Friday, July 9, 2010

What I’m Watching: Rescue Me

Rescue Me: Season 6, Episode 2 “Change” (B+)

Man, Tommy can’t catch a break. Adhering to Janet’s demands that he deal with Colleen’s drinking problem means that he incurs the wrath of his extended family for skipping out on his promise to go to a meeting. One of the strongest themes of this show is that it’s extremely hard to change and that an alcoholic will always be an alcoholic, and this episode underlines that more than anything else. While it seems abundantly clear that everyone has become tired of Tommy’s constant new beginnings and relapses, I still don’t like the outbursts of laughter from the firefighters, particularly Black Shawn, when Tommy professes that he’s quitting drinking. I prefer the far more effective brutal mocking carried out by Janet as she quotes Tommy’s oft-said lines about what he’s doing and why he’s doing it. Tommy’s family is getting seriously messed up, and it seems that Katie is the only one not quite affected by everything, although it may not stay that way for long. Tommy’s research into the contest regarding both of his daughters and unsolicited information proved to be entertaining and definitely the comedic part of the episode (along with Needles’ remark that the guys were talking about “American Idol”). I got worried that Tommy might go ballistic when Sheila said that he only had girls and not boys like her, disregarding completely the loss of Connor. The show has moved on and lost so many people since Connor died, and it’s gotten even more volatile. Tommy reminding Franco that his brother actually did sleep with his wife is just one example of exactly how out of whack everything is on this show. Tommy’s so stressed out that he can only quit drinking or smoking, not both, leading to an extraordinarily powerful and intense climax to this episode.

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