'Rescue Me' takes one last ride

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Denis Leary as firefighter Tommy Gavin in "Rescue Me"/FX

Here’s one bit of 9/11 commemoration programming that’s been a long time in the making: tonight’s series finale of “Rescue Me” (10 p.m., FX).

The Denis Leary  series, wedded from its beginning to the deaths of 343 New York firefighters in New York’s Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001, comes full circle in “Ashes,” a title that doesn’t exactly mean what I’d first feared.

Although it definitely means something.

Fans — and even those who, like me, fell away over the years after one excess too many — should prepare to cry a bit, and laugh a lot, and maybe cry a bit more before this last ride with 62 Truck is over and the credits roll to the strains of the Pogues’ “Dirty Old Town.”
And those of you who plan to record and watch later might also want to prepare — the episode, which was written by Leary and co-creator Peter Tolan and directed by Tolan, is scheduled to run 80 minutes.