Reeling from a drinking problem that would give Tennessee Williams pause, firefighter Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary, darkly arch as ever) has been transferred from his Manhattan firehouse to a humdrum Staten Island station where the only action comes from feeding the building's swear jar each time he opens his bitter, sarcastic yap. Meanwhile, his weary wife (Andrea Roth) has fled to Ohio with their kids. "Maybe," Gavin sighs, "it's time for a change." You think, pal?
Thanks to the nimble Leary, ever riveting as TV's most nuanced antihero (sorry, Tony Soprano), Tommy's tenuous struggle for sobriety is even more rewarding than last season's harrowing downfall. While he warily pulls himself together-at one point ravenously gazing into a liquor store like a kid eyeing Christmas gifts-some members of his old crew pick up their own bad habits (including Vicodin addiction and stalking). Watch out for another incendiary season.