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An amazing "Rescue Me"

Posted by Matthew Gilbert  June 22, 2006 06:26 AM

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Wow. FX's “Rescue Me” usually goes there, but this week it went there on its way to beyond. The final scene in this episode, called “Sparks,” was one of the most complicated and heightened scenes I’ve ever seen on TV, and I could analyze it all day.

On one level, Tommy Gavin raped his estranged wife, Janet; on another level, it seemed consensual. Which was it? Certainly, they both felt empowered afterward. Was that because they each feel they now have something over on the other? Because they’re still attracted to each other? Because they’ve now got a secret on Johnny, since on some level he is the interloper? Because they were hoping to replace their lost son with another child? Because they’re in denial about the violence of what just occurred?

And the acting was outrageous. Denis Leary and Andrea Roth were frighteningly into their characters throughout what was an excruciatingly long and explicit scen. Every single one of their facial expressions was perfectly ambiguous and perfectly understandable. It can’t have been easy to film. C’mon, c’mon, Emmys.

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