Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What I’m Watching: Rescue Me (Season Finale)

Rescue Me: Season 6, Episode 10 “A.D.D.” (B)

The opening of this episode did almost exactly the same thing the season three premiere did: conveyed an entirely different sense of what was going on related to Sheila and Tommy. In that case, things were hardly as dire, since Sheila wasn’t actually dead and she and Tommy were just trying to avoid getting arrested on fraud charges. Damien’s death would have been tragic enough, and seeing him paralyzed and incapable of functioning is so much worse. I wondered where Crazy Sheila had gone since I couldn’t imagine that she would be so calm if her son was gone, but of course she only lasted a minute before lashing out and bursting into tears (in this case, understandably). Her all-too-optimistic hope is truly hard to watch, and it’s hard to decide whether Tommy or Mickey is actually the greater villain for indulging her charade or telling her the hard truth, respectively. With only one minute left on the clock at the end of the episode, I wondered what major event might happen. Damien suddenly coming alive and telling Tommy that his condition is his fault is just what Tommy needs: another demon. All these conversations about Tommy being unreliable and obsessed with Sheila and Damien rather than his actual immediate family seem so repetitive, but the truth is that’s how life plays out for Tommy Gavin. While he’s managed to quit drinking for now, he still can’t show up to one daughter’s AA meeting and another’s recital. The fact that they’re both at the same time is just one of those things that Tommy can’t control and can’t really use as an excuse since he wouldn’t have gone to either anyway. The Pat Mahoney storyline didn’t really go anywhere, and this final episode brought it all together to underline the brotherhood that comes with being a firefighter and bucking the system, and the scene where the workers discover the plaque was the standout moment from this final installment. This season as a whole hasn’t been spectacular, but it has had some good episodes, especially the astonishing “Sanctuary.” The show will return in 2011 for nine episodes before going off the air for good, and I’m hopeful that the show can rally and capture some of its incredible from the first season and the first slew of episodes from the fifth and really wow me and everyone else who’s still watching.

Season grade: B/B+
Season MVP: Denis Leary/Peter Gallagher

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