Sunday, May 16, 2010

CRIME, CHANCES & CONSEQUENCES

Who shot two people at the end of a traditional second-line parade in New Orleans, shortly after Katrina? That question and many others may get answered tonight in the sixth episode of Treme. In the latest episode of HBO's drama that takes an in-depth look into the lives of families who returned to New Orleans, despite the city’s despair, the main characters and their lives open up to a long-awaited steamy and spicy gumbo of controversy, confusion and consequences.

Antoine gets a break he couldn’t anticipate but it’s one he certainly appreciates. As he struggles to get some sort of normalcy in his chaotic life, the stressed-out, trombone freelance player, beaten by New Orleans police has been out of steady work and out of luck for months.

His predicament takes a turn for the better with the help of a Japanese businessman who’s an avid jazz fan. The stranger buys Antoine a brand new trombone. His original horn was mysteriously misplaced by officers who beat Antoine for bumping their cruiser with the horn, as he walked through the French Quarter. As a parting gift, the jazz fan hands Antoine a fistful of cash and did not ask for anything in return.

Meanwhile, Davis is running for a city council seat because he wants to cease the corruption he sees in New Orleans. If he’s to win, or even seriously compete, Davis must first figure out the politics of the streets, in addition to effectively managing a shoestring campaign. The loafer and wannabe politician finds out quickly that using the N-word, even casually, is dangerous in the company of African-Americans. Seconds after he voices his disgust with thugs who shoot innocent people, Davis gets punched in the mouth, despite trying to explain to a man that he lives in the Treme, so it’s okay for him to use the racially offensive word. No one helps Davis to his feet. Ironically, he wakes up on the couch of his two gay neighbors.

Chief Lambreaux gets closer to a woman who’s conveniently available to help him stitch his Indian costume, in preparation for Mardi Gras. Lambreaux, however, is more concerned with finding out why the city refuses to reopen the Calliope Housing Projects, despite there being no obvious structural damage to the apartments. If Lambreaux can get the city to reopen the concrete apartment complex, it serves as an opportunity for displaced members of his Indian tribe to have a place to live and a reason to return.

Creighton pours himself into making plans with his Krewe for the first Mardi Gras in New Orleans, since Katrina. However, his time may be better spent catching up on a six-year-old deadline. Creighton’s novel on New Orleans and it weak levee system pre-Katrina took a hiatus years ago. A phone call from the book publisher based in New York may confirm Creighton’s fears. How will he repay the publisher the book advance? Creighton used the money to restore his Garden District home.

Treme repeats on HBO throughout today, starting with the very first episode. To read my Treme entry for last week scroll below.

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