Denis Leary, <i>Rescue Me</i> Denis Leary, Rescue Me

WARNING: The following story contains information regarding the Season 5 finale of Rescue Me.

Rescue Me wrapped up its superb fifth season by leaving one major character in dire need of rescue.

Of course, the "will they live or die?" cliff-hanger is a go-to for many showrunners when it comes to season finales, but few threaten to kill off a lead character.

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Rescue Me
's creators, Denis Leary and Peter Tolan weren't afraid to risk it. In the waning moments of the finale, Tommy Gavin (Leary) takes two bullets to the chest, courtesy of his grieving Uncle Teddy (Lenny Clarke), who seeks revenge for the recent alcohol-fueled death of his wife. Tolan says it was a natural progression of this season's story arc, which saw Tommy fall off the wagon and drag the entire Gavin clan with him.

"We just really got into the whole idea of Tommy starting to drink again and being the merry piper leading everybody down that road. And what the consequences would be," Tolan tells "We've already established over the seasons that Tommy's curse — which is a direct reflection of 9/11 — is that he survives. When he should be dead, he survives, and there's death all around him, which is what he is left to deal with."

Leary says Teddy, who murdered the drunk driver who killed Tommy's young son in an earlier season, was the obvious choice to shoot Tommy.

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