Rescue Me: Will Tommy's Brush with Death Actually Change Him?

(Unnecessary) spoiler alert: Rescue Me's Tommy Gavin isn't dead.

Even a show with a penchant for keeping dead characters around as ghosts couldn't kill off its lead, right? But last season's finale, which ended with Tommy (series star and co-creator Denis Leary) bleeding out after being shot by his Uncle Teddy (Lenny Clarke), wasn't a total cheat: Tommy fades away just long enough to get a frightening vision of his afterlife.

"We wanted to acknowledge the cliffhanger and have a little bit of both ways," co-creator and executive producer Peter Tolan tells "You're starting the sixth year of a series and your lead character is just as messed up as he was on Day One. We needed a way for this guy to turn it around, and ... thought a near-death experience would certainly make him step back and examine his life a little more."

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