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''Rescue Me'' Tonight

By RD Heldenfels Published: August 8, 2006

Possibly the best episode of the show this season. Maybe one of its best ever, and Andrea Roth -- who plays Janet -- has one of those scenes that should be in her highlight reel for the rest of her career. In addition to moving around a lot of characters and advancing loads of stories, the episode went back to the show's roots in 9/11, then pushed forward to the present, and to the way 9/11 is one of many crutches Tommy uses to justify his failings.

Gosh, it was good. And yet, coming out of one of the strongest scenes in the episode, there was a long, lyrical promo for ''World Trade Center.'' It moved me. It took me out of ''Rescue Me'' for a long time after it aired. It reminded me that ''Rescue Me'' is still, at bottom, art, and that what happened on Sept. 11, 2001, involved real death, real pain, real heroism.

I know, ''World Trade Center'' is art, too, ''just a movie'' as some would say. But the promo took me back to the real thing, and those feelings blended into ''Rescue Me's'' reflections on the past, and made ''Rescue Me'' seem a bit weaker because of it.

And still, it was a terrific episode.

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