'Rescue Me' honors 9/11 with timely series finale

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Nearly 10 years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and little more than 7 years after its debut, FX's landmark drama "Rescue Me" concluded its run with the Sept. 7 series finale, "Ashes."

The New York firefighter drama, co-conceived by Denis Leary in the aftermath of 9/11, referenced its tragic roots -- but, true to form, it was not excessively sentimental. For those of you who didn't watch, spoilers ahead...

After a brief fake-out, Lou ( John Scurti) was revealed to have died during the penultimate episode's fire. Tommy (Leary) does not handle this well. Riddled with guilt and worried about his growing family's future, he resigns from Ladder 62.

This does not last, and he returns to his post.

There aren't any eulogies for Lou or his numbered peers who died on 9/11, but Tommy does, crassly, acknowledge the unique nature of their job when speaking to a group of new recruits.

"This ain't a job," he says. "It ain't an occupation. It's a calling, a need, a desire that you feel in your bones and your brains and your n** s***."

We last see him driving off in the truck, a hallucination or ghost of Lou riding shotgun, before the camera pans to a shot of the altered Manhattan skyline.

It seemed appropriate -- though we can't imagine the series, one of the first cultural entities to tackle 9/11 head-on, would have struggled to find a fitting end.

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Photo/Video credit: FX