The lead character beat and raped his estranged wife, and many fans are outraged. The rape scene has been a hot topic on Internet blogs and forums, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Taking risks may come naturally to the creators of "Rescue Me," a comedy-drama that explores the lives of a group of fictional New York firefighters, but last week's episode, co-written by Tolan and star Denis Leary, may have gone to far, the newspaper said.
In the closing scene, Leary's character and soon-to-be-ex-wife Janet (Andrea Roth) argued over custody of a chaise lounge, he knocked her onto a sofa, ripped off her clothes and forced himself on her sexually. Afterwards he apologized, not for the rape, but for tearing her shirt.
Also Marisa Tomei will make her entrance on the next episode of "Rescue Me" in the first of a five-episode cameo.
The Brooklyn-born actress plays Angie, the ex-wife of Johnny Gavin (Dean Winters), who pursues an affair with his brother Tommy (Leary) in a twisted need for revenge against her ex-husband, the New York Daily News reported.