Comments need to come from your belly.
I didn’t see that coming until they turned the corner, but I knew the next/last scene had to be Pelecanos’ victim. “I’ll never get out of this world alive.” Damn I’m going to miss Earle.
Sure it will be another unsolved murder while Guidry is busy measuring dicks in homicide and detectives screw up procedure. That’s what we lost along with Harley. Ugh.
Whoever said Colson would take us into the belly of crime and the NOPD called that right.
Pelecanos the Reaper strikes again.
ha- Varg, I was calling him the Angel of Death, but your tag was more succinct and witty.
I actually jumped more at the first note of music when they cut away from the shot of LaDonna in the hotel room.
I didn’t expect the shot though, even when he came back and stuck the gun in his face.
There was something about the editing when that scene opened. I guess directors cue you in to that stuff. It’s a way to dramatize it for some viewers but it actually softens it for others, preps them for the shock.
Nearly 3 weeks of rather blissful viewing brought back to earth. That crime was likely based on the death of a young, not-well-known musician who I believe was killed with a shotgun around 4am on the side of the SDT building at Chartres and Elysian Fields. We lived on the corner of Spain and Chartres during that time frame and were all too close to way too many horrible crimes. Someone knocked on our door early the same morning as the Helen Hill murder and we always wonder. But then we also used to live in the block where Daniel Breaux was killed and came upon that scene within minutes of the shooting, at night and in one of those massive downpours where it feels like your you’re under a waterfall. It took many months for us to enjoy the sound of rain again. And damn, I’m gonna miss Steve Earle.
On another note, I loved hearing Gang of Four during the NYC scene with the “red alert” chef situation. The song is “Natural’s Not In It.” Nice touch. Their show at Tip’s back in the early 80s was one of my favorites of all time.
Hey, does all the HBO advertising tonight mean the show is getting more popular?
Ugh, I hate it when I mix “your” and “you’re” sorry about that.
Nice to see Spider Stacy make an appearance, too!
Who was Ingrid Lucia’s guitarist again (ponytailed guy who made an appearance on the show last season)? We met at Krewe du Vieux and then I promptly forgot his name. See him almost each time I fly through ATL; he’s always sitting at the NOLA gate.
I loved us so much last week that I’m looking forward to this. Right now, though, I’m going to sit here and study about Steve Earle. That made me sad. But first, I have a question.
Does anybody know where that scene happens after they turn the corner? It looks like they are walking up Frenchmen along Washington Square–then the thugs are walking toward them in the 2100 block of Dauphine because the fence is on the right as they turn the corner. Maybe they would be walking that block if they’re taking Elysian Fields to St. Claude.
I’m wondering because thirty years ago, the first summer I was here, I lived in an apartment in that block. The Marigny was great. I walked home alone many times from a FQ job that closed at midnight. My girlfriend dated a musician and I’d go listen to music with them and meet people. So many memories from that summer.
Anita, you have the corner right. And nolamotion I think thr True Blood teaser was placed go catch the Game of Thrones viewers.
On another note, had a musician friend over and he was appalled at what Antoine did to Kermit, and I thought of how Kermit bailed his ass in Season 1. But he loved they way Kermit got him back. Still, dissing Kermit like that seemed disloyal and a horrible career move.
And I wonder what happens to Annie with her mentor gone and Davis back to somebody-please-slap-him mode. Can he step up and help Annie given how he’s dealing with Lil Calliope?
All spilling errorz blame the Druid and mu tired thu/bs,
Sam and I were trading death pool odds by text the whole hour. I felt like it was going to be somebody in the Annie/Harley circle during that last sidewalk set they played, and when he said he was going to walk her up to St. Claude I knew it would be him.
@Nolamotion: Yeah, the Gang of Four was a nice touch. Kind of the antithesis of “Always for Pleasure”. David Chang’s iPod sounds a lot like mine.
@Folse: This brings the random violence thing home in a big way, and also kicks the legs out from under Annie. Just as Sonny has gained a sponsor in the musical world, Annie has lost hers and she hasn’t shown a lot of skill at going it alone the past two seasons.
Sonny…so Lucia/Annie is half-Korean, and now Sonny has eyes for Lin, the Vietnamese chick. Seems like dope fiend isn’t the only addiction he has a taste for. (I know, I know, pot kettle black.)
A powerful ending showing the duality that is New Orleans the greatest place on earth until someone sticks a gun in your face. Harley Watt (Steve Earle) what a character. I hope HBO keeps this going until the next season so you can be sent off at Cajun Mardi Gras. http://media.nola.com/treme-hbo/photo/9667399-large.jpg
Gasps of pain from both my partner and eye I when Harley was shot—I sure will miss him.
Shame on Batiste for dissing Kermit like that, though the scene turned out to be kind of funny with the audience trucking back and forth as a hole like that.
Davis can be such a huge baby sometimes—I’ve been warming up to him lately but jeeze, sour grapes much?
I loved the scene with Albert and Delmon and the pretty reporter (I don’t recall her name) in the museum when they were all examining the beautiful headdress; Albert is priceless.
Did I seriously write ‘eye’ up there? Too early, man. I meant ‘I’, of course.
What Is New Orleans? or Snap Out Of It! or Set Ups and Let Downs
“You know what Katrina made clear? I’m no longer from the United States of America”. Glad I opened my stupid mouth last week, because it helped me understand what Davis said this week. Treme/New Orleans is the music curriculum for America the school program. In the public system, the music program always gets cut.
My well-educated, world-traveled loving father just asked me this weekend on our Father’s Day call, so how are they doing over there (Japan)? Are things going back to normal? I realized he just asked me what I asked y’all last week. It is like every where in the world where there isn’t great upheaval is Lothlórien. Time moves differently.
The “Imagine that” speech. Go Larry! And LaDonna, please listen to him – this man who loves you AND your children enough to yell at you first thing in the morning! Love it how toughness not coddling brought out the fighter in LaDonna. You fight, girl! But then it couldn’t/didn’t happen. Things Fall Apart. (Thank you for that post, Virgotex.)
Antoine in the classroom, getting schooled! Moving from the micro to the macro. Life isn’t just about you, or the one student you may want to help become a star. It is about all the students.
Chief in the studio! YEEEHAAAH! Him lookin’ over at his son, and then the bassist. Bad ass! It was like they were all blind, just all about sound and lettin it flow. I’m all excited…and then he doesn’t like it. lol
Colson gave a shit when it wasn’t his turn, and now he has to pay the price, “truly and deeply”. My stomach was in knots, and by the end of the scene, I was hoping the “scare” hadn’t made me pee just a little. Then he goes out with Toni. Glad she asked and he explained, because I wouldn’t have caught the full ramifications of his transfer.
“But thank you”. …beautiful smile Toni! She’s never looked so pretty on this show. Melissa Leo is an exceptional actress, irritating me in one scene, and then making me want to chase after her in the next.
Kermit and Antoine! I wanna party on THAT street! And if Kermit decides to hold a grudge, who can blame him.
Poor Davis. It is good to be happy for others, but sometimes we just wanna be happy for ourselves. Politics in music doesn’t sell, unless you became political after you became famous, in which case, the world hangs on your every word …even if you are talking out of your ass.
I love the Texican. I always have and I think I always will. He is the only real man on the show, with Larry taking a close second. Nope, that’s not fair, Colson is a man, too, but he’s love sick like a puppy. And Antoine can sing, but a good voice does not a father, husband, or loyal friend make.
Maitri, thank you so much for BOT. I had to enjoy The Wire all by myself. I bought sets of it for friends, and even given to them, they wouldn’t watch it. Absolutely broke my heart to pieces. How can you enjoy anything to the fullest by yourself?
Maitri, that guitarist is John Fohl, one of the most tasteful pluckers in town and a regular member of Dr. John’s band (having replaced Renard Poche a few years back).
Ray, I don’t know if you gave odds on Colson but I might have taken them last night. I think in the clear light of day it’s too early in this story line, but I can see him stopping and doing the right thing like he did on Mardi Gras night, on some lonesome Central City street alone and calling for backup that never comes.
And Spider, yes!. “In my Blue Heaven there’s a bottle of Pontchartrain…”
Ray, I think Annie losing Harley means it’s time for Davis to grow up. You would think he’s not ready for all of tonight’s episode except when he and Annie are smoking and he says he’s happy for the guy. I hope that big stupid grin is more Annie than smoke.
I felt last night more than I felt the Dinneral episode, more than I felt Creighton because we all knew that was coming from episode one like a freight on the Plains, that warning strobe on the locomotive sweeping the sky miles before the crossbucks start to clang and flash. I need to take This City off of loop and get to work before I start to cry.
I’m still digesting over here. Yesterday’s combo of birthday, father’s day, graduation, tenure-granting, etc. party begn in the afternoon, and concluded after Treme watching with the musicians present playing for an hour and a half, and then there was the drive back home to the city.
But, weirdly, talking with people about the show yesterday before watching I’d said in response to something someone said about Steve Earle and his character, that this season he was taking John Goodman – Creighton Bernette’s role. What I meant was the Real Life personage who is playing a fictional character on the show. I had no further idea.
The whole Kermit/Antoine thing bugged me and just rang false. They had the geography right with the Blue Nile just a half block down from what was Ray’s Boom Boom Room and is now Maison. But the idea the a musician would walk into another gig and blatantly poach an audience like that from the stage just didn’t ring true. Of course the bands would have a fit, but the club owners would be furious and Antoine’s band would never get another gig and he’d _have_ to know that. It’s not uncommon for people to flow between clubs during set breaks. You even see band members on break visiting the gig down the block or across the street. So there is just no way they would blatantly steal an audience like that.
Otherwise it was a good episode and I knew as soon as I saw Harley and Annie walking along in front of Washington Square Park that it was about to go very bad indeed.
People gonna jump on me but I’ma put money down that we’re watching signs of early dementia in Albert. Grandiosity and over-compensating are symptom of dementia — I get “won’t bow” and we know he is stubborn but Albert never struck me as someone who’d be flagrantly disrespectful of someone else’s skill, or narrow-minded to the extent we’ve seen him.
I’m not trying to trash the character, so please hold your fire. Just following the breadcrumbs. There’s been a pronounced emphasis on his cantankerousness and it appears to be increasing. In season 1, Albert had a goal, and displayed character. This season, his overriding trait appears to be anger and defensiveness, even pettiness, and an inflated sense of self. Understandable given the obstacles thrown in his path, but I think it’s more than just a reaction.
OR, based on the wink to the filmaker in the Bklyn Museum, he’s just trying to get to Delmond. But that doesn’t seem to be worth the screen time they are giving to these traits.
I’m with you Mark- the randomness and unexpectedness made Harley’s death a bit more seering.
I moved to N.O. in the fall of 1995- it was allegedly the high point (or maybe the beginning) of crack hitting the city. The very first week I moved there, I remember some kid from Ireland was waiting for a streetcar with some gal- a car pulled up, two guys got out, shot him and stole her purse and then drove off. I remember him saying “At least in Belfast, they’ll tell you they’re going to shoot you first.” Reading about that experience so immediately after moving there haunted me, especially since my wife and I didn’t have a car and lived uptown and streetcars were the way we got around.
There were so many incidents I heard about in the next year and a half. Having moved to N.O. from the comparatively benign Bay Area, it was a new experience to have to live on guard as much as I discovered I did. That first week, neighbor ladies talked about a guy walking his dog a few blocks away who got robbed- but the first thing the thieves did was shoot his dog. The incident Eric Overmeyer used as the basis of a Homicide episode where a cop killed her partner working security at a Vietnamese restaurant and killed much of the family that owned it (except for a couple of kids who hid in a freezer) happened while I was living there, and later it turned out the cop had killed her own father and buried him under the house. I remember thinking “When you’ve got cops killing each other, you’re in a dangerous place.” After I moved uptown, I heard numerous stories of people getting held up near by: someone putting their trash out at 10 pm a couple of blocks from where I lived being met with kids with handguns, people being at a house party and some kids with guns waiting on the porch and stopping everyone that came out and taking their wallets, making the ones they already robbed wait in an alley. A guy going into a family pizza kitchen uptown at 6 pm with a sawed off shotgun flying on crack holding everyone up. And then towards the end of my time there, the Louisiana Pizza Kitchen murders. At that time, there was an average murder a day. Most were supposedly drug-related- but what if you or yours were at the wrong place in the wrong time?
Guns were a much bigger part of the landscape in N.O than I was used to. As I mentioned one time earlier, it was the first time I ever thought of getting one because I was concerned about home invasion, and if someone was going to break in late at night, I wanted them to be able to hear there was something waiting if they came to the bedroom in the back.
So many of my friends in the Bay Area who had visited New Orleans at Jazz Fests, etc. had the impression that New Orleans was just all hang loose, everyone gets along, etc. My experience was diffferent when i actually lived there. That I was married at the time upped the ante for me even more, because I don’t know how I could’ve handled it if my wife had been hurt or killed, feeling like our moving there was partly my decision and therefore any harm partly my fault. When I eventually did move, and people would ask me why, I’d say “Well, for one reason, cause I’m not bullet proof”. Tom Piazza’s novel “City of Refuge” captured that difficult question of “Is putting my family at risk by staying worth it?” beautifully.
I’ve since gone back a couple of times and have loved it, but straight up, living in a city that had so much violence was more than I wanted to deal with, particularly as I was without a car and less protected. As you all know, there is so much about New Orleans that is amazing and wonderful and magical, but then there are those other problems- some of which are even more profound than the violence (it was my first experience having to deal with bald-faced racism. I’m a white guy, but what do you do when your boss throws out the “n” word a few times like it’s nothing?) but the danger was palpable. Harley’s shooting kind of brought that back for me, though I think earlier it was LaDonna leaving her bar in that streetlight-less dark that brought it back even moreso. I saw that and remembered feeling “That fucking dark. Why aren’t there more streetlights to protect against that fucking dark.”
Yeah, Scott, that’s the long version of my last night’s cryptic Druid post about the reaction at Chez Folse. Antoine’s would never work again once the word on that spread. It was the first really loud and flat note in the series so far, but I surmise that for most viewers it was an incredibly hilarious moment.
I’m always a little reticent to buy into these kind of “that would never happen” arguments, because usually it turns out that it did happen at least one time. In a city as weird and diverse as New Orleans, no matter how much you get out and how many friends you have, you have not heard it all. Poaching another musician’s audience is unprofessional and rude? No doubt. Might make it hard to get gigs in the future when word gets around? Possibly. Would NEVER happen? Doubt it.
I remember last year somebody complaining about Antoine saying “all the way from the parish line”, claiming that nobody from New Orleans would ever say that. And I remember talking about it with another friend of mine who, like me, spent a lot of her life in the Carrollton neighborhood, and we’re like, “shit, we say that all the time”. Maybe nobody in the Bywater thinks of the JP parish line as a landmark, but if you live within a half mile of it, you definitely do. Where’s the Lowes? Where’s Crabby Jack’s? Past the train tracks just over the parish line.
Antoine poaching Kermit’s audience mirrors Lil Calliope edging Davis out of the way to promote his own music. It’s a community and everybody helps each other, but it’s also competitive as fuck. We’ve seen that ever since Season 1; Antoine’s entire career has been one instance after another of him getting beat out of a gig or upstaged by an Andrews or a Marsalis or somebody.
The feeling that washed over me when Harley was shot was a resurgence of what I (and probably most of the city) was feeling at that time. Trying so hard to hold on, to put things back together, to keep what makes this place so special. But it all just seems to keep slipping away. One more beautiful person killed, one more dear friend giving up and moving away, one more beloved club/restaurant/store that was expected to return or tried to and had to throw in the towel and call it quits, one more person’s job lost (including mine), one more person slipping into despair, the rest of us all eating anti-depressants like candy. And trying to defend the decision to stay and keep trying, to friends and family and the general public elsewhere who just don’t understand why we would care so much, why we don’t just go someplace “better” – cleaner, safer, economically sound, more sane and predictable. While a part of my brain that I tried not to listen to whispers “are they right? am I being an idiot? is this all really worth it? can we possibly make it? will anything ever be the same as it was?”
After last night’s show, I had a moment of “can I really stand to keep watching this show?” because of the emotional impact it had on me. Of course I will still watch, my emotional response is testimony to what a great job the show is doing presenting our story, but it’s really hard sometimes to relive this stuff.
There is a guy on Nola.com who is saying Harley’s death is why “he’s never coming back to New Orleans.” The fictional death of a fictional character in a revised past is reason for his move from the city in the real past and justified in the present day New Orleans. Surreal or absurd?
Absurd interpretation. He’s clearly saying that Harley’s death is a dramatization of why he’s never coming back, not that he literally won’t come back because Harley got shot:
The second-to-last scene with Harley getting shot just strengthens my resolve to NEVER return to the city of my birth.
Mostly just stupidity, Varg. Go back and ask him if he knows how to spell meteonomy and see how long it takes him to figure out how to reply.
One last thought before my next meeting: brilliant music choice for the closing credits. Back in ’06 I don’t think I took Our New Orleans out of the CD player at home or in the car. And I often stopped the playback at Tipitina and Me before the overly-symphonic Louisiana 1927. It was one of those songs on my endless play loop, like Eliza Gilkyson’s tsunami-inspired Requiem which to this day reduces me to tears. Tipitina and Me was Adagio For Strings Op. 11 of New Orleans in 2006. Just. Feckin. Brilliant.
There’s nothing about the interpretation that’s absurd. I thought it was pretty straight forward – using fiction to justify one’s decisions in the real world. That’s what he did. In many tossed up stories about crime or corruption in New Orleans there is a commenter who tries to justify his own reasons for leaving the city at some point in the past. Their own insecurities regarding their decisions show through by their need to continue to comment on the issues the city faces as their reason for leaving the city they probably miss very much. Now there are even some doing it for fake deaths and fake crime. That last part is what’s absurd. Granted it’s a representation of violent crime, but that’s not something exclusive to New Orleans. I just wonder what goes on in the head of someone who, having left it all behind by choice, is so anxious to say “I told you so” that he will even take the death of a character in a TV show to do so.
Uh, Mark, were you trying to spell metonymy?
Trying to spell. That was even funnier before I got the Druid and now have to retrain my thumbs. I keep waiting for an online ad to pop up to tell me Obama wants to pay to retrain my thumbs.
@Varg: I totally agree about the tendency of some people who hate New Orleans and have left New Orleans to spend all their time coming back nola.com to badmouth the city. It’s irritating, I would think if they hated it that bad they would just move on. And yes, other cities have crime, although nobody would argue that New Orleans doesn’t rank pretty high up there in dangerousness. But what he was saying was that the fictional representation of the realities of New Orleans confirms what he already believed about New Orleans. What’s wrong with that? Good fiction will always strengthen or challenge your beliefs, and you don’t have to believe like a child that Harley was a real person for that to happen.
Speaking of nola.comments, I am still laughing over this one from the latest Treme Explained: “Davis’ prominence in this show makes ‘Treme’ perhaps the only story of any kind in modern America that has TOO MANY White people in it.”
The ONLY STORY of ANY KIND in MODERN AMERICA that has TOO MANY WHITE PEEPULZ in it.
Davis McAlary’s ass must have thoroughly blinded this one.
And these are nola.com commenters, not awesome BOT commenters.
I had to look that word up because science brain thought it was some new cross between meteorology and astronomy.
Is that near Metairie?
I guess what bothers me is that there were plenty of real people that have been killed and it takes a fake one to motivate this guy. Nothing shocking in its essence but I don’t get used to it either. The picking and choosing of outrage is working its way into my soul these days. There are 200 or so murders in the city each year and there are 1 or 2 that everyone gets all up in arms about. The rest get lumped into some category that no one wants to really address. People assume they are just all drug related or gang related but there are probably several dozen or more people who are killed each year who are just as innocent as Shavers or Hill or Wendy Byrne but they just slip away. I suppose I am as guilty as anyone else. Anyway, don’t want to make this thread about one goofy Nola.com comment but the point remains, incidents like the one dramatized in the show probably happen once a week here.
Annie is now mentorless and a witness. She will most likely interact with Colson and then what? Witness protection program?
I think Metonymy is just north of Schenectady. It’s Iroquois for tracks or scat of the Fuckmook
I think Metonymy is just north of Schenectady.
and south of Synecdoche, and east of West Meme-phis
@VirgoTex: I agree something is going on with Albert. He was clearly not himself earlier in the season; remember when we were talking about him being depressed?
I’ll stick with dementia, but whatever it is, it’s beyond just being cranky and stubborn.
No big leaps in the timeline, this episode is set in March. Winter oyster season closed April 1 that year.
Occurs to me that just because the Pelecanos episode is over doesn’t mean we’re done yet for the season. Just sayin’.
Half a season ago I had my money on Colson as the guy who would wind up dead, but I felt that was unlikely the last few weeks. He almost popped back in the running when he did things like pissing off homicide cops and disarming hoodlums at parades, but he seemed like as good a pick as anyone for a random death. I never even considered Harley for some strange reason. If I had been following a logical path, I might have thought “Hmmm, random street killings happen to people who are on the street the most, and who is on the street more than a street musician”. Gonna miss Harley. Hell of a Hank WIlliams “Washington Square Serenade” before he got shot.
I was totally wrong in my guesses about Larry and LaDonna also. The way things turned out make more sense than anything I was thinking… When they finally have the scene where she says she will sell the bar, Larry walks behind LaDonna and seems like he is about to put his hand on her shoulder to console her. As he says “we’ll get it on the market by the end of the week” he instead puts his hand on the chair just above LaDonna. Damn, what a way of showing how tough things are in a situation like that. Does he want to touch her or does he think she doesn’t want to be touched? He doesn’t really know what to do on that level, and has safer subjects to fall back on.
On a lighter note, I was re-watching some earlier episodes and I noticed that right before Jeanette brought home the King Cake to her NYC roomies, they make a point of showing Chas playing with his feet. He doesn’t wash his hands before he sticks them into the cake. Mmmmmm. Doncha just love repeat viewings?
Think I’m wrong on the timeline. Mardi Gras was early that year. They could still be in February.
Mardi Gras was early that year. They could still be in February.
You talking about this episode? It was set in mid-March, when St. Patrick’s Day falls. Pogues guy was talking about catching cabbages, remember?
P.S. Thought the green-tshirt-clad people that Harley et al. played to at the end were there for St. Pat’s. They could have been color-coded volunteers for all I know; wasn’t paying attention to them at that point.
Again I was wrong. I was thinking we were in spring of 2008, but Mardi Gras 2007 was February 20.
Super Sunday was March 20.
Hmmm…. Interesting thought. Maybe Chief Lambreaux is going to become a spirit because he can’t take the feather headdress off, even in his mind? Nelson Hidalgo gets jacked while trying to get people to sell? Colson doesn’t get backup when he needs it? Jeanette eats a bad oyster?
I think early dementia for Albert might be a good catch. I’m thinking of the scene in the museum in front of the African mask, Albert seemed awfully confused and agitated about the origins and time period of the mask, and says to Delmond something along the lines of ‘…don’t you think I know my own handiwork?’ when remarking about the technique used in the placement of the feathers. Who knows, this may be a way for the writers to bring Delmond back to New Orleans to care for his father, and perhaps become more involved in the Indian tradition.
Regardless of his behavior elsewhere, Albert was clearly yanking Delmond’s chain in the museum.
Irish busker guy was passing out cabbages that he caught at the parade, and the revelers that ran by Sonny and Antoine at the end were all in green and shamrocks, so the episode ended on St. Patricks Day.
Although I guess the uptown parade was that Saturday, and not on the actual day.
That might explain the guy asking Annie if it’s true they throw cabbages in the parade during his first scene. I can’t watch the ep at the moment but he’s either missed the parade or it hasn’t happened yet.
St. Joseph’s night was in the final episode last year but there were only 10 eps, as opposed to 11.
If they don’t skip it this year, I assume it will be next week? That would also be Annie and Davis’s “anniversary,” a year and a week after Creighton died, year after Daymo’s funeral, and a year Janette’s been gone.
@Virgo: Hey, I’m usually the one lost in the minutiae of body language, word choices, paint color and eye makeup that I don’t observe larger things like what time of day or year it is. Season will most likely end with Jazzfest so next week’s episode is Harley’s funeral and St. Joseph’s? Re: Big Chief – you could be onto something with dementia, but I saw him as being at wit’s end and (not) dealing with it by being extremely obstinate and pissy with everyone.
@racy: If they kill off one more person (especially LaDonna) in the next two weeks, I am climbing under my sheets and not coming out.
P.S. Added Top Posts to the sidebar, so we can go back and forth between this one and, for example, Death Pool, which is also trending.
P.P.S. Shows the fat lot of good being from a medical family did me, but what are the odds of Harley surviving that gunshot to the eye/face?
I would argue that with Treme, the timeline/calendar is never minutiae.
As for the odds about surviving the headshot, I would guess pretty low but ask Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Pretty sure Harley is gone.
maitri, I really could be happy with no more deaths this season, at least amongst the characters we know. Ray started the dead pool 2 thoughts!
There’s definitely something to the play they are giving to the Big Chief’s cranky-ass behavior. I suppose they need to keep him high strung for an impending, more near-term blowup of some kind. Whenever the saxophonist goes off on the wild jazz riffs, I’m thinking Chief is really irritated at what he’d like to call ‘chinese shit’ (and I am finding it a weird combo with the Indian rhythms myself).
If we are seeing a slide down, is it within the arc of the show for that much deterioration in the Chief’s abilities to function and interact ? The stress of everything could be making him suffer the effects of aging more rapidly, but I think we’re going more towards crotchety than crazy.
@Virgo: No, I said the other stuff is minutiae and not the timeline, but the other stuff is what I pay attention to. Besides specific events, I go with general month/time of year/episodes into season. Yeah, Harley is dead; these folks wouldn’t play the situation any other way.
It seems I’m the only one playing out here in left field, but I’m reading Big Chief’s wink to mean that he knows exactly what he’s doing. I’m wondering if he’s sabotaging the project on purpose to get Del to move the whole shebang to New Orleans. If he frustrates Del enough, he can get him to think that the only way to salvage the project and recoup the investment and time is to acquiesce to Big Chief’s yet-to-come demand to do this in New Orleans. Motivation–his stubbornness, yes, but I think it’s a next step in Del’s heritage education. Big Chief thinks, okay, you sewed a patch, but that doesn’t make you Indian. You want to do this? It’s gotta be in the right city. Baby steps, but you best keep walking that path.
“…what are the odds of Harley surviving that gunshot to the eye/face?”
That was kind of my immediate reaction maitri, I think I slipped straight into denial. Then after a minute it was just, “Damn, I was really looking forward to more Steve Earle in upcoming seasons.” Can’t imagine them having him survive that. Gonna miss Harley a bunch, and I’m sad for Annie – despite her being a character on a TV show.
I really thought Antoine was just going to subtley poach people from the crowd during the break, not get up and make such an ass of himself on stage! Gotta be some repurcussions coming from that I’d think.
Mark, I’d made that Pontchartrain connection when they were playing – I think of that song whenever I see the name of the lake, since i knew it first – but I didn’t know that was Spider until I read it this morning! Great stuff.
Dammit, I don’t know how to do italics… my bad
If Harley’s alive there’s a good chance Moe Green’s still out there running a Casino in Vegas.
I think Moe Green is at Mosca’s.
@ virgotex: OR, based on the wink to the filmaker in the Bklyn Museum, he’s just trying to get to Delmond. But that doesn’t seem to be worth the screen time they are giving to these traits.
Well put. He is starting to just become downright unpleasant. It would be nice if it were for a reason bigger than understandable bitterness etc. etc.
As to the studio time, I am kind of surprised that they are doing it in New York in the first place. How many of the group did they have to fly there? Why not do it in New Orleans?
brueso – thank you. Great comment!
WT his behavior in the studio seems calculated but in the museum he seems genuinely confused. That’s real old time Indian but clearly they didn’t get it from the Chief.
Mark, it was the opposite, wasn’t it? He was fully aware in the museum, yankin’ Delmond’s chain, but in the studio, he was touchin’ the other guys instrument and shit.
So is it generally a bad idea these days for touristy types and buskers alike to be walking away from Frenchmen St. after dark, say toward the French Market streetcar station or up Esplanade (as opposed to toward St. Claude)?
Hi from an outsider, it looks like this is the only place with real conversation about my favorite show.. So I’m just going to ask – does anyone else besides me and Dark Brown Waffles think Anthony Bourdain is ravaging this show with propaganda for his friends and rants about vegetarians and shit? I mean, I agree with him 9 out of 10 times but if I want Bourdain snark I will watch Bourdain’s show. It’s been a blight on an otherwise fantastic season for me.
I didn’t notice the wink, I really thought Albert was losing it… now I think he’s just pushing Delmond’s buttons. Grabbing Ron’s bass and showing him what to do takes some serious balls though!
Not Janette — she’s coming back next season. She did her NYC learning, comparison and contrast, and she’s going to come home after — you bet!
Well, I wouldn’t advise anyone betting, you know, real money, according to anything I say, as I know no more than anybody else!
Writing off Chief’s behavior as dementia is really looking past the obvious and gravitating to some formulaic conclusion. His cantankerous attitude would easily be a result of the struggle he advanced all through season 1. Season 2, you saw the fatigue set in…..and as he artfully articulated, it ISN’T depression. “Depression” would be an indication of malaise or surrender. Lambreaux’s condition has more to do with fatigue and frustration with events being unnecessarily wasted ( bureaucracy of the city ordinances / utilities, lack of respect shown by the bar owner, the father-son relationship where Delmond hasn’t yet proven he’s “in it” FOR his father, etc ). We were all hoping he’d bounce back after Mardis Gras…we’re all hoping the “Delmond-money-advance” takes ( again, isn’t this speaking to his pride of wanting “this project” done correctly if he is going to get paid for it ? ).
It isn’t easy for the Lambreaux character to embody all the diverse personalities of Chief Montana, Chief Boudreaux, Chief Victor Harris, Chief Bo Dollis, and Chief Harrison…. unfortunately, he has been cast to present this story with little support around him to tell it .
Now that LaDonna is moving on without the bar (major step) I could definitely see her character being diminished and the family relegating themselves to BR. Treme doesn’t depend on LaDonna….her heartbreak is well documented on why folks have no other option but to leave the city.
I agree with what has been said about the expiration of Davis’ worth. Fortunately, that is the beauty of this type of media (from Simon & Co) is that there is no central character, and you can rest assured they will come and go (and hating to use The Wire as an example, but many of those characters came and went and came back again).
It was an interesting moment Colson and Toni shared. David Morse is a captivating actor that leaves you wanting more (because of how much he leaves in a scene). I remember all the people in season 1 complaining that “a show about musicians and indians will never be able to give an accurate depiction of the city. [S1] had no crime!”. I laughed in their faces because you don’t introduce an actor like David Morse (as police captain) and not think he will play a central character to tell a story through. While that holds true for the Colson lead, it also holds true for John Beasley (oyster boat captain)…..the writing is on the wall……
Personally, I am much more fatigued with the Janette and Annie stories. I have little sympathy for Annie and hr struggle for attention and affirmation – the Sofia character is more mature and less grating as Annie’s ignorance. Janette’s story, I guess I don’t much care to have the nuances of “No Reservations” or “Gordan Ramsay” type productions spelled out for me. I recognize that they are slowly painting the canvass to later juxtapose NOLA dining, but its charm and novelty has worn thin on my attention span.
…..as far as the ‘outsider’ comment, I thought about that…..I recall wandering all through Marigny and Bywater (then later Rampart/Mazant area) after midnight several nights (thanks to a shitty mobile phone gps) for extended periods of time (40+ min) and never really feeling threatened, but then I’ve heard other people screaming bloody murder about these neighborhoods. Fear is a helluva emotion – because there is no way to quantify if you’re going to be a victim or not (or when your comfort zone will be breached). I suppose if you would feel threatened in X,Y,Z situation -then that situation would be “dangerous” in your mind. If you are frightened / intimidated / insecure around panhandlers (though having no real justification for that fear), then you may interpret a situation another person (who wasn’t insecure around those type of people) wouldn’t.
I have heard a TON of horror stories about (every neighborhood of) NOLA, but in my opinion, they aren’t much different from any other major metropolitan city (St.Louis / Chicago / etc)
First off, who is lordbyron23 on Nola? Can’t seem to log on there ….Tell him I’m in the phone book and he needs to say some of that shit to my face. Mike Volker plays drums with Annie and Harley and Spider. So glad he got props. Egg Yolk Jubilee is the background music when Battitse talks shit to the band at Donna’s.Egg Yolk, love those guys .
I went , like, couple of weeks knowing who was gonna die and I did’t tell, I growing up! When Harley gets popped DonB turned to me and said, “Now that’ a head shot.” Drunken post ….love y’all!!!!!!
the previous post contains spelling and typographical erros.
Davis, you’re in good company. Or I am. My favorite dictionary is The Devil’s Dictionary.
A couple of things, Brophy, working backwards up through your post. I think Janette’s character provided important back story for something viewers will consider central to New Orleans: food. Her struggles with staff, suppliers, cash flow, SBA, “don’t ask me about my fucking house”, the failure of a restaurant that’s full every night because of those struggles. Since then, it’s gone down a bit. What I see in Janette’s New York experiences is the reassertion of her identity as Chef, a title she commands even as she preps plates. Logically, that development will take her back to her own kitchen, and I can’t imagine it anywhere but New Orleans.
I have to admit I have the Annie bug bad (sigh), but she also serves not only as a supporting character for Davis’ development but also as a gateway into other stories, primarily street musicians, and musicians have been a central focus for telling this story from the beginning.
I can’t speak clinically about depression with any authority. All I know is my own experience, and at times “cantankerous” would have been a kind description. I still view the museum scene as being one of confusion. “I know my own work” and “they took that from us” just strike me as bizarre. I also think that his story has been well supported in Season One, and you can’t take a following season out of the context of the entire story line. The entire museum trip was a brilliant telling of the African roots of masking as an expression of suppressed cultural memories and identity, similar to the syncretic adoption of Catholic saints in African roots religions (I hate to say Voodoo because so many people have only a Hollyword knowledge of the subject).I hope someone writes up a history of the origins of masking (uh, Sam, don’t want to step in your space), how people generations removed from Africa could recreate handiwork unless it were being practiced and handed down across generations. I will look into that, but it’s another blogger’s area of expertise.
I think getting trapped inside the current season without allow the novelistic flow of episode into episode across seasons is a trap not unlike confusing characters with people they are partially drawn from.
“I think getting trapped inside the current season without allow the novelistic flow of episode into episode across seasons is a trap not unlike confusing characters with people they are partially drawn from.”
I can accept this, but to be real, Treme might never get the reasons to develop novelistically as The Wire did. We may only get one more. And I still feel a little annoyed that so much of New York is clearly the voice of Bourdain.
er, that would be “seasons” not “reasons”
@Davis: Here in our house we have a fine system like the musicians do, except it’s for reading nola.com comments. If one of us is stupid enough to go read those comments, which inevitably piss us off, AND we subsequently holler IDIOT or worse at our computer screens, a quarter has to go into the jar. And did you tell the wonderful commenters who asked for it that Road Home is purchasable as a video on iTunes?
@Mark, yes, I’ve been thinking a lot about writing something about the masking tradition, and I will tell you that Ned Sublette’s book has me reeling. I’m about to finish it, order his other one on Cuba, write Blake Leyh and ask him for Sublette’s contact info as I have questions for him, then start it all over again. (The World that Made New Orleans.) So many of the answers are in there from where the slaves came from along the coast of Africa to the incredible influence of Cuba and St. Domingue. Add to that the many people of color who lived among the local Native Americans and it’s really a remarkable mixture. Yup. I’ll get to it and I knew you’d nail me for not having done it before.
@Virgo, I am intrigued as hell by your proposition that Albert might be in the early stages of dementia. I need to watch it again today and look for what you’re seeing.
@3suns, What you said about Japan struck a chord. A few months after the storm I wrote a piece about what it was like to be asked “So, how’s New Orleans? It’s better, right?” I was exhausted trying to explain what the situation was, i.e. yup it’s sorta better but that’s a very relative term, compared to YOUR city, bubs, not so much. Yet I felt that saying, “Yeah, it’s better” and leaving it at that was doing a total disservice to the city I love and the people struggling within it. While the people in Idaho thought because they saw pics of the Saints game or the Quarter looking semi-normal everything was okay, it really wasn’t and there was no real way to explain the enormity of the devastation, the frustration with agencies, the leaders. I’ll find that piece and forward it to you. I think of Japan’s ongoing issues and understand that it will be years, years, before it can possibly be said to be “okay.”
Okay, coffee, check, cigs, check, remote, check. Off to watch it again before I shoot my mouth off more.
About three quarters into the show I said to myself “I really don’t need this character”. I guess sometimes you get what you ask for.
His cantankerous attitude would easily be a result of the struggle he advanced all through season 1. Season 2, you saw the fatigue set in…..and as he artfully articulated, it ISN’T depression. “Depression” would be an indication of malaise or surrender.
Sorry, just have to correct this misconception – Clinical depression is not just “being sad” or “giving up,” it is a chemical imbalance in the brain. It is a shame that this actual medical condition was given a name that is the same word we use for simply feeling blue (Chris Rose lamented that; he suggested it should be called a “mind storm” for the way his brain raged). And this chemical imbalance can be caused/exacerbated by environmental events that cause one to have high levels of stress hormones (cortisol mostly) in the bloodstream over an extended period of time; constant cortisol causes actual malfunction in the brain. Finally, while women are more likely to manifest depression as apparent sadness and self-doubt, for men clinical depression is VERY commonly expressed as anger (http://www.mengetdepression.com/symptoms/)
While I acknowledge that Chief would be completely legitimate to suffer from “depression” (as most other of the characters), I believe it was HIS OWN WORDS that articulated what he was experiencing (during the dinner at Dickie Brennans) – it wasn’t that he was ‘down in the dumps and in a rut’, but that he has had it with the incompetence, ineptitude, and greed all around him. Its one thing to have your life wiped out [trauma] (hurricane or oil disaster), but to do all you can to stay positive, stay proactive only to be met with low-balling insurance adjusters, unimportant paperwork /snafus, apathetic egoist politicians serving as your advocate, and government/BP taking their sweet ass time getting around to actually doing something.
It isn’t the wake of trauma that Chief is projecting – it is lack of power to get anything done when you’re so dependent on others who have proven to be incompetent.
Sure, clinical depression could be an avenue for the writers to explore, but the diagnosis does little to actually address the story he is telling.
I felt the rush to find some deeper meaning / later story arch (depression / dementia) was a stimuli reaction ingrained from corporate television/Shakespearean plots. Two characters meet, they HAVE to be romantically involved / at conflict with one another.
I assumed that if it one thing Simon’s works have shown is that the minor details and nuances are what make us human (and there doesn’t always have to be explosions in the stories to get our attention)
To add to mix:
There is a famous story about Tootie Montana being shown West Afrtican ceremonial costuming at a NY museum and immediately remarking, “They got that from us.” From everything I’ve read and my one experience meeting the late, great Montana, he was being literal. The pride that creates and sustains a black Indian big chief is a remarkable force.
In the case of Big Chief Albert, he did indeed wink at the documentarian after jacking up Delmond. The scene was an homage to Montana directly, but otherwise, an opportunity to further explore the father-son dynamic at work.
Just wanted everyone to recall that great story about Tootie Montana.
Well, Mr. Simon, as you were writing that, I was writing my take on all that. Looks like maybe I got it about right.
“The entire museum trip was a brilliant telling of the African roots of masking as an expression of suppressed cultural memories and identity, similar to the syncretic adoption of Catholic saints in African roots religions ….”
That’s what I thought too! No way is Albert having early onset senile dementia. As well, if you’ve ever worked with musicians who are part of isolated sacred secret societies, deeply rooted in a particular place and culture, you recognize his behaviors in NYC are representative in that way — not to mention whatever father-son dynamic going on there, which is also deeply rooted. Albert is not a subordinate kind of man in anything. He’s a boss.
Also, what David Simon said.
What did seem bizarre was Antoine poaching Kermit’s audience and then responding with disgust when Kermit came and got them back. Whisky Tango Foxtrot??????? was that? Antoine knows the manners better. More importantly, he knows the consequences of doing something like this, particularly to Kermit, who has substantially helped him out more than once.
But it was an episode that shows that the music life can be cut-throat competition too, filled with envy and playa-hatin’ — the world of New Orleans music is not a Never Never Land fairy tale of all sweetness and cooperation, and we were reminded and shown that.
This was not a pretty episode, with several of the characters seemingly backsliding or doing things that are repugnant. The only bits that weren’t problematic in one way or another were those with Janette in Chang’s (our host Sunday had his birithday dinner with his wife at Chang’s on Saturday night), and Toni with Coulson. And Delmond, of course, who is really trying to do the right things, professionally, artistically and as a son..
Sofia more mature than Albert? She’s being counseled by a guy who did time for corruption! She isn’t yet facing there are consquences of her ‘tude and tone, even if her dad did commit suicide — and that she’s blaming her mother for that.
Larry was rough on LaDonna too. She I have a lot more sympathy for, but he was more than right telling her that crawling into the bottle was wrong. We lose vital things sometimes, but sometimes that it is lost it must be let go — letting go of GiGi’s is a way for LaDonna to let go of the terrible things done to her, perhaps. It’s so sad that Larry’s is so afraid of her at this point that he didn’t dare to touch her. If he touched her, if they touch each other, she will begin to regain so much that is far more valuable than GiGi’s can ever be for her again, Yeah. It’s so easy for me to say what people should do ….
Larry’s behavior was shocking to me and I was really upset to see so many people elsewhere celebrating it. If you aren’t a sexual assault survivor, you just don’t know. You can never know what that person’s recovery should look like. You don’t want to enable alcoholism and all but no amount of “bootstraps” will help either. He has shown zero empathy for her since learning that she was raped. I liked the character before and I get it, it’s wounded masculinity blah blah. But what an asshole.
melittophily: I agree with you. I thought he was being a total asshole. It’s that “time to get over it” view, whether of grief or trauma, no one can tell you how or when to deal with it. I wanted to smack him.
I seriously can’t see LaDonna being a housewife in Baton Rouge. I just can’t see it. I could write a whole post on just that exchange between them.
As for Antoine’s poaching, I’m still laughing over the fact that Wanda Rouzan starts singing Mr. Big Stuff as Antoine takes the stage proud of himself. Been singing, “Who do you think you are?” all morning.
Let’s remember, she shut him out. Is he required to immediately discard his feelings and empathize. Everyone in a victim’s life becomes a victim also.
Nah. He might love her as much as a human being can but he wasn’t raped. He didn’t experience anything even resembling rape. He needs to seriously unpack his feelings around it and stop taking it out on her. In part he’s proving that she was right to shut him out.
Right to shut him out? I think be doing so she effectively enabled his (admittedly) Typically Male Behavior. Still, I don’t think he’s an entirely sympathetic character. Did he ever really run down his brother the judge for her? The way he handled it was bad. Letting her handle it with Mr. CC and not saying anything would be worse. Perhaps when he realizes what an asshole he was in that moment he will answer her earlier question about counseling.
The eminent David Simon beat me to the punch–I thought I remembered reading something similar to the museum scene and Tootie Montana, so I went looking around and found this:
“It was shocking the year I won the National Endowment Award in ’87 [Washington, D.C.], we went to New York and Maurice Martinez brought us to a museum. About a quarter of block from where I was standing I could see something look like sculpture and I said, ‘Let’s go look at that.’ Man, when I walked up there, the funniest feeling came over me. I said, ‘Lord!’ Joyce [Tootie's wife] said, ‘Look at that, you remember you had that.’ And Maurice too, he said, ‘Remember, you wore that same design.’ A design that just came out of my head. And it was not one but several pieces that I’ve done through the years on my suit, particularly in front of my crown. I looked. Three thousand years ago somebody did that. I said, ‘I’ll be dog-gone.’ That stood on my mind. It hit me kind of funny and stayed on my mind. I knew I had never been to New York, less alone been to that museum. It was no copy job. I think my creativity is greater than copying. Like people get books and copy things out of a book. I don’t trust that. I know they made more than one book.”21
Tootie had never seen Aztec stone sculpture and traditional African beadwork before except in its “masked form as Mardi Gras Indian crowns and beadwork
The distance between what people NEED to do and what people are ABLE to do in a crisis is is why events like this often break families apart.
I’m stunned, quietly mourning Harley (and digesting the explosive last 20 seconds of Season 1 of Game of Thrones – sorry – I couldn’t stop myself). I will miss him.
The single thing that sticks out to me about Albert this season is the urgency with which he rushed to the toilet his first time in Del’s NY apartment on his previous trip. I mean, how often do you see someone go to the bathroom in film or television without it having some kind of relationship to the story? I’m worried that he’s sick.
Well, since this is one of those times where it overlaps with real life heavily.. As a former victim’s advocate (mostly domestic violence but there is obviously a lot of overlap) I am pretty much a devotee of the empowerment model of survivorhood. Ladonna survived a particularly violent rape. There are better ways for her to cope than to stay drunk on the couch, but there are better ways to help her see that and that keep her in control of her own recovery process. I think it’s going to push her away.
Ironically I /did/ like Larry as a character. He is raising children who aren’t his own, he has been pretty gracious and understanding to Antoine, etc. But I guess I’m still processing how awful I think he has been here.
One of the best explanations I’ve seen of how to respond to someone you know being assaulted online has unfortunately been locked down. But basically the message is this: /most/ reactions to rape survivors range from unhelpful to hurtful, and the typical thing to do is blame us for what happened (note what we were wearing or what we did wrong – Larry immediately blamed her for not selling the bar). Victim-blaming for sexual assault is so entrenched in our culture that it’s almost like we forget that /rape is outrageously wrong/ and nothing a person does “asks for it.” Nothing. Ladonna shouldn’t have to have sold the bar to not be raped. Most of the time all a survivor needs is simple validation – “it’s fucked up, I’m sorry.” But instead we get awkwardness, or that victim-blaming, or people making it about their own ego and taking power away from us (e.g., threatening to kill/seriously hurt the perpetrator), or decide they know what our process of healing should be (e.g., ask if we are in therapy/on anti-depressants). But really, all she needs is for people to remind her that they are there for her and at most, to help clarify her options.
Contrast with this week’s violent crime – we might say “well, that was a terrible way to handle a robbery” especially since he might have endangered Annie’s life too, but human beings with empathy don’t lose sight of the fact that someone with no respect for life put a gun in his face and killed him. Senselessly. It doesn’t matter that he mad a bad decision, it would never be a legitimate reason to end someone’s life. Unfortunately the unwritten “rules” change when it comes to sexual assault.
Sorry to get all serious when we’re discussing a TV show, just thought I’d put that out there because people DO need to know.
Yeah, it’s a given he’s not adopting the textbook highly-informed approach to dealing with LaDonna. He’s a flawed human being, like all of us. We don’t know the state of their marriage before the storm, but it’s obvious that since the storm, there has been friction between them. They have been at an impasse over where to live post-K. They have been at an impasse over what to do with the bar. Frankly, they have been at an impasse over the very basic notion of what a happy life looks like. He’s frustrated because to him, it’s OBVIOUS New Orleans is no place to raise kids right now, it’s OBVIOUS Baton Rouge is a better place for his practice right now, it’s OBVIOUS that keeping the bar even before the rape made no personal, familial, or financial sense. And looked at purely from a rational point of view, he’s right. If you leave out LaDonna’s personal and spiritual connection to the city and to the bar, Larry’s logic is unassailable. And since the storm, he’s been up in Baton Rouge taking care of those boys so she can take of the bar, and they’re not even his boys! Of course he resents the fuck out of that damn bar. It’s fucking up his marriage, it’s fucking up his life, it’s denying the boys a full-time mother when they already don’t have their real dad around, and now this?
I am not blaming LaDonna here. Given my own circumstance, when I look at a broken marriage where two people are disputing where to raise their kids and whether New Orleans is even a place a person should live, I’m way WAY over in LaDonna’s camp. And I have a loved one who has been through what LaDonna has been through, I know the damage it can do, I’m totally against the “bootstraps” mentality, the blame the victim mentality. But Larry’s frustrations are understandable. They’re not right. But they’re understandable. He’s not an asshole. He’s an imperfect human being dealing with a whole world of shit the best he knows how, just like LaDonna is an imperfect human being dealing the best she knows how. Neither one of them are following the SafePlace-approved playbook here.
Yeah, I wasn’t saying he was evil, I mean hey, it’s the culturally endorsed response to a survivor so I can’t blame him too harshly. I just can’t stop myself from cringing when I see that.
And this is where I think I need to own being an outsider and the fact that I’ve only been able see LaDonna’s holding on to the bar through all of it through a very romanticized lens, and I can know intellectually what is at stake for her on some level but I don’t know her story as if it’s my own city.
melittophily, respectfully, I wouldn’t put Larry’s actions completely down to a culturally reinforced response. I’ve worked in DV too, so I am not going to argue that norm isn’t pervasive. I’m arguing that in coming to grips with something horrible happening to a loved one, people can be acting from a deeply non-logical, primal, and often selfish place.
He fucked uo, he’s got to own his response, but is it the total measure of his character?
No, I hear you, definitely not. A lot of people I love have responded inappropriately to my own and other people I love’s trauma and that’s life. But he /is/ a TV character with limited time for his arc to play out, so I’ve just had that in mind.
I hear you too.
It’s a nice change to have some complex flawed human characters to contemplate.
Jane, thank you for the clarification on clinical depression and the term “mind storm”. Hugely helpful in understanding and separating the terms.
Great Larry/LaDonna thread, all insightful, thought-provoking comments.
Do we know how much time has passed since the end of the previous episode? It seems to me to be a couple of weeks.
Tough love is just that, tough; it almost never looks like it is the right thing to do. Had LaDonna’s response to what he said been different, then there would have been no doubt that his yelling was the wrong thing to do, and I would have been scolding him instead of praising him. Seeing her get up off the couch with that LaDonna fight in her eyes and animation in her movements was thrilling to me.
What I expected to see at the beginning of this episode was both of them ignoring each other – mad or hurt – but each too focused on their own “needs/neglect” to reach out to the other (and again, we don’t know how many days this might actually have already been going on).
Instead what we got was him throwing a fit. It may have been exactly the wrong thing for him to do, except for the fact that I saw it as him yelling at the drinking. That was the content of his speech – he said he would rather she did anything, including the unthinkable – going back to the bar, than drink (she called his bluff and his expression, but for the seriousness of the situation, was an almost laugh out loud moment). But, it did get her out of the bottle, even if just for a day or two. If she had just been sitting listlessly watching TV or just lying in bed all day, it would have been different. However, when chemicals get involved, you are adversely affecting the brain, which is exactly the organ you need to recover. How much worse off would (will?) she be later if she has developed (or greatly progressed) an unmanageable alcohol/drug dependency? Stay away from the booze and the drugs if at all possible. Do no harm (to yourself). That has to be one of the first steps towards dealing with this, isn’t it?
Now, with the benefit of time to ponder the episode and read the insightful comments above, regardless of the desirability and efficacy of how Larry handled that, his immediate follow though was epic failure. A perfect and selfless Larry would have gone with her, and worked with her in the bar, side-by-side, so that she could get a shift (even a short one) under her belt. And another and another, until she had reclaimed the bar for her own. Then, if she decided to sell the bar (or not), on her own terms, that could be dealt with at that time.
Now, as it stands, LaDonna selling the bar almost certainly spells doom for her to recover who she was (Queen of the Amazonians, Lord of All That Is Beautiful, Intelligent, and Strong), and for their marriage to recover quickly from all that has transpired.
There are other things from which marriages don’t recover or renew quickly, but yet, they do it, and perhaps a lot more often than we might think. LaDonna is a lot more than a bar owner or Larry’s wife. She’s more than a victim of violence. She may be about to figure that out. Among those things she is, is a mother of two sons, and she hasn’t been doing any mothering for a very long time, eaten up with discovering Daymo’s fate post the Flood, and then what happened that night at GiGi’s.
IOW, I’m pulling for them both, and their marriage, and their futures, together and as their own persons too. She and Larry have a lot of assets for this.
I haven’t said much about this topic. I am really struggling to imagine LaDonna as a contented housewife in Baton Rouge. No question she loves Larry and the kids, but I’m just not seeing her happy in the housewife role. I also think that down the line, if she sells the bar, even with the baggage it holds now, she’ll regret it and resent Larry feeling he pushed her into it.
I dunno. I been pondering this all week.
Minor point re: an earlier comment
I don’t remember if it’s been stated anywhere that Nelson Hidalgo is of Mexican ancestry; with his light skin and Ye Olde Spanish surname, he might instead be descended from Spanish Tejanos with little connection to modern Mexico or the meztizo heritage that defines it.
Thank you David for the clarification. I just want you to know you are doing everything right. I am not an artistic soul. I cannot comment on character arc or development, or emotional justification. What I can comment on is what is right for New Orleans and New Orleanians. Tootie Montana is just the take I had on the chief but I kept quiet while the people that knew art dissected the story. I respect the commenters here so much for their artistic soul, I demurred to their opinion. New Orleanians have a tremendous sense of place. It is the world. We have given much to the world and it deserves respect. Thank you for giving it that respect.
Before the next episode airs, I just wanted to give kudos to the “Treme” crew to the nod to the Irish. Much of my ancestry is New Orleans Irish. My favorite relative is Samuel Stewart, the builder (and I mean BUILDER, not owner) of the Pontalba Apartments and Jackson Square as we know it today. He was a first generation Irishman who came to New Orleans in the 1830′s and married a creole lady whose family emigrated from St. Domingue the generation before. He spoke no French and she spoke no English and yet they had 13 children together. Now THAT is New Orleans. LOL!
Steve Earle ‘s description of modern life includes the need to have several gigs open at once, and the need to be able to move around to be able to make a living in this business.
He has the new album to promote, and he has these gigs scattered about, he pops up here and there on TV; maybe he requested to end his time with Treme.
I noticed the well-illuminated street turn to sinister darkness at the turn, and I just waited that one second , anticipating the trouble…both of them? … just Annie?…please not another rape scene…and then, Harley just has to open his trap, to what? rehab the scumbag with the weapon? I can envision it: scene at final take, handshakes off camera, early to bed and on a plane to Austin, New York, LA in the early AM.
Bye bye Harley.
Dexter, Steve Earl definitely didn’t ask to leave. There is a great interview with him on nola.com right now. http://www.nola.com/treme-hbo/index.ssf/2011/06/today_in_treme_steve_earle_exi.html He’ll be missed. but that’s the point, right? This sort of random violence that we deal with here is always a sucker punch that you can’t see coming. I remember reading something earlier in the season where David Simon I think said that someone would die and it would leave a big hole, as it should, as it does in life. if you kill off the equivalent of the new ensign on Star Trek it just wouldn’t be realistic.
As for the Big Chief. I think he’s frustrated and pissed off (as he said earlier) rather than depressed and is taking it out on everyone around him as people do. He’s out of his element in NY and he’s trying to retain some measure of control -he’s lost control in just about every other aspect of his life and hell if some jazz musicians (no matter how great they are in their respective fields/instruments) are going tell him about being Indian. He wants them to GET it, and FEEL it as he does, he needs to be the leader, the BIG CHIEF, and doesn’t see that happening in New York.
Larry and LaDonna – that was a painful exchange that was brilliantly written and played. How long was he supposed to let her bury herself drinking on the couch? How is that going to help her heal? As someone said in an earlier post- the world doesn’t stop just because you were raped. as painful and traumatic as it is, at some point she’s got to rejoin the world of the living and be a mother to her boys. Larry could have been more sensitive, sure, maybe it’s too soon to push, but that’s how people are- the deal until they snap. Sometimes the tough love helps snap someone in a deep depression out of it, sometimes not… that remains to be seen. I think Larry’s response was completely understandable. As is LaDonna’s. They need to get into some therapy together and separately, those two… Good luck finding a good therapist though. They were in high demand and short supply those days…
Also, a side note, someone up there asked about Nelson perhaps not being Mexican-American. I think he did say he was Mexican. In fact, I think he’s second or possible third generation- his parents live in San Antonio, work hard but are poor, an are devout Catholics (or so he told Liguori in the cathedral on X-mas eve when he gave him that ostentatious rosary but tried to get out of mass). He came to N.O from Dallas (epicenter of conspicuous consumption and ridiculous piles of new money- I grew up there, and am second generation Mexican on my mom’s side. I recognize Nelson.) which shows he’s already distanced himself from his cultural heritage (as many second generation children of immigrants do) and embraced the consumerist version of the American dream whole-heartedly. He still speaks Spanish and likes Latin rythms and is not above using his connection to Catholocism to get ahead with Liguori- but he doesn’t have a deep connection to it. What really motivates him is money and gaining acceptance in the “big leagues’. Thats how I see him anyways.
@dpb732: On the money about Hidalgo. He comes from a rich and vibrant culture himself, but he sees it as something to be left behind, something that gets in the way of success. The same way some people view New Orleans, that this way of life we have is exactly the reason we can’t have schools and jobs.
Many people seem (my interpretation of comments here and elsewhere) to think Harley’s death will be the end of Annie’s career hopes. One, it’s too early to know and two, that doesn’t have to be the result.
Obviously she’ll be devastated, but that loss and her grieving process and eventual recovery may be the catalyst for her coming more fully into her own.
@virgotex that strikes me as a strange idea. though there has to be a significance to that “remember that name, Annie Tee” line/scene and i guess it could go either way.
I don’t think it’s the end of Annie’s career. I think it’s a huge test for Davis to step up as her partner. That’s where I see that plot twisting.
But why must LaDonna be either a bar owner in New Orleans or a contented housewife in Batan Rouge?
LaDonna is not the housewife and mommy only kind of personality. Some people are — and they are not confined to people who also happen to own breasts and vaginas. And some people are not, and they are not confined to people who happen to own phalluses (phallii>). And a lot of us aren’t psychically geared to be one thing anyway, all our lives. Something is right and works for a period time. Time goes on, we change, times change, and all that kind of thing.
When it comes to her music, Annie is tough. This isn’t the end for her. Nor will Davis be useful to her because he’s hit the wall of what his talent can accomplish. He’s isn’t a good musician — he can’t read or write music either, can he? What Davis can do, with his relentless self-confidence and unshaken happy acceptance of himself as the greatest ever who will always win, is open doors, as did Harley. What he can’t do is help Annie grow as an artist.
He could also just be her boyfriend. The girl I love the most in the world is no use to me professionally (although she’s admittedly good at calling bullshit on me when my writing sucks).
@raynola – Exactly that. Davis knows he is nowhere in Annie’s league in terms of musicianship and has only been her boyfriend so far who happens to know enough about music to be really enthusiastic about her career. He hasn’t tried to control her or her development thus far; that’s not what she wants from him and he knows it. I don’t know man, I expected to see a single Davis being picked up off the sidewalk by his neighbors again by the premiere of season three but now I’m not so sure.
Further, it should be said there is room in the world for a huge range of involvement in music. Some people write fantastic songs while only being able to play open tunings on the guitar, while others might be knockout classical guitar players but have harder luck writing their own music. Some people focus on being versatile general percussionists but there are also people in Latin America whose sole focus is playing the hell out of the guiro. Some leave you in tears and some leave you drunkenly amused. Some should be heard by millions and others are only really there for a couple hundred people. And there is the fact that music survived thousands of years with most of it being played by one family member for another or one villager for another. All this tangent is to say I think just about every single person who is involved with music in some way has their place.
Obviously she’ll be devastated, but that loss and her grieving process and eventual recovery may be the catalyst for her coming more fully into her own.
Gives her something intensely meaningful to write about, for sure. Harley was helping her with her songwriting efforts, she may feel that using the emotions around his death toward that continued development is something of a tribute to him.
In any case, I don’t see this ending her music career. What else would she do? Musician is who she is. Worst case, she might flee NOLA.
@Ray, yeah, that’s it. I was struck by an interesting contrast (I’m going waaay back to that X-mas Eve episode- don’t know why I didn’t comment then, I meant to, couldn’t ever quite articulate it) between Delmond and Nelson and how they are relating to their cultures of origin. Nelson attempts to exploit his in order to bond with Liguori as a fellow Catholic- he gives him that EXPENSIVE looking rosary- but it’s a superficial and insincere connection, which Liguori pretty much sees through (don’t try to play a player, son!) , forcing him to fess up to his lapsed-Catholic status, and tries to get him to Mass (did he go? I don’t recall if that was made clear). Meanwhile, back in New York, Delmond is quietly trying to reconnect with and understand his roots- roots he’s previously rejected and that he’s just starting to come back around to. He’s home alone listening to Jelly Roll Morton being interviewed by Alan Lomax and sewing part of an Indian suit. It was the first episode we saw that he was sewing. The contrast was very interesting.
Of course, we could say Delmond is exploiting his heritage in his attempt to make a hit record, too. His approach seems more sincere, but I think that the possibility of that is part of what’s making the Big Chief so damned ornery about the whole project. It doesn’t help his pride any that he (Albert) needs the money too, I do think he sees the value of it and is, I think, genuinely proud of his son-but he has a hard time showing it. he is also flattered by the attention, but doesn’t want to sell out his culture and values so he’s conflicted. I don’ t think he can really articulate these thoughts, and he and Delmonde haven’t ever exactly communicated all that well (even though there has been a thaw and new closeness, their relationship is clearly a freighted one) so it comes out as cantankerousness on Albert’s part, and hurt feelings on Delmonde’s part. They’ve probably been stuck in these roles since Delmond quit masking Indian (or before). Something needs to get them to move out of their entrenched positions or they’ll never really be able to hear eachother and will both continue being hurt and feeling put-upon by the other.
Absolutely! Why not ‘just’ be her boyfriend — though when it comes to these things, when it’s real, however it works, there’s never anything ‘just’ about it!
OTOH though — Donald Harrison, Jr. is part of this Delmond project, and he did exactly this in the real world. Did his dad or anyone else say he sold Congo Nation out for the sake of his career? I don’t recall as that was 1992, a whole different world.
Harrison’s father was a huge jazz fan but also a traditionalist. I lent the book about him to a friend so can’t look up to see what it says about his response but my guess would be that it was positive.
Several of us are convinced that they’re used the Indian Blues HuTaNay track minus the vocals, which of course, Clarke Peters is singing. Take a listen. If that’s the case, it must be a tad surreal for Mr. Harrison, Jr. to lip-sync (okay, not lip sync, but pretend to play) to his own song.
I can shoot down the “Hu Ta Nay” lip-syncing theory right now. The music is being played live in those scenes, as it is 99% of the time on Treme. Of course, it’s the same composition, being played by several of the same musicians. But it’s an entirely new performance, done “live” as you see it on-camera in the show.
- Blake Leyh
Perhaps it is my lack of musical experience that has me saying this, but I don’t consider Davis to be lacking talent/use in the industry. He is encyclopedic when it comes to music, isn’t he? “Strippers”, “Shame, Shame, Shame”? It may not be mainstream, or even marketable, but that is fun stuff.
He also has the discipline, when it comes to Annie, to shut his big mouth and offer words of acceptance and encouragement. In my opinion, this more than anything, is what every artist needs from the person closest to them. Criticism and help, they can get outside.
As for Annie, (with the benefit of what has already been suggested above and what Steve said in his interview) I am thinkin’ she be Treme’s Johnny Cash, but without the drug abuse. I sure hope that her arc has her digging deep and by 5th season turning into a tour de force. I want to see Annie T stop holding back. Two seasons now of timidly tippy-toeing around her gift. By the end of the third season, I wanna see flames shooting from her bow.
As for Hidalgo, all I know is that I loved the scene when Arnie looked in disgust at the prospect of tearing down that beautifully restored home. I haven’t a clue how it could possibly be done, but am I the only one that wants the Arnie Reyes character to be given more screen time? I half want him to betray his cousin(?) and blow the whistle on the shenanigans.
@Blake, thank you so much for that! Makes a huge difference to us. I’m trying to contact you. Lemme know how to do that.
@3suns: I agree re: Arnie. However, take a look at the LSU Hospital issues. Just Google them. You’ll see that many, many homes have been already demolished. Some might not agree, but to my mind it’s obscene and idiotic. Nevertheless, more homes than I can count have already been razed.
Don’t get me started on rehab-ing Charity.
am I the only one that wants the Arnie Reyes character to be given more screen time? I half want him to betray his cousin(?) and blow the whistle on the shenanigans.
if for no other reason than he’s from Victoria, TX, a small South Texas city best known for its overpopulation of nutria. Treme may be the only instance of Victoria ever being mentioned on national airtime.
I really don’t understand all this hysteria over the death of a barely-formed, poorly-acted character. Harley was the nice street musician who tried to educate Annie on music. That’s all there was to his character. This is a dramatic bunch you have here.
@Harris: I wouldn’t say he was barely-formed myself, but early in his development for sure. I think that’s actually part of the “hysteria” and drama over it – many felt we were just getting to know Harley and really really like him, along with what he was doing for a character who needed some guidance and prodding and confidence-boosting (not just education). I also wouldn’t say poorly-acted, although I can’t comment with any authority on that – it may well have been Steve Earle’s personality itself that made Harley really likeable for me rather than him stretching his acting chops. Still, I always believed him and never felt like he was out of place among the actors on the show (unlike some of the cameo musicians or celebrities who show up now and then).
“The music is being played live in those scenes, as it is 99% of the time on Treme.”
One of many things that makes the show so great for me, all these believable music performances! I wonder though, Blake, who plays Delmond’s parts, and where are they when a scene like that is being shot and the music’s being played live?
Has anyone mentioned the irony that Steve Earle has an album called Washington Square Serenade and his character gets shot on the edge of Washington Square Park? Not to mention that he sings I’ll Never Get Out of this World Alive” earlier in the show?
@Harris In addition to another’s reasons, it is the shock and randomness that is at the core of the “hysteria” I think. It is for me, at least. In Simon entertainment, as in real life, no supporting or even main character is safe, and they get got with considerable frequency. Usually however, there is a way of explaining, even if only after the fact, why it happened. “Random violence” on the other hand, pulls not just the rug but the entire floor out from under a person. While not necessarily falling, you just sort of hang there in no gravity, with danger all around, and no way to steer or re-orientate yourself.
@3suns It is the randomness indeed. It was so out of no where. I really think that was the point. There were two other connectins to real life. One was the random death of people doing “good works”, the kind of people New Orleans NEEDED to come back. Harley was a good person, the way Hellen Hill and Dineal Shavers were good people. Another possible connection was the increase in killings of people that were known to live by “cash”. There was a huge increase in the muggings and killing of the illegal alien workers that came to the city to help in the rebuilding. Criminals knew they had cash on them. I would think the same could be said for buskers.
re: “poorly acted character” – see Waylon from The Wire…..then watch a Steve Earle (the musician) interview…………he acts on screen as he does in real life.
Has anyone ever tried to piece together what happened with Big Chief between S1 and S2 and the woman and her fledgling young indian? Are we to read into that and what it could possibly speak to Lambreaux’s condition?
doctorj, thanks for the background on the cash. You know, I thought, dang, they just finally got some coins to rub together, and now they are losing them to thieves (before the murder), but I didn’t take it a step further to think of the wider ramifications of the profession.
I just finally got to reading “The Gangs of New Orleans” as recommended by Mark back in May. I had no idea that NO was so violent. I learned a new word, too: “crimogenic”.
And brophy, every time I see the Chief I wonder about the lady and the boy, especially since he was set up to become an active member of the tribe. It looked like they had a great thing going there. I suspect they had to leave NO for some reason. I wouldn’t be surprised if that thread is closed properly at some point.
brophy, if I remember correctly, one of Albert’s kids asked one of his cronies about the girlfriend and I think the friend said something like she’d disagreed with him or they’d had an argument. It was brief, in passing.
@3suns – Regarding your comment about Annie ; By the end of the third season, I wanna see flames shooting from her bow.
Sort of like this?
Oh, shoot, embed code did not embed. Here’s the link to Lucia:
damn, Mistlethrush. Just…damn
I know, right?
Mistlethrush, absolutely, and seeing her in action like that makes me wonder if she and LaDonna are going to trade roles: Annie becoming strong, no nonsense, won’t take crap from anyone, and LaDonna becoming timid and self-doubting. “See how New Orleans turned these women on their heads?!”, if you know what I mean.
This in turn makes me wonder, to what extent are we viewing the effects of Katrina (and all that came/went with it), and to what extent are we seeing the culture/reality of pre and post Katrina New Orleans. After watching The Wire, it was hard to imagine a city with bigger problems than Baltimore. After reading that Gangs of New Orleans article and learning that it was the murder capital of the U.S. before Katrina, I am becoming foggy as to what is business as usual for the city, and what is a result of the flood. It seems to me that Harley getting shot might have been just as likely in the days before as after, the big event.
One of many things that makes the show so great for me, all these believable music performances! I wonder though, Blake, who plays Delmond’s parts, and where are they when a scene like that is being shot and the music’s being played live?
This season Leon “Kid Chocolate” Brown has been playing Delmond’s trumpet parts. We hide him off-camera, but with an eye-line to Rob Brown. That way the music is live and Leon is playing with everyone else, but it looks like Delmond is playing. It requires a lot of rehearsal from Rob Brown, and we also have to write all his parts, including solos, in advance, note-for-note. But the end result is worth it, I think. Same process with Wendell pierce and Stafford Agee, the Rebirth trombonist who plays “ghost trumpet” for Batiste.
Oh, and Sam if you need to reach me just google my name, which will take you to my Web site where my email address is freely available.
Imma gonna say this, re The Wire, which I adore, and Baltimore, which I got to know pretty good thanks to so many native guides this last year — and now really love, and would move there if I was starting off at college graduate time these days — and New Orleans, which I know coz I know it from walking, riding the streets, and a whole lotta mess, etc. — The Wire is fiction. So is Treme. Let’s not forget that.
@3suns I am becoming foggy as to what is business as usual for the city, and what is a result of the flood. It seems to me that Harley getting shot might have been just as likely in the days before as after, the big event.,/i>
My take on everything is as individual as anyone else and the interpretations are wide open. I met my partner when she was attending school at Nicholls in Thibadaux and began visiting back then, with focus on New Orleans. I had an interest musically and literararily back then and the more I learned about New Orleans the more I came to love her.
Fast forward a bit..my partner and I now live in the midwest ( a result of a lucrative ob offer for her_–happy to be together and less happy that we chose to live here than at that time we would have anticipated.
Anyway…as to your remarks–what happened to Harley could well have happened in the days before Katrina–New Orleans as never been known as the safest of cities. I suppose because I grew up in CT hard by New York City (where my mom hails from),I didn’t think there was anywhere as hard ass as NYC. Maybe then I was right…even in ten years I feel a difference.
By and large, New Orleans seems to be a city beset with crime and the problems attache;d exacerbated by the poverty involved . This is a look from an outsider who love the city and knows at least a little about it.
Foxessa, understood about these shows being fiction (and in a city of millions, and neighborhood of tens of thousands, even a murder a day still doesn’t mean one has a high likelihood of being killed). I refuse to live in fear, or to move out of fear.
mistlethrush, isn’t it the shits that we can’t seemingly have our cake and eat it, too? Thank you for sharing.
Blake, it will be a delight to tell friends of the authenticity of the music. I shall enjoy each scene with that much greater appreciation knowing that if not on screen, the real musicians are at least on stage blowing their lungs out.
Blake, thanks for anticipating my question.
New Orleans may seem dangerous from a distance, but when I lived in the 600 block of 4th St. N.E. in the early 90s at the peak of the crack wars (a location I used to describe as halfway between the Capitol and Len Bias’ favorite crack market) three people died within a block of my house (actually two, the third was an abduction/rape/murder that started in the alley across the block and ended farther out East Capitol). I could sit in my backyard and listen to the crescendo/diminuendo of gun battles, with the sirens building in at the peak. Police helicopters routinely illuminated our back yard. I once watch a bunch of teenagers drumming to their boombox on a passing police car, which did not stop.
I’ve never felt as threatened in New Orleans, even when I tutored at St. Alphonsus to escape catechism class and would sometime walk home with our charges for home visits (in the early 70s). Crime is rampant but the truly violent crime is contained to certain neighborhoods, which may make us feel safer but exacerbates the problem because the upper echelon who runs the city thinkgs, well, it’s “them” and won’t happen to me.
As someone pointed out, what happened to Harley and Annie illustrates a problem I hope is illuminated by a bit of dialogue this week: the “walking ATM” people that the police downtown don’t care about: street performers, service works, people likely to have a good bit of cash on them and frankly I think the people who rob them know the police districts downtown won’t follow up. The property association owners in those downtown areas who look down on these people and don’t demand the NOPD treat all victims equally screw themselves, devaluing their property by not worrying about those victims and driving up their neighborhood crime stats.
I’m still broken up about Harley. Like I said at the start of the thread, we all saw Creighton coming even as we saw The Big Man on screen. We knew it would end for him. The only mystery was how (and as he slipped into depression and was unable to write, how it would end really came down to the means).
It’s like when Kima gets shot in the first season: the toughest, most street smart one of the bunch. It was a gut punch. It’s been a week and I have a hard time listening to Never Get Out of This World Alive, a CD that has been in steady rotation at the Fortress of Squalitude for months.
Annie better sing her song as his funeral.
Crime is rampant but the truly violent crime is contained to certain neighborhoods, which may make us feel safer but exacerbates the problem because the upper echelon who runs the city things, well, it’s “them” and won’t happen to me.
This reminds me of John Gatto’s (New York State’s “Teacher of the Year” award winner) Weapons of Mass Instruction, in which he states that it is unfortunately the truly good teachers who make it possible for the broken system to sustain/perpetuate itself.
Thanks for the reply Blake (and for anticipating my next question too). Keep up the great work.
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