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Rescue Me

June-July 2005

Lee Tergesen played a firefighter named Sully in the first three episodes of the second season of the FX cable TV show "Rescue Me." 

The show's star and co-creator, Denis Leary, plays firefighter Tommy Gavin. The second season opened with him assigned to a Staten Island firehouse. Sully is the firefighter who fills Tommy's spot at his old firehouse in Manhattan.

Gavin's life is in turmoil as he copes with the stresses of his job, the aftermath of Sept. 11, and separation from his wife. Estranged from his old crew, Gavin winds up "stalking" his old firehouse, which now includes Sully. 

Everybody loves Sully. He can cook (lamb shanks were on the menu in the first episode), he's a prankster, and he's good on the job.  But, some of the firehouse veterans think he's too good to be true. The third episode hilariously reveals his darker side.

Lee's friend and former "Oz" co-star Dean Winters (Ryan O'Reily from "Oz") plays Gavin's brother Johnny, a New York City police detective. 

Related Links

FX's official show site

Available on DVD

Season 2 DVD review

Previews & reviews

"RESCUE ME" EPISODE GUIDE: Lee-centric summaries
2.1 Voice Mail (June 21, 2005)

The first episode of the second season is set three months after the events of the first season. Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary) has transferred to a boring station house in Staten Island, but he's been keeping an eye on his old firehouse in Manhattan. 

 One day, Lou (John Scurti) climbs in Tommy's truck to fill him in on what's happening. Tommy asks how the new guy's doing. Lou tells Tommy how great Sully is, what a great cook he is and how Sully saved Franco (Daniel Sunjata) from having a wall cave in on him during a fire. That's the first glimpse of Lee, in a flashback to the fire scene.

When Lee first has a scene with dialogue, he's in the kitchen at the firehouse, looking adorable in a backwards baseball cap and cooking up lamb shanks for the crew. Laura (Diane Farr), aka "the girl" firefighter, comes in with a camera, taking snapshots to send to her folks back home. When she sets the camera down, Sully goads Sean (Steve Pasquale) into taking a picture of his cock. Sean starts to unzip, but Sully exclaims, "Don't take your cock out in the kitchen!" It was his mother's rule, he says, with a great giggle. (Sound clip here.)

In a later scene, Sully informs Sean of how much trouble the picture could get him into. Sully says he checked with a pal who said it was illegal to have pornographic photos developed commercially. Although Laura and Sean escape trouble with the law, she retaliates for the prank by posting the picture on a gay Web site along with Sean's phone number. 

In summary: Lee is cute, he's funny, and in far too little of the show.

Episode Gallery:

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(22 images)

Video Clips:
Lee's scenes

Deleted scene

2.2 Harmony (June 28, 2005)

Lee's scenes were even shorter than in the first episode. But the previews for the third episode hold promise for more Lee, when the secret of Sully is to be revealed.

Sully and his too-good-to-be-true quirks are shown as Lou talks to Tommy on the phone about "the new guy." Lou has his doubts about Sully, but everyone else has taken quite a shine to him. First of all, he can talk to anyone about anything -- cut to Sully talking to Laura about her hairstyle. Suggesting perhaps a Dorothy Hamill cut. Laura wonders if the short style would make her look took "dyke-y." Sully flirts, "Oh, you could never look dyke-y." Laura takes that as a compliment and pats his knee, "Oh, Sully!"

Then, Lou "complains" that Sully can cook like a freak. There's a montage of Sully presenting dishes that include salmon cakes and haricots vert. But wait! There's more. Sully turns out to be part owner of a paintball range, where he took the whole crew for a great time. Lou fears there will be no getting rid of Sully so that Tommy can come back.

There's two more brief flashes of Sully. In the first, he's entering the firehouse announcing, "Sully's famous banana bread! Come and get it!" Much later in the episode, he's in firefighter gear as the crew pulls up to a smoky apartment fire. 

Episode Gallery

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(12 images)

Video Clip:
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and preview

2.3 Balls (July 5, 2005)

The gallery pretty much says it all. But here's a description of the action in this episode:

The first scene after the credits opens with Sully giving a mind-blowing massage to a moaning Sean in the locker-room. When Franco asks what's going on, Sean encourages Franco to give it a try, because he's the one with a sore shoulder. But Franco declines, saying he only gets massages from chicks and only when the massage is not the main event.

"Are you saying I'm gay?" Sully protests.

"No," Franco says, "but there's a first time for everything and rubbing your hands all over another guy is sort of an obvious trigger for setting it off."

"I don't think so bro," Sully explains "I learned this from a chick I was banging a couple of years ago. She was a professional massage therapist and she taught me everything she knows."

Meanwhile Sean continues to moan. "It just feels so good. I feel like one of those deer in the meadow."

Franco finally gives in and accepts the massage on one condition. "Your hands stay from the nipples up."

Meanwhile, Lou is angling to get Tommy back on the squad. The chief says if the whole crew chooses to Tommy over Sully, he'll sign the transfer. He's confident that it would never happen.

Later, Sully offers girlfriend advice to Mike, the young "Probie," or trainee.

"You having trouble with the knob polisher?" Sully inquires, sensitively.

When Mike tries to say no, Sully dismisses him.

"Don't lie to Sully. Sully has seen it all, Sully has done it all, Sully has done it all done to him. Spill."

Mike then confesses that the girlfriend has dumped him, prompting Sully to launch into his macho advice. "We're talking about love here, son. Love's a war. You gotta get in there and fight. Take no prisoners. I mean other than her. Because in this case she would be a prisoner. So forget that last thing. Are you going to be a man or not?"

Soon after, Lou calls the crew in to take a vote on whether to accept Tommy back. Franco's still angry that Tommy endangered him during a fire and doesn't want him back. Sean, Mike and "the girl" pick Sully too, following Franco's lead.

Later, Sean enters the kitchen where Sully is slicing a squash. Sully mentions he's off that night because he has a doctor's appointment. Sean is surprised that his doctor would work at night. Sully explains that his doctor is "holistic." Sean says, "So... something's wrong with your hole?" At first Sully thinks Sean is kidding. But, no, he's just dumb. Sully explains, "No, holistic means natural. Alternative."

Sean accepts this answer and then mentions his back hurts and asks for one of Sully's super backrubs. "Yeah, no problem. Take your shirt off." Sean's hesitant. Sully explains, "It's just easier." OK, the shirt comes off. Sully goes to work on Sean bare shoulders, digging into the knotted muscles. Sean feels good, and tells Sully, "If you were a chick I'd marry you."

Later, the squad answers a call to a basement fire where there might be people trapped. They quickly find people collapsed in what turns out to be an underground sex club. Lou finds one chained up, gagged, and wearing a leather mask, corset and miniskirt. The crew carry the victims outside and line them up on the sidewalk. 

Lou is concerned about the person he rescued. Sean and Mike assure him that "she's a little hairy, but breathing." Shea tells them to take the hood off and prop her up to help her breathe.

When they do ... they see ... it's Sully! He's got some explaining to do!

"Guys, lemme explain. ... I uh, well..." He starts to giggle. "Oh, who am I kidding, right? I like to dress up like a chick, OK? I like to wear panties and high heels and rough sex."

Needless to say, the next vote that's taken back at the firehouse, Tommy gets voted back on the squad. The chief tells Lou that he has signed Sully's transfer out. "I don't know what you guys did to him, but he said there's no way he's ever coming back here."

Episode Gallery

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(37 images)

Video Clip:
Lee's scenes