In the firehouse, the guys watch a nature show that I think I've seen. Or maybe it's the one that was on that episode of The Sopranos Uncle Junior was watching. The guys place bets on the lion versus the hyena.
A well-dressed woman walks into the room and asks for Chief. She introduces herself as Dr. Goldberg, and Chief says that she's the shrink. She corrects him and says that she's a psychotherapist. Chief explains that they can use her to "get [their] feelings off [their] chest," and makes a face that reveals how ridiculous he finds the idea. Dr. Goldberg sits down and says that the effects of 9/11 are still being felt. The guys ignore her and continue watching and commenting on the nature show. Dr. Goldberg says she's there to help if anyone would like to talk. Franco asks if they have to talk to her if they don't want to. Dr. Goldberg says no. Franco gets up and leaves, and the other guys quickly follow suit, except Tommy.
Tommy starts to explain, but Dr. Goldberg says that she got the same reaction at another firehouse the previous night. Tommy says that the guys are not going to talk to a psychotherapist, especially a female one. She asks about the female firefighters, and if Tommy is threatened by women. The other guys are all listening in from outside the door. Tommy says he's not. Dr. Goldberg says that Tommy doesn't seem to think that a woman can be a firefighter. Tommy says it's not about being a man or a woman, it's about doing the job and him getting home safely to his kids. He adds, "You got a woman who can do the job? Bring her on. You got a Martian, or a cyborg, or a Chinaman that can do the job? Bring them on too." Dr. Goldberg asks if there are any Chinese firefighters. Tommy says there probably are, in China. Dr. Goldberg senses a lot of hostility, and Tommy tells her that she's perceptive.
Tommy clears his throat and asks if she wants them to talk about their feelings. Tommy tells her to forget about 9/11: "Five years ago. Black kid. Ten years old. Pulled him out of a closet. Hot fire, all around. He's burnt. He's scared. And he's slipping and sliding around in my arms like a goddamned baby seal. And I almost get him outside, and his skin...he's wearing nothing but underwear. And his skin peels off like wrapping paper off a Christmas present. He slips right out of my arms and onto the floor. Pick him up, get him outside. A few months later, he dies in the Burn Center."
Tommy takes a deep breath and starts again: "Three years ago. Project fire. Six stories up. One bedroom apartment, fifteen people living in it. I find a little girl, hurt pretty bad, holding a kitten. So I bring it down. Six stories, six goddamned stories. And I'm switching my mask off with her, and the kitten, and her, and the kitten, and me, her, and the kitten, and me. She's crying up at me the whole time, saying, 'Please, Mr. Fireman. Please don't let anything happen to my kitten, Mr. Fireman.' And I'm biting my tongue, because I hate cats. I think they suck. I come from a dog family. Anyways, long story short. Cat lived. She didn't."