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'Rescue Me' - 'Cowboy' Recap

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 18th 2010 12:39PM
'Rescue Me' - 'Cowboy'(Season 6, Episode 8) Sometimes an episode packs so much into its 42 minute frame that it's practically bursting at the seams. About halfway through this week's installment of 'Rescue Me,' I thought we were wrapping things up, but there was so much more to go.

Needles got a chance to really step up and shine -- before disappearing for the rest of the episode. Damian had two major milestones in his young life's journey, and more to consider regarding what he should do with the rest of it.

Tommy, who's been torn between two women the length of this show, found himself in the crosshairs again, while Sean and Mike decided to try and cheer Pat (their firefighter friend who got cancer through his work at the World Trade Center site on and after 9/11) up by showing him the legacy of his good deeds. That brought mixed results. But the episode was a solid gem.

Any one of those sequences could easily have carried the episode, but the balance seemed to work well, too. The humor was sharp this week, as well, from the cold open with Tommy's disastrous breakfast gesture for Janet. It reminded me of the various breakfasts-in-bed I've been treated to through the years from my son. I think my face was about the same as hers, trying to be supportive of the consideration that went behind it, while being disgusted by the actual product.

The punchline of the orange juice lid having been cooked into the eggs -- 'I thought it was a pepper." -- was sheer perfection after their incredibly awkward conversation. Denis Leary does uncomfortable stammering better than anyone since Bob Newhart!

In regards to the house being shut down, I was fully with the guys in lambasting Sid for his failure to really step up down at HQ and try to get the house re-opened, leaving Needles to use extortion and blackmail. But when Sid argued that he wasn't given a chance to really try a more diplomatic approach with his old friend, I saw his side as well. I think the old guy really has come around about the house and the guys and he really was going to try a more gentle tactic. Certainly he was right about Needles' stunt leaving the house with zero support back at HQ for whatever Tommy's next disastrous stunt is.

Damian had time to shine ... twice! ... and I find myself really starting to like this kid. After rescuing a baby from a dresser drawer -- "Next time, you might want to lead with that." -- in a burning building, his enthusiasm for the job seems to be fully rekindled. Perhaps too much, if his twelve and sixteen second performances later with his girlfriend are any indication. After she called him out on trying to use the lines Franco fed him to get in her pants, I decided that I really like this chick. Maybe they should find a way to bring her into the house ... with the way Lou was this week, he may need to step back for awhile sooner rather than later when he finds himself dead.

It's easy to forget that Damian was so recently just a kid, but his reveal that he was a virgin prior to his encounter this week was a sobering reminder. As was his joy and enthusiasm over his prowess, shown next to her disappointment. This is in many ways still a boy working in a very dangerous man's world. I'm still a little worried for his future, considering how sadistic these writers have been.

Speaking of sadistic, man was it fun to see Sheila back in action, goading Tommy on and then falling victim to their twisted libidos. Her attempts to run after Mickey, who'd stumbled in on them limb-locked, with her twisted dress was hilarious as well. I like to think of Sheila as a drum of gasoline and Tommy as a lit match, as it always ends the same way when they get together.

There are so many people on this show that I wish would get some Emmy love. Denis Leary would seem an obvious choice, but Callie Thorne is so convincing as Sheila that I might walk to the other side of the street if I saw her coming. Even the guys of the firehouse, who are doing comedy more often than not, handle the quiet moments brilliantly.

After one good and two very bad experiences taking Pat around to see people he'd saved from fires, it was the quiet in the car when he passed that was just beautifully perfect. He spoke his piece about his satisfaction with what they do as firefighters, even when the ones they save probably aren't worth saving, and I think he was content in the end.

This is the kind of episode that you could hand to someone who's never seen 'Rescue Me,' and say that it captures everything that makes the show great in one installment. The humor was laugh-out-loud funny at places, the drama was heartfelt and uncomfortably real at others. And the entire ensemble was on top of their game.

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This 10 episode season is conmbined with the 9 episode final season next summer, so there probably won't be much of a cliffhanger in two weeks. The cast has already finished shooting the series for next summer. Expect water treading to last into next summer.

August 18 2010 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Are there seriously only two more episodes this season? Ten total? I think last year they did 22. What the hell?

And if there are only two more hours for this season, they better start going somewhere. It feels like we're just treading water.

August 18 2010 at 1:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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