Rescue Me

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jul 21, 2004 on FX
out of 10
User Rating
190 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

New York City firefighter, Tommy Gavin, cannot escape the ghosts of those who have died around him as he faces the everyday challenge of saving lives while trying to fix his own.

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  • I'm hooked already!

    The first episode of Rescue Me was great! Everytime you think your life is crappy, just remember that someone (i.e.Tommy) always has it worse off! The end of the episode where Tommy is followed by the spirits of Jimmy, his fellow firefighters, and the kids he couldn't save was extremely memorable.
  • This was a superb start to an interesting, yet mature series.

    I was looking up a show on Hulu, when I noticed Rescue Me on the front page. I hadn't ever watched an episode of it, but I'm a fan of Denis Leary, so I decided to check it out. I thought it was fantastic. The acting by Denis Leary shows that he isn't just a comedian. He can really pull off a drama, shown by his discussion with the therapist at the end of the episode. Denis Leary's character Tommy seems like a troubled character, and I'm looking forward to seeing more of him. Overall, I give this episode, Guts, a 9.0 out of 10.moreless
  • 'Cause I ain't no hero. I'm a fireman. We're not in the business of making heroes here. We're in the business of discovering cowards. 'Cause that's what you are if you can't take the heat.moreless

    Rescue Me is a show that is anything but cowardly in its presentation, as we see in this first episode. There will be no politically correct bulls*** found here. That is, if our characters have any say in the matter. This is a show with the guts to be raw, to be true, and to be unlike everything else on the air.

    Enter Tommy Gavin. The best way to describe Tommy would probably be the lovable a**hole. Tommy is bad to the bone, and the audience wouldn't have it any other way. However, Tommy is not without his faults. In fact, he has them in spades. But that's all part of the appeal of Tommy Gavin-he is a deeply flawed human being, albeit one that still carries some deeper understanding about the world around him.

    Tommy is the shining star of this show, and shine he does in this pilot episode. From grandiose speeches to spying on his soon-to-be-ex-wife to having a casual conversation with his dead cousin, Jimmy, Tommy Gavin is nothing if not a complex and engaging character that to some extent becomes the driving force of the show.

    The writing for the first episode is excellent and characterizes the content of many episodes to come as well. Some particularly good things to be found here include the Chief's gambling habits (especially great was the nature show bit), and Garrity's general idiocy (after being told to fetch a box, he returns with a bag instead). The river of pee is also a wonderful way to introduce the Probie to life as a fireman. If you think being a fireman is a glamorous job, you are sorely mistaken.

    Rescue Me is a show full of haunting music and witty (oftentimes comedic) dialogue centered around Tommy Gavin and the other fireman of 62 truck, which this pilot demonstrates beautifully. Part of the appeal of the show is that none of the characters really constitute any sort of ideal behavior, as it were. These guys aren't heroes. They're only human like you or me, each as flawed as the next.

    Yeah. Sad Commentary.moreless
  • we meet the crew of resuce me

    this is the first time i have seen season 1. we just finish season 4 in austraila on foxtel. so i got a little confused when i saw this piolt episode. tommy is a new york fire figther trying to come to terms with the people and friends he lose on 9/11. we are intruced to the new probe and we meet the crew of the fire station. tommy plays a prank on the cheif where he gets the probe to pee in a cup and poo in a bag and puts it on the cheifs desk. thats a funny scene because the cheif goes to drink out of the cup and starts screaming. LOLmoreless
  • Great show to begin with!

    Great show to begin with IMO as Denis Leary, a

    Real life supporter of firefighters, plays Tommy to a hilt

    He can come off as a jerk and you want to deck him

    But also he has a lot of angst and pain inside of him

    For he has lost a lot of firefighters on 9/11

    So in a way, he does have a heart, though you may have to look upon him to know he does have a lot of love and respect for his workers under him!moreless
Julie White

Julie White

Dr. Goldberg

Guest Star

Kevin Hagan

Kevin Hagan

Captain Sweeney

Guest Star

Chester A. Sims II

Chester A. Sims II

Mr. Wilmore

Guest Star

Michael Mulheren

Michael Mulheren

Chief Perolli

Recurring Role

Ed Sullivan (II)

Ed Sullivan (II)

Billy Warren

Recurring Role

Anthony Mangano

Anthony Mangano


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Marissa Clark was originally cast as Tommy Gavin's girlfriend, Lauren and filmed the pilot episode, "Guts". After accepting her role on "Outback Jack" (2004) TBS's reality series set in Australia, the producers could not locate Clark and, panicking, recasting her role.

    • Goof: The room where Tommy throws out the life-size doll from has smoke coming out and a fiery glow to it, but when the view shifts to inside the room, the smoke and the glow are both gone.

    • Goof: The dead dog is obviously a stuffed animal.

    • Goof: The shadow of crew equipment is visible when Billy tells the men where extra fire hydrants are located during the apartment fire.

    • Goof: It goes from day to night instantaneously the second time the firefighters are called out on a job.

  • QUOTES (15)

    • Jimmy: What are you doing? What's with the whiskey?
      Tommy: I'm having a drink.
      Jimmy: But what about AA, you were sober for what, a year?
      Tommy: Fourteen months to be exact. Cheers.

    • (Tommy is laying money out on the table)
      Tommy: Alright, we're going to play a little game because Daddy needs to know some information on Mommy's new boyfriend. Alright? (they all are silent)
      Katy: But Mommy doesn't want us to talk about that.
      Tommy: I understand that, sweetheart. That's why we have the money.

    • Chief Perolli: Hey, Garrity, there's a box over by my desk, bring it out to the car, huh?
      Sean: A box?
      Chief Perolli: I'm in kinda a rush here, I don't have time to explain what a box is, retard, just do it. (he leaves, and Sean runs upstairs to get the box. A little later, Tommy is talking to Franco and Sean comes down with a bag in his hands)
      Tommy: That's not a box.
      Sean: Oh, shit. (turns around and heads back upstairs)

    • Sean: Yeah I know. But it's driving me crazy.
      Franco: What is?
      Sean: You know, I'm wondering what's going on inside my ass.
      Franco: Well, forget about your ass, okay? Have 'em stick a camera in one of your ears and find out what kinda brain damage we're actually dealing with here.

    • Franco: We have sex with woman who ain't our wives and we make every detail available to the other guys.
      Tommy: Yeah, well, maybe I'm a gentleman.
      Chief: Yeah, and I'm growing tits.
      Tommy: Hey, you should check a mirror, pal.

    • Lou: What're you guys doin'?
      Franco: Nothin'.
      Lou: Well you got that down to a goddamn science.

    • Sean: Tommy, it's Lou. I just saw him and he's-- he's in the kitchen and he's cryin'.
      Tommy: What?
      Sean: I swear on my mother's grave.
      Tommy: Your mother's still alive, Sean.
      Sean: Well, no. I meant when she dies, god forbid. Knock on wood. Shit. Okay, my father's grave.
      Tommy: Your dad's dead?
      Sean: Yeah, yeah. Years ago. Ass cancer.
      Tommy: Ass cancer?
      Sean: Yeah, you know, prostate.

    • Tommy: You want to know how big my balls are? My balls are bigger than two of your heads duct-taped together. I've been in the middle of shit that would make you piss your pants right now. Uptown, downtown, Harlem, Brooklyn. But there ain't no medals on my chest, assholes, 'cause I ain't no hero. I'm a fireman. We're not in the business of making heros here. We're in the business of discovering cowards, 'cause that's what you are if you can't take the heat. You're a pussy, and there ain't no room for pussies in the FDNY. (to a snickering recruit in the first row) What are you laughing at, shithead? Huh? What's so god damn funny?
      Recruit: I just... .
      Tommy: Shut up! You speak when spoken to. (to the entire class) You pussies better pray you don't get assigned to my firehouse. Because I have seen it all. I knew sixty men who gave their lives at Ground Zero. Sixty. Four of them from my house. Vito Castella... found him almost whole. Ricky Davis... found him almost whole, hugging a civilian woman. Bobby Vincent... found his head. And my cousin, Jimmy Keefe, my best friend. You know what they found of him? What I was able to bring back and give to his parents? A finger. That's all. A finger. These four men were better human beings and better firefighters than any of you will ever be.
      Firefighting Class Instructor: Say "thank you," firefighting upper class!
      Firefighting Upper Class: Thank you, Firefighter Gavin, sir!

    • (After everyone gets up and leaves)
      Tommy: Look, Doc...
      Dr. Goldberg: Oh, you don't need to explain, I was at another firehouse last night and the reaction was quite similar.
      Tommy: The guys, uh, they're not gonna talk to a psychotherapist in the firehouse, especially not uh, female one.
      Dr. Goldberg: What about the female firefighters?
      Tommy: We don't have any female firefighters in this house.
      Dr. Goldberg: Are you threatened by women?
      Tommy: No.
      Dr. Goldberg: You-- you don't seem to think that a woman can be a firefighter.
      Tommy: I'll tell you what, it's not about being a man or a woman, okay? It's about doing the job. It's about me getting home safe and sound in the morning to see my kids, okay? So, you got a woman who can do the job better than the guys on my crew? Bring her on. You know? You got a martian, or a cyborg, or a China man that can do the job, bring them on too.
      Dr. Goldberg: Are there any Chinese firefighters?
      Tommy: Yeah, probably. Somewhere in... China.
      Dr. Goldberg: I'm sensing a lot of hostility.
      Tommy: You are very, very perceptive.
      Dr. Goldberg: That's what they tell me.

    • Chief Reilly: Hey pal, I'm a New York City fireman. My whole life's a goddamn gamble.

    • (Tommy and Mike confront a junkie)
      Mike (hands Tommy a spatula): Here.
      Tommy: What?
      Mike: It's all I could find.
      Tommy: What do I flip him? He's a junkie not an omelette.

    • Jimmy: All right, hold on, hold on, hold on. Let's review. Why are you two seperated?
      Tommy: According to her?
      Jimmy: Yeah.
      Tommy: You know, I... she says I couldn't open up, I wasn't emotionally available, blah, blah, blah.

    • Janet: Good night, honey.
      Tommy: Good night, sweetheart.
      Janet: I was talking to Connor.

    • Tommy: I got 15 to 20 large jars of piss someone dumped down the stairs.
      Chief Reilly: Are we talking about human piss?
      Tommy: Hey kid, taste that piss and tell me if it's human. (Mike laughs but everyone gives him a serious look) Sometime today would be nice.

    • Tommy: Hey, Janet's got a date tonight so I need somebody to, uh...
      Chief Reilly: Yeah, yeah, yeah, I heard. Uh, tough Tommy, huh?
      Tommy: Yeah.
      Chief Reilly: Look, what are the odds that you guys actually... you know, breaking up?
      Tommy: There's a pool on my divorce?
      Chief Reilly: No. (Tommy scoffs) Yeah, there is. Look, I'll give you the tour off, gimme the odds.
      Tommy (sighs): I'd say 60/40 divorce right now.
      Chief Reilly: Yeah! (Tommy gives him a look) Uh, I'm sorry Tom, uh, thanks brother.

  • NOTES (8)

    • The theme song for the show is C'Mon C'Mon by The Von Bondies.

    • In the scene where Tommy is talking to Franco and Sean comes down the stairs with a bag, that scene is not scripted at all according to the commentary on the DVD set. Leary states it one of his favorite gags on the show.

    • Peter Tolan and Denis Leary received a 2005 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series for their work on this episode.

    • Peter Tolan received a 2005 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series for his work on this episode.

    • Music Featured In This Episode:
      C'Mon C'Mon by The Von Bondies
      Don't Panic by Coldplay

    • Tommy's entire speech to the psychiatrist was done in one take and filmed from multiple angles at once.

    • After the episode first aired, there was a short segment featuring interviews with the stars of the show as well as footage of the New York premiere and after party.

    • When it debuted, Miller Brewing Co. presented the episode commercial-free. Miller's deal with FX included brand integration, a customized introduction, and "thank you" messages featuring the series cast, not to mention Miller being branded on printed, digital, and televised promotional materials for the series.