So a few weeks ago there was a great deal of hubbub swirling around Rescue Me over Tommy “raping” his ex-wife Janet. Gauntlets were thrown and two camps were formed: Team Tommy Rapist and Team HateFuck. Subsequent episodes and much debate later, it’s pretty clear that what transpired between Tommy and Janet was just yet another footnote in the long, sordid and heavily dysfunctional epic novel that is their relationship. This week Janet returned the favor, flipping the tables on Tommy and putting to rest whatever lingering questions anyone might have about what to consider the last Janet-Tommy tryst. Rape victims usually don’t return to their attacker wearing nothing but a trench coat and some lingere that Frederick’s of Hollywood decided was too scandalous for their Fall 2007 line. But we’ll get to the gory details later, in between we have an interesting Probie Gaywatch developments and the Angela-Tommy evil plan springs into action with some surprising results. Tommy starts his day like most men do: in the bathroom brushing his teeth and having a good man cry. We can only assume that again Tommy is once again being overwhelmed by grief over the tragic death of his son, Conner, last season. It’s a fresh wound, and Tommy is just starting to feel it. Lou starts knocking on the door, and Tommy quickly goes to the door and says he’s okay. Just a little sand in his vagina – I mean, uhh, something in his eye. Lou isn’t buying it, especially when Tommy couldn’t care less about the fact that his dad pissed the bed again, or that Lou is going to take a shit on the floor.
Tommy makes his way over to a street hockey game the Ladder 62 Iceholes are playing against a Bronx firehouse. Probie, as usual, is talking to some young, strapping buck from the other team and the Captain of the Bronx team starts busting Tommy’s balls about the Probie. Tommy, in what I guess is considered a compliment, tells the Bronx captain that Probie might be an idiot but he’s their idiot and to leave him alone.
HANDS OFF OUR PROBIE GRANDPA!!!
The Bizzaro Probie from the Bronx team that our Probie is talking to is shipping out to Iraq in a few weeks, so Tommy starts the game by asking for a round of applause for him before they give him one last American ass kicking. Tommy and the Captain get into it again, and he tells Tommy that everyone knows Probie wants out of Ladder 62. In the interim Probie scores a goal and then heads over to give the Bizzaro Probie a consolatory handjob for not being on his best defensive. Tommy, of course, yells at Probie, off handedly asking him if he’s banging that guy. Probie says he’s just being friendly, and besides why would he be banging a lowly Army rat when he has a big, burly lumberjack at home giving out free blowjobs? Duh, Tommy. The game ends abruptly, and the Iceholes win the $400 pot. Tommy, gives half the money to Bizzaro Probiefor his trip to Iraq, and takes the rest back to the firehouse.
During the game Sean injured himself, probably by trying to run and chew gum at the same time. He needs some Ibuprofen, but the only person who has any is Tommy, but Tommy only shares pills with his friends. Unfortunately, for Sean he broke up with Tommy last week, and he just doesn’t know if he can get passed it. Sean tries to make up, giving Tommy the “baby please, you know I love you” speech, but Tommy has been burnt before by a man’s fickle heart. Eventually, Tommy breaks and gives Sean the pills, but warns him to only go after the brown pill. The red pill and the white pills he DOES not want to touch, because those are from Tommy’s pill popping Robert Downey, Jr. days.
It’s hard to watch this show and decide who is your favorite and least favorite character because it switches so quickly. I thought there would be no redeeming Johnny for his behavior this season, especially after he told Tommy that he’s been after Janet since Tommy brought her home for his Junior Prom. But now, here we are, and he’s playing Mr. Mom to Janet and his two nieces, and somehow you think that there is hope for him not to be a total douchebag. And in the words of Mugatu: “It’s funny how it switches like that.” It’s also why this show is so great – characters that have more than one side, because like so many people in this world, you can love them and hate them almost interchangeably. Janet, however, is slowly working her way to becoming the least likable character on this show, and let me tell you, Johnny and CrazyTaty are some stiff competition for that title. But it’s this scene, while Johnny is in between cooking her dinner, and helping Katy with her homework and working on Colleen’s social problems at school, and she’s half heartedly complimenting him on being so reliable and good to her, unlike his brother. But the boredom in her eyes kills me. I know there are women out there like this, tons of them, so it’s nice that she’s playing such a real character. That doesn’t mean that I have to like her though. When little Katy comes over and tells her mother how much she likes having Uncle Johnny living with her because he doesn’t scream or use sarcasm like her father, I almost expect Janet to say: “Yes, but Katy, the sex with your dad was OUT OF THIS WORLD, and Uncle Johnny is just a mediocre lover. You understand don’t you sweety?” Alas she doesn’t, she just starts to replay the best of Tommy Gavin cock festival in her mind, and ignores her daughter. Like any good mother would.
At the firehouse, Tommy is counting up the money from the game and the money from the smoking kitty and it’s almost $2,000. Since they’ve already quit smoking, they should just take the money and buy something for the firehouse. Franco wants an IPOD and Lou wants a new microwave. Probie makes the craziest suggestion of all, saying they should buy those new Halligans and saw that they were promised last year. You know something that would actually help their firefighting. He also wants some of the cash to redecorate the bunk room – nothing crazy just some new throw rugs and some sharp new linens – you know to really brighten up the place. He saw some great things on While You Were Out, the other night. Tommy thinks he has the best idea of all, when he votes for a batting cage, so they can win the Firehouse softball game every summer. That idea is both echoed and annihilated by a refreshed Sean, who says the same exact thing. Interrupting the brain trust is the Captain who is posting some signs and making a very important announcement: Due to some of the recent sexual harassment cases there is going to be a raid of all the firehouses, and all the pornographic material will be confiscated. This sends the guys into a tizzy as they run out to getting their copies of Penthouse, Hustler and some sporadic copies of Military Men Exposed, that are now starting to make a lot more sense. The guys spring into the living room like Supermarket Sweet contestants on crack, and finally come to their senses. No they don’t! They just realize all the good porn – like the videos and DVDs are in the bunk room! They run up their, but are stopped when they see Sean passed out in a bowl of Lou’s spinach dip – which is a shame, because who doesn’t like spinach dip, right?
Hey – you know how I know Lou is gay? I saw him make a spinach dip in a loaf of sour dough bread once. Apparently, Sean, not one for details, took 4 of Tommy’s sleeping pills. And we’re not talking popping a few Excedrin PMs because you’re tossing and turning at 3 AM. We’re talking Matthew Perry season 3 of Friends sleeping pills here. Apparently this Somunall (thank you closed captioning) has been all over the news because people sleepwalk, sleepeat and sleepdrive on them. They grab Sean and bring him upstairs, where he is expecting to sleep for the next 3 weeks. As they are putting him to rest, Franco is trying to steal some of the porn. Well, I guess he has to do something now that his daughter’s been kidnapped. The last time we saw him wasn’t he beating up Tommy and the firehouse, because of his distress? Porn is the answer to most problems, so who am I to judge. Franco says he is just taking what’s his, but Lou wants to make sure. I love porn titles on TV shows (like on Roseanne when they rented the classic: Romancing the Bone). I’m a little disappointed with Forest Hump (been there), but I enjoyed both King Dong and King Schlong, but was hoping for a little Harry Cockher. Oh well. Tommy and Franco start debating strongly over the quality of the movies based on the girls’ tit sizes. Tommy likes his ladies natural, while Franco lives the American dream by motor boating a nice pair of fake boobies. The argument starts getting heated, and luckily the boys are saved by a deadly fire in progress they can, uhh, unleash their hoses on.
Tommy knows the building they are at, his cousin is a sculptor and used to have a studio here, and the building is really old and confusing so stay sharp. They get in there and the blaze is bad. They have 5 people to save and there isn’t much time and there are a bunch of different doors and directions to go. At this point I realize how much fighting fire is like playing a really intense game of Minesweeper. Any minute and BOOM, game over. They split up and Lou and Franco get trapped in a room where the oxygen is running out rapidly. Meanwhile, Tommy has found two of the 5 people one woman who is going to make it and another guy who will get to put Fire Corpse #24 on his resume. Tommy also finds a kid, but it’s yet another one of Tommy’s Jedi mind lapses. Lou and Franco call Tommy for help, and Tommy breaks through a wall and saves his boys. Hooray!
Outside the building Franco is kind of spooked and Tommy is chatting with him. Tommy takes this time to ask Franco about Keela because we’re about halfway through the episode and there’s been no mention of his daughter being taken on the run with one half of Thelma & Louise. Apparently, Keela and Alicia are in Disneyland for a few days and Franco will get to see her when they get back. I know some people have a problem with the Tommy/Janet storyline or the Probie Gaywatch storyline, but I have a real problem with this one. I just don’t believe that Franco could love his daughter SOOOO much that he’d steal her back from foster care, only to be joking around and worrying about his porno stash a few days after she is stolen away from him by someone who is esentially a stranger. I mean, it’d be one thing if the cops caught up with him about the whole taking her back from foster care thing, and he’s dealing with it, but not when some old chick he was banging for a few weeks decides that she’s going to pick up and take his kid away from him. I know he’s concerned about Keela having a good life, a life that he might not be able to provide, and Alicia could, but the whole thing just doesn’t ring that true to me.
Tommy asked Franco to check in on Lou, and when he does Lou is kind of a mess, and I’m worried that we’re going to see the reemergence of dickhead Lou from earlier in the season. Lou is just upset that he let Franco down, and you know, almost killed him. Franco says it’s no sweat and asks Lou to grab a beer, but Lou has plans with his Uncle Red, whose face cancer has recently spread to his balls (from “sucking his own cock”).
Sean wakes up from his horse tranquilizer induced coma and heads over to the grocery store with half a face still full of spinach dip. He is obviously suffering from the sleepwalking/driving/eating side effect that Franco alluded to before. He generally causes chaos in the grocery store, calling one guy fat, insulting some lady’s ugly baby and stealing some food, because he’s a fireman, and they owe him one.
When he gets to his car a cop is writing him a ticket, and Sean is amazed and asks the guy if he can write him a few to the U2 concert at the Garden. The cop is totally freaked out and pulls his gun on Sean, who even half asleep and with a face full of green shit, is still about the least intimidating guy in the world. The cop calls for backup on the “zombie” that he has spotted, and asks for all possible units and for Commissioner Gordon to call up Batman or send up the Bat signal for some additional help. Sean unphased by the gun and the Dark Knight gets in his car and heads over to CrazyTaty’s. At this point I was getting nervous that I was going to have to go a full hour with no CrazyTaty sighting, but alas here she is making out with the allusive Nacho, one of his other boyfriends. Sean bursts in and punches Nacho out. When Nacho comes to he asks who that was, and CrazyTaty exclaims: “I think that was my new boyfriend.” Aww, if anyone can fall in love with somebody hopped up on pills, it’s our CrazyTaty!
The guys pull into the firehouse and they have a Simpsons mob waiting for them with people complaining about the “zombie” who was causing a ruckus. They are all accounted for and the only one who isn’t is Sean, who is upstairs sleeping until he gets a kiss from his one true love. And besides, Sean may be a lot of things, but a zombie looking derelict is not one of them. OR IS IT? Next thing you know, Sean pulls in to the firehouse, with an adorable bunny rabbit. In hot pursuit is the owner of the pet store that Sean broke said bunny rabbit out from. Sean passes out again, and it seems as though his evening of mayhem is over.
In the meantime, Tommy gets a call from his new partner in crime Angela, who just got a hot tip that Shirley Cappacona, who used to hang out with Sheila and Janet all the time and make Angela’s life a living hell, is a hostess at some Italian restaurant. Last week, I said that Angela’s about face on the subject of messing with Johnny and Janet was a little abrupt and I didn’t buy it. However, now that some extra layers are being made visible, I’m starting to go with it a lot more. It’s not just about her ex Johnny, it’s about Janet too. The plan is for them to go to the restaurant for dinner tonight, acting all coupley and gross, and get Shirley to report back to Janet all the horrific details.
As Tommy is getting ready to head over to Angela’s, Sheila calls. She asks him what he’s doing tonight so maybe they can get together and talk about their relationship and his “crying jags”. He makes up a lame excuse, but Sheila doesn’t bite.. Sheila might be crazy, but she’s not stupid, and she knows that Tommy is going out on a date tonight and doesn’t want to tell her. Tommy denies it, but Sheila assures him that she has been doing plenty of “sampling” in that department herself. Of course, Tommy plays right into her dragon lady hands and gets all jealous, but just as Sheila gets the upper hand, she loses it by asking him about his recent experiences, and he rushes her off the phone.
Tommy gets to Angela’s and before they make their public debut she wants to rehearse. She gives him a bunch of directives: Ear whispering, lingering, hand holding, ass grabbing, tit rubbing. He needs to remember which ones go where, and when to best utilize them. The whole scene is kind of funny, and I really naively hope that they keep Angela around as Tommy’s partner in crime, and not necessarily, his love interest.
The Probie is going to have to work late tonight to cover for the comatose Sean, so he calls his wife, the Lumberjack, to tell him he won’t be home for dinner. The Lumberjack seems really pissed off that he’s getting stood up and Probie, God bless him, innocently apologizes. You think it’s just another, Lenny and Carl moment between the two of them and it’s going to be funny like last week’s “faggot fight.” But you see, the Lumberjack isn’t really upset, because there is another guy walking into the kitchen. Apparently, the strenuous confirmations of the Lumberjack’s heterosexuality were all for naught as he embraces this other guy, who I immediately hate. Look, I don’t care if the Probie is gay, straight, bi or asexual. The Lumberjack’s betrayal is unacceptable. And you just know that Probie’s heart is going to be broken, when he finds out. Damn you, Lumberjack! Damn you to hell!
Lou is having yet another midlife crisis this time about his abilities as a firefighter. To make himself feel worse he heads over to crotchety old Uncle Red for some advice and ball breaking. I know nothing else inspires me to be a better man than being called a pansy repeatedly. Uncle Red was a firefighter for 50 years and he understands what Lou is going through. At one point every fireman gets the “jangle.” He takes Lou to a diner downtown where a middle aged black man named Georgie greets Uncle Red and he orders a cheeseburger and some more scotch. Uncle Red relays the story of how years ago he took a wrong turn in a burning building and smelled some flesh burning and saved a young kid. That kid was none other than Georgie, and if Uncle Red had never gotten confused in the first place, Georgie wouldn’t be here cooking him his cheeseburger today. So lighten up Lou! Shit happens, man. Anyone who was left by his ex-wife, lost his house and all his money and was swindled by a hooker, should’ve adopted a “Shit Happens” policy a long time ago.
JUST LISTEN TO GOLUM, LOU
At operation bitter Ex, Tommy and Angela are seated by Shirley and make some small talk. It’s a little busy in the restaurant so the plan is going to have to hit level 3 (ass grab) sooner than expected. Tommy and Angela jump right into it, and Shirley immediately picks up the phone, and they are sure they have S-U-C-C-E-S-S, but the phone call is too short to be anything worthwhile – probably just a work call. Bummer. A little while later, they are done with their meals, and Angela is disappointed that they haven’t been able to get Shirley’s attention – not even when Angela gave Tommy a blowjob at the hostess stand. As they are about to leave, Angela sees her ex-boyfriend, the possessive and diminutive Wall Street broker/stalker Sebastian. Tommy, goes outside to kick some midget ass, and scares Sebastian away. This gets both Shirley and Angela’s attention, and Tommy and Angela go into full-on tit grab/ass rub/finger bang mode. This finally gets Shirley’s FULL attention and she makes a call to an unknown source. Not 10 seconds later, Tommy gets a phone call from Janet, wanting to talk at his apartment. The plan couldn’t be working any better.
Janet comes in dressed in a black trench coat which can only mean trouble. She asked if they are alone, and then complains about the grandma-like kiss hello she gets from Tommy. She asks if that’s all he’s got, cause she’s got a little more in mind:
DEAR PENTHOUSE FORUM
And then she attacks!
I have to say, I get that this is a television show, and we’re not really allotted a great deal of time for sex scenes, but this is the second time that Tommy and Janet have had “great” sex in under 1 minute. I’m not judging, but, well, I guess I am. And yes, total male fantasy going on here, but at the same time, as an objective television viewer, it kind of makes me hate Janet. She wants her cake and to bang it too.
The second she jumps off Tommy, she starts talking about Colleen’s problems at school, which is a nice counterpoint to the dirty sex they just had. Colleen’s been acting up, cursing out teachers, slapping students, and worse of all, worshipping Jesus. Janet thinks that it probably has a lot to do with Conner’s death and the fact that Tommy isn’t around anymore. Tommy counters with the possibility that the fact that Colleen’s mother is living and screwing her uncle in her parents old home, MIGHT have something to do with the behavioral problems as well. Regardless, Janet thinks that Colleen should see the school grief counselor about all this stuff and that Tommy should go with her. Tommy is hesitant at first, but once he hears the words “grief” and “counselor” he thinks that maybe using his daughter as a cover to see someone about his overwhelming grief might not be the worst thing in the world. Janet thanks Tommy and slips him a $50.00 for his services, and tells him that “Payback’s a bitch.” How clever you are, Janet. Vacuous and devoid of any moral compass. But clever as well.
I think that this show, with the possible exception of 24, is the worst offender of the perfect timing phone call, because literally as Tommy shuts the door on Janet, Angela calls Tommy. How could she know that Tommy and Janet would be done already? For that matter how could she know that Tommy is a two pump chump? Angela asks Tommy what happened, but Tommy says that there is now way that Shirley called Janet. Yeah, I don’t think she’d be so eager to give him the man-rape if Shirl had gotten on the phone with her to tell her all about the ass grab and tit rub. But who else could she have called? Who else would’ve cared?
Oh… right. I actually think that this is a pretty sloppy plot point, because I can’t imagine that no one realized that Sheila was in on this little circle of information just as much as Janet. That being said, Sheila literally goes crazy when she hears the news. I mean CRAZY. Like, remember that scene in The Crush, where Alicia Silverstone is “making lemonade”? Yeah, that is a toned down, carefully nuanced portrayal of insanity in comparison to this. It’s hard to know whether to feel bad for Sheila or to laugh at her or to kind of hate her for being so dramatic. Again, character shadings, yes, but also over the top.
So what to make of Sheila’s reaction to the news? I think the next few weeks are going to be great with all of these things coming to a head. And who’s with me on keeping Tommy and Angela partners in crime and not in the bedroom… anyone?