Michael Zegen and John Scurti Michael Zegen and John Scurti

True to form, Rescue Me's penultimate episode ended with a shocking cliff-hanger: During a raging casket-warehouse fire, Lou (John Scurti) remained pinned under a mass of shelving and a chunk of the ceiling fell onto a helmet-less Damien (Michael Zegen). So, then: Just how many deaths will the finale hold?

Exec producer Peter Tolan assures us that tragedy is indeed in the offing. "What we are dealing with is the death of a plan," he explains. "Tommy [Denis Leary] had made a choice to focus on his family and turn his back on Sheila, and that goes out the window." Nevertheless, "Clearly something happens involving Damien, and there are many fingers that can be pointed."

Among the culpable? Lou, whose ever weakening ticker is starting to make him a liability among his fellow firefighters. In addition, that on-the-job debacle will have repercussions on the House of Gavin. "It throws it into turmoil," says Tolan. And after influencing Damien to stay on the force, deliberately or not, "Tommy's going to have to take some responsibility for what's happened," says Tolan. "How much he'll cop to is hard to say, given that it's him."

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