Rescue Me

Season 2 Episode 5

Sensitivity

0
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Jul 19, 2005 on FX
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
130 votes
3

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT
Tommy has a chance at finding his kids with help from his oldest daughter. Chief Jerry asks his son for help when his wife's condition worsens.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Another superb character development episode of Rescue Me. (Spoilers)

    9.5
    I thought the last episode of Rescue Me was the funniest episode of the season, but this one just might be a bit funnier than that. The whole crew had to take a sensitivity class, which led to a pretty humorous discussion among the crew which obviously upset the sensitivity teacher. I hope to see the crew continue to take sensitivity class as long as it has funny moments like that. I didn't like how Tommy's daughter Colleen threatened Tommy so that she could go out. I hope she becomes more grateful to him for all the things that he's been going through recently. Overall, I give this episode, Sensitivity, a 9.5 out of 10.moreless
  • How can one little episode be simultaneously the funniest and the most dramatic/touching show you've watched all week?

    9.6
    I have to laugh at the headline on the show's main page "Rescue needs rescuing" when the show is putting out the best written and performed work you can find anywhere on your TV dial. This particular episode had me laughing out loud (something which no "comedy" has done in years) and nearly brought to tears.



    Not coincidentally, the funniest scene also had quite a touching sentiment to it under the surface. I speak of course of the scene where the guys are in sensitivity training and start rattling off their prejudices (to paraphrase) "Chink broads who can't drive in the first place and now she's got a cell phone attached to her ear doing 60 down 6th Avenue" and a list of racial epithets that almost sends the instructor into cardiac arrest. This quickly devolves into an argument over which race has the most/best racial epithets. I did notice one racial slur that was noteable by its absence (I guess even FX has its limits).



    Underpinning this whole conversation was the idea that these guys form a special kind of bond. They're macho and old school and don't care about that not so much because they're insensitive neaderthals but because such needling is part of their social means. They face so many important (litterally life or death) situations with each other that anything else they say or do pales in comparison.



    A further level of drama is added to the sequence when Lou explains part of the reason why he lashed out at Laura. He may laugh and joke about his affair/wife, but ultimately his separation has left him with no self-identity apart from being a fireman. This is it. He has no where else to go. Nothing else to do. No other friends or even significant relationships. Even a change in his old ways is too much to ask of Lou.



    And to top it all off we have Jerry's situation with his wife. She's degenerated to the point where she doesn't even recognize him. Doesn't even remember that she's married. When he finds her in bed with another man it's she identifies her poor husband as her brother. If there's anything sadder than watching someone you love die slowly before your eyes I'm not sure what it is.



    And all that says nothing of the various other highlights of the show. "Now you know what I drive". I wish I could be Dennis Leary for a few days and get away with the stuff that he does.



    Rescue Me again proves itself to be the best at all it does. Tense action, gripping drama, riotous comedy. I sure hope that no one feels the need to rescue this show as some critics have suggested. It's doing better than fine on its own.moreless
  • Lots of good in this episode.

    8.7
    Jerry catching his wife [i]in flagrante dementia[/i] is so painful. The torture this disease is inflicting on that man is sufficient for him to call his son in from Boston. And when she can remember the son and not him, and when confronted about not calling him in before and the catalogue of problems she's been having, her wandering out into dating traffic is just one more nail through the hand.



    Speaking of which, the advice Tommy's getting from Chris and Mags (and that was quite a ride Christ was tooling around in) seems more like the brain-addled advice one would get from an hallucination than Divine Providence. Course, the advice all of the inanimate objects ever gave Jaye in "Wonderfalls" usually seemed pretty off the mark and everything always turned out for the best. Not that the kids are necessarily better off with Janet, but Tommy's case seems stronger if he doesn't go in for the, y'know, *abduction*.



    Franco's getting out of hand, and Laura's instincts are dead-on with him, although like many women she maintains the blind spot she wants to. Trust isn't killed by verification. Even if Franco was guiltless, her going up to the apartment wouldn't mean anything. At the beginning of "something" like Franco was saying, that kind of a move ...



    ... well ...



    ... maybe she absolutely knew that she did *not* want to know.



    The sensitivity training was bullcrap and so extraordinarily funny. "You assume because I'm black I'm interested in sports? I went to the *thea-tah* last night." No, dumbass, he assumes because you're a *guy* you're interested in sports, and he's just making conversation. The histrionics in that sensitivity training video betrayed such an idiocy about the situation faced by the firefighters -- and Tommy was dead-on about the pointlessness of the exercise, and his discussion before and after the video was dead-on. *Everyone's* racist on some level and pretending that it's just a white male problem is b.s.



    Laura's conversation with Kenny afterward was illuminating. That man is so bitter about his loss, about the directions his life is going in, about the pointlessness of his exwife, about his lack of options, and for Laura to get upset about a bit of interdepartmental name-calling -- as offensive as it may very well have been -- Tommy's right. She made a mistake, own up to it and move on.



    I love that Mike's new girlfriend is such an Amazon that Franco and Sean and Kenny are ripping on him for being sort of gay. "Only you, Mike, could find a way to make sex between a man and a woman gay."



    Mike wanting to take the passive role doesn't make him the woman. I suspect Teresa's enthusiasms carried him along a lot of the time and he just got used to it, although the vet picking him up and kissing him was just wild.



    Teddy's storyline was fun, but I'm not especially interested in him or Tommy's dad, so it didn't really matter to me. I loved that Teddy was having a moment when Tommy's dad called him, and that the moment was with a $100 ho. That was just fun. Poor Tommy's dad, tho. So sad.



    The greatest parts of the show, tho, were right at the beginning and right at the end.



    Tommy and Janet at the beginning was just fun. Tommy calling her a week later and asking to talk to Coleen and Janet saying "She doesn't want to talk to you," and then Tommy putting her on the line, taking the phone back and yelling at her was *jaw dropping*.



    And Tommy confronting Sheila about her miscarriage and her ... *oversight* in forgetting to mention anything about it for *quite some time* -- that was some *seriously* good stuff.



    This was a hell of an episode, and next week's looks to be *very* good.moreless
Denis Leary

Denis Leary

Tommy Gavin

Andrea Roth

Andrea Roth

Janet Gavin

Daniel Sunjata

Daniel Sunjata

Franco Rivera

Jack McGee

Jack McGee

Chief Jerry Reilly

John Scurti

John Scurti

Lt. Kenneth "Lou" Shea

Mike Lombardi

Mike Lombardi

Mike Silletti

Rosemarie DeWitt

Rosemarie DeWitt

Heather

Guest Star

Adam LeFevre

Adam LeFevre

Don Kleinman

Guest Star

Jessica Leccia

Jessica Leccia

Mary Magdalene

Guest Star

Dean Winters

Dean Winters

Johnny Gavin

Recurring Role

Lenny Clarke

Lenny Clarke

Uncle Teddy

Recurring Role

Michael Mulheren

Michael Mulheren

Chief Perolli

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (1)

    • Goof: Tommy says during the episode something about a Chevy Neon, when in fact Neon's are actually made by Dodge and Plymouth, not Chevy.

  • QUOTES (16)

    • (After watching a sensitivity video)
      Don Kleinman: Now, what did we learn from that?
      Tommy: Uh, that only white people can be racist?
      Don Kleinman: That wasn't the point of the video.
      Tommy: Well, it's pretty obvious. Where are the black guys callin' white people crackers, huh? Where were the Mexicans shittin' all over the Puerto Ricans? You know? Where were all the chinks who hate the Japs, who hate the Koreans who hate-- (Don Kleinman tries to interrupt him but Tommy keeps going) This is bullshit.

    • (About the sensitivity class)
      Tommy: This is just to cover the FDNY's ass, that's all this is good for. Just in case some Puerto Rican woman or some fat Chinese guy files a lawsuit against the FDNY or God help us there's another disgruntled female firefighter who thinks she has a case. The FDNY can say "No, no, no, they can't be prejudice, they took this horseshit sensitivity training." Let me tell you somethin' the next time I run into a burning building and refuse to bring out anybody who's not the same color as me, then that's when you can bring my angry, pink, sober, Irish, ass back down here. Got it?

    • (Don Kleinman is naming racial slurs for Chinese people)
      Franco: You see, that's another thing. Puerto Ricans even get shafted when it comes to racial slurs. Chinks have what, like four? We have one-- spick. That's it. The Irish they got, mick, patty, donkey. The Italians they got guinea, wop, dago.
      Sean: Yeah, and spaghetti-bender.
      Franco: Ah, spaghetti-bender went out of style during Sinatra's first marriage.
      Mike: Greaseball.
      Franco: Yeah, greaseball. There you have it; that's four.
      Tommy: Yeah, and the same thing with the Jews, right? Heeb, kike, Jew boy, Benny.
      Franco: Shylock.
      Tommy: That's five.
      Franco: Black people, forget about it. Spear-Chucker, jungle bunny, raisin head, porch monkeys.
      Lou: Spook.
      Sean: Tar baby.
      Franco: Yeah. It's endless, totally unfair. (Don Kleinman just looks at them, totally mortified) What?

    • Don Kleinman: Okay, you think you're prejudice?
      Tommy: Yep.
      Don Kleinman: Against who?
      Tommy: Chevy neons that cost 12 grand to buy but have 8,000 dollar paint jobs and have 9 spicks inside of them smokin' weed. That's one thing.
      Don Kleinman: Now the term spick--
      Franco: It's okay, I'm a spick.
      Don Kleinman: Well, see that's not really th---
      Tommy: Crazy chink broads that really don't know how to drive in the first place but now they have cell phones stuck to their ears while their doin' 65 MPH down 5th Avenue, huh, right? Crazy chinks on bikes who have 10 pounds of chinese food strapped to the handle bars.

    • Mickey: It's not about how many meetings you go to, it's about the message.
      Tommy: I know.
      Mickey: You know? What's the message?
      Tommy: The message? It's uh...don't drink.
      Mickey: And?
      Tommy: I'm not drinkin'.

    • (Laura brought Keela some peanut butter and Franco comes down to get it because he's a got a girl upstairs)
      Laura: You totally have somebody up there don't you? (Franco makes a face) You wouldn't buzz me up, and then you came all the way down here.
      Franco: No, no, no. I told you...
      Laura: Oh, dude, you are a great lay and a shit liar. (she puts the peanut butter in his hand) So, why don't you take your peanut butter and spread it on whoever you have up there and have yourself a wonderful evening.

    • John Sr. (about the woman he had an affair with): She had an ass that you can see the future in.
      Tommy: That's great. You didn't happen to stick your head up far enough to see that the Yankees were gonna lose four in a row to the Red Sox last fall, now did ya? (John Sr. is quiet) I didn't think so.
      John Sr.: I woulda made a hell of a lotta money if I did.

    • (After they found out he had an affair)
      Tommy: Oh Jesus, dad, why?
      Johnny: Yeah, let's hear what trumped up, half baked justification you can pull out of your ass this time.
      John Sr.: I needed sex. (Johnny and Tommy each put a hand over their eyes and rub their head)

    • Mike (about his new girlfriend): She's tall.
      Sean: No, no. Shaq is tall. Yo-yo Ming is tall.
      Franco: Yao Ming.
      Sean: Yo.
      Franco: Yao.
      Sean: No, I was just saying "hi."

    • Mary Magdalene: My ride's here. (Jesus drives up in a Lamborghini and lowers his sunglasses)

    • Lou: Hey kid, my dreams are all filled up with Candice Bergen, a chocolate wheelchair and the Olsen Twins.
      Chief Jerry: I've had the same dream. Except its Carly Simon and a big tub of chunky peanut butter.
      Tommy: Why chunky?
      Chief Jerry: Better traction.

    • Johnny: Whoa, wait a second. You're tellin' me all those years that we were just scrapin' by, those years when we didn't have family vacations, that year when you got me that stupid sled for Christmas that you were supportin' another family?
      John Sr.: Now look--
      Tommy (interrupting): Wait a minute, are you talking about that sled, that sled with the really cool brakes?
      Johnny: Those goddamn brakes never worked.
      Tommy (to John Sr.): You told me that was my goddamn sled and that (points to Johnny) he had been bad so Santa brought him a lump of coal for Christmas and that I should let him play with it and pretend that it was his.
      John Sr.: Count your blessings because one year when I was a kid, my sisters each got a big box of tampons. And you know what? They were very happy to get them.

    • Sheila (to Tommy): You're on them pills, them cock pills, aren't you?

    • Johnny: Are you outta your mind, huh? Did mom know?
      John Sr.: If your mother knew we wouldn't be having this conversation because I'd be dead somewhere in some river with my balls in my mouth. (mocking Johnny) "Did mom know?"
      Tommy: You know the guy's almost the same age as me, right? He's like a couple weeks younger. I mean how long were you seein' this broad?
      John Sr.: Uh... oh, about 36 years.
      Johnny: What? You were having an affair for 36 years?
      John Sr.: What can I tell you? When it comes to adultry I'm a one woman man.

    • Franco: You're amazing Mike. Only you could turn a relationship with a woman into a gay experience.

    • Franco: So, what, are you only doing Guinness Book chicks now, is that it, Probie? The tallest and fattest. I mean, what's next, a chick with three tits.

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • The "Now you know what I would drive." bumper sticker on Jesus' car is a joke on the environmental campaign, "What Would Jesus Drive?"

    • Franco: So, what, are you only doing Guinness Book chicks now, is that it, Probie?

      Guinness World Record Book is a collection of world record holders which includes tallest person, highest superbowl attendance, heaviest cabbage, etc.

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