Andrea Roth

In 2004, Rescue Me premiered to an audience that just three years earlier has suffered one of the biggest tragedies of its lifetime. Since then, the show has gone on to be critically praised for its very real portrayal of life for those closest to (and sometimes far from) the tragedy of 9/11. From its dealings with PTSD in firefighters, the loss of relatives (both in blood and in spirit), and general themes about family, Rescue Me has never pulled any punches in the way it delivers its drama, and it all finally come to an end in the series finale.

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No one can deny that in the last ten years there has been a revolution in the world of basic cable television. The programs that air now are generations ahead of what the landscape used to be. And this summer we will see the end to one of the programs that ushered in that change, Rescue Me. Yes, sadly the boys of Ladder 62 will be hopping into the rig for the final time come the end of the season, but from what this reviewer has seen so far (seven of the nine episodes), the show has no plans in riding of quietly into the sunset.

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It’s been two months since a saw blade fell on Damien’s head while the crew was trying to save Lou from a pile of coffins. And by the start of the opening credits his fate will be known. But that’s not enough for the all mighty Tommy Gavin as he is now juggling two family lives, trying to be a father, husband and a confidant to Shelia. Mike and Sean finally get the memorial they have been fighting for, for Pat Maoney. And Lou receives a final warning from his doctor, but remember it’s Lou, so don’t take anything he says to be truthful… At least not yet.

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Picking up right where last week left off, Mickey has shown up at the Gavin home after walking in on Tommy and Shelia. It isn’t long before Janet finds out and now Tommy must convince her that it’s over between him and Shelia. At the same time, Damien begins to seriously consider leaving the FDNY for good after a heart-to-heart with Mickey. To the point that he puts his papers in with Feinberg. Lou also gets some very depressing news about his health and his future as a fire fighter. And when the crew gets a call tonight, one of them won’t be making it back for the nightly ball busting session.

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It’s a new day for 62 truck. Thanks to Needles political know how (and some video trickery) the fire house has been reopened. Tommy and Janet make a final decision regarding the future of their relationship. The fate of Sean and Mike’s cancer ridden friend Pat Mahoney is revealed. Damien and Penny decide to take their relationship to the next level. Major developments: The fire house is re-opened. Damien hits a homer with Penny. Tommy and Janet begin a new. Tommy and Shelia end everything (supposedly). Pat Mahoney dies.

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Things take a turn for the worse for 62 Truck when the fire house is closed by the city. But that isn’t going to stop the FDNY boys from proving their worth to everyone. Tommy and Janet try to patch things up after learning the results of Tommy’s “unusual” methods on Colleen. Damien begins to question his loyalty to the job. Major developments: Colleen has been cured of her alcoholism. The fire house has been shut down.

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Upon arriving to a car crash, 62 truck comes upon the horrendous dead body of a young girl killed by a drunk driver. But this is no ordinary girl. This girl hits Tommy harder than any call ever before. Now Tommy will take it upon himself to cure Colleen before she meets the same fate. Animosity will also rise between Franco and Black Shawn, which will lead to a brutal end. Major developments: Actually, this episode is all set up. There are no major developments to speak of since we don’t know the outcomes of any of the actions taken yet. What worked: Two words, Holy Shit! That’s all I could think of when this episode was over. I mean, an alcohol baptism? How does someone in a writers room come up with something like that. It’s out there, even by Rescue Me standards. But that’s what made it so awesome. The execution of that scene was raw and emotional. Thank god that they didn’t give any humor (except The Godfather bit, but I’ll let that slide) to that scene at all. It was eerily perfect.

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After a night of pure binging, Tommy wakes up with zero recollection of what occurred the night before. But that is the least of his worries, because upon his waking, he learns that Colleen has disappeared after spending the night with him. Now it’s a race against the clock for 62 truck to find Colleen before the worst comes to fruition. On top of that, it turns out there is much more to Mickey and Teddy’s master plan for Tommy than anyone expected.

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After his heart attack, Lou is laid up in the hospital. Upon learning of this, The West Side Wild Men push up the date of their cook out. Now the crew has no choice but to bust Lou out of the hospital before all is lost. A man from Sean’s past attempts to break out of the hospital with the rest of the crew. Tommy tries to find guidance from Father Phil, in an attempt to save his marriage. Damien begins dating Penny from West Side, but the crew just isn’t going to stand for that. There may be more to Franco’s and Janet’s relationship than previously indicated. And the biggest question of all is answered… Who could pass for a doctor more, a black man or a Puerto Rican?

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Rescue Me

It’s his first day back on the job and Tommy is already starting to feel the stress. Not to mention that this is going to be the most eventful shift in the history of 62 Truck. Sean and Mike also try and find a way to give back to the community. Lou realizes that there is much more wrong with him than his gut, and it won’t end well for him.

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Rescue Me: Change

Episode: ‘Change’ (Season 6, Episode 2) Airs: FX, Tuesdays, 10pm Episode synopsis: Tommy comes to terms with his dream and tries to do right by the people he has wronged. Major developments: Tommy finally admits to Lou the truth about what he saw when he died, unfortunately he also admits it inadvertently to the rest of the crew. But, no one is surprised by what he saw. Tommy also makes an attempt to tell Janet his true feelings for her, this too blows up in his face.

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Rescue Me: Legacy

Rescue Me returns for its sixth season finale as Tommy tries to come to grips with what he saw on “the other side,” while budget cuts threaten the fate of 62 truck.

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FSR

Kevin Carr breaks down the week’s releases, looking at Funny People, Aliens in the Attic, and The Collector.

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