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FX 'Rescue Me' Finale Does Itself, And Its Subject, Proud
September 7, 2011  | By David Bianculli
 
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Rescue Me started on FX in 2004, and ends seven years later, four days before the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. The expanded finale, shown at 10 p.m. ET Wednesday, provides an ending that will not be revealed here -- but which, like the series itself, is remarkably entertaining, satisfying and impressive, and emotionally all over the place...

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Series creators Denis Leary, who stars as (literally) haunted New York firefighter Tommy Gavin, and Peter Tolan have crafted, from start to finish, one of the boldest, most ambitious and certainly best-acted dramas of the 21st century. Tommy, the central character, was the poster boy for both rage and outrage -- furious at the losses and sacrifices his firefighting career demanded of himself and his colleagues at 62 Truck, yet too addicted to it, and too flat-out good at it, to walk away.

As the show, like the nation, edged nearer to the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that inspired the series, Leary and Tolan made the commendable decision to end the show the same week. It's partly a measure a respect, and partly a desire for any sort of closure, that makes it such a welcome move.

But it's also the freedom given to the writers of a show with a self-imposed expiration date. Rescue Me never was shy about placing its characters in mortal danger -- and facing, rather than denying, the mortality of its own. But last week, when Leary and his fellow firemen were trapped in the upper floors of an out-of-control building blaze, and learned too late that the roof access had been bricked off, there was no telling who, and how many, would be claimed.

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Tonight we learn. And then, as the show concludes, we learn even more about the characters who made it to the end, in ways that echo back so satisfyingly to the very first show. And lots of the regulars get some meaty final scenes, including the always-strong female leads, Andrea Roth (pictured) and Callie Thorne.

From beginning to end, Rescue Me has been an outrageous, audacious, exciting, impressive TV series. So, by all means, don't miss the end.

[For reaction to last week's episode of Rescue Me, please click HERE to read TVWW contributor Gerald Jordan's newest Crossing Jordan dispatch.]

 

1 COMMENT

John said:

Good final episode. A death. A life. Some truly hilarious moments. Some touching moments. And, at the end, the feeling that it will continue, just not with us watching. (But let's hope Tommy stays sober.)

Comment posted on September 8, 2011 12:59 PM


 
 
 
 
 
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