RESCUE ME “Mutha” Review

RESCUE ME Season 7 "Mutha" (FX)

RESCUE ME “Mutha” Season 7 Episode 1 – If there’s any show you can trust to keep to Chekov’s rifle rule, it’s Rescue Me. This is a show which, for seven years, has audaciously aspired to top itself episode after episode, season after season, unfortunately getting caught in its own trappings which are as much a psychological commentary on how a damaging event can leave a man trapped in a state of torment as it is a central problem with the show. Here we come at last to the final season, its seventh, with the finale due to air on or around the tenth anniversary of 9/11. For once all seems to be getting back on track for Tommy Gavin-or as back on track as a man as screwed up as he is can possibly get.

“Normal…normal is dead and buried under what’s left of Ground Zero. I’m just trying to make sense of what ‘s left above ground.” So says Tommy Gavin to his wife when, in the parking lot of the clinic, he tells her that he wants her to have the baby. Her only demand is that he be a present father for the child, that he teaches his son or daughter to throw a ball. It hardly seems like she’s asking the world of him, but Tommy scoffs at the idea and uses, for the umpteenth time, 9/11 as an excuse. 9/11 has, essentially, crippled him as a person, as a human being.

The character of Tommy Gavin (and enough cannot be said for Denis Leary’s balls to the wall performance) is a fascinating portrait of a man who is obsessed with the trauma stemming from the seismic events which altered his life. This is not just resonant with the victims of 9/11, but of sufferers of all sorts of uncontrollable and egregious acts of depravity around the world. From Tommy’s obsession comes this mentality of excuses: every single bad thing that happened to him happened because of 9/11. It’s something you might see in something like a criminal case, where the criminal makes the excuse that they are what they are and they did what they did because of their horrific childhood.

And Tommy Gavin has done many a horrible thing for no reason-and, as exemplified in the final scenes, many a horrible scene for “justifiable” reasons. He spits out a mouthful of alcohol after blowing holes in the bar while his daughter Colleen lays on the floor, drunk and down, his life is in just as big a rut as ever. His promise to abstain from sex for his wife’s sake doesn’t look too stable. His godson Damien is still brain-damaged, incapacitated, and is only able to move when Tommy dreams of him trying to stab him. He’s promised to be a better man, and while he ‘behaved’ thus far, Tommy Gavin is an unpredictable character. Who knows how long that will last?

Meanwhile, Black Shawn has decided to take the leap and ask Colleen to marry him in a scene which was kinda perfect: here they are, Black Shawn and Colleen, totally swept away by the daring romantic moment, in a storeroom full of liquor, each briefly questioning whether they want to go through with the whole thing and then pushing their nags aside with giggles. It’s funny and heartfelt and sweet and doomed all at the same time. Kinda like the show.

What did you think of Rescue Me‘s return? Sound off in the comments below.

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