Blaze of Glory: The Rescue Me Series Finale

Jack Corsi

This past summer viewers saw the hit drama series Rescue Me conclude like no other. The show was based on the life of Tommy Gavin played by Boston’s own Dennis Leary and how he copes with the effects life after the September 11th attacks. Gavin lost his cousin and fellow FDNY Jimmy Keefe. Throughout the series we saw Gavin struggle with alcoholism, infidelity depression and even being shot by his own brother. The show created great ratings and also garnered a few Emmy nominations for Leary and company.

But was the finale the right way to end the series?

The answer to that question is absolutely. The finale was by far one of the best episodes that the series ever had. At first, we are taken to the hospital were the bodies of the deceased are seen. Then when you think Tommy is the lone survivor, you are wrong. Lou Shea, Tommy’s best friend is seen standing over the charred bodies with the utmost of remorse. We are then taken to the funeral, were Lou give one of the most passionate eulogies that you will ever hear. But as Lou finishes, the screen fades to black. Tommy then wakes up, and in fact Lou was one of the only ones who died in the fire. Tommy files for retirement and the remaining crew members try to find out what they should do next. Tommy’s wife Sheila gives birth to a baby boy named Shea; they named him after Lou’s last name. The final moments of the series show how the show began, but in a different perspective, this time Tommy speaks to the academy’s new class with a different tone. He tells the new class they best shy away from sex, drugs and alcohol. Tommy returns to his truck and begins to converse with his old pal Lou.

Rescue Me showed us a different, more controversial side of life for the FDNY after 9/11. Dennis Leary’s Tommy Gavin may have not been the most likeable character, but people can easily relate to him. Whether it is problems with drugs, alcohol, infidelity or inner family issues, Tommy Gavin taught us that even in times of trouble; we will need the greatest resilience. In many people’s eyes Rescue Me was just another FX drama, but the show went out in a blaze of glory that no one really saw coming.