Treme: s04 e01 – Yes We Can Can


Home stretch. I feel sad about the final season of Treme, barely begun and already almost done. Five episodes is a long way not enough for a series of this density, barely enough to stir the gumbo, to begin those lines and threads, let alone provide an ending for this community I’ve been following for the past half year. And disregard my recognition that this is not a series that does ending I’m going to want some finality when I say farewell. In four weeks time.

For all that, the opening episode also seemed incredibly short, its final scene, its spine-tingling closing music coming far sooner than I expected, before I was ready. A new set of realities to spread out before us, but is there enough time? That’s all of it: is there going to be enough time?

It’s now thirty-eight months later, and it’s Election Day 2008. That’s a day I’m never going to forget, whatever it’s outcome in practice: beyond all expectation, I lived long enough to see America elect a black President. I saw it. And we went from the hope and the promise when it was still hope and promise, to one of the most awesome songs of the Twentieth Century, Sam Cooke’s ‘A Change is Gonna Come’, which sniffed the wind at the moment it began to blow, that evoked the future that was to come, that is still, we fervently hope, travelling towards us. It’s been a lot time coming, but I know.

So: Davis hasn’t really quit, but then no-one expected the self-centred little tw*t to do so. He’s enthused by the newest musical sound, which might hopefully keep him from his own. He can supply good wine to Jeanette Desautel, opening yet another restaurant, this time for herself, and turn down a promised booty call, he can listen but not advise Annie T, who’s approaching a musical cusp: feeling good where she is, more than happy with her band, but with her manager challenging her over whether she only wants to be a niche, a regional act.

Terry’s more or less moved in with Toni, and Sofia, now at College in Connecticut (that would be Yale, right?) is content with that. He’s still getting fucked over by the NOPD, whilst she’s found a new cause, courtesy of the contented Sonny, pulled in for public urination and witness to a guy in the tank dying from an asthma attack because the Police won’t give him his inhaler.

And LaDonna’s moved out on Larry and her kids and, to no particular surprise, is getting it on with Albert Lambreaux (lucky, lucky Clarke Peters). His cancer’s in remission, and Delmond’s in demand to go back to New York, but Delmond’s being a bit superstitious over telling his Poppa that he’s going to be a Grandpoppa.

And Antoine’s now running the bandclass, and showing one 14 year old how to get free treatment for the clap, and getting involved with the new music, at which he’s introduced to the unusual coupling of Davis McAlary and Nelson Hidalgo. Nelson’s starting to lose money, he’s angling to get back to Texas, where there’s disasters in Galveston to work on, but he’s listening to Davis educate him in street culture, and he looks like he’s listening.

No, five episodes is still five too few. Let this not be too hasty, let us go into that good night with our opinions of our friends intact, let them have room to be who they are as we visit with them this one last time.

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