Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Rescue Me: Welcome back

Hi show that I used to love! I've missed you! Where have you been?

Best "Rescue Me" in weeks, if not of the entire season. More thoughts after the jump...

Why was I so pleased? First, because the laugh quotient was way the hell up there: the guys getting baked by the marijuana fire, Garrity's eagerness to join the Gavin family, Garrity's conversation with Mike -- really, the entire sequence with the house finding out about Mike's, um, ex-roommate -- plus Uncle Teddy's coitus interruptus. But Steven Pasquale is fast becoming as money in the bank as John Scurti, and the amazing thing is that he has almost no comedy background to speak of.

Second, because I will never, ever object to a subplot about the Chief and his wife. I do wonder, though, whether they're now setting Jerry up to get involved with the woman from the home, or if this was just a standalone bit.

Third, because Sheila wasn't insane, wasn't whiney, wasn't date-raping anybody; for once in an absurdly rare while, the show took her seriously, and Callie Thorne played the hell out of that scene where she tried to talk Tommy into retiring and moving somewhere far, far away from all this madness and all those bad memories.

Fourth, because Dr. Gina was in it! Now, her stint as Tony B's girlfriend during "The Sopranos" season five came before watching "Sesame Street" with my daughter became a morning ritual for me, so I didn't get to experience the whole "Wait, where do I know her from?" reaction, followed by, "Oh my God, it's Dr. Gina!" For those of you without small children in the house, never mind, but it's just cool to see her in such a grown-up show, and to be very good, too. The image of Stackhouse without his legs was really haunting (though am I the only one who thought the burn makeup made him look too much like Lou at times?).

Fifth, because the Franco storyline went in a different, much more interesting direction than I was fearing. (Like him, I assumed she was another cheating manipulative nutbar.) They've got to tread a really fine line with the brother character, but so far it felt in that comfortably Farrelly brothers territory where they're having some fun with his problems without actually making fun of him.

Sixth, because nothing really pissed me off, for the first time in a long time. Even the reveal that Janet's pregnant -- no doubt a result of The Incident -- didn't bug, if only because we'd all been assuming it would happen ever since The Incident took place. For the first time in a long time, Tommy felt like a guy -- a flawed guy, but a guy -- instead of the larger-than-life macho assclown he's been since he found out about Janet and Johnny.

Is it just me, or was this one really good?


Anonymous said...

How in the world are you able to write a summary so fast - posting mere minutes after the episode ended!? Agreed - it was a great show. Did you catch John Salley's cameo as the pot grower?

Alan Sepinwall said...

It helps to get review DVDs in advance. :)

Anonymous said...

Also thought it was interesting that Leary cast himself in a favorable light when Mikey is confronted by the other guys about his sexuality. Leary is the one who publicly backed him up and wasn't the gay-basher the rest were. (John Salley is on Fox's Best Damn Sports Show Period.)

Kristen said...

The other comedic bit I loved was Tommy enumerating all the reasons why Lou would hate Florida. The alligators eating joggers off the path! "I don't jog." "After they finish the joggers, they'll go after the sedentary ones like us."

Probie and Garrity were cracking me up in the bit where they're each talking about different things (being gay vs. transferring). Both dumb as rocks, but funny.

lady t said...

I thought that comment Garrity made about being raised right"I think" when he was asking Gavin Sr.(who I'm glad to see make an appearance-I thought they were going to kill him off)for Maggie's hand sets off his desparation to be part of any family,even the Gavins. Especially his attempts to insta-bond with Tommy(who is going to punch him one right in the face at some point).

The best scene was the ending,when Tommy goes off quietly to absorb the news about Janet-nicely underplayed by Leary there.

Anonymous said...

It's not just you--this one *was* very good, although I don't need to see Uncle Teddy getting his freak on ever again.

I think Tommy's acceptance of Probie's "mistake" had more to do with his fear of losing the stability of the firehouse than true acceptance. Everything else in his life is a wreck, but at least he can go to his job with the same guys he's already comfortable with. Sheila's offer may be tempting, but I don't think Tommy's ready to make that break. Keeping the guys in the firehouse together, including Probie, is probably the only thing that's keeping him from crawling right back into the bottle for good. Until next week, of course (based on the previews of Tommy & Mick, mostly).

Anonymous said...

This was a good episode, but I've found this season really disappointing. There's no consistency between any of the storylines or in the behavior of the characters.

Even the comedic bits are falling flat for me because they're so lightweight and irrelevant. Sure the Uncle Teddy storyline is amusing, but what the hell does it have to do with the rest of the show? And what was the point of Marissa Tomei's arc? Or Susan Sarandon's (and does anyone really believe Franco would give his daughter to her so easily??)

And, despite what the writers say, their treatment of women and homosexuality is still ridiculous. I think it would have been much more amusing last night if all the guys had been really accepting of Probie and told him they always assumed he was gay and were glad he was finally coming out. The freaked out look on Probie's face from their acceptance would have been priceless--especially since he maintains he isn't gay.

Edward Copeland said...

I agree -- this was the best one in a long while, mainly because of the humor. John Scurti taking notes of Steven Pasquale's encounter with Charles Durning so Tommy wouldn't miss it was priceless. Scurti also got off some other great lines as well.

Edward Copeland said...

One thing that I thought should have been addressed was that it seemed as if the chief should have had more to say about Probie being gay, given that his son is gay.

Anonymous said...

What, nothing from you people about the peg leg comment in the beginning and then the next scene the burn guy without legs?

Laugh out loud funny! Then, f*&k, that shouldnt have been funny.

That is why I still love the show.
That and feeling like I am listening in on some grown men saying things they shouldnt or would never say in the company of us women.

D. said...

Another touch I liked was Franco's reaction to Probie being gay - "Just don't let him in the shower" -- since it was clearly an allusion to Sunjata's breakout theatrical role in Take Me Out, where he played a gay baseball player who got into a bit of trouble in the shower.