Here’s the episode we’ve been waiting to see. Michael J. Fox is back. Sheila is back in her psychosexy glory. The heartbreak is back. The funny never left.
You really need to be watching this show.
Assuming I keep doing this for the full 22 episode season, there are bound to be spoilers from here on out. Assuming you’re reading this, you probably already watch regularly. That’s a lot of assuming, and I know who that makes an ass out of, but I can handle it. I freely admit to making an ass of myself.
Anyhow. Episode kicked off with an incredibly strong teaser. Tommy has that eerie, intense nightmare about the suitcase bomb siege, then we’re snapped into reality when Lou wakes Tommy up. Banter, banter, banter, Tommy leaves, we’re waiting for the scene to close and the credit sequence to start, and THEN Lou watches the tape. The tape Tommy keeps watching. The one with Jimmy on it, supposedly. The one we’re so sure is another one of Tommy’s wackadoo visions. But Lou sees him too! “On another day…”
Now that’s how you kick a viewer in the shins to get the hook through the cheek.
I’m not sure how Garrity has back problems in Tommy’s nightmare – does Tom pay enough attention to Sean to subconsciously remember that kind of detail? Maybe that was there to add to the confusion of the opener – that whole “maybe it’s real…” sensation which made the arrival of the Jimmy tape so effectively ambiguous.
And so much good stuff followed from there, so much of it icky and sad and infuriating and questionable and provocative:
We find out where Katy has been for the past four episodes.
Damien will be mentored into the firefighting business by none other than Retarded Mike.
Black Shawn and Colleen do it. So much for the wedding night ass tap.
Garrity gets tragic news from his doctor, in a callback all the way from Season 1.
Dwight (Michael J. Fox) emerges as twice the boozehound that Tommy is, with only half the motor function. For a moment, he and Tommy have an enemy-bonding moment of Pacino/DeNiro Kate-Mantilini proportions, and then Dwight pulls the metaphorical rug out.
Tommy declares war on Janet. Again. Here we go.
And then Sheila takes the episode over. She watches the Jimmy tape. She busts Tommy’s balls (literally) for hiding it from her. She lays it all out in therapy, in what has to be the longest monologue in show history. It’s Callie Thorne’s Emmy moment in a parallel universe where the world is just. She’s completely sympathetic and brilliant. And the final sentences are spooky. At her worst, this character has burned down a house with Tommy in it. What’s she gonna do for a curtain call?
Oh yeah, the quotes. It was as memorable an episode as always in that regard, but I stopped noting down quotes halfway in. Better to watch. There’s a lesson there somewhere.