If you tuned into the series finale of Rescue Me expecting a touching and tear-worthy tribute to the noble New York firefighters who risk their lives every day to save others, then you’ve probably never watched Rescue Me before. True to form, Rescue Me ended its seven season run on its own terms. [DON’T READ ON IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE SERIES FINALE OF RESCUE ME.]
Sure, I sort of got a little teary during the first scene, when Lou (John Scurti) delivered that incredible monologue at what we believed to be the funeral for all five of the fallen members of his crew. “I cry out not in agony. I beseech the sky not with anger but with pride in a voice that is strong and clear. I am a better man and we are all better people for having known them.” Holy cow. Then, boom. LIES. Tommy (Denis Leary) woke up from a dream, and not long after, we learned it was Lou who was dead.
It was all down the Rescue Me hill after that. Tommy dealt with guilt and resigned his position with his family’s future in mind. (It didn’t last.) The rest of the injured crew planned their next moves and bantered like any good rag-tag group of man children. And the women in Tommy’s life acted like crazy people. This show started as the only acceptable form of soap opera watching for men (or women who don’t mind visiting a man’s mind) and it went out just like that. And we couldn’t have asked for anything more.
Sure, I would have liked to see Lou honored like dream-Lou honored the boys in Tommy’s dream. But that’s never been what this show is really about. It’s been about moments like service that took place before Lou’s ashes were scattered. Vulgar humor, Tommy having a reflective moment, and the crew doing idiotic things like replacing ashes with cake mix. At least, that’s how I see it.
The final scene found Tommy helping his wife deliver his new baby, and then Tommy giving a hard-nosed speech to new recruits about the firefighters who died on 9/11. It wasn’t sad — but filled with pride and honor…and some crude language. “This ain’t a job. It ain’t an occupation. It’s a calling, a need, a desire that you feel in your bones and your brains and your n– s—.” And in the final moments, Tommy hopped in his truck and had a conversation with
a halLoucination (or ghost Lou, whichever you prefer). Tommy Gavin, a man whose greatest company has always been his ghosts.
So was it what I was expecting? In some ways, no. And in most ways, absolutely. What about you, PopWatchers? What did you think of the series finale of Rescue Me? Was it a proper ending?