“Could you do anything else?” -Janette
“Probably not.” -Delmond
This episode of Treme felt like the most like the first season than any other in the second season. That’s neither a good nor a bad thing, but for those who were more happy with the more direct narrative of season 2, they’d be a little disappointed. This episode felt so much more thematic. It felt like we were all told just why each character NEEDED to do what they did. It wasn’t that they were just kind of playing the cards they were dealt, but that they couldn’t possibly be doing anything else. Or at the very least, the character’s struggling with figuring just what it is they SHOULD be doing.
Delmond’s story rang the most true to the theme in the episode. Here is a brilliant musician who knows he supposed to be playing jazz for the rest of his life, but yet he’s always drawn to his home town. He’ll be playing music forever, but not at the sacrifice of his father and the Indian culture in New Orleans. I really liked the scene where Delmond gives his father the Indian patch. It was a nice honest moment between the two. I don’t always enjoy Albert Lambreaux’s character, but I do when he’s being light hearted with his son.
Janette, like Delmond, knows that she must cook for the rest of her life. She too has decided to make a go living in New York City, but again, is heavily influenced by her home town. I don’t think that she’s going to stay away forever, especially knowing that her Sous-Chef, a partnership that is stronger than family, is on the verge of being deported. I know it’s not a surprise that that she’s passionate about cooking, but the episode went out of if it’s way to expound on that fact.
I’m enjoying the idea of Annie struggling to write a song. She wants so desperately to become a songwriter that she thinks that’s the next step. This is a sort of contrast to Delmond and Janette. They both know what they want and have the path to do so. Annie just thinks she knows, but may ultimately just be a player. Perhaps, she does need Sonny, musically, after all.
Speaking of Sonny, I’m glad he’s not working out well with Antoine’s band. There’s nothing in his character that leads us to believe that he’d have the discipline to make it work. I do wonder where he goes next now that he’s not in the band. I imagine he’ll make his way back to Annie somehow. They just seem to be linked and I think the show will pull them back together. Maybe Sonny does something to Annie that catapults her to write a hit song, or maybe they join up again. Either way, his story sort of starts a new next episode.
I worried a little bit about the direction of Antoine Batiste’s character last week and unfortunately I feel my suspicions were confirmed. He’s probably my favorite character, but his story just seemed to sputter around this episode. I thought we were going to see him start forming the middle school marching band, but it turned more into music education. It feels like his sole purpose was to kick Sonny out of the band this week. He did take the gig with the bigger musician, so we’ll see if he’s truly passionate about his own band or just passionate about making money playing music.
Davis’s story line was more of what we saw last year. He’s making politically conscious music with a bunch of local musicians. Only this time, the musicians are better. That leads me to believe that they would be quicker to oust him singing on the track. Davis has the mind and drive, but his vocal talents are not as strong as the people he plays with.
Sofia B Real and Nelson Hidalgo are still uninteresting to me. I’m not quite sure what the show is to do about this either. Nelson is the only one who is interested in developing the city and Sofia is really the only kid on the show. These are both important things that the show can’t do without. What they can do without is the romance between Toni and Terry Colson. We’ll see if that can interest me in way, but I’m not sure it will grab me.
As a final note, despite being a little slow and at times uninteresting, Treme is still such a unique and enjoyable show. Where else can you see a show that just shows a fiddle, clarinet and rag piano play music for a few minutes and it advances the plot? It doesn’t exist. Not to mention a show that just lets the cameras role on the second line. It’s as if we’re voyeurs catching a glimpse of a world we’d otherwise never see.