Season 6 of Rescue Me premieres this Tuesday at 10/9c on FX! Below, check out SideReel's exclusive Q&A with series writer & producer Peter Tolan and cast member Callie Thorne, who plays Sheila, for a glimpse at what's in store for the season to come!
Q: I watched the first four episodes of the new season on the lovely screener that FX sent out. Mr. Tolan, my question is we've been watching Tommy Gavin and it's been kind of like watching the Titanic sink in ultra slow motion. Is there any hope of him finding redemption or, actually I should say, is there any chance of redemption finding since he doesn't really seem to be looking for it.
P. Tolan: No, he doesn't seem to be looking. I don't think you want to do a television series for this many years and not leave an audience that's been along for the journey with some sort of positive message. So, this year, definitely, definitely, and quite soon, Tommy will find his way back and find his way into figuring out what his priorities are in life and what's important to him. It starts off, obviously, with a glimpse into what's waiting for him after death, or what he thinks is waiting for him after death. But that's, ultimately, is not the thing that turns him around. In the fifth episode of the sixth season, he really does finally hit rock bottom with the drinking and his other behaviors, and it directly affects another member of his family. That's the thing that finally turns him around. We will get to see him slowly scrape his way back out of this enormous abyss he's put himself in.
C. Thorne: I like that. Scrape his way back is really good.
P. Tolan: With him, it's always a struggle I'm sure on some level. I know, probably in those first episodes, when he's trying to change or making his usual, feeble attempt, it's more likely that he's going to blame everybody else for not recognizing the fact that he's trying to change and not getting with the program. So, yes, it's going to be a struggle. But then you're looking at the fifth episode of the sixth season, so that's right halfway through. Then there are really only five more and then nine more. There are really 14 more episodes to pull it all together, so I don't think he can slowly scrape. He's got to make some big choices in those last 14 episodes. I think it does accelerate a little bit more.
C. Thorne: It certainly accelerates once he sees that everybody else is changing regardless if they're noticing what he's trying to do, he's noticing that everybody around him are making different choices that are affecting him very differently and living in a certain way with or without him.
Q: Speaking of different choices, Shelia has been going through a lot. The thing I liked about her is that with all of the ups and downs that she personally experiences, she has to be the most determined mom on the planet.
C. Thorne: I think so, too.
Q: How do you keep that part of her grounded while everything else flutters?
C. Thorne: I think, in a way, it's that part is almost the easier part of Shelia to recognize in terms of this fierce loyalty and love that she has for her son, and based on her experience, she doesn't want to lose her son the same way she lost her husband. I think that that also fuels the way she leads her life. Everything else that she thinks she wants, all the other things she does to manipulate what she thinks she wants from love, lust, and friends, and all of that. That stuff does fall by the wayside when it comes to her relationship with Damien, and because that is the thing that I can understand the most, in terms of that kind of family love and connection for me, because I feel that way about my own family members. I don't have a son, but I have people that I love desperately. So that sometimes is the easier thing to connect with.
To read the rest of our Rescue Me Q&A, click here!