Hug it out, brah, good game…
this finale was, honestly, TOO MUCH for me.
There was so much covered and captured in this episode…..brilliantly conveying the unmetered magic of the city (that entrances those called to it).
Loved the monologue about greed/natural resources….
What does anyone make of “the reckoning of Hildago”?
I dunno….it wasn’t enough for this episode to bring to a head 20 episodes, but also top it off with the “Christmas atmosphere” of Jazz Fest – there was no way this episode could not be a blockbuster…..
** ah….more Aurora Neeland……yes!
…just wanted to add, though…. this series, without a doubt, surpass “The Wire” in terms of story telling standards
Simon et al. in no way took the easy way out with this episode. Each second was so full. And I cried through the whole thing. In the end, it was goddamned Davis said it for us. “Where else would we go? Who else would have us?”
So blown away by this show. I was particularly pleased about LaDonna getting a grip on herself and going beyond to express her rage– it would be a great thing if more victims were able to do the same. Larry’s support vindicated my faith in his love and commitment to LaDonna; GO LARRY!
Was so pleased to see Davis show his love and pain for his city at the end there–I cried. Was happy for his moment to shine a little, too. He may not be the most talented person in a city filled with artists, but he’s no worse than so very many and has passion at the very least.
I love seeing Sonny’s continued growth and his new awareness of what the fisher/shellfish/oystermen need to deal with to remain solvent mean to him..more than something that pertains to only him–the foreshadowing of April 2o10 is clear, but yet to be addressed is the dependence of Louisiana upon Big Oil.
I look forward to the many enlightened comments ahead–I love all of you hear at BoT and hope to bump into some of you at a Saints game in late October when we’ll be in our favorite city, Love you all.
As for who else would have you? Oh, girl, you an everyone here would be so welcome in our bland bit of America. If we cold ditch this house with some little profit, we’d b back in a minute.No lie.
Right now, we just dream our troubles away because that’s all we can do.
“Where else would we go? Who else would have us?”
My sentiments exactly.
I love Terry taking the hard road and protecting Toni, even though it hurts, if I’m understanding this right. Kind of hard to watch our front men stumble, with the Soul Apostles in disarray and Davis smarting himself right out of a job with his own band. “Who else would have us?” Indeed. Fabulous. I will miss these folks until next season. You people, I expect to see in August.
Mr. Simon, you are genius.
I really appreciate the comments here , as you folks help fine-tune the experience of this series, Treme.
Antoine started the show under pressure and by show’s end he was having a time with the kids just buskin’ away; I liked that.
We saw Annie suffering from the memories of Harley; the ugly side has a hold on her, and we can hope it’s temporary.
Maybe Desiree is getting closer to that ring on her finger?
Sonny had a miraculous recovery from drug addiction it appears. Salt water air in the lungs and pussy on the brain must be the ticket.
Big Chief is happy, finally, and Hildago has crumpled into a drunken heap. All this is good stuff.
Janette, now there’s an interesting case study. She’ll negotiate some kind of deal for her own restaurant,
Good luck Toni and Terry, now that you have had this falling out, and maybe next season we will be told what happens to Sophia in front of that judge.
See you all next season.
Damn, LaDonna’s ranting was such a perfect recapitulation of our frustration with everything as we tried to rebuild. And in the end, Davis said so much with so few words. Breathtakingly good episode. Thank you David and Eric and Nina (so glad you got your props, Nina, kudos to Dave Walker)! And Clarke Peters smoked on stage. Such a bittersweet ending to the season. I wish I could find the words to express my awe and love for the people behind this production. They love us and it showed in every second, every image, every word and every note. After experiencing this kind of masterful work, is it no wonder that I find so little satisfaction in most of what passes as movies and shows today. The bar is set so high by this team that it moves the industry into a new paradigm of truth and of storytelling. And few can even come close to their level. We are blessed that they are the first to even try to tell our stories. And thank you to the HBO execs who greenlighted the next season, for you are leaving a legacy with your support of this production team. Though I am sad to wrap this season, this show strengthened my resolve to keep doing my part as a New Orleanian. You all should be proud of your work. We certainly are!
That’s a wrap. There was so much closure, I can’t help but think this was the ending sketched on the whiteboard for a two season series, how the creators saw things ending up if there were no renewal for a third season. Yes its hard to imagine Janet not coming back next year but her looking at kitchens works without a third season for her and for the reality of 2007, another restaurant coming back. Sonny rehabilitated as a sympathetic character (loved the father’s line about the oil leaks, too tired to try to reconstitute it but clearly a message about his daughter) and Davis back where he started at ‘OZ, his moment of glory passed. Antoine in his new house with his own Baby Boyz (and Girlz): works as an ending without a third season even as I can imagine the series jumping chronology and getting into police versus street bands.
Jumping chronology: think about it. Colson giving up the files on the Danzinger case, Antoine’s street band in conflict with the police, Sonny and Cornell opening up story lines to the fishermen of Plaquemines and St. Bernard. What year will it be next season? 2007/8? Or 2009/2010? If the show only has a shot at three seasons, does it continue with the slow struggle to rebuild or do we jump ahead to New Orleans recrowned the murder capital, the battle to reopen charity versus the new hospital, the police versus the street bands,, a Superbowl and the oil spill?
Just idle speculation at this point but the closure was almost too clean at the end of Season Two to take us logically to 2007 and 2008. A chapter was closed on Sunday night, and all of the best story lines point to a jump to the future, or rather our present.
Just remember, if it plays out this way, you heard it first on Back of Town.
— Wet Bank Guy
Maitri: I though I heard an echo of something Ashley wrote in Davis’ last lines and went looking for it but couldn’t find it. But I did find him talking about New Orleans as the only city that loved him back.
There was pained puzzlement on Oliver’s face and a sad puzzlement on Nelson’s face, almost as if neither of them understood what was so wrong about what they did. Everything counts, Oliver says. Everything. Nelson’s cousin keeps asking (much as I was doing earlier this week) “what work do you do?” And concluding, (as I probably said) that he didn’t do anything, didn’t build anything, he just made money.
I’ve been reading a bit about Jonathan Haidt’s moral foundations theory and the implications for misunderstanding between good people who are fixed in different moral systems. I’m looking at Oliver and Nelson — even Ligouri — wondering what moral systems allow them to believe they are doing good.
You’re right, Maitri, about this episode being so full. What a storyteller this man is.
Khandi Alexander was phenomenal. The most subtly astounding bit was seeing LaDonna move toward Larry in exactly the same moment the elevator door was closing. She followed through without pause after his, “Come on, baby,” drew her into the elevator. Perfect closing for the intense resolution of this conflict.
It was pure joy to see Sonny succeed in such an elemental quest with men of the sea, winning his place at the table with the beautiful daughter. It was certainly the teaspoon of sugar that helped introduce the 1,000 – 10,000 oil rigs, most of them leaking in the gulf.
And then there are all those strands of this story to go through and all the music to follow and all the love.
” I can’t help but think this was the ending sketched on the whiteboard for a two season series, how the creators saw things ending up if there were no renewal for a third season.”
I was now thinking that the last third felt like a beautiful dream sequence. Everything works out for everyone and even the Seda character gets his comeuppance. A lot of my 2007-08 (Season 3) was friends trying to get back in their homes via Road Home, crime on the rise and the dog and pony shows preceding the last presidential, so curious to see what they will do.
The kid killed on his bicycle combined with the sound of the gunshot that killed Harley hit a little too close to home. Towards the end of 2008, I heard a man’s bicycle and then him getting shot in the LGD. That sound is so distinct. According to nola.com, the cops showed up at the wrong intersection, on the other side of Coliseum Park.
Yeah, you right, Mark. Not every city loves you back like that.
When Janette rolled over to reveal the other side of the bed I actually drooled a little bit. Is that so wrong?
I really agree with Mr. Folse about how cleanly so many threads are tied up at the end. Almost as if no third season is planned, the story can finish with a minimum of loose ends. Or, it can be a setup for a radical shift of plot in the next season… much like The Wire did from one season to the next.
Not going to say the epusode didn’t make me feel good, ’cause it did, but as each of the storylines rolled up neatly to a full stop (some happy, others not), it started to feel a bit artificial. Too pat.
Maybe Folse is right. Even so, I don’t like being made so aware of the punctuation, you know? It seemed too simultaneous, too lined up.
Lots and lots of good to be found throughout. It was enjoyable.
I need to rewatch, I think.
“Where else would we go? Who else would have us?” – I was thinking that sounded like you, Mark.
Quote from the Saints board I am on: “Great episode! I clapped when LaDonna went off in the DA’s office. Summed up 5 years of frustration in a 30 second rant. All time quality TV.” I loved that line “5 years of frustration in a 30 second rant”. So,so true. And Larry’s response made me literally cheer out loud. “We’re coming home, all of us. You ain’t gonna be who you are otherwise. I see it now.” Yes, as Davis said, living in New Orleans can be hard but “Where else would we go? Who else would have us?” David Simon and the “Treme” krewe has given the city such a wonderful gift. He let our voice be heard and he let the people that “get” New Orleans understand what a jewel the city really is. THANK YOU!!!
And on the lighter side, this uptown girl loved Davis’s “Sex Machine” white man’s dance. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen that. LOL!
I hear you virgotex. I felt like Janette’s entire story this season was driven by the benevolence of people Anthony Bourdain just happens to love and that’s in spite of the fact that I grew up in the restaurant business and the food on the show DOES catch me wherever it’s being made. I’ve wanted to see Janette/Jacques since the beginning but now it feels kind of wrong in the, well, wrong way. And how does he realistically fight the deportation without them getting married?
I’m also not sold on Sonny’s redemption. I am sold on his place in the overall narrative and I found myself rooting for him against my better judgment. Fuck, he’s even really cute when he’s not a mess. But when my real world brain kicks back on.. a couple months off coke/heroin is not out of the woods, and some honest work on a couple of boats doesn’t change that he tried to control his ex-partner’s life and slapped her in the face just over a year ago, and neither does the “hero” photograph. I am not feeling this as I was with Cutty or Prez who really struggled and suffered (ugh I hate comparing to The Wire at all this point, I know they are very different shows, but I can’t resist here). Sonny begrudgingly stumbled onto the boats and started showing up to gigs on time halfway through the season. No cookies dude, not yet.
I think the situation with Larry was too neatly wrapped up and it was all still pretty paternalistic of him, but LaDonna herself makes up for any weakness there. And I accept that they didn’t know if there was going to be a third season, and if it had been cancelled we would have been just as pissed that there was NO sense of closure.
Would have rather seen more of Chief and Delmond performing than what got longer screen time, but that’s minor. All and all I am amazed and I’m going to have to watch it again to fully process it all.
sophmom I think I’m reading the Terry-Toni thing the same way. They were too close personally and professionally, so for a flawed person like any of us, sabotage is frequently the answer.
brilliant cut-scene after Toni gets done talking with the FBI
Well, you know Colson (MOLE!) & Toni going to the feds will blow up next season as will Hidalgo coming back stronger than ever for the building of the non-hospital. Antoine gets in trouble with the popo over his band and Aunt Mimi starts Keep The Street Music Alive. 😛 Perhaps some new characters.
I wouldn’t call it brilliant (too obvious) but it was gratifying
I think Aunt Mimi should run for City Council
No, I’m with Maitri. I see Mimi out on the corner of Canal and Bourbon with a petition clipboard for some reason. 😀
Why not have Mimi progress on her current path into actually guesting rap tracks to boast about flossin’, Big Tymers style?
So many satisfying moments and Khandi- sheesh. Once again, she leaves it all out on the field both when she finally is able to confront one of the rapists (“It’s ME!” Christ- I hope they didn’t have to do more than 1 take of that confrontation- that’s the kind of thing that so depletes you, you need to lie down for a long time after) and then later when she’s in the D.A.’s office- just on fire (she actually seemed like she could combust into flames if that scene went on another minute) and Larry just sitting there smiling cause he’s watching his love come back to life. Alot in the episode did feel wrapped up- but when that happened at the end of The Wire Season 3 (definitely understandable then cause they weren’t sure it would have a 4th season), it meant a nearly clean slate in Season 4 which ended up possibly being the most impressive (I can never decide whether I prefer it or Season 2 the most but- it’s all ice cream!) But there have obviously also been plot threads set up for continuing- especially Sonny joining the fishing community setting up an examination of the Spill). I’m wondering whether David Morse (sadly now busted back down to a uniform- the penalty for giving a fuck) continues or whether we never see him again. I hope he does return- he is such a presence.
SO, in the end- alot of satisfying work to digest til we get to see them do it all again!
Yeah, I noticed Morse’ uniform in that shot and thought of (I can’t help it) McNulty back in a district.
Season 3 opens with Colson on the boat
What you all said. I can’t say anything at all yet, except to repeat one of the conclusions I came to in the first season: the character of Davis is a brilliant creation! Without him, Treme wouldn’t be what it is, and we love what it is, just as without the Indians New Orleans wouldn’t be what it is, and we love New Olreans (and sometimes we don’t too).
Which would allow a Corps of Engineers plotline and a real life walk on of that terrifying woman in the Harry Shearer doc.
Long Simon interview at Salon. And guess who conducts the interview? Yeah,that guy.
thanks for the link…..
Maybe imagined, but the tension in the interview is rather palpable
SIMON: “We’re locked into ordinary people experiencing ordinary life in a place that is a little bit extraordinary….That’s all the story is about. But how they experience it, how they come to terms with it — and by the way, they are getting NO help from the greater society, from city government, from state government. At every point that they look to anybody above them for help, for guidance, for leadership, it’s not there.”
“Television, by and large, has not dealt with that–because first of all, there’s no money in it. And second of all, because they’re scared of distracting you for a moment from what you have to do, which is buy Lexuses, or buy iPods, or buy bluejeans, or buy feminine hygiene products. Every few minutes, they need you reassured enough that you’re gonna pay attention to the ads.”
AHHHHHHH !!!!!! Simon is the MAN….I could listen to his interviews all day
Unrelated, but interesting how Davis and Antoine end up right back to the very place we picked up their story in S1 (OZ and the street [performing], respectively)
As always, the interview is an interesting read. And I liked the comments re the choices of depicting LaDonna’s attack the way it was and how it effected her confronting the guy in the last episode.
That simple statement “It’s ME! It’s ME” was utterly heartbreaking, yet also so powerfully affirming and defiant (another way of saying “I AM me!”). It makes me tear up to remember it, and to think of all the other folks that get rolled over in this life and sometimes never get to get back to who they were.
flames, side of my face, etc.
“Season 3 opens with Colson on the boat” – Perfect.
Finally back from the UK and watched the last three episodes. The two prior to the finale are probably the best that television has ever been. Staggeringly good. You all have pointed out the successes of the finale – Lonnie Smith!!! – and are closer to it than me. After two viewings, I found the first third of the finale a bit listless frankly. And like Virgo, I found a few too many bits and pieces being gathered together somewhat too obviously (the editing at Jazzfest seems jarring), but I can’t even begin to appreciate the difficulty of the process of rapidly putting together an episode. Pleasure to see Clarke Peters push past the chin-jutting he’s defaulted too a little too often in two seasons for my taste. The bookend Armstrong montage, like the Prima from before, was sublime.
I still like the way that the show covered Janette and cooking. I don’t think it worked all that well or could carry the weight of the time given it, but it was a novel way of dealing with the problem that food isn’t that interesting on camera, but the ballet at the prep stations has a fascination of its own (as does the rhythm of casting off a shrimp boat). It worked better in season one in the smaller space of her own kitchen when the stakes seemed higher or more immediate.
There was a kernel in that Atlantic piece that I thought was interesting, summarized by one commentator as: “If this was The Wire, one of the Danziger cops would be a character, and the audience would have to live with him.” Here the effects of wickedness have been closely observed; the agents of wickedness kept somewhat at a distance. I like the evolution in story telling – it is the effects we live most closely with after all. The Atlantic didn’t like the greying of Thomas’ actions (and Sepinwall thinks the Abreaux storyline became muddied) but it felt like life.
Finally got to watch it. Great comments above, and a couple of interesting catches that I had missed. Thanks! Here are some of my (raw) impressions with apologies for the repeat of some of the quotes.
Larry stepping into the elevator: “Come on, baby.” LaDonna pressed down, but they are going up! Him eating in her bar was the cherry on top of that ice cream.
In the lounge, Arnie to Hildago: “What do you do?”
What surprised me was that he backed up his claim of real work first with the example of his bar bouncer job. Arnie was right, as a bar bouncer he put in a more honest day’s work than Hildago ever did.
My band of brothers is Colson, Larry, and Arnie. I’d grab a hammer, drill, or gun and work side-by-side with all of them. They’d have my back, and I would hope to have honor and courage enough to have theirs.
Janette: “It’s a one off!” Tying in with Antoine and LaDonna’s “Mardi Gras fuck”. In contrast to the dirty Saturday night fever “one night stand”, this is a spicy part of New Orleans culture that I marvel at – surely there has been more than one relationship has been torn asunder on account of “one off”s, and yet there is no stigma to them.
I don’t know why, but I don’t want Janette going back to NO. I kind of feel like it doesn’t deserve her after shitting on her so hard. I want her to be happy though, so….
“Punchin’ way out of your weight class, aren’t ya, Davis?” “I always did.” Skillfully delivered. Beautiful moment.
Davis: “Any more surprises? Someone fucking my girlfriend?” LMAO
and then at the end, “Sorry for the dead air, but that one got me.” Steve Zahn can act. Just sayin’.
Desiree: “Japan, Japan?” hee hee hee
Toni to the FBI guys: “Maybe after the next election.” Is there anyone in the whole world, that isn’t concerned about covering their ass?
Father’s speech on the boat was a little heavy handed to me, and not without its own twinge of hypocrisy as the deck of their boat is covered in sea life that probably won’t survive, yet won’t be sold or eaten either. In my childhood, Lake of the Woods Ontario was emptied of its walleye fish by greedy fishermen.
Albert: “Play, boy!” – smilin’ at his son as if now he likes his son’s playing. (Personally, I am like, “GTFO. This is what your prodigy son has been doing all this time, but you think it is worthy of you now that it is paying your bills? That money you think you earned, it is all from the love of your children and their friends.” Thing is, if he ever finds out, he will accuse them of playing him – and he will be “the victim” again.) Anyway, his sins are not mine to forgive. People complain that these dramas point out the worst in humanity. I marvel at the generosity of spirit of every one.
At the end, Delmond is physically helpin’ his father rebuild the house (like he should have done months ago). I like how his New York girlfriend tested her suspicions without accusation. He was pretty brazen in his approach to acquiring her resources. Hating it when people are used, I felt relieved when she walked away from him. I like Delmond though.
And the obvious, but no less enjoyable, Antoine to the school children: “Play for that (muthafuckin’) money!”
Sofia: “But I can’t forgive him.” Yep, suicide is like a nuclear bomb explodes in the center of a family/community. She and her mom are just now starting to come back from being blown away from each other.
I’m happy for Sonny. I am still not convinced, however. Aside from Bubbles, the only fictional addict of memory that convinced me they were finished with drugs was Jamie Conway (played by Michael J Fox in “Bright Lights, Big City”). It was impossibly simple, but at the end, when he bit into that piece of bread eating for the first time in the whole movie, I said to myself, “Yep, he’s out.” Simon hasn’t given me that scene yet.
The only justification for the father letting him near his daughter is that there is a long history, and she is getting “too old”. Otherwise, I don’t see father letting Sonny anywhere near his daughter.
I totally agree with Mark that this was made with the possibility of no renewal in mind.
HBO, time to pull your head out of your ass and start granting multiple seasons at a time for these shows. (In the meantime, great ass, btw.)
I don’t think we saw anything onscreen that attempted to solidify Sonny’s addiction status as “healed” or “finished.” No addict is ever healed of addiction, and these writers are aware of this, that I know based on previous discussions.
Based on what we’ve seen, I doubt Cornell would let Sonny get too far with that idea even if he did think it of himself. Cornell told him he was making a mistake going after Linh, and he was probably right. It’s probably too early to take on a relationship. So to me, if his actions said anything, it was that he’s far from being “over” his problem.
My Viewing Partner feels that LaDonna and Larry reconciliation and their moving back to New Orleans and the new haircut are too pat a resolution. I don’t agree with him, mostly, because — LaDonna recognizing the knucklehead dressed all pretty in the bar, drinking Heiniken! and playing cards, and not even seeing her — her, who has been obsessed with him all these months — and she explodes. I’ve been through that healing power of sudden explosive anger that just blows out of your sacral region all the way up your spine and out from your head. It blew out a whole bunch of stuff, and left nothing but positive energy in its place. That anger blew out all the shit, so to speak, that you’ve been obsessing over and locking you in place, a very bad place. Beyond that, however, the very fact the knucklehead in is in the bar while supposedly locked up, awaiting trial — that ties right into the mess the NOPD and NO’s and Louisiana’s Justice system is, and never so much as then. IOW, the way this thread ties up also ties into the Toni and Coulson threads, that will go into next season. That’s damned great writing under incredible constraint of screen time available. I’m in awe. In any case, I, personally, viewer engaged, wanted so much for LaDonna and Larry to make it, because that would mean, among other things that she would make it — not everybody does — and then the boys would make it too.
I’ve been wondering for two years: “Where is the Maple Leaf, for Pete’s Sake?” Toni and Sofia together, coming in, I cried. Such a fool. But they didn’t manipulate me into that and I really hate directors that do that kind of manipulation. IOW, it was just me being my own fool, not their’s. Just like I’ve been wondering for two years, where and what are Toni’s New Orleans family. I jumped in the first second of the scene in which Toni gets advice from her imprisoned judge mentor, that this man was her dad, and this sent on the road of activist justice lawyerhood, but no.
Linh is aging out of the marriage market …. Clearly she’s got a lot of power though, since Dad’s gone this far. One thing for sure about New Orleans, there is mixing of cultures there and always have been. Sonny’s also from outside Louisiana, and like them, he knows his way around boats. Deep sea for a few days, but he’s not seasick. As mentioned above I too thought, “Look at the nets you’re using to harvest the Gulf bare, and you say ‘they’ use it up and move on?” It was a grand way to reference the next Big Catastrophe in the Making as well.
Bingham! In his Captain’s chair, on his deck, at Piety! That was some serious personal fun.
When people complain nothing happens in Treme I cannot get it. How far everyone we follow have traveled, and how they’ve all changed, since Season 1, ep 1. One of you mentioned above that Antoine and Davis conclude in this episode where they began in Season 1 ep 1 — on the street and in the studio. Yes, and that too is such terrific writing, for the street Antoine’s on now is a very different thing than back then, and Davis is surely different too. The long 4th of July holiday is always local station WKCR’s birthday broadcast in honor of Pops. So Louis Armstrong was in the apartment whenever we were in these last few days. Play for that money.
I’mma gonna miss all you commentators and your smarts, your passion, your love of New Orleans. Til next season —
as I sat on my stoop, knowing that LaDonna’s revenge was being filmed across the street from my house, AND they had to come back a second day to reshoot, I KNEW that LaDee was going to finally have her say. I just wish the cop would’ve given her a third kick at the perp. seeing her fall to the ground, grasping the arms of the officer holding her back, and the crumple to the sidewalk? was a moment everyone got. a loud applause at the hi ho, then followed by an even LOUDER yeah u rite when she finally has her say. her brother, her bar, her home, OUR home, the attitude at the clerk? all well played out. AND LARRY? thank you very much.
this was an episode that tied up many loose ends, brought forth issues that currently are plaguing us, and davis? you rite… who would have us?
Does anybody know whose guitar we were seeing put up for $60 OBO in that closing montage? I couldn’t figure out if that was supposed to be tied to anyone in particular. All I could guess was Sonny, deciding he doesn’t really have the chops for the musical life in NOLA, deciding his future’s on the water? But it seems likely that even if that were the case, he’d have returned Harley’s guitar to Annie, he did say something about returning it in a while when he left Harley’s house.
And regarding whether it’s realistic for Sonny to be allowed to date Linh: recall the “I’m watching you” gesture from Dad, and bear in mind that in that culture, it is highly unlikely that Sonny will be allowed to take Linh off alone any time soon. He’s gotten as far as being allowed to sit in with a group of friends in a public place with lots of supervision from family and other members of this tight-knit culture. Sonny’s on a limited probation at this point, and will have to continue to prove himself to move on from there.
Yes, whose guitar was that? Davis’s? But he played electric, right?
If Sonny partners with Linh, if I have this right, he’s committed for life, he can’t change his mind, It’s all — the whole family, the business, all of it — or nothing. Or maybe I’m wrong about that. It’s still the U.S.A and the 21st century, and women do have more manuevering room here than in a lot of other places.
This is the ‘happy couples’ episode, though the couples were all different and at different stages: Toni and Sofia; Annie and Davis (such a classy response to “You’re fighting above your weight,” wasn’t it? :); the happy fullfillment of so many female viewers’ of Janette and Jacques; Sonny and Linh; Antoine and Desiree in a house in New Orleans; LaDonna and Larry.
Just not … Delmond … standing there dumb, not even having thought</i. about how this assumption of his might be perceived!
Foxessa, we’re not done with this season yet but a long shot. I know a couple of the regular posters have pieces in mind waiting for the season end chatter to slow down, because damn we love the open thread and all y’all’s beautiful insights and comments.
I thought the guitar was gonna be Harley’s “This Machine Floats” guitar, but when I saw that it wasn’t, I just assumed that showing it listed as $60 OBO was just another piece of the end-of-season montage that would fit with the empty homes and mardi gras beads in trees.
Foxessa and everyone, we hope that we’re more than just an after-episode discussion forum. Come back for the writing that will continue well into real hurricane season.
The guitar (with strings missing) wasn’t a Danelectro that Sonny borrowed from Harley.
My best guess would be that it was just an old hollow-body with no significance to the story line
Honey — If you all going to be here still, and willing to have me, I will be here, you bet.
Dr. John’s coming in here at the end of July; one of the New Orleans journalists who keeps a place in Brooklyn, is having a pig roast in his honor. So there will be that hit of New Orleans coming up.
We may yet make it down in August, “If God Is Willing and Da Creek Don’t Rise.”
CJ, I haven’t rewatched yet but remember all of Harley’s stuff was going to goodwill or somewhere. Could it have been Sonny’s? Maybe. Remember he had to borrow an electric and an amp from Harley for the Soul Apostles.
If it were his, that would be a very significant shot.
I hope it’s not Sonny’s. I hope he keeps playing, if only to Linh.
Recall back in the season when Butler wheedled Antoine into blowing off his own band’s gig to play with him, with the carrot of a tour in Japan in the spring-summer, and we, the audience, knew it was a hustle, and Antoine wasn’t going to no Japan with that cat?
Man, everybody got to play Jazz Fest, and some are going to Japan with Butler, but Antoine did not play Jazz Fest and there’s no Japan gig either. Wonder if Antoine’s learned some important things this year?
Virgo, I agree. The writers haven’t given us any reason to believe that Sonny is serious about his life time fight against relapse. That is why I find the father’s acceptance somewhat incredible. This is a father that won’t let his daughter (at what, 30 years of age?) date other men without his permission and without a chaperone, and yet he will even consider a monolingual, fair skinned junkie with fresh needle marks, no home or savings pursue her? My experience with Asian cultures here and in Canada doesn’t fit at all with this. The port city of New Orleans must be very unique indeed.
Anyway, it is a small thing, and as the Delmond/Albert thread shows, love, forgiveness, and acceptance can be profound and surprising.
And Foxessa, your point about things happening in Treme was something I have been thinking about for several weeks now. How far everyone has “traveled”! It almost makes going back to Season 1 painful. I don’t want to have to relive all the tragedy and struggle.
I’m a lurker popping out for a moment to say how much I enjoy the discussion on this site. I watched Season 1 in a week just before the start of Season 2, and I’m not looking forward to the wait for Season 3. Hopefully, hanging out at the Back of Town will fill the void!
3Suns, Sonny also speaks Dutch. I wondered about the guitar too, but the one he borrowed was electric, and I thought Annie gave Harley’s actual guitar, the one with “this machine floats” written on it to his sister. Has someone mentioned that this is an ironic, NOLAcentric twist on Woody Guthrie’s “This Machine Kills Facists”? Art can be used in more than one way to make sure the truth is told.
Melittophily, I’m inclined to think that Terry is protecting Toni precisely because he cares for her, to the point of using at least one male pronoun in reference to the “legal aid attorney” who was his “source”. Folks were already talking about his relationship with Toni. He needed to deflect away from her the only way he could, even if that meant losing her friendship for a while. If she didn’t know she wouldn’t have to lie. Whether or not that is misguided, we don’t yet know. Even with the purest motives, I have to think Toni would find it patronizing. He’s doing the right thing at significant risk (at very least as far as his career is concerned) and not getting any “credit” where it matters, with Toni.
The two seasons were also bookended by Rebirth. Davis hears them coming down the street in the first second line since the storm as S1 opens and very near the end of S2 they’re playing at the Maple Leaf. I may be misremembering, but I think the only thing after that at the end was Antoine taking his player kids to the corner, in itself a kind of rebirth of the city’s musical tradition.
This, along with a lot of your comments, make me agree that some of these story lines are wrapped up so nicely because, at the very least, the creators knew they needed to have a story that would suffice as a series finale, need be. Those of you who might have been watching Chuck have seen that dynamic for the last two seasons. (Yes, I just admitted I’ve been watching Chuck. What can I possibly say to make that seem better than it is?) The opposite dynamic can be found on HBO’s John from Cincinnati, which had it’s projected 12 (I think) episode S1 rather abruptly shortened to 10, ending up with a hurriedly assembled mess of a finale (some might think the whole thing was a mess from concept, just not me). I couldn’t help laughing and thinking about David Milch’s JfC, when I saw Linh’s father’s hand signal to Sonny as he went over to be with Linh, hearing Ed O’Neill’s Uncle Bill’s voice in my head, “I’ve got my eye on you!”
Sending without proofing. Can’t keep my eyes open at all. Who knows what I just said. Hope it makes some kind of sense.’Night.
Desiree’s “Japan, Japan?” was sublime – perfectly delivered and full of incredulity, irritation (for Antoine for herself if left behind), surprise. Great stuff.
please forgive my interjection here (while the S2 finale discussion is still going on), but I’ve been wondering about the critiques I’ve heard voiced about “Treme” since season 1.
The resounding criticisms I’ve heard/read over the first two seasons is that it is slow moving / boring, the character scenes are too short, there is too much music, and it isn’t ‘authentic’ enough.
I would assume that “Treme” is boring in the same sense “The Power of Darkness” or “Antigone” is boring – they are theatre. If “theatre” is boring, what does that say about US, as a culture? That we’ve now come to a point where we really cannot accept fine art unless it is homogenized and packaged in commercial tenor and tone
Personally, I find “Tru Blood”, “Thrones”, and “Boardwalk Empire” extremely boring and unable to capture my attention. Nothing against any of these programs, I just don’t find any of it interesting, new, or unpredictable. With simple characters / conflict, if the scene is not convulsed to some immediate heightened drama, there won’t be anything else to connect you to the story.
As far as ‘authenticity’ or being true to New Orleans – I’m a little puzzled. I haven’t seen anything remotely in film or television that captures the uniqueness of the area without coming off as trite, cardboard, or ridiculous. I understand how some would suggest that many of the people and places come off as forced, but lets think that through; however when you consider WHO the twelve main protagonists are….it is within scope.
I wouldn’t suggest that “Treme” is without fault, beyond criticism, or not appealing to some. I simply do not find the real story of New Orleans all that pivotal to the actual story being told, anymore than being intimately familiar with Verona to understand “Taming of the Shrew”. New Orleans city political corruption (on-going) is simply a microcosm of what is taking place in every other American city.
as a cigar is sometimes just a cigar, I think this guitar may be just a guitar. We don’t have to know its story even though we know it must have one.
Sharon, thanks for pointing that out about Sonny. I had completely forgotten. I can’t remember, has he ever used Dutch in the show? He certainly speaks English well.
I agree about Colson protecting Toni (and that is yet another reason I like him). I was going to say that not naming her also serves his own interest, but I think at this point, he is in Siberia and his association with someone out to get the force isn’t going to exacerbate his situation. By now, he must be thought of as lower than an internal affairs officer. I actually worry for him.
As for Antoine, does it bother anyone else that he puts so much time into these other (admittedly needy) kids, and none into his own sons. A couple of episodes back, his lying in bed and “feeling badly” that he had failed to teach his sons the tradition pissed me off. His youngest son hasn’t even passed puberty yet. How effin’ young do people have to be to learn an instrument?! Get up out of bed and do something about it. Start pickin’ up your boys and teaching them how to play!
He will certainly get an opportunity to spend more time with them after they move back to NO. Will he take it? Maybe LaDonna will even encourage it now that she has been freed to embrace her bar tending heritage and is living closer. I am not familiar with the geography. Will his sons be going to his school now?
And Virgo, some cigars are special, as are some blue dresses. 😉
It has been noticed and commented previously that Antoine isn’t doing great Daddy Daddy with his own sons. Sheesh, they hadn’t even SEEN their half sister until Mardi Gras. As well, they’ve been fairly neglected over the last months by their mom too, it seems, as she struggled with her trauma. We saw what happened with Sofia. One does fear troubles of all kinds ahead. With both households back in New Orleans, maybe things can be improved.
Living. So much happens while doing it.
I agree with most of that article in the Atlantic, especially this paragraph:
“It’s all set to an endless montage of New Orleans things: People in the know are meant to constantly recognize restaurants, musicians, streets, and sayings. The Columns! Domilise’s! Dr. John! Simon sure has done his homework, the audience thinks. He’s been to restaurants! Even in an episode set in New York, the series can’t avoid its rampant referentialism and feels the need to cram David Chang in there. The audience thinks, ‘David Chang!'”
The writers seem more interested in letting you know they’re hip to New Orleans “culture” than telling a story. The clunky expository language, frequent name-dropping, incessant (and often poorly-acted) cameos distract and annoy me. Too many scenes scream “Look at how these people live! Isn’t it great?” I gave it two seasons but don’t think I’ll be back for another.
Yeah I didn’t read any more plot significance into the guitar than I did the feral chicken just after it. Just an image that makes you think.
3Suns – when Antoine fired Sonny, he muttered something in Dutch and the band joked that he just called him “motherfucker” in Dutch. Someone who understands Dutch would have to tell us what he actually said. And yeah, lots of people for whom English is a second language still develop a clear Standard American accent (let’s not kid ourselves that what we recognize as good speech is neutral and unaccented now). Sonny is also a bit of a soul boy so he’s apt to pick up colloquialisms around him.
I’ve already been guessing that Antoine’s parenting will be a source of conflict in the next season, with LaD and Larry moving back with the boys and grandma. He is finding himself in teaching and sacrificing for his students, but his big challenge is not punishing his own boys for their mother’s decision to keep them from becoming musicians and there’s no way that won’t figure into the show somehow. IDK, sounds like good drama already.
@Tommy, In response to the Atlantic article, did it not occur to them that telling New Orleans story involves showing New Orleans things. If you knew New Orleans enough, you would realize that it is self absorbed, mostly due to its long history of being “apart” from Anglo- Saxon America. I don’t believe the “Treme” writers are trying to be hip. I think they are showing you the real New Orleans. I find critics of the show often complain the most about the things and events that were closest to the truth of the city’s experiences. (Like saying that Creighton was David Simon’s voice, when the professor was only saying what any and every New Orleanian was saying at the time.)
In an aside, some critics “get it”.
doctorj2u, thank you for that link! I was getting a bit despondent about all the negative critical attention my favorite show has been getting lately… I very much hope HBO keeps renewing. How the heck am I going to be able to wait til season 3? Hopefully the Saints will be playing soon. Fingers crossed on that, too…
OK, I’m an idiot, but I just noticed that Davina Lambreaux is the same chick who played one of Omar’s women in The Wire. (OK, so was watching The Wire last night with my daughter.)
Sorry I’ve been AWOL since Sunday. That whole episode, and the closing scene, just kind of did me in for a couple of days. Most of the time I can be really positive about what I’m doing in my life, I realize that I don’t get these years back. But sometimes I just have to go away for a little bit and be sad about what I don’t have.
A few random things I noticed after watching it again tonight:
When Sonny and the Vietnamese shrimp boat guy are floating out in the middle of that rig farm, it reminded me of the scene last season at the makeshift morgue. All those rigs sitting there humming night and day like the refrigerated body trucks, all impersonal mechanized death on an industrial scale.
Cas and I watched the end of Season 2 of The Wire last night, and the scene with Toni and the civil rights guys with the Feds was a continuation of that story…back on the docks, the FBI would get involved with the B’More major crimes unit but only on the condition that the union was the primary target. Then as now (in Treme time), same president, same US Attorneys, same FBI, same priorities…taking down unions and corrupt Democrats and pretending that terrorism makes them too busy for anything else. When your only hope against local hostility and indifference is the Feds, and the administration in power is just as hostile and indifferent as the locals, you’re basically fucked.
When Antoine has the kids playing on Frenchman, the late kid is of course a bone player, running up in the middle of a Rebirth song dragging along a horn without a case. And Antoine says next time he’ll fine his ass. Nice touch. Maybe his cab driver got off at Elysian Fields instead of N. Claiborne like he should have.
Davis does a transition from Kidd Jordan to Pops. Jordan is probably the most modern of modern New Orleans jazz men, playing really really out-there avant-garde stuff with people like Peter Brotzmann, William Parker, Cecil Taylor…He has to go to Europe to get recognized because that kind of free jazz is rarely heard anywhere in the US, New Orleans being no exception. And then Pops, of course, being as old guard as old guard gets.
That song broke my heart. Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams. I’ve had nothing but bad dreams since 2005, Katrina, moving to NOLA, buying a stupid house, losing friends, getting divorced, being forced to move away. It definitely fucks with your dreams. I could swear Creighton quoted the song back in Season 1 along with his “soap bubble borne on a zephyr” line, but I can’t find a reference. And it’s a great choice for Davis to choke up on since he can’t sleep and Annie’s dreams are wrapped in her troubles.
I thought LaDonna getting herself back was fantastic and right on target. Doesn’t mean she won’t have bad times ahead, but righteous anger will definitely get your groove back at least temporarily. But I thought Larry flipped a little too easily. Seemed like a transition for him that should have taken more time to develop.
And retro Treme “Always For Pleasure” reference: wrap-up of The Wire Season 2, when The Greek is buying plane tickets, they ask “business or pleasure” and he says, “Business. Always business.”
“If you knew New Orleans enough, you would realize that it is self absorbed, mostly due to its long history of being “apart” from Anglo- Saxon America.”
Your assumptions are for the birds, doctorj2u. I know plenty about New Orleans, and its self-absorption is one of the few things I don’t miss about it. “Showing New Orleans things” is one thing but trying to shoehorn your research into half the dialogue and doing a a clumsy job of it (“‘Gumbo Ya-Ya’ means everybody talking at once;” “Red beans? It ain’t even Monday!”) is patronizing and silly. Sometimes I think Chris Rose is the head writer.
Here’s a key point re the stuff Tommy and reviewers like the ones at the Atlantic are complaining about: it doesn’t matter, it’s not likely to change the show. The writers and producers don’t care and as far as we can tell, HBO doesn’t care. Simon and his collaborators get to make the show they want to make, likely for at least five seasons. Simon has said in several places he doesn’t care about the people who don’t get it. What’s more, I doubt that he and the others care whether the people that “do get it” agree with their every word and plot point.
The arguments that begin and end inside the zone reserved for “What People Expect from Television Drama and What Television Drama creators Expect from their Audience” are pointless. This is not their kind of show and it certainly never will be and they are not the viewers this type of show is intended for and it’s all but certain they never will be. By all means, stop watching Tommy- it’s not like anything is hanging in the balance. I’m sure CSI Miami or whatever else is on at that time on Sunday can use the extra viewers.
Yeah! To Partner in Viewing I pointed out that the kid was a bone player, and he was late, and Antoine was sayin’ “Play for that money.”
I loved that so much, back where we began, but so much further along and changed, and if not in every way, changed for the better in some ways — and continuity of culture.
Good Lord this crowd is a predictable lot. Is a TV show really so important to you that you can’t respond to criticism without taking a shot at the critic’s intelligence? Keep in mind this is a show where characters explicate the lyrics to a John Hiatt song.
I love Treme, but I feel Tommy does have some valid points (and I have to admit, I do UNDERSTAND some of the criticisms labeling the program a “Jazz Fest fan’s interpretation of New Orleans”).
Some of the injections of landmarks/nuances feel forced and make you wince because they don’t seem to fit and it doesn’t flow. The most egregious (IMO) was Toni’s legal aid, who’s introduced because Toni’s workload is so heavy…..then she just “happens” to hook up with Cornell, then she just “happens” to be some full-fledged vocalist…..ahem! Because thats just how we roll down here or something (everyone is a bone-playing, jazz standard singing, crawfish eating Dixie).
The show does a good job of exposing many of the treasures of the city that most visitors would (regretfully) miss. I enjoyed the layers of season 2 (I’d say more than S1) but Hildago seemed to be a vehicle for contrived pushing noteworthy locales (eateries, clubs, social events, etc).
Should it have been done differently? See, I don’t know….if you didn’t do some of these ‘gimmicks’ throughout the course of the season, I could certainly see that as a waste of good canvass. Maybe or possibly, these locations are used like popular culture samples/hooks, where producers dig up riffs we all grew up with and have an emotional attachment to, thereby providing an immediate identification / stimulation for the audience (“hey remember when….”). I know just in passing when Treme features places (Rock n Bowl, Bacchanal, The Spotted Cat, etc) I’m instantly taken (in my mind) to my happy place and regardless of how the scene performs, the dopamine response is activated inside my brain.
That being said, I enjoy this series MORE than ‘The Wire’. Treme really captures quite a bit beneath the individual scenes and there never is a second wasted on screen.
….one thing I thought was telling and something I seriously get a kick out of (maybe this wasn’t even intentional), was that, essentially, this is a story ABOUT musicians (Sonny, Antoine, Annie, Chief, Delmond, Harley, etc). Can we agree on that?
Yet, how much of these 21 hour-long episodes has the “music industry” even been brought up?
In passing, the dying market for Delmond’s audience demographic, but other than that, it has been about the musicians gigging (in town) or ON TOUR. This is a statement about the commercial industry (of mass produced art) and performance art (theatre). Maybe I’m misguided, but I have to believe a large part of the theme to Treme is not so much about the culture of New Orleans, exclusively, but what performance art (theatre / music) captures about the mingling (and fusing) of cultures (working together) within society. Something we are losing more and more of because of how we appreciate (or don’t) ART.
I refuse to see how showing the real New Orleans is an attempt of the “Treme” team to be “hip”. New Orleans is what it is. If you want to hate on it, you are what you are. I am a New Orleanian, always, no matter where I am. I am a fatalist because I am a New Orleanian. Enjoy the arguements. The truth remains.
To me, watching Treme is a little like going to a lounge with your friends. Sometimes you have animated discussions, sometimes you laugh, sometimes you are challenged or even confronted, and the visit sticks with you for days. Other times, you just sit back in your seat, kinda tune out your buddies, and watch and listen to the live music while you nurse your drink – enjoying a quite evening away from the hustle and demands of life.
Back of Town is getting to the lounge early, some times staying ’till the lights come on and the chairs are flipped up on the table, and goin’ for Friday lunches.
“I refuse to see how showing the real New Orleans is an attempt of the ‘Treme’ team to be ‘hip’.”
Refuse to see it all you want, but don’t tell me the hipsterism’s not there.
P.S. Especially when Anthony Bourdain is a writer.
“The show does a good job of exposing many of the treasures of the city that most visitors would (regretfully) miss.”
Hear hear. That’s why I watched two full seasons. The directors have a great eye for the decay that makes New Orleans (outside the French Quarter) so physically distinctive.
Okay. I just read the Atlantic article. What I wonder is if there is any backstory as to why The Altantic, both seasons, had reviewers who hate Treme. Methinks somebody pissed somebody off, but maybe that’s just how I’ve come to see the world ….
that would be something to look into…..
Though, Their (Atlantic) decries the languishing boredom of Treme while praising the substance of scratch-and-sniff, lymbic pablum of FX’s “Rescue Me”, “Sons of Anarchy”, and “Justified”…..
so, uh, consider the source (and reason behind the “Philistines” comment)
Good Lord this crowd is a predictable lot. Is a TV show really so important to you that you can’t respond to criticism without taking a shot at the critic’s intelligence?
Keep the comments about the show. Period.
Glad to. Please hold the Simon acolytes to the same standard.
To try to get back on topic, I had an eye opening moment in the show. I hate violence of any kind. I can’t stand to watch it. I literally avert my eyes when it crops up on shows. But when LaDonna kicked her rapist I began to understand why people like to watch it. It was the first time in my life I felt “Dam RIGHT!!! Let it out, girl!” My reaction actually surprised me. I guess it is because these characters have become so real to me. I care about them, like I care about my city. After commenting last year on one of the many critisms of the show, the writer commented back to me “You do realize this is a TV SHOW?” It kind of brought me back to my senses. I had fought so long and hard for the survival of the city, I was in the same mode for “Treme”. That is a pretty good complement to the writers and everyone contributing to the show. They made me forget it actually WAS a TV show.
Davis and brophy, only because you were theorizing above:
Is this essay a point of origin for the Atlantic’s continuing displeasure? Dunno. Probably unconnected to the ensuing reviews, though it could be that when an Atlantic writer evaluates work with which I’m connected, they do so contemplating an in-house version of me that is their own unique manufacture. Any consideration of the Wire or Treme since the essay seems to be off the charts as compared to any critical average or mean. But of course, this is no evidence of anything. Perhaps the last season of the Wire and all of Treme do suck, and Generation Kill isn’t worth comment. Perhaps the Atlantic just gets it. In any event, everyone deserves an opinion, god bless ’em.
Short explanation for the above piece itself is that Mr. Bowden is lifelong friend and colleague to a couple fellows who believed that season five of The Wire was going to hold their brand of journalism to an unflattering light. Ergo, Mr. Bowden rushed in prior to broadcast with this panicked, prophylactic ad hominem.
After I was contacted about the piece, I clearly hurt some feelings at the magazine when I inquired with both Mr. Bowden and the editor of the Atlantic as to whether it was at all ethical, given Mr. Bowden’s long-standing friendships — and indeed he had recently been hired as a columnist by one of these fellows — that he serve as the vehicle for such an essay. I was assured by the editor of Mr. Bowden’s integrity, detachment and fairminded thoughtfulness. Mr. Bowden in turn wrote me that I had so betrayed his confidence by even asking this question of his editor that he felt free to take any off-the-record response to the piece that he had solicited from me and use it as he saw fit. He then characterized that response harshly without actually addressing its substance, adding more invective to the essay, as you can read. Class act, all the way.
On the other hand, it turns out that it’s way cool being the Angriest Man in Television in contract negotiations and content disputes with networks. The crankier they think I am, the easier it is to win points. Who wants to argue with That Guy? So whenever I come out of a room in Los Angeles with a bit more than I deserve, I likely have the Atlantic to thank in part. So regardless, cut ’em some slack.
Yours in permanent apoplexy,
P.S. Davis, did you order that soft-boiled-egg-pasta appetizer at Herbsaint? No? My God, man. What were you thinking? Epic fail.
“In Praise of Treme”
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