Rescue Me (TV Series 2004–2011) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • Tommy Gavin deals with the fears of his job as a firefighter and seeing his ex-wife dating other men.

  • On 9/11 firefighter Tommy Gavin lost hundred of friends, including his cousin/best friend Jimmy as well as part of his soul and sanity. Three years later and his life is in shambles and an everyday struggle not to take a drink. Between spying on (& trying to get back with) his separated wife and 3 kids, the growing sexual tension between him and Jimmy's widow, his father and uncle's erratic behavior and the antics of his crew, Tommy's (Irish) anger and need to drink is at a tipping point - and now his survivor's guilt is making him see and talk to dead people, particularly his cousin Jimmy. All these personal demons are threatening what he holds most dear - the inherent courage and pride it means to be a member of the perpetual boy's club of the F.D.N.Y.

  • "Rescue Me" is a drama that centers on the inner workings of Engine 62, a New York City firehouse, and the personal and emotional battles of its members in a post-9/11 world mostly centering on Tommy Gavin, a veteran firefighter whose life is in turmoil as he copes with the stresses and fears of his job as well the separation from his wife Janet. Tommy moves into a house across the street from her to stay close to their three children and keep an eye on her. The stresses and fears of his job are manifested through conversations with his dead cousin Jimmy Keefe, a former firefighter, as well as the haunting memories of people he has watched perish on the job. The other members of Ladder 62 include Chief Jerry Reilly who, despite being called "The Good Chief," has a serious gambling problem. Sean Garrity is a young, handsome guy who is easier to look at than hold a conversation with. Franco Rivera, a cocky, Puerto Rican ladies man, is Tommy's confidant who lives life in the fast lane. Lt. Kenny "Lou" Shea is a man's man who secretly writes poetry and uses it as a way to release his emotional frustrations. Mike Silletti, "the probie," is subject to numerous initiation pranks as he starts his career as a firefighter.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • A string quartet plays at a gorgeous country estate on the ocean. The guests are gathered and a flower altar stands in front of the pool. Mickey, in his old priest gear, waits at the altar with Shawn. Mickey spies Shawn's family, and expresses surprise that he didn't know his mother was Mexican. Shawn points out the Gavins are racists. Mickey prefers to see them as "narrow-minded and intolerant."

    Lou, Mike and Sean sit in the audience and crack each other up with racist jokes. Franco leans in and tells them to knock it off. Needles arrives in a collarless jacket with provides fodder for another round of jokes.

    The wedding party waits to walk down the aisle and Tommy makes one final plea to walk Colleen down the aisle. Sheila explains they're all afraid he'll crack. Janet elaborates that they think he might pass out from the pressure. Janet tells him to put his family first for a change. Tommy tries to put $300 on the idea he'll make it, but gets no takers. Shawn's brother D'Brickashaw walks Janet down the aisle with a Jets hat on.

    Finally, Teddy takes a step out with Colleen. They're making their way down the aisle when Tommy slinks up and grabs her other arm. They walk down the aisle as a trio, everyone making sure Tommy is going to make it. At the altar, he takes a step back and briefly falls limp into Teddy's arm. Colleen tucks the $300 into her wedding dress.

    Mickey begins the ceremony.

    At the reception, there's an ice sculpture pouring booze and a champagne fountain. Tommy catches Teddy snagging a glass and calls a family meeting.

    Outside, Teddy, Sheila, Maggie, Mickey and Janet join Tommy as he outlines his plan to avoid drinking. One of Shawn's brothers joins them and, hearing they're making a drinking plan, suggests they hit the free booze hard then get the cognac from his car.

    Sheila decides champagne doesn't count and they all vote and agree, with Mickey calling it "wine soda." Janet is the voice of reason and Sheila adds that she didn't pay for everything to have the Gavins get drunk and ruin it.

    "For one day only, we are not Gavins. You are nice decent, civilized human beings," Janet says. She threatens strangulation on anyone who ruins Colleen's day.

    A mariachi band roams the reception. Needles learns that he's wearing the same thing as the waiters.

    Tommy and Janet struggle to make conversation with Shawn's parents. They say they like Colleen, but Tommy and Janet fail to reciprocate, leading to awkwardness. Janet's due in a week and a half.

    Drunk Lou comes up and asks the group what color he thinks Shawn and Colleen's kids will be. Lou mentions he's only asking because Tommy was asking in the firehouse. Tommy tries to fix it in front of Shawn's parents, saying he doesn't care what color the kids are and ends up with a rant that calls Obama's lips purple and implies Shawn's mom's people had something to do with the gardening at the party. Tommy is left standing by himself.

    At dinner, Shawn's brother is about to give the best man toast when a very drunk Sheila steals the microphone and addresses the group. She drags the microphone across the stage, knocking over glasses and plates and telling everyone she's glad she paid for everything. Then she falls asleep standing up. She continues on, telling everyone about Jimmy and how they planned to renew their vows on their 20th anniversary, but instead she celebrated it alone. Instead, she suggests Tommy and Janet renew their vows right now, in front of everyone.

    She gets everyone drunkenly chanting for another wedding. She mentions again that she paid for the whole wedding and finally Colleen gets the mike back.

    She tells her parents that the best gift they could give her would be to renew their vows. Shawn's OK with it, too. Katie takes the mike and also asks them to do it. Tommy caves.

    So, gathered again, in front of everyone, Mickey reads Tommy's vows. He scribbled on a napkin, and they mostly consist of him begging Janet to marry him again and him noting that she's hot.

    Janet's vows ask Tommy to promise "to never, ever, ever do any of the insane things I've done in the past, including drinking, smoking, or having extramarital affairs." Sheila giggles loudly that she's talking about her.

    He also has to promise to retire from active duty for the sake of his family. Mickey ducks out of the way after reading it and Tommy and Janet confer in front of everyone. Janet ends up storming off. "I'm going to start drinking and become a prostitute," Katie announces.

    Tommy calls after Janet and announces he'll do it. Mickey re-pronounces them man and wife.

    Sean finds Mike later and tells him he's thinking about asking Emily to marry him. He's starting to get used to her post-coital stink. "It's not just an eye-watering, soul sucking, horrific fart anymore, it's the smell of love, man," Sean says.

    Mike urges Sean to sleep on it. From this conversation, Sean decides he's going to go through with it.

    Tommy finds an empty bedroom upstairs and undoes his pants and exhales. Sheila comes in sobbing, complaining that no one's ever going to love her. She puts her head in Tommy's lap and that's when Janet comes in.

    He starts to explain it's not what it looks like, but Janet is unconcerned. She comforts Sheila, even when she says she was supposed to be married by now, maybe even to Tommy. Janet sweetly tells her it was just about the sex for him and he was never going to marry her. They send Tommy away.

    Sheila confesses that she has a hard time being around Janet for too long because everything Sheila wanted, Janet got. She continues sobbing for a while, until Janet concludes that Sheila just needs to get laid. She suggests that Mickey is downstairs. Sheila says she'd only be using him for sex, but that totally works for her.

    Back downstairs, everyone dances to mariachi rock. Al the guys seem to manage to find women to dance with. Tommy sits alone at a table, preparing to dig into some cake.

    Drunk Lou joins him, saying the day is very touching. Tommy asks what he'd know about touching. And so Lou sticks his fingers in Tommy's cake.

    Shawn's parents go upstairs and find Sheila and Mickey making out.

    Franco and Mike drink outside. They notice a horrible smell. Below them, Sean and Emily go at it. Emily says yes.

    Colleen throws her bouquet. An older woman catches it but Sheila promptly body slams her to the floor and shouts that she paid for it.

    Uncle Teddy comes out on a balcony wearing only his boxer shorts and a mariachi hat and shouts "Viva La Gavins, baby."

    Another day, fire trucks race to a fire at a warehouse. A security guard thinks it's unoccupied. The guys go in.

    Feinberg joins them with more trucks, working as acting deputy.

    The guys look for people inside as fires burn in small areas. Mike finds empty beer cans. Upon closer inspection they smell diesel fuel. They look around the room and see latex gloves filled with a liquid. Someone announces they're in the middle of an arson. They call mayday and radio for an exit and giant explosions rock around them.

    They pile into a freight elevator and head up as the floor they were just on continues to explode. They put on their masks and oxygen and arrive on a top floor. They bust open the grate and pile out. They get off just as the elevator falls down the shaft. Needles directs them to a window.

    A dozen trucks wait outside.

    Inside, the guys crawl on the floor through thick smoke. They reach the window and Lou tells them to take their masks off to save air. Nils crashes through the window with the ladder. They're about to get out when they hear voices beneath them.

    They all put their masks back on and go look for the kids.

    Needles try to buy them some time by soaking the lower floors.

    They find the teenagers, busting into the room they're in. They give the kids oxygen and head for a bulkhead because they don't have enough oxygen to make it back to the window.

    Lou directs them up the stairs, taking note of the giant gas tanks nearby. They start to run out of air and wait for the ladder to arrive. They can't seal themselves off from the fire so the smoke seeps in.

    On the roof Nils finds that the bulkhead is bricked in from the outside. He radios the emergency to Needles, saying 62 Truck has no way out. Needles can only tell Nils to get off the roof before the whole thing caves in. The guys hear that they're trapped with no way out.

    Stuck in the stairwell, Mike and Franco start pounding on the bricked over bulkhead and others perform CPR on the teenagers.

    Lou tells Tommy to try to get out. "You sure?" Tommy asks. "We'll be fine, Tom. Trust me," Lou says.

    The roof explodes in a giant ball of fire.

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