RESCUE ME “Ashes” Review

RESCUE ME “Ashes” Season 7 Episode 9 – Seven days before the ten year anniversary which inspired the show in the first place, Rescue Me goes out on a fine episode, unrecognisable from the brilliance of its raw beginnings.

When it first started back in 2004, September 11th was a raw nerve, an event which haunted the nation on a daily basis, and a show reflecting the lives of these firemen came about at a gutsy time. It delved into the dire lives of these men, many of whom were survivors in an event where their brothers were killed and Tommy Gavin was a dark hole of a character, haunted by ghosts of guilt and booze and family troubles. It was a great show.

Unlike Breaking Bad or Mad Men or The Sopranos, Rescue Me never got better than its first two seasons. You have a feeling that Gilligan, Weiner and Chase sat back after the first and second seasons premiered, looked at what they had, and thought how they could possibly make it a thousand times better. I’m not so sure Tolan and Leary did that after season three, and since then the show went downhill fast and never really picked up on the glory of its starter days.

That Lou died isn’t so surprising, and it’s hard to get too choked up over his death. This is the series finale. We’re not really losing Lou: he still got a big scene at the beginning. We’re losing all of these guys. And it’s hard to watch Tolan and Leary shove in one last misogynistic scene as Tommy takes his son to the sharing playground and clashes with the figuratively castrated man who’s controlled by his domineering, hellish wife. It’s my least favorite trope about the show, and it’s a pity the episode has to really just stamp out the fact that they cannot write women in a positive or even interesting way (with the exception of Moira Tierney).

There were some nice moments: the scene with the guys in the car when Lou’s ashes burst, the scene in the firehouse. But they were brought down by contrivances like the birth of Tommy’s baby and Janet and his daughter insisting he return to the firehouse. Like the show, the finale was deeply flawed, a little insulting, incredibly frustrating, heartfelt and challenging.

What did you think of the show and the finale? Sound off in the comments below.

Sheila’s “sex and fire” speech totally made up for her lacklustre episodes in the last few weeks.

“Yo ma, I don’t see how crippled people do it. I can tell you I’m gonna be a whole lot nicer to gimps from now on.”

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