Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The ghosts of 9/11

One of the things that made Rescue Me a great comedic drama right out of the gates when it first premiered back in the summer of 2004, was the levity with which it treated NYFD firefighters in a post-9/11 world. The victims lived on as ghosts in Tommy Gavin's world, fanning the fire of Irish Catholic guilt and alcoholism with survivor guilt and depression. A few weeks ago, however, the ghosts, led by Tommy's cousin Jimmy Keefe, up and walked out, signaling a sort of distance from the 9/11 storyline (and reducing the number of actors on the show by quite a bit.)

Tommy, and the series for that matter, need ghosts like Jimmy Keefe to keep him (and us) in touch with what he's lost, so it makes sense that Tommy would try to recreate Keefe's ghost. Tommy dons the old NYPD coat bearing the name 'Keefe' and piggybacks on to Truck 62 to fight fires, unbeknownst to his peers. With another September 11 on the calendar quickly approaching (Rescue Me's season finale falls the day after,) it seems only appropriate that the series 'touch base' again with the show's genesis. The sightings of the Keefe ghost are serving as a wakeup call to fellow firemen who are drinking and having a little bit too much fun at the expense of their work. One could say this goes for writers/creators Denis Leary and Peter Tolan as well. They've been drifting the past couple seasons and, like the ghosts from a few weeks ago, a chunk of the audience has been giving up on the show. That they'd recognize this and write subtext as such into the plot is highly unlikely, though... right?

There is one ghost that appeared this season that's been lurking in the shadows, and my belief is that it's a pre-9/11 Tommy, or better yet, Tommy's faith... the part of him he buried in the wreckage that day six long years ago. Could it be that Tommy has figured that out and is using it to shake up the firehouse with his Keefe illusions? In the final scenes of last night's episode, Tommy fights a fire as faux Keefe, and the song that plays is the dark haunting atonement of "One Hundred Days" by Mark Lanegan. The lyrics go so well with this dramatic walk through fire:
There is no morphine, I'm only sleeping
There is no crime to dreams like this
And if you could take something with you
It would be right, something good
From my fingertips, the cigarette throws ashes to the ground
I'd stop and talk to the girls who work this street, but I got business farther down
Like one long season of rain, I will remain thinking of you
One day a ship comes in, from far away a ship comes in
One hundred days you wait for it
And you know somewhere the ship comes in every day
And that ship may be coming in next week's finale... the day after September 11th.

Previously: Nobody puts Baby in a river (Ep 407)

tags: , , , , , , , ,

No comments: