Saturday, May 15, 2010

Treme Season 1 Episode 4- “At the Foot of Canal Street” review

Story by Eric Overmyer & George Pelecanos
Teleplay by George Pelecanos
Directed by Anthony Hemingway

First and foremost, this is a George Pelecanos episode which means that this will be a stellar episode filled with tight plotting and great dialogue. George wrote many of my favorite episodes (usually the penultimate episodes of each season) of The Wire and is also a great novelist.

I enjoyed the scene with Antoine waiting to have his stitches examined at the ER. It felt incredibly real with the insufferable delay and Antoine entertaining everyone with his singing. What else can you do when you’re trapped with a room full of people restless and impatient from sitting forever?

Albert is by far one of the most captivating characters on the series. From his disgust at how his insurance agent cut him off from any type of payout due to the fact that Albert didn’t have any flood insurance (the “I drink” line from the agent when Albert asked how he sleeps at night is sublime) to his scenes with Darius, Clarke Peters fleshes this character out so well. On one hand, he’s a passionate strong man with good sensibilities but underneath the surface, there’s a great anger simmering. I wonder as well, if Darius is how Albert may atone for his beating of the young thief earlier in the season. I must say, I do like how Darius was drawn in to the Mardi Gras practice. It seems like he’s taking this kid under his wing- it’ll be interesting to see how this relationship develops now that Albert is bedding Darius’ mother. By the way, that dinner flirtation between the two was masterfully played. To quote Shakima Greggs:

“Cool Lester smooth.”

Speaking of flirtations and chemistry, I did love the scene between LaDonna and Antoine at Gigi’s. Those two are just magical together, and it appears in a sense that LaDonna cannot help but resist Antoine’s charms. But, I did enjoy that LaDonna seized the opportunity of Antoine’s dental problems- as a means of getting him up to Baton Rouge to see his children. There is a great moment where Antoine is trying to bond with his kids and you can tell there is a bit of disconnect. Antoine has been away for so long but you could tell that he is trying to make amends. I also enjoyed the relationship between Larry and Antoine. Any other show would have Antoine jealous of Larry- yet meanwhile, Antoine realizes that Larry is a good man and surrogate father than his children. In his own way, Antoine realizes that Larry has been more of a father to his kids than he has been.

And on the Khandi Alexander note, her scene with Keevon White (played again by Anwan Glover aka Slim Charles of The Wire fame) was well-played. I think my favorite part of that was when LaDonna slammed her hand on the table exclaiming, “You look at us goddammit! This is my mother! This is David’s mother!” So, it’ll be intriguing to see what has become of her brother now with the implications from Keevon that Daymo was using perhaps. I did love the line from Keevon, “Respectfully ma’am, I know how to jail, your boy don’t.”

Nice to see Steve Earle again. And it’s interesting to see how the Sonny/Annie relationship is going to inevitably implode. It seems that there is a great anger/bitterness inside Sonny. We learned that he dragged Annie to New Orleans where he always wanted to go and live, and not it seems that he is becoming jealous of how Annie is garnering more attention and accolades than him. That look he gave her when he noticed the piano player (earlier he told her not to work with other piano players because he would consider it cheating) told a lot.

Speaking of nice, it’s good to see Jim True-Frost as Delmond’s agent. Any chance to see Prez is good with me. And speaking of Delmond’s story, I rather enjoyed the “Monogamy with Exceptions” game.

Last but not least, Creighton Bernette’s YouTube rant is nothing short of extraordinary. John Goodman can take the profane and make it downright poetic.

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