Denis Leary has already said goodbye to his baby. After laboring over his beloved hit dramedy “Rescue Me” for the last several years — he writes, produces and stars in it —he and co-writers Peter Tolan and Evan Reilly decided to end the show on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Seasons 6 and 7 have been shot, and now Leary has a long farewell until the world knows Tommy Gavin’s ultimate fate next summer.
The 10th anniversary was a natural fit for an end date, given that “Rescue Me” centers on one unit of New York firefighters who, for a good portion of the series, struggled with the memories of those lost in the disaster. Leary is pleased with the timing.
“It was a good reason to end it like we did, as opposed to feeling like we were running out of ground,” Leary explains in his gravelly smoker’s voice. “There’s a lot of firefighters, with the 10th anniversary approaching, who have been hiding away from their emotions or ignoring them, and it’s starting to rear its ugly head again.”
He’s trying not to, but Leary can’t help spilling a few spoilers about what we can expect this season. He starts off talking in vague terms about “the ultimate battle between life and death,” but before long, a few juicy details slip out.
“Episode 5 is probably the most insane episode we’ve ever filmed — it involves [Tommy] sort of bottoming out with alcohol and having to figure out what he’s going to do about it,” Leary explains. “It’s really comedically and dramatically one of the most startling episodes we’ve ever filmed.”
As for the series’ ultimate ending, Leary says they’ve worked hard to ensure that viewers won’t be disappointed a la the infamous “Sopranos” blackout.
“There are a lot of twists and turns as we go through these last two seasons, and literally one second before the credits roll in the finale, there’s a final twist,” Leary says. “We were kind of proud of that. I know a lot of people in the crew [who] have been working on the show for seven years said, ‘We never saw that coming.’”