"In cooking, as in all the arts, simplicity is a sign of perfection." - Curnonsky

Friday, October 26, 2007

Rescue Me: Yaz

Initially, I really thought it was the end. Especially with the way it started. Tommy was drinking, womanizing just as he always had. Then he started day-dreaming. Remembering 9/11. Speaking to Jimmy one last time. Connor's accident. Johnny's funeral. All these defining moments popped into Tommy's head and for a brief moment, it felt like a series that was wrapping itself up and moving on.

Nope. All in Tommy's head. The only thing he was drinking was a soda... but it was all in his head. So for those who speculated that Tommy had been in a coma all season since the beach house fire, there was still hope. There was even that weird scene where he implanted himself into that guy's story at the AA meeting, having sex while Sheila and Janet watched. But, again... all in his head. So squash the coma idea too. The only thing that seems to be holding true is what Feinberg has been preaching for a few weeks now -- Tommy might just be plain 'ol nuts.

Well for someone who's potentially nuts, he seems to be alright. He's calm, collected, and has a grip on his drinking problem. He knows that he wants Janet back, but he'll apparently settle for Valerie instead. Granted, going into fires while wearing Jimmy's old coat still reeks of insanity, but I'm starting to think that his reasons were less self-serving and more about the memory of Jimmy. He never sees Jimmy anymore and as a result, I've sort of forgotten about him. So what about the people that never saw him at all? By "becoming Jimmy's ghost," Tommy is just keeping the candle burning in his own twisted way.

I think one of the things I liked best about this episode was how it presented this idea of stability as a function of living your life to the fullest. It culminated with Tommy's dad dying at the baseball game (everyone should have seen that one coming), while everyone else sort of found this peace in their own lives. Lou coming clean with Cousin Mike. Maggie and Sean calling it quits for good. Franco giving Natalie space and helping Richie fulfill his dreams. Janet moving on with her new boyfriend. Colleen getting back in the game with Bart.

The only person not making progress? Sheila. She found the coat, and if you ask me, put two and two together. She knows it was Tommy, especially after reading Jimmy's note to Connor. Why was she still crying? Not because she hadn't seen Jimmy's ghost, but because now she knows she never will.

So after all that, do they have enough to pull off a fifth season? I say yes, but only if it's the final one. The episode set up the need for closure in Tommy's life and now that story remains the only one left to tell. If not, it'll be a lot more of one thing I saw in this finale: Tommy on top of an elevator, going up and down, but not really making any progress.

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