I hadn't realized I wasn't breathing through much of what Tommy was saying in the bar until I tried to [i]cheer my television set[/i] and had to take a deep breath first.
Prove it. Prove you're a firefighter.
Name five finalists of American Idol. Now name [i]one[/i] firefighter who perished in 9/11.
I thought that bar scene made the whole damn' show.
We haven't seen him seeing Connor for several episodes now. The power of these sightings isn't the horror. It's how mundane they are. How normal they are. A normal little kid living his normal little life.
And [i]of course[/i] what happens if [i]Tommy[/i] gets a Caddy is it gets taken away just about instantly.
It's what happens to everything good in his life. His house, his family is falling to pieces. He can't even get thrown out right because he needs cabfare. He wouldn't admit the Caddy was a gift (I loved the look on Lou's face when he said he treated himself -- Lou's epiphany didn't come with a lot of extra cash [although he did get that nice bike]) and Sheila didn't get much for it -- not even a kiss (or an especially pronounced "thank you").
Jerry is getting to transition back into a semi-normal emotional existence -- there's no way whatsername's immigrant status isn't coming back to bite her in the ass, but for now it was nice to see him smiling.
Mike's sensitivity about his being gay is a little pronounced since he doesn't believe it himself, but I loved Robert's confronting him about it. And how incredibly [i]evil[/i] he looked when he'd broken up Nat and Franco. I get how frantic Nat was about her brother but she's had [i]years[/i] of experience with him and she knows how constant an eye you need to keep on him.
A different version of this show -- a network version, perhaps -- would have had Robert sliding down the pole onto Franco's head. That was some brilliant blocking -- we know Robert wants to slide down the pole, we see him leave the shot, we see Franco, we see the pole, we see Franco take a position next to the pole, and ... Robert has wandered out into traffic.
It makes sense for Nat to get mad, but Franco's trying. He can't be everywhere at once and he [i]was[/i] getting her permission concerning letting her brother do something before he just decided himself it would be ok.
Garrity is a moron, but he does seem to hold his own with Maggie to a certain extent. Uncle Teddy is all about himself. Ellie's trying to get herself in the mood.
And in the spirit of slow learning curves ...
Tommy goes to see Janet.
That confrontation was wild. I didn't think it was possible to dump years of rancor and dissatisfaction into a five-minute scene, but jeez, Janet. It was nice to hear her side of things, but in order for her to be taking the positions she's taking she needs to be [i]way[/i] less aware of what Tommy's been going through than ... well, the viewers are. She could be a little more involved. And if she's felt like Tommy wasn't there for her, she's the one who's always leaving.
I'm amazed after Johnny's little bombshell last week that he thought he was in a good position to be beating the crap out of Tommy, but he saw what he saw. The rage in Tommy's eyes and the hatred in his voice that Johnny walked in on with Janet shoved up against the wall, that was some exciting delivery. I thought Tommy was gonna actually do something but instead he crumpled up like a spider.
- I liked Tommy's impromptu theological exchange -- and the Muslim's certainty that Tommy's going to hell [he's been there and [i]is[/i] there, ass].
- I didn't think what Perrolli said to Probie was especially offensive, but I guess Probie could make a case out of it.
- Unusually quick on the union rep draw there for Probie, btw, but I guess he's been mulling some form of union intervention for awhile.
- Tommy going to Probie's new house trying to get him blocked from that end was devious but in a weird way also loyal. He wasn't Probie there. Calling him a coward was evil, however. Probie's a lot of things but a coward he is not.
- I liked Tommy telling that barfly to do herself a favor and get squishy over some drummer. "This is way too much badass for you to handle." Nice.
- Stack. R.I.P. John Stackhouse. We barely knew you -- honestly, you had like seconds of screentime before you became a human prop -- but wow, was that absolutely gonna have some kind of affect on Tommy. His speech to John was incredible, and I was honestly expecting John to walk up to him afterwards and give him a hug.
- Jimmy's comments in the cab -- that if Tommy has any doubts, he can't do the job -- are triggering a memory of something Franco said to Probie in the first season: If you're not afraid, you're crazy. Maybe having fear and having doubts are different things, but wherever it came from, up until now Tommy's had some kind of inner reserve of fearlessness to draw on. Stack's death certainly threw him, but he's lost brothers before. Too many.
Weirdly enough, I feel compelled to post that I wish all of these people well. I know they're not actual firefighters, but through them, through these stories, we're given a glimpse of that life and through them, through admiring these storytellers, I just want to express, with a lump in my throat, an overwhelming respect for them.
Because I can't name a single firefighter who perished in 9/11.
And I'm deeply ashamed.
Give us hell, Tommy.
And, for that matter, Denis.
Have one on me, too.
Well. Freeqin'. Done.