That’s the second time in as many weeks that the closing credits in Treme have taken me by surprise by arriving long before I expected to see them. There’s an oddness to this half-sized season, in that, without seemingly having altered its laconic pace, it’s moving far faster than we are used to. There were two instances this week of issues being raised and resolved in the same episode, and that’s not what we’re used to.
Much of this week’s episode was taken up with two stories being allowed room to breathe, whilst others fitted around them. The first of these was Albert Lambreaux who, in the open, was given the news by his Doctor that his chemo has failed, and that his cancer has spread to his liver. Albert is under a sentence, and we see its effect on those around him, his daughter Davina, angry and hurt that he won’t fight for every day more he can possibly claw back, his son Delmond accepting Albert’s decision that those days be about quality than quantity, and his lover, LaDonna, simply enjoying his relaxed presence.
And relaxed Albert is, even mellow, and full of nostalgia. Now he knows, the uncertainty is lifted, and he can get on with his life, and concentrate only upon what matters, including his grandson-to-be.
The other long strand centred upon Antoine. Music lesson is held up as the kids gather and talk, but this is about a boy who has lost his life: Cherise’s brother, Durond, shot in the street, with her as a witness. Later, we find he was mistaken identity, his killers had a beef with his elder brother. The nearness of violence, in this city, to one of his favoured pupils, disturbs Antoine. He offers help, warns Cherise to take care for she is at risk, but before long Terry Colson is called out to a murder, a fourteen year old girl, shot dead in the street coming home after walking her kid brother to school.
That the killers are known, that they will at least be arrested, is no consolation to Antoine, who’s lost a young girl he had high regard for, a girl with musical strength. The episode ends with a vigil at the school, the band with their instruments, calling on Mr Baptiste to play. But Antoine, who has already heard ‘noises’ from his daughter’s bedroom and feared, cannot do so, not tonight.
It’s a shitty day for Terry, coming across a murder like that, but it’s a worse one for Toni. She’s following up the death of the asthmatic in the holding cell last week, uncovering a massive increase in Jail deaths, but what’s the point, what’s the point of anything? Officer Wilson’s walking around free and arrogant, the FBI are doing nothing and nothing and nothing, and Terry gets in the way of a rant that’s fuelled by anger, frustration, despair and, thanks to Wilson’s reappearance, fear. He moves out, back to his trailer for the night.
But thanks to the lack of time, that’s not spun out, and it’s all the more effective for it, as Toni ‘ambushes’ him at his car in the morning, smiles through the fear of having blown things, and the two hug back on track.
Who else? Janine hits a snag, a serious snag, as her ex-partner Tim Feeney comes back at her with a lawsuit: he owns her name (she should have read that contract, always read the fucking contract, what do you think us – once upon a time – lawyers are about?) and she can’t use it on her new restaurant, and he’s suing her over the interview in which she slagged off the official Desautels.
For a moment there, it looked like Janine was going to compound her problem by jumping into bed with Davis again (it’s coming over as she would but he’s avoiding going there). He’s more interested in using her restaurant to meet up with his new buddy, Nelson Hidalgo, and Nelson’s money-man backer, whose name I’ve finally got for the first time! He’s C.P. McGrory, a banker! Davis has been boycotting McGrory’s bank for ten years, which means Davis is highly unlikely to be the Civilian Liaison to the National Jazz Centre, though as Davis learns that the job drags down 30,000 big ones each year, that stunned look on his face may actually signal a betrayal of his principles.
And from Davis we get to Annie, and the overwhelming question of her choice between success and loyalty. She’s still undecided, but her manager Marvin has made it plain. She’s only got one choice, and it isn’t loyalty to her band.
There’s no place for Sofia or Sonny this week, and I know L.P. Everett will be back because his face is all over the DVD menu screen. But time is tight, people. What stories will resolve, and which will hang? We will know entirely too soon.