I fell behind on ‘Rescue Me’ last week and didn’t get a chance to recap the previous episode, ‘Comeback’. Long story short, Lou had a heart attack and we were left uncertain whether he would live or die. Fortunately, ‘Breakout’ answers that question right away with some good news. He’s going to make it. This show has killed off enough major characters already. Letting Lou die at this point would feel like a cheap ploy, and might be one plot twist too many for a series that regularly skirts the edge of alienating its audience.
So, it turns out that Lou had a very different type of Near Death Experience than Tommy. His was filled with peace and happiness, and visions of his mother embracing him. It left him content and reassured that, when his time finally comes, he should have no fear of death, because the afterlife will be a wonderful place. Naturally, this pisses Tommy off.
Despite Lou’s close call with death, the other boneheads in the firehouse get the genius idea that they need to break him out of the hospital early to make him cook for their big neighborhood PR event. To do this, Franco has to impersonate a doctor. When Black Shawn gets offended that they didn’t pick him, the crew explains that Franco is better at “talking white,” which Franco then ably demonstrates. Their antics at the hospital are pretty funny, especially when they nearly get caught and Franco has to flirt his way past a pretty female doctor.
In the midst of this, Garrity runs into Pat “Balls Out” Mahoney, whose cancer is in its final stages. Mahoney wants to have one last hurrah before dying, and convinces Garrity to break him out for the night as well. They make it outside, but before they can celebrate, Mahoney starts coughing up blood. They have to bring him back.
In other news, Damian is dating the hot probie from the rival West Side house. The guys tell him that he needs to pump her for information (in every sense possible). He goes right ahead and admits this up front during the date. She says that her house wanted the same from her. They seem to hit it off. This storyline isn’t particularly believable; she’s way out of his league. Like, almost laughably so.
Tommy has decided that he’s on a “wine only” diet. He dumps all the hard liquor in his apartment down the drain. He and Janet have a very funny conversation about the definition of “booze.” Tommy claims that wine is just “grape juice with a kick,” and that it would take gallons of the stuff for a Gavin to start getting drunk. As if to take up this challenge, alkie daughter Colleen starts guzzling wine like Gatorade.
Peter Gallagher makes another appearance as the foul-mouthed priest. He shows up at the firehouse hoping that the city will reimburse him for the damage to his valuable Virgin Mary statue. However, when the guys inform him of their budget crisis, he understands. Later, Tommy goes to visit him to talk about his problems, and how he thinks he went to Hell. The priest takes a good look at a photo of Janet – a really good, long, lingering look – and advises him to stabilize his home life and patch things up with his wife. Then he asks if he can keep the photo.
That night, Franco stops by the apartment to help Janet with a plumbing problem. He catches a glimpse of her in her panties. They share a really intense moment where they both come very close to jumping all over each other. Franco somehow manages to stop himself, and apologizes for breaking the bond of their friendship. Tommy walks in a moment later and immediately senses Franco’s guilt. He assumes that more happened than really did, and storms out of the apartment.
Tommy gets in his car, and remembers the expensive bottle of booze that Teddy and Mickey gave him as a “have a nice life” parting gift. He starts drinking, and throws away the photo of Janet. It would seem that his descent has begun again.