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.
Major developments also come from Damien and his story line of trying to become the fire fighter his father was. The crew also comes to a realization about Lou that they have always known. The final major development is that Tommy is now trying to face Colleen’s drinking problem head on… Well, kind of anyway.
What worked: From shirtless firefighters in Tommy’s home, to the question of what qualifies as sin in the eyes of the lord, this episode marked the return of the shows silent and witty humor. I also quite enjoyed the “jealous” moment between Tommy and Franco. Especially when Tommy brought up past transgressions by his late brother Johnny. It’s also great to see the show finally put a major spotlight on Tommy’s daughters. For so long, they have sat on the side lines providing nothing more than a base for Tommy to latch on to. Now it appears that they are going to have a bigger role in the series. Especially Colleen whose antics define the entire third act of this episode. It’s so sad to see what Tommy’s kin have become, and it’s even sadder to hear Janet say the words “I hate what you’ve made me.” The same also goes for Damien. He is beginning to grow into his own, and after making a big save on a job, I have a feeling he is going to be cockier then ever, and I wouldn’t want him any other way.
What didn’t: This episode also saw the re-introduction of a good health sub-plot. We’ve been down this road before though. This ground was covered in the final episodes with Chief Reilly before his suicide in season four. Though the plot this time around may have much more of an impact, I can’t help but think the writers were slowly starting to run on empty by this point. (I say “were” because the show has wrapped production on this and next season).
Final thoughts: Retreads aside, this episode works. Especially during the third act in the bar. Also keep in mind that this is only the second episode of the season so I am sure there is plenty more headed our way.
What’s next: It’s Tommy’s first day back on the job. Damien will try to wow a firefighter from a rival crew, and Lou finally comes to the conclusion that he needs to drop some pounds in a heart stopping way.
To read more of Merrill’s television reviews and to listen to his Idiot Boxers podcast, head over to Fat Guys at the Movies.