With a title like "Jeter," it was unfortunate that the episode wasn't a home run. Or even a double into the gap. Rather, it was my least favorite of the season.
First, what happened to Franco? The suave ladies man has been replaced by someone rather haughty and arrogant that acts like anything but a team player. His scenes have mostly consisted of mouthing off and claiming he's better than everyone. He barely even cracks a smile anymore.
I was excited to see how he would handle the Lieutenant position differently than Lou. He certainly spruced up the place and had the crew following rules and regulations, which was a huge change. A little dictatorial in demeanor, but he was looking to turn the negative the firehouse endured into a positive.
Obviously, he was going to have to learn the lesson that it's not that easy to be Lieutenant, but I wasn't prepared for his role to be revoked practically the same episode in which it was given. His moment to finally do something this season was so quick and rushed that I couldn't believe it was already over.
Does that mean he's going to give up on taking the Lieutenant's test? It would be disappointing to see his storyline simply end like that.
When it came to Tommy flipping out over Teddy walking Colleen down the aisle, he gave the exact reaction I expected from him. True, Tommy is a loose cannon at times, but Teddy isn't a saint. In fact, he's had his own drinking problem and he's shot people.
Sure, maybe Teddy's cleaned himself up more recently, but I can't imagine Tommy not walking his daughter down the aisle. It just wouldn't be right.
So, while Tommy's letters were supposed to change everyone's negative opinions (and they did in a drastic and unnatural, albeit amusing 180 turn), I was left not feeling near the emotional pang last week's 9/11 centered episode created.
As a viewer, I recognize Tommy's selfish actions, but I'm also aware of his care and love for the people around him. I've never believed that he didn't have a good heart.
It's the same way I understood that Tommy thought of Lou as something of a brother, but did Lou never feel that way? His surprise was my surprise.
Sheila, on the other hand, had far more of a realistic emotional moment when reading Tommy's letter. I have to attribute Callie Thorne's acting talents on that particular scene. Plus, it was great to hear Tommy's P.S. ramblings in a way that only Tommy could do.
I know that the characters have a hard time viewing Tommy's inner emotions, but was it really simply the letter that turned their disregard to doe eyed love and respect? Sorry, it felt too unnatural of a switch. I know we all want the characters and Tommy to get along and come together, but not if it feels forced and in such a quick turnaround.
As for Lou's betrayal, does that mean the end of their friendship? Tommy seemed angry and perhaps a little embarrassed, but not furious. Will he run from the love rather than embrace it? He seems to be teetering on an emotional line right now.
And what of his announced retirement? Will he follow through now that Lou "pushed" him in that direction? Can he be content and happy with just his family or does he need to be a firefighter? Can he truly do anything else?
In the end, I felt rather indifferent with "Jeter" and hope to mark it off as a simple error before the big hits of the final episodes. Hard to believe only two more left.
Sean McKenna was a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. He retired in May of 2017. Follow him on Twitter.