Who’s going to rescue Tommy?

“Rescue Me” ended its strong fifth season with Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary), bleeding to death on a barroom floor after being shot twice by a revengeful Uncle Teddy (Lenny Clarke), grieving over the recent alcohol-fueled death of his wife.

Peter Tolan, co-creator of the FX show, told that the shocking ending was a natural progression of this season’s story arc, which saw Tommy fall off the wagon and drag the entire Gavin clan with him.

“We just really got into the whole idea of Tommy starting to drink again and being the merry piper leading everybody down that road. And what the consequences would be. We’ve already established over the seasons that Tommy’s curse — which is a direct reflection of 9/11 — is that he survives. When he should be dead, he survives, and there’s death all around him, which is what he is left to deal with.”

Although Leary has pitched the idea of Tommy’s death on several occasions, Tolan says the lead character will live on.

“Well there’s one that he dies, obviously. Then it becomes a much different show. So, that doesn’t seem like a real option. And then there’s one that he lives and somehow takes a different path based on that event. And then there’s probably a third option, which is the one we’re doing: Some weird combination of the two.”