Note: This is a recap of the episode of Rescue Me that airs tonight. Due to an editing error we posted it a day early — we apologize for the error.
It’s official: Damian is the new Ladder 62 probie. And while we’re disappointed that Franco hasn’t yet bashed the kid in the face, “Initiation” at least treated us to the sight of little Keefe quaking in his boots at his first fire. Despite this momentous occasion, the episode was full of random, disconnected moments among the crew, with little progress in their plotlines: Mikey is 2 percent Northeast Apache! Carla nearly injures Franco (again) in bed! Garrity’s mom doesn’t love him as much as she loves Terrence! Tommy, on the other hand, seems to actually be progressing — just as the ladies in his life (and even Needles) are getting used to the bad old him.
Janet: “I like you. But I don't LIKE YOU like you ... I mean, I love you! In a deep and cavernous way, which is streamlined with ribbons of hate and disdain. You know, resentment. But I am focusing right now on the sex.”
On a shopping trip with Katie, one misconstrued hug from Tommy — and the offer of a dressing-room quickie from Janet — launches a simultaneously amusing and sad discussion of the perennial non-couple’s relationship status. Little did Tommy know that the strings in “no strings attached” apply to him, too. We’re guessing he does now, by the puppy-dog face he makes when asking, “We’re having sex and you don’t like me?!”
Needles: “You mess with chemistry and mark my words, people are gonna die. And I'm blaming you. You stopped being Tommy Gavin today and you started playing mother hen to that kid.”
Strange, hearing Needles mourn the loss of the usual Tommy Gavin, but results are nearly disastrous when Tommy makes a last-minute mix-up of the crew pairings so he can stay with Damian in this episode’s fire. We find it telling that Damian has not once complained to Sheila about her insistence on Tommy becoming his guardian angel, but no matter: Lou’s in charge of Damian now, and we smell trouble in the future for whoever’s in charge of the Keefe boy.
Jimmy’s Ghost: “She's a woman. What she says and what she wants are two different things. You’re not leaving till you go in there, spoon with her, and tell her the truth.”
Sheila and all of her accompanying delights — the cheerleader, dominatrix, and Playboy Bunny outfits she happens to have lying around — come with one request, as she reminds us at least five times this episode: Tommy must look out for Damian. So when Tommy makes his preference for the probie a little too obvious, Lou’s put in charge of Damian — a fact Tommy carefully leaves out during his marathon romp with Sheila. In his most gentle yet firm appearance yet, Ghost of Jimmy mandates that Tommy tell the truth, for once — we’ll have to wait till next week for the (inevitably screechy?) results.