TV a Puerto Rican can pass for a doctor much more easily than a black man ... especially one with "fish eyes."

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BC McKinney

It wasn't Lou that pointed out the guys' peculiarities, it was the hospital dietician.

July 21 2010 at 12:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to BC McKinney's comment
Jason Hughes

I left the modifier out to determine if it was his doctor or dietician and never got back to it apparently. Mea culpa. Thanks!

July 21 2010 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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