Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A tale of two morons

Hey, maybe Tommy really oughta walk away from the rest of the cast in every episode. "Rescue Me" thoughts after the jump...

There are times when it feels like Leary, Tolan and company wrote a bunch of scenes and then edited them together at random -- subplots popping in and out of the show, with Tommy's mood inconstant from minute to minute -- but rarely has it been as glaring as it was tonight. The scene with Johnny and Katy takes place at least a couple of days into the episode's timeline, yet Johnny refers to "the stuff that happened last night." I don't even care much about continuity flubs like that, but it was the symbol of an episode that was disjointed in every way, from time to tone. It's the next day, then it isn't, Tommy's the psycho who beat his brother to a bloody pulp, then he's the goof who asks Mrs. Turbody for a sandwich, etc., etc., etc.

The writers were definitely trying to share the wealth, with about the bare minimum of Tommy and a lot of everyone else. In particular, this was the most screen time devoted to Garrity, and the big non-Tommy-walking finish revolved around Probie/New Mike, who may consider himself lucky if his new nickname is Gay Mike. I like Mike Lombardi and especially Steven Pasquale, but I'm not sure you want to hang so much of an episode on either one of them, or really on anyone other than Leary, John Scurti or Jack McGee. I loved the entire sequence with Garrity and the horse -- the monologue about summer camp, Lou raving about the sturdiness of city buses, Chief's "Take a minute if you need it" -- but all those scenes of Tommy trying to intimidate Sean fell very flat.

And the Gay Mike development? Could be great, like some of the stories with Reilly and his son, or it could be awful and offensive. We'll see.

The one part of the episode that felt consistent throughout was the continuation of The Decline and Fall of Kenny Shea, from his argument with the Chief at the top of the show to him calling Tommy a hypocrite near the end.

Other random notes and quotes:
  • The Uncle Teddy in jail scenes are always gold. "He got a great recipe for toilet wine from his homies in Chino!"
  • Random guy talk: Franco's "You ever sneeze while you're pissing?" Isn't that a line from "The Deer Hunter"?
  • Not sure I care about Franco's anxiety about being a kept man, even if it does involve Susan Sarandon wandering around in a bathrobe. And I know I don't care about Mrs. Turbody, even if it involves Paige Turco writhing all over the screen.
  • "I was like, a forte free safety?"
  • Does Sheila have a job? We're coming on five years since 9/11; would Jimmy's death benefits be enough to keep her going? I did like Tommy defending the presence of roofies in Damien's room: "He's not doing the dating or the raping. He's just doing the selling... to the guys who are doing the dating and the raping."
  • If I had more energy, I would've transcribed Tommy's "We're real Irish. We're not like the fake, faggoty your generation Irish" monologue to Sean, because that was some funny stuff, yo.
So, thoughts? Was I the only one feeling a little underwhelmed this week?


Kate said...

Ok, good. I thought my inability to figure out the timeline and Tommy's emotions was because I was running up and down the stairs, to and from our crying toddler's room--that I was somehow missed key plot lines which tied the episode together. Doesn't sound like I missed much of anything. We love Uncle Teddy in jail--our favorite was the line about it being sloppy joe day.

I enjoy reading your blog--thanks for writing.

jim treacher said...

"...all those scenes of Tommy trying to intimidate Sean fell very flat."

Those were my favorite part! But then, I like cringe humor.

So is Mike the probee or the prober?

dirtgirl said...

ha ha, probee :)

I am with Jim, I loved the scenes of Tommy torturing Sean, and appreciated the reveal at the end that he and Franco had been in on it together.

Meanwhile I hated the stuff with the horse. Like HATED. It was OK up until that part with the bus. That was just stupid.

Edward Copeland said...

It seems to me that they hinted at Probie being gay last season, but I may be misremembering. Though I wonder -- is his boyfriend Johnny Cakes from The Sopranos? Maybe he left New Hampshire for New York after Vito vanished.

Edward Copeland said...

Also forgot to mention -- McGee and Scurti really are the MVPs of this show. McGee stole Season 1 and I think Scurti stole Season 2 and is well on his way to taking Season 3 as well.

porter said...

I remember the quote from Johnny to Katy being "the other night" rather than "last night" but that doesn't take away from your point - the episode was kinda all over the place.

One other thing - had it been previously established that the Chief's brother-in-law was such an asshole? That felt like it was a little out of the blue.

Alan Sepinwall said...

This is the first time we've ever seen Bud, even though Mrs. Chief has been calling Jerry "Bud" ever since the Alzheimer's story began.

And I would probably call Scurti the MVP above McGee. McGee's great at the heavy stuff, but he doesn't get many opportunities to be funny, while Scurti does it all and does it all well.

sm said...

I wouldn't say they hinted at the Probie being gay last year. He had fun at the Chief's gay son's party, and seemed to be hanging out with those guys later on, but that was about it. The Probie had at least 3 plots in the first season related to his love-life (that couple who kept trying to trick him into a 3-way, the older woman he was living with and her daughter, and the fat girl), and at least one in the second season (that tall veterinarian), so this must be a relatively new development in his life.
One thing in the episode that was sort of unclear to me - was Tommy freezing out his daughters, too? I know he may be angry with them for not telling him about Janet and his brother, but it still seemed hard to believe that he would just leave them at the school like that.

jim treacher said...

He might be angry at his daughters for not telling him. Or he might just be a hothead who doesn't listen to his wife's messages and doesn't think about the consequences. He's kind of a dick, I've noticed.

And thinking back on Mike's love life up until now... hmmm. Maybe this was brewing the whole time? Or is this Leary's and Tolan's idea of a gay guy, somebody who has sex with old broads and fat broads and finally says the hell with it, let's try this other thing?

dez said...

They have hinted at Probie being gay before, or that might just be me fanwanking last night's development. They've also already done the "What firefighters think of gay guys (and guys who cross-dress), so I don't see the need for making Probie turn out to be gay after all. It was funnier when it was ambiguous. We'll see.

I also agree with everyone who liked the Tommy/Sean scenes. Garrity's right--he's a terrible liar and it's a hoot watching him squirm.

Do we know why Jeannie & Bud had a falling out? I don't remember if they've mentioned it before or not.

Uncle Teddy is a riot. He needs to be in every ep with his toilet wine.

Edward Copeland said...

I don't think they've ever said that Jeannie and Bud had a falling out -- but I imagine it had something to do with the chief.

jim treacher said...

He did say he was the cause of it, so I'm guessing we'll find out.

Mase said...

I don't believe that Mike is necessarily gay. Forgot where I read the interview, but the creators mentioned how he is just a guy lost in love and trying to find his way, and right now the companionship/release he is getting with the guy is his most recent step in his path.

dez said...

I hope you're right, mase. Making Probie turn out to be gay seems like an easy way out of resolving his storyline, whereas what you describe would be much more interesting. Plus I just like watching Mikey figure stuff out. The scene where he admitted he's not so smart was very touching (although he seemed to grasp the Pooh metaphor--not sure because I've not read that book).