Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Death, Sex and Police Brutality

He begins his day having sex with a stripper in a FEMA-issued trailer. By the end of the day, Antoine Batiste’s (Wendell Pierce) life is upside down. His live-in girlfriend suspects he’s cheating on her, which leads to an argument. Batiste weasels out of the house to play his trombone with a few other struggling jazz musicians another night at the same bar where he met the stripper. When he leaves the club, Antoine accidently bumps into a parked New Orleans Police cruiser, officers respond by profusely beating Antoine and leaving his trombone on the street. He ends up sitting on a cement floor with other random men arrested by police.
In the third episode of what continues to put a microscope on a contagious string of complicated lives post-Katrina in New Orleans, David Simon’s Treme picks up the pace with unpredictable but satisfying drama. This week, every key character that anchors the show experienced a substantial life-changing crisis.

Shortly after losing his job as a hotel clerk, Davis McAlvary (Steve Zahn) finds himself in a confrontation with National Guard members. Davis, like Antoine ends up in a place no one wants to spend any time, the Orleans Parish jail. In an effort to repay the city’s overworked and underpaid public defender who frees him, Toni Bernette (Melissa Leo), Davis offers to give Bernette’s teenage daughter complimentary piano lessons. The problem for Davis is convincing Creighton Bernette (John Goodman) the lessons won’t go beyond a professional relationship. The implication in the scenes is that Davis may attempt to do a lot more than just teach.
A trip to the Lower 9th Ward brings local Indian Chief Albert Lambreaux (Clarke Peters) to the discovery of a decomposed body covered by a canoe. Within seconds of Albert and Lorenzo (Ameer Baraka) taking a walkthrough of the home full of mold and mildew, the two enter the backyard and lift up a canoe. The skeletal remains are those of Jesse, Albert's lifelong friend and symbolic member of Albert’s Indian tribe. You can catch all of the recently aired Treme episodes on HBO, April 29, 7 p.m. eastern time.
Who’s your favorite Treme character and why?
Please forward your comments about this story to Maniko Barthelemy at

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