Entertainment Magazine

Review #2998: Rescue Me 7.8: “Vows”

Posted on the 07 September 2011 by Entil2001 @criticalmyth

Contributor: Edmund B.

“Rescue Me”’s final season has careened from the ridiculous to the sublime. So, it is no surprise that the the penultimate episode, “Vows”, offers up a heavy dose of the former,only to be leavened by the latter.

Review #2998: Rescue Me 7.8: “Vows”

The “vows” are those between Colleen and Black Shawn. As expected, Gavin family shenanigans ensue at the wedding, most of them outlandish and tedious. Shawn’s parents, in particular, come off as saints for so calmly enduring the flurries of insults, innuendo, and indecency that surround them.

One surprise was seeing the long-defunct Gavin family AA group pull together one last time, and impose a “no booze” policy on themselves. Which leaves the floor open for Sheila to ride her personal exemption to the pledge right into the most excruciatingly inappropriate reception speech in TV history. Callie Thorne’s pitch-perfect drunken ramble helps drive the episode into much better territory.

Tommy and Janet’s renewal of vows melded the outrageous and hilarious with a core of humanity, as the show used to do with ease. Tommy’s fate appears to be set, as Janet extracts his pledge to retire. (But we all know what happens to people who publicly announce their retirement, don’t we?)

We are also treated to a memorable climactic meeting of the triangle that has defined the show. Andrea Roth and Callie Thorne cut right to the heart of the matter, showing us two women who could easily hate each other, but, instead, have reached for, and finally achieved, understanding and reconciliation.

The pacing of this season has often felt disjointed, and never more so than in the abrupt cut from the wedding to the fire that will close the show. However, here, drawing a stark contrast between new beginnings and final endings felt appropriate. Many have speculated that the show has to end with Tommy’s death. After a compelling setup and explosive cliffhanger, we will soon find out if they were right, or if Tommy resembles a phoenix one last time. Personally, I’m rooting for the redemption of the latter.

I have assumed budget cuts dictated the dearth of fire scenes this season. Finally seeing the crew in action again highlighted my biggest problem with Tommy’s letters. Lou’s surprise at Tommy’s words felt forced, because their truth was self-evident through every fire we’ve seen them fight. Lou and the chiefs will always do whatever it takes to keep them safe, just as Tommy and the guys inside will always do whatever it takes to get people out. And they all know this. “Yeah, like we’re not going to come with you?” Of course they will, and so will we.

Writing: 1/2
Acting: 2/2
Direction: 2/2
Style: 3/4

Total: 8/10

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