Question: Based on last night's Rescue Me, I guess Probie is the big gay surprise you've been hinting at.

Answer: Yes, he is. But exec producer Peter Tolan cautioned me (via my colleague, Bruce Fretts), against slapping a label on him. "Probie is a character who has been searching for love and in many cases, in the wrong places," says Tolan. "What he finds is not love but companionship and sexual release. But hes a confused guy, and I dont think hes gay. The funniest conversations those characters have is about how theyre involved in a sexual relationship but theyre not gay. Theres been an unhealthy fixation on our show with homosexuality, and I dont know where it comes from, frankly. When you have a show about men, theres always going to be a homoerotic current that somebodys going to pick up on, whether its there or not. Honestly, the story line came out of a childish delight at discomfiting Michael Lombardi [who plays Probie]. Once we committed to it, we thought, well, now weve got to protect our character and do right by him and lets really make this plausible." But back to discomfiting Michael Lombardi wait until you see next week's episode. All I'll say is Probie and his roommate decide to reenact Vincent Gallo and Chloe Sevigny's "legendary" scene from The Brown Bunny.