Monday, June 21, 2010

Treme Season 1 Episode 10- "I'll Fly Away" review

Written by David Simon
Directed by Agnieszka Holland

"He fucking quit. Whole goddamn city down on its ass- all of us, one day after the next. Can't dance for him when he quit."- Toni

The season finale of TREME was a nice bookend to the pilot episode (which I will elaborate on more later), but in many ways, this episode belonged to the character of Toni, as she struggled with the repercussions of Creighton's suicide from the last episode. Melissa Leo (who I was thrilled was cast after being a fan of hers from HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREET) was electric in every scene that she was in, whether it was from the news of Creighton's death, to the realization that his death was not a mere accident, to her outrage of him choosing a water demise over life with her and Sofia. In many ways, I can relate and understand Toni's anger. Creighton was undoubtedly weighed down by outside forces (other than Katrina), however, instead of discussing things with Toni, he choose another route that would be devastating for his family. That decision makes his request for a second line parade for his funeral pretty hard to swallow.

I think another scene that stood out to me was the detectives confirming that Creighton was dead, and a shot of them exiting the house and leaving with Sofia screaming off-screen, as she finds out that her father is gone. Having been in the same type of situation beforehand, it makes me feel a little sad for those detectives- as breaking news like this to families is an everyday thing for them.

On the Toni story-front, I did enjoy that Lt. Colson- subtly, but still in a business manner, gives Toni the permission to gather any evidence to cover up the fact that Creighton's death was a suicide. The end of the episode, where Toni allows herself to be caught up in the jubilation of the second line for Daymo's funeral, before the grief of her loss hits her again, is amazing. Again, Melissa Leo is simply riveting.

Other than Toni, plenty of other things were happening. Davis did his part as an advocate of all things New Orleans to try to convince Janette to stay by giving her one perfect day- from the music of John Boutte, good food, a nap by the river and one pretty slick move of romanticism. I think Davis grew a lot as a character this season. However, despite his best efforts, Janette still left for New York because New Orleans completely defeated her. In any other tv show, Davis' hard work would have swayed her opinion or there would have been some "Can't Hardly Wait"-esque (or dozens of Hollywood movies) scene where Davis would have convinced Janette to stay, but thankfully, none of that happened here. Once, I saw Janette look at the flight she booked online, I knew there was no turning back for Janette. Well, she back in season 2? Perhaps, however, Davis was rewarded with Annie on his doorstep, who is seeking some place to stay after the disastrous ending with Sonny. Even though Davis is clearly attracted to Annie, he does seem to understand that she is an incredibly fragile person who just needs someone to treat her good. It's remarkable how much Davis has grown as a character considering the shrapnel the character caught in the first few episodes by fans. Right now, Davis is one of my favorite characters.

Speaking of Annie and Sonny, the final death blow to their relationship occurred as Annie caught Paige (the girl Sonny had sex with during Mardi Gras) was in their bed, post-coitus. And while Annie seems to have finally had with Sonny's bullshit, and is trying to advance herself musically (and personally by moving in with Davis- who will encourage and help her), Sonny seems to have descended into his own hell. At the end, by smashing his keyboard and snorting a line, it seems that Sonny has just given up and realized that his skill level as a musician is not quite up to par.

It seems that in the end of the season, Albert was able to bring his family together and the playful bickering back and forth between Albert and Delmond seems to be something that has happened many times in the past. Love Albert's line about rap sounding like "Chinese shit". Also, I loved Albert's love of Count Basie as well. But, no matter what, Delmond still was heading to New York in the end (a nice quiet scene as Delmond and Janette were on the same flight to New York). I loved the scenes of the parade as Albert's feathers stand out in the darkness- and how trouble nearly arises with the police, until the near confrontation is quickly squashed by Sgt. Thompson, the community relations officer. It's nice to see Thompson step up on the Big Chief's behalf.

Nice to see character development with Arnie the bouncer from Texas, who worked on Delonna's roof, as a means to start up his own contracting business under Riley's license. Nice to see character development from a seemingly minor character such as Arnie. I like that character's work ethic.

Antoine has also made some slight progression this season, as he still is hustling for work (and blew most of his money made from his well-paying gig by gambling most of the money away- particularly in hilarious segments with Irma Thomas, as she destroys him in card games), but he was there for his family (Delonna and his children) not for any personal gain, but because it's the right thing to do. I look forward to seeing what he does next season.

Great moment of levity, as Delonna makes a crack about her dead relatives spinning in their graves at the cost of the cemetery director's bill. In a moment of outright pain, humor is much appreciated.

Now, I see fully why there was that dream sequence of Daymo earlier on this season, as the ringing of a cell phone brings Delonna and the audience back to life before Katrina hit. Daymo, was indeed the good-hearted and responsible person that Janette and Jacques recall, as he happened to be at the worst place during an even worse time. We see Annie and Sonny- still together, and seemingly happy, enjoying the empty city, Davis chiding his neighbors for evacuating (before in a hilarious reveal, that he left as well when realizing that Katrina was going to hit). We also see Antoine, in a much better position (and with a car of his own) ready to leave New Orleans, and Toni and Sofia watching the news of the hurricane with a still very much-alive Creighton.

I did enjoy that the first season ended where the first began- with the parade during the funeral. Whereas, the pilot showed the more somber aspect of the parade, the finale showed the more celebratory nature of the second half of that parade. Also, we see Antoine being reunited with the cab driver he shorted in the pilot episode. The two meet each other, and playfully trade good-natured barbs back and forth. And I have to say Khandi Alexander was superb as she works through the death of Daymo's death by getting lost in dancing during the parade.

Here is an interestingarticle where John Sinclair offers some details on the St. Joseph's Night tradition:

“St. Joseph's Night with the Wild Indians is not an experience to be taken lightly in any measure. It's the living manifestation of an age-old ritual, preserved and practiced by the descendants of the African slaves, which goes back to the perambulating societies of West Africa and their call-and-response chants, the secret societies of masked warriors which are common to both African and native American cultures, and the unsanctioned moonlight ceremonies conducted by African slaves under pain of death on the plantations of the American South.

“It's a ritual which continues to live in the mean streets of fin-de-siecle New Orleans and in the hearts of the people of the most run-down, destitute, stripped-bare-and-left-for-dead underclass neighborhoods of the city, where the Wild Indians of Mardi Gras and St. Joseph's Night perennially represent the triumph of spirit, creativity, and beauty of song and dance over every obstacle the oppressor class can place in their way.”
Dan Baum of The New Yorker filed this dispatch about St. Joseph’s Night 2007, in which he describes Darryl Montana, son of Tootie Montana, emerging from his father’s house:

“At the stroke of six, the door opened and her son Darryl stepped out in a radiant gold-and-silver suit. The small crowd waiting outside gasped and cheered. They agreed that Darryl, who is fifty-one, has taken the Mardi Gras Indian suit ‘to the next level.’ Darryl appeared to stand ten feet tall and five feet wide. His suit included eleven ‘umbrella crowns’ made of quail and pheasant feathers—Tootie had never envisioned more than one—and its front was coated with a portrait of Tootie fashioned out of thousands of tiny sequins and beads. When the sun’s low, reddish rays struck the hundreds of glass jewels sewn onto the suit, Darryl seemed to explode.”

The David Mills tribute was particularly touching as well. It feels very final, but it is disheartening that he won't be offering another TREME episode next season (or for that matter contributing anymore to his superb "Undercover Black Man" blog). Goodbye David.

With the first season wrapped up, I must say that TREME is a show that has to be appreciated as a whole. Much like THE WIRE where at the end of the season you have an understanding of what David Simon was going for thematically, I think with TREME, you have even more of an understanding. It is a true love letter to New Orleans, to the culture, community, the people- in all of their flawed beauty. As opposed to THE WIRE, TREME is a show that is character first as opposed to heavy plotting like it's predecessor.

Despite some complaints about TREME is not focused on plot, I have to disagree. There is plenty of plot- but it is not THE WIRE version 2.0 or THE WIRE: NEW ORLEANS. THE WIRE was modeled after a Greek tragedy and is thematically different than TREME. Plenty happened this season on TREME with the characters we have come to know. In a way, I think people should watch TREME as one would watch Robert Altman's "Nashville". TREME is not THE WIRE, but I wouldn't want that. They are both separate beasts but TREME feels more optimistic despite the overwhelming darkness that the characters are facing. It's engrossing television and a wonderful television experience. Like all things David Simon, it's requires several viewings to appreciate all the nuances and subtle touches, but upon finishing a season (like you would a novel), you feel completely satisfied with the time you invested in following this story. I can't wait for season two.

For a great read, check out David Simon's interview with Alan Sepinwall here:

Saturday, June 19, 2010

"Agent Double O Soul" by Edwin Starr

I heard this song on Treme last Sunday and it renewed my love for Edwin Starr:

The Wire Top 100 quotes

When a show is this good, 100 quotes are not just enough:

The Wire/Toy Story connection?

Who knew that the two could blend together so seamlessly?

I love that Stringer Bell is portrayed by Buzz Lightyear. I also enjoy the McNulty and Clay Davis nods as well.

And of course the Omar reference was perfect.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

For the love of all that is right in this world- have this movie filmed

I think Mortal Kombat is in dire need of a reboot, and I think this hardcore route is the way to go. And Michael Jai White is Jax? I'm sold.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Irma Thomas- "I Wish Someone Would Care"

For you music buffs, here is Irma Thomas' song, "I Wish Someone Would Care"- the basis of the title of the last episode of Treme.

Treme Season 1 Episode 9- "Wish Someone Would Care" review

Teleplay by George Pelecanos
Story by David Simon & George Pelecanos
Directed by Dan Attias

"There is no closure in real life. Not really..."- Creighton Bernette

We're at the penultimate episode of the first season and when I read that George Pelecanos was penning the episode (as he did with all penultimate episodes of every season of THE WIRE), I was elated and worried that the axe would fall on one of our beloved characters. After all, Pelecanos is the talented but heartless scribe who has killed some of the most characters on THE WIRE- including Wallace, Frank Sabotka, Snoop and Stringer Bell. As brilliant as the man, George Pelecanos can be cruel in the way he just snatches the life of a character you've grown to care deeply about. However, since TREME is less dark thematically than THE WIRE (which was modeled after a Greek tragedy to begin with), I was beginning to think that the Pelecanos tradition might not carry over to TREME.

In the end, the tradition did carry over that made this still feel like Pelecanos but tailored for TREME as Creighton, deep in his post-Katrina depression, finally succumbs and jumps from the railing on the ferry, to the water below. I wish I had known when I watched the episode that the book that Creighton was having his class read ("The Awakening" by Kate Chopin) ended with the heroine, Edna Pontellier, allowing herself to by engulfed by the water of the Gulf of Mexico. Another clever piece of foreshadowing. But in the end, Creighton was absolutely despondent- seeing him with that blank screen was heartbreaking (I think him typing enthusiastic gibberish in order to feign productivity to his daughter may have been even more painful now that I think about it).

I read somewhere that although the character of Creighton is based on late blogger Ashley Morris who died in 2008 due to a heartache and also loosely based on filmmaker, Stevenson Palfi, who committed suicide after the storm. I didn't realize how many suicides and the post-Katrina depression that plagued people afterwards. I'll miss John Goodman's portrayal of Creighton, which made it painful to watch the things that led up to his death. When, he was so cheerful in the morning and told his daughter she was beautiful (and told Toni to, "Kick a lil' ass today."), I knew he was saying goodbye. And watching him request for Annie to play, "Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans" was also tough- because even though, the audience was aware of what was going to happen, you were captive and following Creighton around on his last day on Earth. And what could we as the audience do about it? Absolutely nothing but brace for the moment where he takes his own life.

Damn you George Pelecanos, you've done it again. I can't imagine what will happen with Toni and her daughter now. I can only guess that the "work in the office" that Creighton was talking to Toni about was his suicide note.

Other than Creighton, there was plenty going on in this episode. The Annie/Sonny storyline has come to a head with Annie asking Sonny if she could play with other musicians, which Sonny did not take too well. In Sonny's mind, that is the biggest slap in the face, which leads to Annie leaving Sonny's apartment. When Annie meets up with her saxophonist friend, I love her friend's understanding of Sonny's anger at Annie wanting to play with others: "Fucking is fucking but music...that's personal."

And, I must say, I think I felt empathy towards Sonny for once. The whole blow-up with Annie might have opened his eyes finally. He's now trying to original songs and trying to focus on the music as opposed to getting high. Now, how long that lasts, I am not sure. But, it was good to see more layers to this character.

As the season has progressed, we are witnessing how the pressure of trying to regroup after this calamity is making people drown (Creighton literally and Janette figuratively). The pain on Janette's face as she realizes her guerilla cooking on the road is just a gig- no different than Antoine's gigs as he tries to live hand to mouth. When there was a downpour, you could see the defeat in Janette's face as she now is ready to leave for the cozy confines of New York. Davis, being the advocate of New Orleans, desperately tries to plead for her to stay, reminding her of all the beauty that New Orleans has to offer.

Dejected Janette can only respond, "They're just moments. They're not a life."

I sincerely hope that Davis can convince Janette to stay. She's been fighting this whole season to not only keep her restaurant but the thing she loves the most afloat. You can tell that it's overwhelming her, but I hope she can hang in there.

Davis, has completely won me over. I love that his requirements for his bash at his place were "musicians" and "hot women". Davis, you are a man after my own heart. And, also nice bit of continuity in having Davis encounter the stripper neighbors of his- which one of them ( Tara Brewer, a local New Orleans native) sung a wonderful rendition of, "Wish Someone Would Care". I also liked the brief scene with Davis' gay neighbors- where one of them admitted that he did call the police on Davis earlier in the season over the music. To which, his partner was appalled at how anyone can call the police on anyone playing music in the Treme. Vindicated and full of jubilation, Davis tells them not to worry and that it's all water under the bridge.

Nice to see Antoine being the father figure as he brings his daughter along with him to his gig (love Davis' line of the daughter being "Done up like a porkchop"). I really do like Antoine's baby mama now. In the first few episodes, she came across as a user in ways- but now, I can see that she is supportive of Antoine and quite frankly, he's not the easiest man to love.

Picking up from last week's episode, Antoine and LaDonna did have sex which leads to one of my favorite lines of the episode: "That nonsense last week between you and me, that was a Mardi Gras fuck, that's all. We in Lent now. The legs are closed." I feel that even Antoine is doing the right thing in trying to help LaDonna in trying to bury her brother, that somehow this is going to bite him in the ass if his current girlfriend finds out where the money is going to. Nice to see Arnie the Texas bouncer assist in fixing the roof and in delivering a great line in, "No, disrespect, but ya'll got a defective work ethic down here." Khandi and Wendell's expressions after that line is comedic gold.

Albert is also bracing himself (and his people) for a possible collision with law enforcement following Albert's arrest. When Lieutenant Colson tries to convince Albert to diffuse the situation fast before police officers try to take potshots on Albert, you could see the wheels turning in his head.

"They gonna do, what they gonna do. Me? I'm going to be heard," Albert assures. It looks like there is going to be some confrontation between the Indians and police. I also enjoy the continuing development between Albert and Darius. In many ways, the boy is becoming a surrogate son to Albert.

One more episode left this season but this last episode has knocked me for a loop. I cannot wait to see how Toni is going to respond to Creighton's death, and I'm curious to see if these characters can try to keep their head above water, as things seem so hopeless.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Treme Season 1 Episode 8- "All on Mardi Gras Day" review

Written by Eric Overmyer
Directed by Anthony Hemingway

It was nice to see the episode begin with a musical segment as the various characters are all spending time together (Davis and Janette, Antoine and his baby momma) or stuck in a pit of depression (Creighton). With, "Treme", David Simon is at least being a bit more flexible on things that he didn't do on "The Wire". So far, so good. I just hope that David Simon keeps walking that fine line of realistic storytelling- and I have no worries that he will be able to maintain that balance. It was a tad sobering with the one spectator telling Annie and Sonny about losing his home and some neighbors to Katrina, but coming home for Mardi Gras. Annie's words of comfort: "Happy Mardi Gras, honey," as she tears up was a great way to open the episode.

In any other show, Albert Lambreaux would have been able to get out of jail for Mardi Gras- but nope, not here. Standing up the police, prompted Albert not only do receive a beat-down but also for the department to send a message by making him miss Mardi Gras. I did love the moment where Delmond mimicked Albert's line to him earlier in the season about standing up to cops, when Delmond was arrested. Nice to see that type of symmetry that I'm used to in David Simon's work.

I think one of the breakthroughs in this episode, was Delmond. He was hesitant about New Orleans and very put-off to the whole Mardi Gras festival, but by the end of the episode, he was won over. He sees the passion of the people of New Orleans and knows that there is plenty worth saving. He may have been converted.

Sonny remains the most vile character in the series. Not only does he leave Annie to herself on Mardi Gras, but he betrays her in his behavior- from the drug use and then to having sex with the girl he picked up at the bar. I was a tad shocked that the tale Sonny told about saving someone during Katrina- turned out to be true. What I found interesting is that Sonny himself seemed to be completely ambivalent to the whole thing. Perhaps, he doesn't even truly remember it himself because he was so high when this occurred. But, this moment of heroism notwithstanding, Sonny still is a deplorable person. Definitely not worthy of someone as talented and good-hearted as Annie.

"Fucking asshole."- Annie about Sonny

Yes, he is. Glad that Annie is finally seeing it. And what a truly superb evolution Davis is going through. Not only was a great guide for Annie, and showed her a wonderful time on Mardi Gras- but he was a complete gentleman to her, and resisted the urge to kiss her. Why is that? Because I think that Davis truly enjoys her friendship and doesn't want to take advantage of that and also because maybe Davis wants to be with Janette only. Davis has come a long way from being the prick he was at the beginning of the show. I think after eating that humble pie from the bar beating, Davis has come a long way.

Creighton right now is in the depths of depression- from his scene where he reminisced about the way things were with his daughter, to his sadness from the parade, he is in a dark place right now. It will be interesting to see in what direction this takes Toni and Creighton's relationship. It does seem like it's beginning to take a strain- since Toni was livid with Creighton sleeping outside.

Delonna is carrying a lot of weight on her shoulders right now. And once again, Khandi Alexander does a masterful job at showing the pressure nearly consuming her- and barely holding it together. The moment with the ADA was meaningless to Delonna at this point, considering everything that is on her plate. And I'm amazed that Delonna didn't take her anger out on Riley, the contractor who didn't finish the roof, who made it a point to curse her out before Antoine came to her rescue.

And speaking of Antoine, I knew it would only be a matter of time before Delonna and Antoine reunited in some type of way- the chemistry between Wendell and Khandi is electric. Even if it was for one day, at least Antoine was able to comfort Delonna in her time of need. I'm curious to see where this goes in the future.

I could watch Kim Dickens singing intoxicated in the street all day. Very endearing scene.

The reunion between Antoine and his Japanese benefactor from a few episodes back was also a good touch. It was yet another chance to see how two men from seemingly different worlds and practices- can share a mutual love and understand the importance of spreading music to the younger generations.

Two episodes left and we're at the homestretch now. The next episode is written by George Pelecanos who always writes the penultimate episodes (since "The Wire), so something major will happen in the next episode. I can't wait to see what happens with these characters.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Treme Season 1 Episode 7- "Smoke My Peace Pipe" review

Story by Eric Overmyer & David Mills
Teleplay by David Mills & Davis Rogan
Directed by Simon Cellan Jones

"Man you could hide a dead hooker in here and no one would know."

That quote from Jacques Morial may by favorite line in the episode. It was just so well-timed and perfect in its execution.

The title of the episode comes from a song by the Wild Magnolias, and things in the credits that I noticed was that the late great David Mills was involved in the writing of this episode (RIP Undercover Black Man). Also, the director of this episode is Simon Cellan Jones who did amazing work for David Simon on "Generation Kill". Also, Davis Rogan was involved in the writing of this episode- who happens to be the basis for the Davis McAlary character.

Having Tim Reid (from "Frank's Place" fame) reprise his role as Judge John Gatling- and deliver a scathing criticism on how the Department of Corrections were relying on the flood aftermath as an excuse for losing track of Daymo, was perfect. In that rant, you could hear a lot of David Simon's frustrations and I see another connection to "The Wire" (that carried over into "Generation Kill" as well), in the ineptness and failures of institutions.

Albert Lambreaux was a central character to this episode and Clarke Peters was as remarkable as he always is. I think Albert is probably one of the strongest characters in the series. I think what I love the most about this character is his strength and his determination to not bow down to others. He has a strong moral compass guiding him- and taking up residence in the projects sends a message. And perhaps, the most moving thing was the other squatter- following the Chief's defiant stand- and placing the "My Home" sign outside. Even though the representative of the Community Relations Division tried, his words had no effect on Albert. The man is proud and it was painful to watch Albert get beat down by the police, upon refusing to leave the home.

As a writer, the scenes with Creighton hit incredibly close to home. Watching him become so frustrated with what he writes is pretty damn accurate and I think my favorite scene with him was telling Toni that what he has written is complete shit, and upon her asking to read what he wrote, his exasperated query, "Why would you read it if I just told you it's shit?" is something I have said several times to friends who are just trying to offer encouragement.

Nice to see Steve Earle again as Harley Watt. I really have come to love Steve Earle's music at the insistence of my aunt- and also learning about him after I saw him as Waylon on "The Wire". And he definitely is a positive influence in Annie's life right now- and the support she needs, because she's not getting it from Sonny. I think of all the David Simon characters he's created throughout the years, Sonny might be one of the most deplorable. Even though Sonny gives Annie the okay to play with the Cajun musicians, he does begrudgingly. He's just a truly miserable wretch, and incredibly destructive. I hope before this season ends, Annie wakes up and finds a supportive person in her life, because she is going to be stuck in the same quagmire with Sonny. I enjoyed Harley's look to Annie when she was trying to insist that she couldn't play on the Cajun musicians' level. It was one of those looks stating, "You could...if you have more faith in yourself."

It's good to see Davis still growing as a character. Even though he was not on the same page with Jacques Morial ("Nothing really rhymes with infrastructure..."), it was nice to see the evolution of Davis with his generosity he displayed to Janette. After seeing her restaurant closed, he brings gifts to try to brighten her up. When she states that they are friends with benefits, I love McAlary's response:

"With or without."

And after witnessing Davis help Janette out as she cooks- what can I say? I'm a solid member of Team McAlary now. The man has won me over. Davis is a guy who is learning, he might not always say the right thing, but he means well.

Wendell Pierce did a magnificent job showing the sadness that Antoine felt losing his mentor and I love the brief scene in the hospital with him playing "I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say" in the earbuds so, he (and Danny) could just have a moment to enjoy the music. And, it's nice that Antoine was insistent on Danny's son keeping the trombone.

And definitely the most painful part of this episode that was full of pain- was the resolution to the Daymo storyline with LaDonna. Khandi Alexander knocked this episode out of the park- and I have said this once, and I will say this again, I'm glad that Khandi has a role this well-written that she can sink her teeth into. She is that damn good of an actress. The moment where she recognizes that it is Daymo in the body bag is heart-wrenching. And, also I have to give credit to Melissa Leo's performance as Toni, as she expresses her bewilderment at how Daymo could die in custody and not be identified properly in the morgue. Again, there was a lot of David Simon's anger in those lines.

Right now, LaDonna has a lot of weight on her shoulders. She doesn't want to deliver the news to her mother right now- especially considering her mother's failing health and wants to wait after Carnival to deliver the news. At the end of the episode, you can tell the grief and pain is eating LaDonna up and she seems that she might crack from any moment from the stress- but LaDonna is somehow holding it together.

A stellar episode and with only three more episodes left in the first season, "Treme" is hitting on all cylinders. All the storylines are moving towards their conclusion and I am very excited to see how this season wraps up.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Treme Season 1 Episode 6- "Shallow Water, Oh Mama" review

Story by David Simon & Eric Overmyer and Tom Piazza
Teleplay by Tom Piazza
Directed by Brad Anderson

I've been a tad behind with my Treme reviews for a variety of reasons. I've been busy with work, working on personal projects, and catching up with Breaking Bad- which may be one of the best dramas on television right now. But, I wanted to catch up and do my Treme reviews as a devotee of all things David Simon.

"Davis can save us..."

Leave it to Davis to make his election bid a complete spectacle. I thought it was a nice way to open the episode up, and it's cool to see that he's making strides with his gay neighbors- that took him in from the last episode.

Whereas, Davis is warming up to me as a character and I am liking him, I still cannot stand Sonny. He's just so toxic in many ways- and I can only hope that Annie wises up and leaves him. I was reading a review who referred to Sonny slapping Annie as a "cliche tv trick", I don't know when domestic violence ever became a cliche, but it makes sense why he is deteriorating. Sonny is frustrated, using again and jealous of Annie's potential. It's almost as if he knows she is too good for him. It's a very jarring moment, when he slaps her, and my heart broke as she realized she had nowhere to go, and returned to him.

Do I think that Sonny will continue this downward spiral? I can pretty much guarantee it.

Nice to see Toni continue her work in helping out LaDonna find out what happened with Daymo. Whereas everyone else didn't want to pursue this, it's good that LaDonna has someone on her side like Toni. And with LaDonna's mother's ailing health, it won't get any easier for her (the next episode is particularly jarring).

It's good to see the relationship Antoine has with his former mentor and giving him the trombone that he got from the previous episode. And it was hilarious to see the exasperated look that Wendell Pierce delivered when he found out that Desiree put his tux in the washing machine. And to watch the disapproved glares of the bassist band leader as he adds his own touch on "Take the A Train" is terrific.

I can sense Creighton's frustration on how he may eventually become a parody of himself after the youtube video, which is what the publishers want now- and could butcher the novel he wants to do about the flood of 1927.

"Davis McAlary, our Davis who's teaching you boogie-woogie, that bozo's running for City Council?"

Love that line by Creighton. :)

And that final shot of the episode speaks for itself. Fucking hilarious and great political satire by Creighton. Glad to see Toni change her mind, and join her husband and daughter in dressing like sperm.

Again, it has to be seen to be believed.