Well, it’s a good thing I don’t have a problem being wrong. Even more so, it’s a good thing I don’t have a problem being wrong on an epic, public scale. So without giving everything away before the jump (the picture and these last two sentences probably make that point moot), let’s just say that I was kind of way off on the “who’s going to live, who’s going to die” bit” for Rescue Me. As a whole, while the devastating stuff was devastating, the humor they tried to intersperse with it was, in my opinion, slightly uneven and uncharacteristically over the top. Yes, I realize that this is a show that turned Sean into a zombie, had Tommy duct tape a chatty girl’s mouth shut during sex, and lets CrazyTaty walk around un(der)medicated. But for some reason the humor in this episode seemed a little forced, and most shockingly of all, inappropriate. That sounded a little too much like a real review to me, so I’ll leave you with this before the jump: Boobies. Cooter. PeePee. Doodoo. There. Back on Track.
So Johnny’s dead. Dead, dead, dead. And now that I see through my denial, it makes sense. The guy took three slugs to the chest. There was no way he was coming out of it. That’s too bad, and not because I liked Johnny (anyone whose familiar with this recap knows that I think Johnny is an omega-level deuchebag), but it’s too bad for me, because that means somewhere out there, Capt. Jerry is still breathing. Snore.
The whole pre-credit sequence of this episode is awesome. Set to the song “Hell Is Around the Corner” by Tricky, we see everyone get the news about Johnny’s passing. Tommy gets the call first; he handles it with eerie calmness, while in his car. I guess when you’re Tommy Gavin, getting a phone call that person X in your life is dead has started to become old hat. Tommy goes to the morgue, identifies the body and starts the death phone chain, which is like the snow day phone chain, only much sadder. Say what we will about this fractured family unit, but the Gavins are tight in their own spouse raping, brother beating, drug inducing way. It’s actually quite touching to see (the whole sequence is done with no dialogue) as the news travels to Cousin Mickey, Sheila, CrazyTaty, and finally, Janet and the girls. Again, it’s no secret that Janet is not my favorite character on television, but FINE, you win Janet: I feel bad for you.
At the firehouse, the guys are clueless about Johnny. They are actually quite concerned about the fact that Capt. Jerry is two hours late, something which never happens. Tommy is also MIA, but I’m assuming that is a much more common occurence. Probie, the most lost of all without a clearly defined leader, asks Lou what he wants to do. Lou wants to eat donuts, watch Frankenstein, and let that lead to a jerk off session. I don’t why but the random series of events of jerking off, eating donuts and Boris Karloff as Frankenstein is hysterical to me. Tommy, who is also finally comes in to tell the guys about Johnny. “They shot my brother.” He has to go over to tell PopaBear in person; Johnny was his golden boy, and he might not take it so well. Lou volunteers to go with Tommy to lend a hand. Sean, recently freed from the chains that have the words Crazy and Taty etched into them, walks in to the room excited about the hot girl who just walked by with a massive rack. “It’s like a double eclipse!” The guys ignore him and then tell Tommy that Captain Jerry is missing. Tommy makes some suggestions about where he might be. Lou also takes the reigns of the boys in the firehouse. You see! Lou’s a natural leader! He needs Capt. Jerry’s job. Lou and Tommy start to leave, when Sean comes in to complain about the “total eclipse” only being partial (they were fake), no one’s paying any attention to him. “Who died?” Oh Sean!
Lou and Tommy are headed over to the evil vortex that holds Uncle Red and PopaBear. Tommy informs Lou that Johnny was going to testify in the Bronx (Damn you boogie down!) on a drug case. The guy on trial already has 2 strikes, and with Johnny’s help a third strike will send him to jail for life. He didn’t want that so, bang, bang, bang, Johnny’s out of the picture. Johnny’s partner didn’t get a good look at the guy, so who knows if they’ll even find him. Tommy thanks Lou for coming, but Lou is pretty smart: “Don’t thank me yet.” Yeah, things are going to get ugly at the evil vortex.
Uncle Red opens the door for Tommy and Lou: “He Ain’t moving out!” The guys let themselves in, and tell PopaBear to sit down. PopaBear says no, but once he sees Tommy sit down, he realizes something is up. Uncle Red smartly goes to get the whiskey (they’re gonna need it) and PopaBear asks what’s wrong. Denis Leary is really great in this episode. You can see him hesitate for just a second, but then he just rips the Band-Aid off: “Johnny’s dead.” Poor PopaBear. He excuses him: “I’m going into the bathroom. Need a little privacy for a moment.” It’s absolutely heartbreaking.
The rest of the firehouse with a little help from their friends, are at Capt. Jerry’s. No one is answering their knocks, and Capt. Jerry’s car is around back. They debate over which window to break to get into the house, which is quite funny, because they base the decision on price. The $40 window (which is exactly what Capt. Jerry owes the Chief) gets broke and they head into the house to find Capt. Jerry on his stomach barely breathing.
PopaBear returns from the bathroom to set the ground rules for the funeral. No black, the only people who will be dressed dour will be Johnny’s NYPD brethren who will come in their formal dress blues. Capt. Jerry wants bright colors, spring in bloom. A Target commercial. He wants to celebrate his son’s life and how Johnny used to put a smile on PopaBear’s face every time he used to walk into the room. Am I wrong or is that jealousy on Tommy’s face?
You know, I don’t consider myself an overly sensitive guy. Especially when watching television. I’m also not easily offended (I’m assuming that if you’ve been following any of my recaps, you’d have picked up on that). But this next scene with Uncle Teddy and his crazy wife in the conjugal visit trailer really kind of disgusted me. Uncle Teddy comes into the trailer like any other day of the week. No sense of gravity or of remorse. Nothing. So I assume he doesn’t know about Johnny yet. His wife, Ellie, is in hysterics over the death of her nephew-in-law (whom she’s never met). Sure, a little nutty, but sweet. Oh, so Uncle Teddy did know. He just doesn’t care. Got it. Isn’t this the same guy who murdered his great nephew’s killer after a drinking and driving accident? A year later your nephew is gunned down in cold blood and you have zero reaction. Oh no, I’m sorry, not zero reaction. Apparently, murder is the ultimate aphrodisiac for Uncle Teddy, because he still wants to get it on. Dude, when Ellie, a woman who only marries guys who are in prison, calls you out on being a scumbag, that’s pretty bad. Look, I get it; they needed something to break up all the wah wah wah. Fine. But to me this doesn’t come off as funny, it comes off at cheap. Looking for laughs in something as horrible as the death of a sibling, is fine. Therapeutic even. But a show that is as smartly written as Rescue Me should rely on the interplay between characters for that levity, not cheap tricks like this. Uncle Teddy you have just replaced Johnny as the A#1 decuchebag on Rescue Me. Congratulations. Dick.
At the hospital, Capt. Jerry’s doctor comes out and asks if the guys are family. They say yes and no, because you see they ARE his family – they’re his brothers!!! – but not really, cause well, they’re related to him at all. The doctor says that’s all well and good and touching, but they’re going to need next of kin. Capt. Jerry’s suffered a major heart attack. They suddenly remember that Capt. Jerry’s son is gay, not dead or in another dimension. The doctor says to get him down there because he might need to come down and sign some papers.
Lou is helping Tommy with casket shopping, which is probably way less fun then any other kind of shopping there is. The scene is funny as the casket salesman (imagine that was like your job title on your business cards. Downgrade.) tries to sell Lou on the Mercedes Benz of caskets, which runs about $15,000. Tommy tells him they’ll take a wooden one (“The Honda Civic,” Lou says). It’s a perfect example of what I was just complaining about with Uncle Teddy. The dialogue of the characters helped lighten up a scene that is essentially the worst kind of trip to the mall ever. As they are finishing up with the salesman, they get the call about Capt. Jerry. They need to get in touch with Capt. Jerry’s son. Tommy has the number and Lou gives him a call.
In the car back to the apartment, Tommy is feeling bad about giving Capt. Jerry the Viagra that started his fire pole but stopped his heart. Lou isn’t so convinced it was Tommy’s fault. Lou then starts debating with Tommy about whether or not he’d rather die burnt up in a fire or with a cock hard like shovel. Umm, how about neither? Sure cock like a shovel sounds appealing, but what if my parents or grandmother is the one to identify my body. Awkward.
When they get back to the apartment they start cleaning up the kitchen, while Tommy presses play on the answering machine. He gets a few inane messages (the guy coming to fix the wall, Sheila stalking – the usual). Then we hear Johnny’s voice from beyond the grave. He calls once speaks for a second and hangs up. He calls back and leaves a longer message about being sorry and how bad things are between them. Johnny was starting to think that Janet was still in love with Tommy, and Johnny wants only what is good for Janet and the girls. He ends the call with: “I love you Tommy. I’m sorry.” Ouch. Like big ouch. Like balls in a vice ouch.
Tommy is woken up the next morning by Lou who has Johnny’s partner on the phone – they got the guy who killed Johnny. At the police station, Tommy is let into a room with no cameras and no two way mirror for ten minutes alone with his brother’s murderer. It’s all very NYPD Blue, but I like it none the less. You expect Tommy to go full-on apeshit on this guy, but you know he won’t because, well, that’s what you expect. Tommy uncuffs the young black kid and asks him how much they paid him to kill Johnny. $8,000. Wow, they got you on the cheap, dumbass. Last time I worked as an assassin I demanded at least 5 figures, a car and Angelina Jolie’s direct phone number. I guess I’m just a better negotiator. Tommy does some quick math: Johnny was 41 years old, divide that by $8,000 and you have about $200 per year. It’s actually $195.12195, but no one likes a smart ass, right? Tommy’s got $77 in his pocket plus a subway token. What subway are you riding that you even have a subway token, Tommy? How much time will that get him? Tommy makes fun of the kid for doing the wrong math, and then for some reason the subject is dropped. I can’t tell if it’s a tactic by the writer’s to show that Tommy doesn’t really know what he’s doing or saying or just lazy writing. But who cares because here comes the beating we all want. Tommy tells the kid to get up put his hands on the table, spread his legs and stick his ass in the air. Somewhere, Probie just messed his pants. I swear, for a second I really though that Tommy was going to… well… you know… introduce this kid to Tommy’s little fire engine that could. Please stranger things have happened on this show. Or maybe he was going to start looking for a plunger or a midget or something. But he just tells him to get used to that position, bitch. It’s all kind of… anticlimactic. Telling the guy who killed your brother that he’s going to get ass raped in prison? Isn’t that like telling Mel Gibson he’s going to get booed at a Jewish Pride Parade? I wanted more from the barbaric Tommy. Or at least from the clever Tommy.
Uncle Teddy is meeting with his lawyer. He wants out of prison ASAP. His wife is nuts and once he gets out of the clink she’ll lost all interest in him.
Sean and Probie are out at a bar, and Sean is complaining that Probie can hit on every guy AND girl in the place. Wait? Probie’s bi now? In case Sean’s comments weren’t enough, Probie’s buttoned down to his navel shirt really let’s you in on it. There is a hot girl and guy over at the bar, and Probie goes over to talk to him, because, you know, he’s bi now. He loves cock! And beaver! Until next week, when he only has sex with carnies and drag queens named, Sapphire. Retarded. While Probie is over macking on some PAGINA, Sean calls CrazyTaty to see how she’s doing. The conversation obviously doesn’t go well. CrazyTaty tells Sean never to call her again. Alas, I think prediction number two from last week, the demise of Sean & CrazyTaty, was also wrong. Probie comes back looking for hugs and hi-fives from Sean, because the hot couple wasn’t a couple at all, they were brother and sister and the brother was gay! Probie just won the BI-lottery! Does Probie know that in order to be bisexual, he probably will have to, you know, go downtown every once in a while. Otherwise, I think they take your joint discount card to Banana Republic and The Sports Authority away.
Franco and Natalie are all snuggle bunnies, when she decides it’s time to leave. Franco needs to hit the books if he’s going to pass that Lieutenant’s exam. Oh, and she calls him Pillow Lips, which is so cute I actually have to drown a basket of kittens to make my self feel better. As Natalie leaves the bedroom she stops into Keela’s old room and notices a picture of her. She brings it back into the bed with Franco, and I pretty much assume she’s going to put it on the night stand, thus catapulting Franco to start making Keela a part of his life again. I then realize that I should no longer make any guesses about what happens on television shows because it seems I’m always wrong. Natalie shows the picture to Franco, and puts a picture of herself next to it, saying “Am I crazy?” The similarity is really uncanny. Long lost sister alert (read previous comment about not making guesses anymore)!
At the hospital Capt. Jerry finally wakes up. He has no idea where he is, but his gay son is right there next to him. Reunion! Sniff, sniff. Do I smell a little eharmony for Probie?
Janet and Tommy are at the funeral home, looking down at Johnny lying in his dress blues. Janet is a mess, remembering how much she always loved him in his uniform. Umm, inappropriate Janet! Inappropriate!
Lou is waiting in the lobby, talking to Sister Skanky Teressa on the phone, the nun he hooked up with last week, who is leaving her convent for greener pastures, and more dick. She’s in for the move to the boat with Lou! They’re both really excited (“Can we get a dog?”), and I don’t know how it will pan out, but I think that it feels about right for Lou to finally find happiness with an ex-nun living on a boat. A real nun walks by Sister Skanky, and she gets off the phone abruptly and does a few Hail Mary’s. Oh Sister Skanky, to quote the immortal JoJo: “It’s too little… too late.”
Tommy is now standing at Johnny’s casket. He tells him that he could always make him laugh. Am I missing something? Did I miss the episode where Johnny was funny? (okay, wanting to name his kid Joe Montana Gavin was kind of funny). Tommy starts reminiscing about old times, his nickname, Tommy Gun, and Johnny’s, Johnny Boy (so what? The Gavins weren’t the most creative kids on the block – they could still kick your ass). Tommy apologizes to Johnny for what he’s done to him, and tells him that he called him to make peace after the brawl they had over Janet. Tommy just hopes that Johnny got his message. Wait, I don’t remember that phone call? Is Tommy lying? Johnny sure seems to think so, because he opens his eyes, causing Tommy to slam shut the casket on his fingers. Sucks seeing dead people. Sometimes you close caskets on your hand; sometimes you get picked up by the cops for drinking too much and having pot.
DO WE ALL TURN INTO T-1000 WHEN WE DIE?
Franco is at his apartment pretending not to be freaked out that his been doing the dirrrrty dirrrrrrty with his daughter’s older doppelganger. Natalie is leaving the apartment, telling him he needs to figure out the women in his life. Franco says he’s got it figured out. He can’t stop thinking about Natalie, he loves her. It’s actually kind of sweet, whatever, especially since the last chick we saw Franco with was Susan Sarandon, who ended up kidnapping his daughter. Natalie is visibly touched, and admits that he’s certainly got her figured out, but needs to figure things out with Keela. I hope this doesn’t end Franco and Natalie’s relationship. I’ve grown fond of her and Richard the Retard.
HEY FRANCO, REMEMBER WHEN YOU HAD SEX WITH A GIRL THAT LOOKED EXACTLY LIKE YOUR DAUGHTER? WEIRD.
Tommy, Janet and Lou have picked up Johnny’s personal affects, including his cell phone. They all listen to Johnny’s message from Tommy, which it seems Johnny never heard. Now did Johnny never hear it because Tommy just sent it from the bathroom? Or because he legitimately was busy getting shot and killed? I really hope, for the sake of Tommy Gavin’s immortal soul that he isn’t lying. I don’t see what would be his motivation (winning Janet back?), and I really think that would be the bottom of the barrel for Tommy. Helping out this theory (again, which will, I’m sure, prove to be wrong wrong wrong), is the fact that the message is mostly about how much he still loves Janet.
At the funeral they are playing bagpipes which always kill me because they make me think of my cousin’s funeral. No, he’s not dead or anywhere near it, but I know he’ll want bagpipes at his funeral. Tear. As per PopaBear’s request everyone looks like they are headed for a kegger at the beach, rather than a funeral. Tommy starts seeing dead people all around him, like his fallen firefighter brothers. I wonder if Johnny is going to be one of the recurring dead characters that Tommy keeps seeing? I think that’s probably a smart idea; they have some issues they still could work through, even in death. But most heartbreaking of all is that he sees his cousin Jimmy and a few seconds later, his son Connor. I don’t know why, but cousin Jimmy whispering something to Connor, seemed particularly devastating to me.
I can’t believe who showed up! Rosemary! Wait. Who? You know, Rosemary, the long lost deaf/mute sister that PopaBear and MamaBear Gavin had locked away in a home so she wouldn’t embarrass the family. You know that sister that was mute but regained the use of her vocal chords that Tommy, CrazyTaty and Johnny didn’t even know about until a few years ago? You know, Rosemary. No? Okay, good. Me neither. Do we even know that Rosemary existed? I don’t have any recollection of her whatsoever. Rosemary is here, feeling good and looking great. She even makes up with PopaBear, who apologizes for locking her away for being deaf. Yeah, I guess that is pretty harsh. Oh also, where’s Angie? Come on, she wouldn’t show up for her ex-husband’s tragic death? You sign Marisa Tomei for 3 episodes at least make one of them the funeral episode.
HEY LOOK! IT’S COUSIN OLIVER!
Regardless, the best part of this is whole thing is that Sean knows how to sign (his grandmother was deaf), which is just plain funny to me. The guy can barely tie his shoes without reciting a nursery rhyme about a bunny and a loop, but he can speak sign language. I’m not the only one who finds this endearing, CrazyTaty totally swoons. She pays off the priest who just BURIED HER BROTHER (in a really amusing bit about how sacred vows really mean cold hard cash to most priests) to marry Sean and CrazyTaty right there. Again, I realize that we’re trying to lighten things up, and also, probably not trying to repeat what went on last year with Connor’s death, but isn’t this, I don’t know, too much? I mean, your brother is not even lowered into the ground yet. Sure the Gavins are a whacky crew, but I think they have more respect for life and death than this.
Either way, CrazyTaty and Sean do get hitched – with only one hiccup, a guy visiting his dead mother. “Can you move? You’re standing on my mother.” The wedding moves ten feet to the left, and the dumbest guy in New York finally marries the craziest lady in the world. Huzzah! Oh, I do love that they are announced as Mr. & Mrs. Gavity.
Back at Tommy’s apartment the word Irish Wake gets a revamp. It’s a party, y’all! I think DJ Clue is even spinning. I don’t really get it, we Armenians really enjoy wallowing. Sure we like to drink our sorrows away too, but we’re a black for 40 days kind of culture, so the music and dancing is kind of lost on me. Tommy takes some time to speak with his deaf, no longer mute sister, who is just plain old amazing. Not only because she appeared out of nowhere, but because she can understand what Tommy is saying perfectly despite being deaf, without Tommy signing or looking at her straight-on so she can read his lips. She tells him that she’s happy out in California. Got a great boyfriend, great job, great sex. It’s all about happiness. That’s what matters. Happiness. Tommy is touched, and he should be. He’s the one who gave her that speech in the first place years ago.
Sheila comes up to Tommy, and despite the whole funeral thing, she’s got great news: She bought the house! The house they are going to runaway to! Everyone has a lot of exciting announcements on the DAY THAT JOHNNY DIED!!! Tommy and Sheila take this into the other room but behind Door #1 is:
WOW, WHAT COULD BE MORE AWKWARD THAN WALKING IN ON THIS?
And then even worse behind Door #2:
OH. MY BAD.
Tommy tells Sheila that he’s been thinking about it and… he’s leaving the FDNY. Jackpot behind Door #3:
Tommy leaving the FDNY? I don’t know about that. With Johnny dead and a baby on the way for Janet, it looks more like reconciliation time for those two, and another dead end for Sheila. Also, what do you think about the message Tommy left for Johnny? Legit? Or eternal damnation?