Spoilers for the "Rescue Me" season premiere coming up just as soon as I go rescue some cats...
Boy, I hope the Exposition Fairy got paid overtime for that one, because this felt like an entire episode spent on characters telling us what's happened in the nine months since the fire. So let's sum up: Garrity has longer hair and hate's Maggie's porn (in the funniest parts of the episode), Chief is skinnier and not dead, Tommy's living with Janet and the baby and not dead (and trying to get in touch with his feminine side by watching Oprah and listening to Dr. Laura), Sheila is still insane and not dead, Franco's girlfriend's retarded brother is still easy comic relief, Lou's having more sex than he can handle with (Ex) Sister Theresa, and Chief Pechre is still loathed by all. Oh, and a woman who looks like Jennifer Esposito has spent the last nine months trying to get 80-year-old Tommy Gavin to go on a date with her, even though he's brushing her off at every turn in addition to the problems inherent in being Tommy Gavin.
The episode's spine is the arson investigation, which I have a hard time caring about since it's attached to that stupid cliffhanger in particular and Tommy and Sheila's relationship in general. I think I would like this show a lot better if Tommy never had to deal with another woman again -- except maybe his daughters, as I'm still not burned out on him panicking about Colleen's sex life -- and as with the cliffhanger (which even Leary admitted at the time was bogus), we know that Tommy's not going to lose his job or go to jail. Leary did some nice work in the monologue scenes, but I just don't care.
"Rescue Me" has always had a sloppy feel to it, with subplots and running gags coming and going at random, but this episode felt particularly disjointed. The next couple are a little better in this regard (and also funnier), but the show's gone from one of my must-sees to something I watch because it's summer and not much is on.
What did everybody else think?