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August 31, 2015

'Rescue Me' - 'Forgiven' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 11th 2010 1:40PM
'Rescue Me' - 'Forgiven'
For once, I have absolutely no idea what's coming next on 'Rescue Me,' and I couldn't be happier about it. Pulling back from the Gavin family to face much larger problems, the series was much more enjoyable. As much as Tommy is the central figure of the series, these writers have done far too good a job of fleshing out the secondary and tertiary characters to just leave them hanging out to dry.

As always, the dialogue was sharp and brilliant, both in moments of outright absurdity and moments of true poignancy. Tommy, once again, was put in the awkward position of serving as a figure of wisdom, which is a suit he doesn't wear very well. And Sheila has been relegated to the back burner while Tommy focuses on the relationship he thinks he wants with Janet.

Over the years, we've seen some volatile encounters between these two, but there seems to be love beneath it. They were at it again tonight, though not as bad as we've seen, until a sobering reminder pulled them from the brink and left them in a melancholy state.

I would imagine that unless you've experienced the loss of a child, you can't know what Tommy and Janet were feeling in that moment outside the restaurant when they were faced with the 17-year-old version of one of their son's former friends. Suddenly you see all the years that you missed out on with your own kid etched in the face of this boy you used to know so well. I would imagine they have a snapshot of Connor as he was when he died in their minds, and this kid just shattered it.

Thank goodness something happened, as that was a fight headed to a world of violence. In Tommy's defense, Janet storming out of the restaurant seemed a little uncalled for, as was tearing up the Tony Bennett tickets. I was laughing as much as the waiter at Tommy's inability to comprehend the Italian foods on the menu at the fancy restaurant, but the waiter was being incredibly condescending and rude, and Tommy wasn't even being his typical angry self. He was genuinely trying to understand.

Sanity and logic are not two qualities that have fit well in the Gavin marriage, nor have the Gavins' interactions with their kids. With the Colleen situation seemingly resolved via Tommy's impromptu alcohol baptism/near-death-experience of his eldest daughter, I'm a little disappointed. I have no idea if that would work or not, but it seems a bit brief if that's it and we move on. Plus, I never got to see Black Shawn struggling with that aspect of her relationship.

Colleen did seem determined to find an alcohol she could drink without vomiting, so this may not be the end after all. I was glad to see final resolution and forgiveness between Franco, Shawn and Tommy, as the episode title promised. The bond of brotherhood and family within the firehouse has always been strong, so I suspected they would put the past behind them. I'm glad Franco owned up to the reality of the situation between him and Janet, and even more that Tommy believed him.

Perhaps they were trying to wrap up the Colleen story, which has dominated half of this episode run, so we could get into the meat of the firehouse-closings situation. The entire sequence outside the boarded-up firehouse was incredibly well-handled. It looks like the closings were more severe than initially anticipated, and the boarding-up must have been done in the middle of the night, as Lou indicated he'd been there cooking until late the night before. Kind of a crappy way to do things, but that may be completely realistic ... sadly, it probably is.

Lou's entrance with the axe to get to the food he'd prepared for that day's planned neighborhood cookout was comedic genius, as was the follow-up attack on the doors by the guys once they learned that a batch of Lou's famous cupcakes was "trapped" inside.

I'm not sure what the legal policy is for firemen responding to a fire call when their house has been shut down, but the entire scene at the school played out very dramatically and certainly made all the gang look good. Even Father Phil got in on the action, though it looks like that was more to impress Sheila, who he pegged for a collar-chaser. Even though we're only getting bits of Sheila, at least they're brilliant.

I'm looking as forward to seeing what Phil is up to with Sheila, and how Mickey will respond to it, as I am to how the crew can possibly get their house reopened. 'Rescue Me' is in uncharted territory with this one, and it's absolutely the right move for the series.

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This was the first ep of the year that I truely liked from opening to closing credits. Others moved the story along but I am a little tired of Tommy's behavior. One thing that has always bothered me a little is Connor's ghost is aging while all the others stay stuck in the time they died. Love me some Father Phil. I could see him have a show of his own, can you imagine the family he comes from?

August 11 2010 at 4:29 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to CeCe's comment
BC McKinney

I think it's significant that Tommy envisions Connor as grown, although if you watch the actor's performance--and I'm sure it's deliberate direction--emotionally he's still a child, which is also significant.

August 11 2010 at 11:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

were the words pamela monroe used in the forgiven episode

August 12 2010 at 1:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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