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Lou Sets Tommy Up for Forced Retirement on 'Rescue Me' (VIDEO)

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 25th 2011 5:25AM
'Rescue Me' - 'Jeter'I should probably start now, because it's pretty unlikely that anyone will ever hear these cries, but 'Rescue Me' (Wed., 10PM ET on FX) really needs to be nominated for a few Emmy Awards. If you don't want to give it one for best series, because all your favorites are still available, then please for the writing, Denis Leary, Maura Tierney and John Scurti this season.

For Scurti, I nominate this episode as the one he should submit for Emmy consideration for Best Supporting Actor. What a subtle and beautiful performance he gives throughout, and it was quite a tumultuous episode for his character, Lou.

He opened the hour in shock at how Franco has cleaned up the firehouse as acting Lieutenant, only to be immediately bullied by Franco, whose power has clearly gone to his head. Then, at an accident scene, Lou steps up and proves why he's the leader in making the right call over Franco's brash rush to action.

But possibly his greatest single performance moment came after he'd read Tommy's letter to him. First of all, Tommy should have known Lou would read it. He read the first one, and the man suffers from food addiction. Self-control and willpower are not two things he possesses.

But when Lou came in and Tommy was freaked out by the new expression on Lou's face, that was the moment. It was an expression Tommy had never seen before, but it was filled with such love, devotion, friendship and commitment. Scurti absolutely nailed the emotion of that moment without a single word spoken.

Then, his presentation to Sheila in trying to explain Tommy's psychotic mind was genuinely moving and brilliant. Recreate it at Janet's and it turns into a slapstick moment of pure comedy gold, ending with Lou flat on his back getting sprayed in the face with a fire extinguisher. What an incredible range and depth of performance in a single hour, and we're not done yet.

After Lou accidentally burned Tommy's letter to Janet, he wrote her a new one filled with what he thought Tommy would say. Only, he must have forgotten the part about these being letters intended to be delivered after Tommy was dead, because in it he had Tommy promise to retire.

And then Janet told everyone. Their entire family, and Black Shawn's entire family, so that the wedding rehearsal dinner was filled with people touched and moved by this sacrifice that Tommy was making for his family. How does he back down from Lou's promise now without looking like a complete jerk.

On the plus side, everyone is on his side and being very, very nice to him, but Tommy is more than likely about to mess all of that up. So Scurti's final scene in the episode was both funny and sweet, as Tommy pulled him outside to yell at him for betraying their friendship and trust.

Lou is the perfect mix of submissive, but not necessarily ashamed of what he'd done. He was, in his mind, acting as a true friend. Helping Tommy when he couldn't help himself. Lord knows Tommy can't express his emotions in a healthy manner, so when Lou saw how sincere his letter was, he assumed the others would be the same.

As the episode ended, Tommy was headed back inside and he still had the goodwill of the room. That shouldn't last long.

This is the final season of 'Rescue Me,' so this is Emmy's last chance to recognize what a brilliant show this has turned out to be. It's had its ups and downs along the way, but there have been some amazing acting performances and brilliant writing as well.

Come on, Emmy. You showed you were a little hipper with this year's nominations, so let's keep it up and do the right thing next year.

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