TAP Talks Treme: Smoke My Peace Pipe

Tim Fernholz: It's nice to see Creighton actually teaching and appearing to accomplish his task well, even if he carries on with the usual polemic. It's a much more impressive setting for his arguments than his house.

Alexandra Gutierrez: I wonder if there's any connection between Creighton and Billy Sothern. The same Lafcadio Hearn letter that Creighton read to his class opens Sothern's book Down in New Orleans: Reflections from a Drowned City , which recounts what happened to the city after the storm -- basically the same project as Treme.

Sothern is a lawyer who has written a lot on the post-Katrina prison crisis (you all should check out this Nation piece he did if you have time), and so his work feels sort of halfway between Creighton's and Toni's.

Aminatou Sow: Why is Creighton being such an ass? I cannot help but be reminded how this show is so distinct from The Wire due to these AMAZING women.

TF: Pleased to see more explication of the baggage-claim band. Seeing Antoine actually organize an event and carry it off with aplomb gave me some hope for him, too.

Joel Anderson: I think Davis' strategy session with Jacques Morial gives us even more evidence that he's just a self-promoting huckster. Which is fine, by the way; he is a DJ after all.

AG: Davis is still mostly a selfish and clueless jackass, and all the other scenes in this episode did a good job of demonstrating that. When he was talking with Morial about the city's winners and losers and he couldn't get at any of the social or structural problems -- really?

Just last week, Davis' uber-WASP parents could barely veil their racism when talking about his City Council campaign. And they named him after Jefferson Davis for God's sake. He just doesn't seem to want to connect the dots.

JA: I don't think he cares about New Orleans nearly as much as he cares about selling a few CDs and gaining a little fame. And that'd be cool, if he didn't try to disguise that fact so much.

Also, the bribe scene with Davis and Judge Williams was so unsubtle and kind of super brutal in the context of the rest of the episode. If anyone could have used a get-out-of-jail card this week, it was Albert, who just last episode showed that the city government couldn't buy him off.

TF: Hate seeing Annie back together with Sonny. What is she thinking? Obviously leaving an abusive partner is no easy thing, and I don't want to imply otherwise. But, damn, that's depressing to see after she walked out on him last episode.

JA: Definitely. I think Treme is determined to depress the hell out of us with the Sonny and Annie storyline.

Kind of revisiting what we talked about last week, the romantic relationships in this show mostly fit the shiftless man-sanctified woman archetype. Sonny-Annie. Davis-Janette (though I was impressed that he was so helpful this go-round). Antoine-whatever woman he crosses paths with that day.

Can't you see the frustration all over Toni's face when she finds out Creighton is goofing around with YouTube again?

Maybe there's hope for Albert and Lula.

AS: Albert + Lula = power couple. Can we start taking bets on how long until Janette dumps Davis for good and gets with Jacques?

How resilient is Janette? That SBA loan is one episode too late to save her restaurant, but she's rolling with the punches. She can also return to what she does best, cooking. I'm devastated at the thought of her and Jacques being apart.

As much as I hate to say it, Davis may have won boyfriend of the year when he brought her that basket of food and kind words.
"I'm not company. I'm your friend."
"With benefits."
"With or without."

AG: I'll give you boyfriend of the night for that line. (Of course, given Sonny and Creighton's behavior, that's a low bar.)

JA: Word. I can't help but think Jacques will be back if Janette gets her restaurant up and running again. I actually think he would have worked for free, if she had chosen to go that route.

TF: In the name of all things good and delicious, I really hope we don't lose track of awesome Chef Jacques now that Janette is out on her own, cooking "guerrilla style."

TF: The Mardis Gras Indian gang's protest/occupation of the projects seems surprisingly sophisticated for Albert's normally straightforward (and brutal) approach; creating this media firestorm was a clever bit of direct action indeed.

It presents a very nice contrast with the treatment of public housing in The Wire, where the projects -- the towers -- symbolized drug culture run amok until they were demolished halfway through the series. In Treme's New Orleans, they are homes that have been taken away from their rightful owners, something to be sought after and won back.

Speaking of our mostly fruitless search for sympathetic institutional figures, how about that community-relations sergeant who tried to talk Albert out of his protest? At first, I felt some sympathy for him, but why didn't he go in to arrest Albert instead of leaving it to the hooligan cops who beat the hell out of him? I imagine he knew very well what was going to go down once the drapes closed.

JA: Well, as far as sympathetic institutional figures there is Judge Gatling. He was all kinds of awesome.

As for the community-relations sergeant, I think he did about the best he could do under the circumstances; I really don't think he wanted to arrest Albert.

Since we haven't brought it up yet: Did it never cross anyone's mind that Daymo was likely dead? I thought we weren't going to find that out until the final episode of the season.

And the prisoner who took his name, he's the one who killed him.

TF: Oh I agree, Anwan Glover, who played Slim Charles on The Wire and is the prisoner who took his name on Treme definitely killed him.

I always thought there was a good chance that Daymo had been killed, although I thought it would be one of those flooded-prisons situations.

AS: I didn't want to believe Daymo was dead because Toni was working so hard. I love Melissa Leo, the actress who plays Toni, so much. That woman belongs in every TV show. She's tough as nails, compassionate and resolute in the role of Daymo's advocate. He may be dead, but she won't let NOPD forget about it.

JA: I can't help but love Toni. She drives so hard and cares so much that I wonder if she's eventually going to run out of steam.

I'm trying to think if there's ever been a point when we've seen Toni have a moment for reflection, or even invest some of that boundless energy in herself. Every time I think of a scene involving Toni, I envision her walking briskly out of the house or someone's office.

AS: And speaking of Daymo: "He been here five months, he can be here a few days longer." That medical examiner was clearly not ready for LaDonna and her awesome.

The rows of trucks holding unclaimed bodies was such a powerful visual reminder of how deep this city's grief is.

LaDonna's mom will not take this news well. At all.

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