In this episode of Rescue Me, Tommy's first day back on the job with the boys of 62 Truck turned out to be one of the busiest days in recent memory. It didn't help that the guys were rushing to every call as part of their competition with The West Side Wildmen, the other house in danger of being shut down. Meanwhile, Tommy decided to "stop drinking," by only drinking wine. But as his family became even more frustrated with him, the focus shifted to Lou, who struggled with a dramatic health problem.
"You're a lost cause, and now we gotta cut you loose." — Uncle Teddy
After Tommy's tough love both failed to get Colleen off the sauce and drove Tommy himself back to the bottle, Mr. Gavin forms a plan: He and Colleen are giving up booze in favor of wine. Janet laughs off the implication that wine is only "grape juice with a little extra kick," by insisting that Colleen and Tommy will still drink until they're falling-down drunk. Tommy's pleas that the French and Italians drink wine all day are met with Janet's insistence that Tommy's Irish blood will never stick to his new plan. "Baby steps, but steps nonetheless," Tommy says, refusing to accept Janet's stereotyping.
Mickey and Uncle Teddy find Tommy's decision just as laughable. Teddy has decided to put his gun away, however, and just steer clear of Tommy's self-destructive path altogether. He and Mickey give Tommy a bottle of rare Irish whiskey and wish him well. "What happens next, it ain't gonna be pretty," Mickey says.
"I'm happy being a firefighter again." — Tommy
Tommy's first day back is, to Tommy's chagrin, an occasion marked by little fanfare, as the guys passed on cake and strippers. Good thing they did, considering the guys answer 35 calls throughout the day. Making things worse, at many of the calls the boys have to argue with The West Side Wildmen for dibs on making the save, or in one hilarious case, who puts the ice pack down a heroin addict's pants to revive him. (On the plus side, Damian scores points with the West Side's probie. Guess the house is more than just wild men.)
While the guys complain about their sore legs and other ailments, Tommy says he's just thankful to be out of the hospital and back on the job. However, Lou calls Tommy a liar when he fails to go down into a hole to retrieve a young man who fell through a subway grate. They argue about Tommy's refusal to take the lieutenants' exam, but Lou seems genuinely concerned for Tommy. "This Irish pride is going to put us in an early grave. You can't keep going at it like you're 25. Sooner or later the machine starts to break down. It already has.... There's no shame in being on the other side of the peak."
Meanwhile, Garrity and Mike, after increased ribbing from Black Shawn about their stupidity ("Every village has an idiot. We're just blessed to have dos"), plan to do something good for the community to prove they aren't worthless. Cue a hilarious bunch of rambling about being a bachelor and having a bachelor's degree, as well as a rundown about Brad Pitt being the architect of New Orleans who is married to a senator who adopts all the African children that George Clooney flies back to the states after feeding them. Ultimately, after Garrity and Shawn go down in the hole together, they make peace, and Shawn even suggests Garrity's good deed be about speaking up for other firefighters battling cancer.
"At least he only got the 'hero Gavin' gene instead of the 'raging alcoholic, sex fiend, angry assh---' gene." — Sheila
Sheila drops by the firehouse for an update on Tommy's plan to get Damian to quit the FDNY. Unfortunately, he only has bad news: He tells Sheila about the solo save Damian made and that the department is going to give him a medal. Sheila loses it on Tommy, but he tells her that she isn't helping her own cause because she smothers Damian like a "love pillow." Damian interrupts, and after a few stern words with his mother (which neither Tommy nor the audience hears), Sheila is a different woman. "We are good. You tried your hardest... you are released," she says, but I can't help but think her crazy wheels are still turning.
"We all have our crosses to bear, Tom. Bulimics puke. Pill heads pop pills. Junkies shoot junk. Drunks drink. I eat. Now if you'll excuse me, you're making me kind of hungry." — Lou
Throughout the guys' busy day, Lou is struggling. First Needles and Damian discuss Lou's "gock" (the "G" stands for gut and I will let you figure out the rest). Then he hangs back at a couple of scenes, clutching his arms and bending over in pain. He grimaces again as he races into the final call of the day, a burning church where Tommy rescues a Virgin Mary statue, much to the delight of Father Phil (guest star Peter Gallagher).
When the guys get back to the station, they find pizza that Needles pre-ordered, as well as Tommy's welcome-back present: a Kevlar vest. But the celebration is cut short when Damian finds Lou collapsed in the garage. The show perhaps telegraphed the moment a bit with Lou's behavior (e.g., his monologue about vices), but the final image of Lou lying on the floor with his eye open was still chilling.
A few other thoughts:
• How great were the phone calls between Franco and Jan-Jan? I love watching Denis Leary play uncomfortable Tommy so much, and he was given plenty of opportunity here. Plus: Franco's fashion advice was hilarious.
• I look forward to seeing much more of Father Phil, simply because I am a big fan of Gallagher. Based on the character description, he will lend an ear to Tommy, but I have a feeling their visits may do more harm than good.
What did you think of the episode? Were you shocked about Lou? How long do you think Tommy will stick with his "wine only" plan? Share all your thoughts in the comments below.
In this episode of Rescue Me, Tommy's first day back on the job with the boys of 62 Truck turned out to be one of the busiest days in recent memory. It didn't help that the guys were rushing to every call as part of their competition with The West Side Wildmen, the other house in danger of being shut down. Meanwhile, Tommy decided to "stop drinking," by only drinking wine. But as his family became even more frustrated with him, the focus shifted to Lou, who struggled with a dramatic health problem....