With the season coming to a close, the networks are starting to look toward next season. In the case of 'Criminal Minds,' that includes exploring the possibility of a spin-off series. They ran an embedded pilot for it earlier this season, introducing the new cast, and they've already had tremendous success with both 'NCIS' and 'CSI' spin-offs. But whatever happened to the old-school way of creating spin-offs?
'Frasier' was a long-time cast member on 'Cheers' before he headed off to Seattle and sitcom super-stardom. 'The Jeffersons' spent time living next to the Bunkers ('All in the Family') before moving on up. Even as recently as 'Friends,' they spun series co-star 'Joey' off into his own series -- maybe that's when it all went so wrong.
(S05E22) "You won't go to AA? I'll bring AA to you." - Teddy
After 22 episodes that didn't always feel all that cohesive, this was a finale that truly tied it all together. Rescue Me has had some memorable cliffhangers in the past, but this easily trumps them all not only for dramatic effect but for the potential lasting effects as well.
We'll get to all that because there really is a lot to discuss when it comes to "Drink." From the pettiness of Janet and Sheila to Damien's place at the 62 Truck house to the Gavin drinking epidemic, it was all answered in the comically twisted and dark fashion that we've come to expect from Rescue Me. Bottoms up.
(S05E21) "That was some real father son type shit there, Tommy." - Black Shawn
The penultimate episode. Only one hour left to go in Rescue Me's massive 22 episode fifth season. There's been a lot to love, a lot to hate, orange (and teal!) penises, and plenty of drinking. Before I go on, I should point out that FX did end up sending out the final two episodes to critics (which is the only reason you're reading this right after the show has aired), and in an effort to make sure my reaction and speculation is as pure as possible, I watched and wrote up my review of "Jump" without having laid an eye on the season finale yet. So rest assured that anything that follows isn't a spoiler, and if it is? Well, good for me then.
(S05E20) "Call Turks and Caicos - tell people to start stabbing their eyes out." - Needles
This whole season of Rescue Me has been sort of a question mark for me. That's no secret - it's been excellent, but trying to determine what direction it's headed in has been a little tough. Obviously, the past four or five eps have really focused on Tommy's Sheila vs. Janet dilemma and I'm pretty sure it's safe to assume that the final two episodes are gonna stick with that trend. How do I know? Well... I don't. Last night's episode was the last one FX sent out for early preview, so I'm basing what's after the jump on my own speculation and one potential HUGE spoiler. So there. You've been warned.
(S05E19) "This is all above board. It's underground of course, but it's above board." - Needles
What's that old saying? Chances are someone else has already said it better than you... or something like that? Well, this whole season of Rescue Me I've been looking for the right words to describe just how exactly I felt about it. There hasn't been a bad episode this season and I doubt any of the final three will disappoint either, but still - something has just been off.
Well, leave it to the show's co-creator, Peter Tolan, to put it in simple English at the TCA: when dealing with a shorter season (as in 13 vs. 22 episodes), you can focus on the quality of each episode (rather than being forced to move on to the next immediately). That's what I meant to say.
(S05E18) "Dude, I swear to God, you'd be a goddamn millionaire if you just cut that thing off and sold it to science." - Franco
This was easily the most polarizing episode thus far in Rescue Me's fifth season. There was a lot to love and, in my opinion, a lot to hate. It was extremely uneven, featuring a pointless dream sequence and played out gags. However, it ended with what will ultimately, I believe, go down as the best scene of the season and easily one of the best in the series to date, which can only mean one thing - Callie Thorne has done it again.
(S05E17) "Aww man... some people just make shitty alcoholics." - Cousin Eddie
At the end of last week's episode, I have to be honest -- I was dumbfounded. To abandon something that Rescue Me has so steadfastly built up as a pillar of what makes this show tic - namely, the collective on again/off again sobriety of the Gavin clan - seemed ridiculous to me. One Tommy Gavin speech and poof - everyone's boozin'.
But with the "let's go find an AA meeting" option suddenly off the table, I tell ya what - it's a lot more fun. I've said it before, but as viewers, it says a lot about us when we find the addictions, weaknesses, and vices of others as sources of enjoyment, but why the hell not? That seemed to be the theme of this week's episode anyway as we witnessed Tommy get his balls, figuratively speaking, wedged right into a Janet/Sheila vice-grip.
(S05E15) "Oh, god no, Tommy. No, if you're affectionate with me, I might actually start liking you." - Janet
See? This is what I meant earlier in the season when I said that no strings for Janet and Sheila doesn't mean no strings for Tommy. The guy cannot have meaningless sex with either of these women. But whenever he tries to bring more to the table, whether it be a hug or an expression of concern, both woman have shot him down. Lou was right last week - Tommy is a whore. His payment is supposed to be the lack of strings attached and to complete this terrible analogy, the bank in his heart has no idea how to deposit that kind of currency.
(S05E14) "What, you think elder statesmen such as I don't think about things like this, huh? I do have the biggest dick in the department and have been known to use it!" - Chief Feinberg
This was one of those "I had forgotten about that!" episodes. That Feinberg quote is a perfect example. Remember when Tommy glanced his eyes at Sydney's junk a few seasons back? It was hilarious. Another thing from the past that got brought up? Colleen was a lesbian! At first it seemed like a bit of a running joke, but now I'm convinced of it -- sexually speaking, it seems like she really has tried everything. Black Shawn really needs to start embracing that ... or at least get over his peanut butter phobia.
(S05E13) "...cause the only thing he can feel is heat." - Tommy's dad
I never want to look at a blow torch again.
I gotta say - I never saw that coming. We've known for some time now that Tommy doesn't feel too much. It takes a lot for him to get passionate about anything and when a glimmer of emotion does emerge, it's usually in the form of yelling and obscenities. I just hope he doesn't develop an affinity for his latest attempt at "feeling."
(S05E12) "...you guys have been getting divorced for like eight years. Isn't it time you took that old dog into the woods and put one in it's head?" - Lou
Considering who he's starting to hang around with again, is Lou even qualified to give advice like that? If anyone should be wary of getting back in bed with someone, it's him. At least Tommy knows that Sheila and Janet aren't going to rob him blind ... well, at least not for as much as Candy took from Lou.
We're starting to see the effects of what 22 episodes has done to Rescue Me (in a good way). After last week's first musical number featuring the comatose Sean, "Disease" featured more moments that, while not completely out of place, certainly seem to be a result from the extra breathing room.
(S05E11) "Tom, would you be able to join us for one of our little fire thingies?" - Needles, after discovering Tommy and Janet having sex in a car in front of the 62 house
We're half-way through season five now and we've reached a point that's going to polarize a lot of fans of this show. Creatively, last night's episode of Rescue Me introduced two things that both have the potential to really turn off certain fans, depending, of course, on what they like about the show and more importantly, what they expect from Rescue Me in future episodes.
(S05E10) "See? I told you he's got it under control." - Mike
As fans, we've really been rooting for a horrible thing if you think about it. The fact that we've all been waiting for Tommy to start full-blown drinking again is pretty twisted and now that it's been going on for a few episodes, we're starting to see the Tommy we remember - both the good and bad.
The issue of control is an obvious path to explore. We' ve seen Tommy lose it before - when we first met him, his original downward spiral was just beginning. That being said, I don't think any of us ever expected a year of sobriety to do him any good.
(S05E09) "Pussies run. Gavins fight." - Colleen
We've all been raving about Rescue Me's creative resurgence this season. Every episode thus far has been classic stuff - a streak of good writing and acting that we haven't seen since the first season. However, up until last week's brilliant homage to The Iceman Cometh, there hadn't been a truly defining moment for season five. In the wake of that stellar hour, I got worried in anticipation of "Thaw." Would the streak continue or would things now start to meander along, suffering from the weight of 22 episodes instead of 13?
(S05E08) "Here I am. After. Surrounded by booze and dead assholes." – Tommy
This is the episode we're all been waiting for. After Tommy had a drink with Genevieve two weeks ago, it was only a matter of time before this happened – fortunately, we didn't have to wait for it.
Tommy's struggle with 9/11 and his place in history on that day has long been one of the the driving forces behind Rescue Me, but the focus on that has drifted in and out over time. Most everyone has applauded that plot's return this season, but one key element has still been lacking – Tommy's ghosts.
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