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.

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