Rescue Me: The Complete Fourth Season

Rescue Me: The Complete Fourth Season
Over the course of its run on the FX network, Denis Leary’s Rescue Me has found itself constantly recognised as one of television’s best shows but never received the same amount of exposure as say, an HBO program. And it’s a shame because for four seasons the fire-fighting dramedy has held its share of hilariously dark and often heart-wrenching story arcs. But season four showed an ambition to make changes and marked a significant turnaround for the show’s lead character, Leary’s Tommy Gavin. In three previous seasons, Gavin was a womanising alcoholic whose life was always spiralling out of control. Still facing a lifetime’s worth of stress, without even taking his job into consideration, season four keeps Tommy’s hands full: fighting off claims of fraud from the beach house fire; raising a baby that may or may not be his with ex-wife Janet, who suffers from postpartum depression; deciding whether to sell said baby to ex-girlfriend Sheila for $850k or drop him into the East River; keep the peace in his family’s hostile AA meetings; keeping an eye on his barely legal daughter Colleen and her rocker boyfriend; trying to get a peak at the Chief’s rumoured massive manhood; and finding a stable relationship with the right woman. And it’s Tommy romantic life that signifies the greatest shift, as he’s now become a more vulnerable soul thanks to being rescued from a fire by a beautifully female fire fighter (Jennifer Esposito), fending off the over-aggressive flake daughter of the Chief (Amy Sedaris) and fulfilling the needs of a nymphomaniac (Gina Gershon). The series is as complex as ever but the drama feels a lot less frantic, as if Leary and co-creator Peter Tolan recognised that the characters needed a break. Of course, the always solid ensemble cast pull their weight as well, which includes the addition of new probie "Black Sean” (Larenz Tate), the vitriolic marriage of Sean and Maggie and the unexpected death of Battalion Chief Jerry. But the season is best embodied in the finale’s final moment, where Tommy takes in a game with his dad, showing that within all of the chaos, drama and black comedy there’s always a poignant moment waiting to rear its head. The usual extras are tacked on, including a number of deleted scenes that show worthless footage like Colleen giving her boyfriend the boot, and the obligatory real fire-fighter fluff piece. (Sony)