We’re almost at the end of season 2 and this felt like a downturn episode, a low-key affair whose strongest element was the aftermath of Hawley Watt’s killing. Annie T seems to have become, by default, his legatee, responsible for clearing away what little he left, taking on the part-written songs and music with a view to completing it, seeing away most of the rest of it to Goodwill, all with a calm emotionless that worries Davis. And me: it’s all very well for her to protest that everyone’s treating her like a china doll, in need of special handling, that she’s fine, but people rarely are when someone important to them is gunned down in front of them.
Hawley’s death impinges on other branches of this story. Colson’s arrived in Homicide and this is one of the cases that’s not being worked too seriously, what with the complete absence of evidence or leads and the investigating detective at least unconsciously dismissing it as unimportant: only a street musician, shoulda kept his mouth shut.
Toni’s already trying to use him to get the Arbrea case file. Terry’s none too happy about it, a sense that he’s feeling a bit used, especially after last week’s rebuff. He finds a more-than-sanitised file and a prefab full of mixed evidence, left to rot, but he swings by Toni’s to tell her there was no file.
Sofia’s talking to her now, though the attitude’s not left town totally. She’s working as a part-time barista, enjoying it too, fancies the guitar player in the street band outside but, sensibly and reluctantly, turns down the offer to go out backk and smoke some weed.
There’s been an FBI raid at City Hall, over the weekend, with has got Toni worried and excited. Not Councilman Thomas, though.
Sonny’s affected by Hawley’s death too, still using equipment borrowed from him. He wants to return it, talks a little with Annie, keeps the guitar a couple of weeks longer. He’s trying to get a date with the Vietnamese girl from the fish market, Linh, but he has to ask her father first, and he has to approve, and Sonny doesn’t want to have to do that.
Antoine’s show-stealing gets him a mid-stage walkout by his singer Lucinda and the band don’t want him taking over. When he lets Alison fill-in – a young, attractive woman, Toni’s assistant – Desiree kicks off at him, fearing the worst. LaDonna’s kicked off at him too, denouncing him for everything. She’s full of sudden aggression, against salt on the table, underlining her interactions with her therapist, and the failure of an attempt to resume ‘relations’ with Larry: both breaking off thinking the other wasn’t into it. Dark times lie ahead.
Davis’s musical ambitions are slipping away. Lil Calliope’s dance track has to go on the sampler and one of Davis’ two has to make way. Delmond’s shipped everyone, including Doctor John, down to New Orleans at Albert’s insistence, killing any chance of the record ever making royalties: Albert’s happier than we’ve ever seen him, Delmond can’t hear the difference, but everyone else can. Janette’s earned the nickname ‘Gator at the restaurant, and is being encouraged to expand her repertoire. Nelson’s slowly compiling a parcel of land for city redevelopment.
In a week’s time, we’ll see what temporary resting places these stories come to. But we come back to Hawley, in the end as the beginning. From Susan Cowsill leading a funerary rendition of ‘Will the Circle be Unbroken?’ to an unexpected sister arriving to collect the ashes and Hawley’s favourite guitar – This Machine Floats – and spring a gentle laugh on us, blowing Hawley’s pretence at a Texas accent, when they came from Washington…