Episode: “’Legacy’” (Season 6, Episode 1)
Airs: FX, Thursdays, 10pm
Episode synopsis: Tommy tries to come to grips with what he saw on “the other side.” Budget cuts threaten the fate of 62 truck.
Major developments: Following the events of the season five finale… Tommy dies. We join him in a hockey stadium with the rest of the 343 from 9/11, but just as fast as he gets to see the light, he is sent to a dark hallway engulfed in flames. Then, he wakes up. Later, Feinberg tells the crew that due to the city’s financial woes and the recent shooting, that 62 truck has a target on its back and they may not be around for much longer. Janet moves into Tommy’s apartment to watch over the kids and Sheila tells Tommy she wants Damien out of the job.
What worked: The opening scene of Tommy in the afterlife is both gripping and extremely chilling. Especially when the scene cuts to shots of the World Trade Center and we hear the loud rumblings of a jumbo jet. It’s some of the best editing I have ever seen. Later, when the concept of Colleen being a drunk just like her father is introduced, it is saddening to say the least. I guess everyone was right, drinking is in fact genetic in the Gavin family.
The show also returns with its witty writing. One line from Teddy sticks out in my mind “We Gavins, we make The Jacksons look like the god damn Osmonds.” The way the episode also deals with the Gavin family turmoil is brilliant. The first scene we see Tommy and Mickey together leads to a very scary side of Mickey that we have never seen before. Also, in the first scene when Tommy is back home, Janet lays down the law, quite brilliantly if I do say so myself.
But where the episode really hits its stride is in the final moments. Tommy has ran from the bar, and Teddy, with a brand new bottle of whiskey. He begins to drink it in a church. He then goes to the front of the church and acts like he is the man in charge. Could there be no better imagery for Tommy’s inevitable downfall? I think not.
What didn’t: Nothing. Nothing in this episode didn’t work. It was excellent. One of the strongest episodes of the series and probably the best premiere second only (if that) to the the series premiere seven years ago.
Final thoughts: This was one of the best episodes of Rescue Me ever. Truly a great sign of things to come and really introduces some great story arcs that will take us through the final two seasons.
What’s next: Tommy comes to terms with his dream and tries to do right by the people he has wronged.
To read more of Merrill’s television reviews and to listen to his Idiot Boxers podcast, head over to Fat Guys at the Movies.