Sunday, May 22, 2011


Treme No. 15: Slip Away

BLOGGER'S NOTE: This recap contains spoilers, so if you haven't seen the episode yet, move along.

By Edward Copeland
Two weeks ago, some of the most significant developments in this season of Treme were nearly lost in a weak episode where only a single scene ran three minutes and most ran less than two or a matter of seconds. I blamed the director, because he helmed a first season episode that was similar in that way as well as an out-of-character installment of Boardwalk Empire that also had quick bits. Then came tonight's Treme. It moves better than the episode two weeks ago, has stylish touches and, for the most part, lacks the choppy feel that "On Your Way Down" had. On the down side, this week's episode actually contains more bite-size pieces than "On Your Way Down" and has fewer significant developments to compensate. I didn't bother to time the scenes this time, which in some cases could almost be more accurately labeled shots. Usually, each Treme runs about 59 minutes, including credits. "On Your Way Down" contained about 43 or 44 scenes if I recall correctly. This episode, "Slip Away," includes one of Treme's most powerful pre-credit sequences ever, which makes the brevity of everything that follows even more disappointing. That opening sequence really is composed of several scenes, but the sequence flows so beautifully from one to the other, that I'm counting it as a single scene. Not doing that for what follows turns out to be this episode's biggest problem. The scenes are short already, yet they divide scenes that could logically be played as a whole, interrupting them with scenes from other stories (and then splitting those scenes up as well). Frustratingly, this happens with performance scenes also.
By doing this, my count for this episode adds up to a total of around a whopping 97 scenes — though I probably should count the march against crime sequence at the end the same way (If I did, it would still give the episode a total of 60 scenes). I started looking to see what's going on (See sidebar for my possible theory) since the first and second episodes of the season and last week's weren't like this and the two episodes that were had different directors and writers. They did have share the same editor, Alex Hall, but he also edited the premiere, many of season one's finest episodes, a bunch of installments of The Wire and the fine feature film The Messenger, so it doesn't make sense to blame him. Malcolm Jamieson edited my two favorite episodes this year — the second and the fourth — but he edited "Smoke My Peace Pipe," the first season episode that used this style. The second season of Treme has completed filming, so we'll have to see how the rest of this season plays out, but they have that third season renewal now. No more of these hours full of microscenes. Draw us in. Let the writers flesh things out. Let the performers dig deeper into characters' skins. Perhaps I was spoiled by the recent Mildred Pierce miniseries with its long, leisurely scenes. As I wrote in my recap of one of its parts:
One of the many great pleasures that I've derived from this miniseries is the willingness for Todd Haynes and Jon Raymond to allow their scenes to go on for extended lengths of time and really develop, without the need for constant cutting for the ADD generation. They do have some short scenes when they don't need to drag on to get their point across, but in the really big ones, they let it go on, like great works of theater, and allow the actors and the viewers to really get involved in what's happening. The beauty of commercial-free television.

Treme, at its very best, resembles that type of writing mixed with powerhouse acting and great music to compose what made me love it in the first place. Treme deserves to be much more than an hour of clips. Not only do its fans deserve it, but so do its actors and its writers. As always I'm grateful to the help of Lolis Eric Elie as well as two bits of culinary information tweeted to me by tonight's episodes guest chefs. Thanks to all.

What's particularly sad about "Slip Away" is that the pre-credit opening stands as one of, if not the most, powerful and emotional openings that Treme has ever produced. We start on the image of "Dinerral Shavers," the murdered snare drummer of The Hot 8 Brass Band, lying in his open coffin.

After that stark image of Shavers looking so peaceful in his casket in contrast to the knowledge of the audience both in the church and watching Treme at home that there was nothing peaceful about the way the drummer's life ended, the camera cuts to a young lady at the church podium, fighting her tears as she tries to deliver words about the slain man. "Dinerral was more than a big brother to me," Nakita Shavers manages to get out past the increasing sniffles, "he was the only father figure I've ever known." I cannot imagine how difficult (and courageous) it must have been for Shavers' real family members and friends to re-create his funeral more than four years later for a television series, to dredge up all those emotions and pain and before the world no less. It's quite a powerful sequence even if you don't know that it's his real family going through the funeral again, but if you do it only amplifies the raw power of the opening.) The camera begins to scan those attending the service at the Fifth African Baptist Church. Musicians and funeral marchers fill their ranks, instruments in tow. "He was always there for me," Nakita continues while the camera keeps looking through the crowd. It returns to Nakita as she says, "He was always the highlight of my life" and it moves behind her so we can see the packed Central City-Garden neighborhood church is standing room only at the back. "I remember my high school graduation," she tells them, actually managing a smile and a laugh, "when he lied and told me he couldn't make it. I was so upset with him." The camera finds Antoine looking at the funeral's program as she's relaying her story. It is titled THE HOMECOMING OF DINERRAL JEVONE SHAVERS SR., the rest of the type is too small to read his birthday clearly, but you can make out that he was born early in 1981 and from the previous episode know he died at the end of 2006, making Dinerral a too young 25. Real information says that Shavers was slain Dec. 28, 2006, though I imagine for creative license purposes, Treme had him slain on Christmas on Treme. The funeral has moved us ahead to Jan. 4, 2007, which can be made out on the program. "I walk outside and I spot him and the rest of my eight brothers lined up, standing in a corner ready to strike a beat for me," Nakita starts to get emotional again as do many in the audience such as Bennie Pete, seated on the left aisle of the center front row. "And he played and he gave me and the rest of my class the best graduation present I ever — he was all I had," her composure begins to fade now as we spot John Boutte among the mourners. "Who gonna be" are the last comprehensible words the sad young lady gets out before the tears overtake her and she drops her head to the podium to cry. She wails, "Oh God no!" as two women help lift her off the ground. Apparently, she collapsed to the floor, but the camera didn't capture the moment. The minister announces that the family members who wish to leave may do so as the women literally hold Nakita up as they help her away from the platform. People start getting up to exit the historic church, which was founded in 1880. Antoine stops by Bennie and tells him he doesn't know what to say. "Nothing to say, man," Bennie replies. Antoine reaches down for a semi-hug and spots a very young child, who I'm guessing is Dinerral Shavers Jr., playing with a drum. Perhaps the beat goes on, for another generation at least. The music begins as the procession starts to lead the coffin out of the church. A man pushes Terrell in his wheelchair while Terrell blows his trumpet. The procession reaches the door where outside awaits a horse-drawn hearse and another large crowd seeking to pay their respects. Harley Watt is present as are Davis, Annie and Simply Red. It's truly a beautiful, mournful, cacophony of brass that's accompanying Dinerral's coffin out of the church, but suddenly the music stops. As the pallbearers lift his coffin to load it into the carriage, the musicians do the same with their instruments, raising them toward the sky. It's a wondrous, moving sequence — and it lasts about four-and-a-half minutes. It's also worth noting that her brother's death and the murder of filmmaker Helen Hill soon after that this episode will cover inspired Nakita Shavers to help co-found Silence Is Violence, an anti-violence campaign still in existence that was one of the organizers of the march against violence coming later in the show. Still, nothing that follows this opening sequence of Dinerral Shavers' funeral will come close to that either in length, mood or emotion.

Now with that great opening and those familiar credits completed, we've used approximately 6:15 of the roughly 59 minutes allotted for the episode. That will include the end credits (which take about 1:30), which means we have barely 51 minutes of narrative time remaining. To have roughly 96 (or 59, depending on which way you prefer to count) scenes in that amount of time is shocking, astounding and simply nuts. That makes an average scene last 53 seconds (or 83 seconds by the other count). The teleplay is by Mari Kornhauser from a story by Kornhauser and Simon and is directed by Rob Bailey, who is helming his first Treme though he did direct two episodes of The Wire — one in the second season and one in the third. Most of his previous work was on CBS crime procedurals such as the various versions of CSI and Without a Trace. One reason my recaps get so long is that The Wire spoiled me and I learned that you had to watch closely, because a seemingly insignificant detail or character might return. (Since I didn't get a chance to re-watch Treme's first season prior to the second, I missed that when Toni and Sofia went to the re-opened Angelo Brocato's Italian Ice Cream Parlor, a New Orleans landmark since 1905, in the premiere, it referenced back to Creighton's comment in season one about how much he missed the place. So I'm afraid I'll leave something important out, though there isn't much chance of that if a scene runs 12 seconds.

Since for the past two weeks, I've changed the way I do recaps to some extent, I'm doing it again this week by necessity. Instead of my usual chronological approach, I'm going to chronicle the episode by way of the characters, grouping their scenes into single sections. Granted, there will be overlap, so in those cases I will lean toward which character seems to be the dominant focus. This could end up making for a shorter recap (or even a longer one depending how much commentary and extras I manage to squeeze in). I hope it's not less interesting (hell, if I toss in enough extras to flesh things out, the recaps of scenes might take longer to read than the scenes take to air). In lieu of the timer I used two recaps ago, I will denote each separate scene with a simple (x). We'll start with (2) since the funeral sequence I count as scene (1). I will follow that chronologically in a way, covering each regular in the order he or she first appears. Also, by including the scene numbers, you can trace the order in which they appeared, somewhat equaling the disorienting experience the constant switching back-and-forth between quick scenes was like while watching it. I'm limiting it to the regulars listed in the opening credits with the exception of Sonny, not because he is a bore but because he doesn't have any scene this week in which he's the focus. There also will be a separate section for the march against crime sequence, since most of the scenes do not revolve around characters we know. I also elected to put the final scene under LaDonna, though it contains no regulars, but is set at GiGi's. It might be confusing if you read each character's section as a block. I wish there were a way to direct you from one scene number to the next, but the best I could do was put them in bold. Good luck.


(2) Sofia and many of her Lusher Charter School classmates sit in the gym listening to their principal (Margaret Lawhon) talk in the wake of Mr. Weyman's suicide. The principal advises any students who are depressed, anxious or having "harmful thoughts" to speak with Dr. Stecklow and her counseling team, their counselor or a teacher they trust. Sofia looks bored and restless and bolts when the students get dismissed. (3.) Outside the gym, a teacher (Robyn Nolting) puzzles Sofia when she tells her, "Sofia, this is especially hard for you, I know. If you need to talk, I'm here." (10.) We hear the ferry's horn and see Sofia's face behind the screen of the elevator that takes passengers up to board the ferry. The door opens and she gets off with the others. (12.) On the ferry, Sofia stares out the window. She turns and looks at the other passengers. (29.) The next day, Sofia does show up for her afterschool internship in City Council President Oliver Thomas' office. "Young lady. Miss Bernette," Thomas calls out. Sofia looks up. "Want to take a walk?" he asks. "OK. Yeah, sure." (33.) Sofia sits on a bench outside the courtroom when Thomas exits the hearing and approaches, only to be interrupted by reporter Katy Reckdahl, who actually writes for The Times-Picayune, looking for a comment on parade fees. "Some of the clubs said they reached out to you," Reckdahl says, adding that the clubs expected Thomas to be a public advocate for the culture. "Off the record, I'm talking with the mayor and Riley privately, trying to find some middle ground." Sofia sits silently, just observing. "On the record, I hope we find some middle ground," he tells Reckdahl. Thomas' attention returns to Sofia and he asks her what she thought about her mother's performance. Sofia stands and walks with Thomas, who asks if everything is OK between her and Toni. "I just didn't want to bother her. She seemed pretty busy in there," she tells him,, before grilling Thomas. "So if you think she's on the side of the angels, why don't you just say so? You could come out against the fee increases and side with the clubs." Thomas explains, "If I come out against Nagin and Riley right now, I might not have 'em with I need 'em for something else later." Sofia's idealism can't accept that view of reality. "Seven thousand dollars for The Pigeon Town Steppers?" she asks incredulously. "You're right. I'm a politician. What I show in public might not be what I do in private. What I say to the mayor might not be what I say to your mom or some clubs or a newspaper reporter, but I can promise you young lady, a couple of weeks from now, Pigeon Town is gonna be steppin.'"


(4) Antoine finds himself in charge of the band class since Mr. LeCouer is elsewhere. Not knowing what else to do, Antoine suggests some music appreciation and asks the class if they listen to Louis Armstrong. One student, Charles (Roy Lafargue Jr.), speaks up and says, "Mister LeCouer said we ain't gonna do none of that because of Tristan." Antoine asks what happened to Tristan and another student says, "He got shot." "He got shot?" Antoine says with surprise. Charles asks Batiste if, since Tristan was second snare drummer and he was third, this means he's second now. A morose-looking Antoine just stares at the kid. "Y'all take your seats." (32.) Antoine Batiste & His Soul Apostles arrive at GiGi's to set up for the band's gig that night. A disappointed Antoine says to John, "She ain't gonna come in at all tonight?" John informs Antoine that LaDonna's staying up in Baton Rouge and that she hasn't been doing too well since the beating. Since GiGi's place has considerably less room than the venues they've been playing, Cornell asks, "Where the hell you gonna book us next — at a daiquiri stand?" Antoine asks where Terrell is. Mario tells him that Terrell is playing a gig with the Hot 8 that night. Antoine also realizes saxophonist Roderick Paulin is off sitting in with another band again, replaced by Tim Green. "Oh, man. We've got a nine-piece band with 54 fuckin' pieces," Antoine complains. (36). Wanda Rouzan at least has been dependable for Antoine when it comes to showing up for his band's gigs and she's, as always, giving it her all at GiGi's. In this scene, we come in as Wanda's wrapping up her number. I almost 100% certain she's finishing "The Dark End of the Street," an R&B classic written by Dan Penn and Chips Moman and first recorded by James Carr, becoming a Top 10 hit in 1967. Wanda doesn't quite end the song where any lyrics I found did. Given other contextual clues, it's almost certainly this song, but dammit, why can't we hear more of it? After the song's end, Antoine takes the mic, "It's always good to see whether a lady embraces the delights of marital infidelity." This backs up my feeling that I've got the right song, because the Wikipedia entry on it describes it as "the lament from an adulterer to his illicit lover." Antoine points to himself and says, "We've gotta show love to Antoine Batiste, who's always being forced to be the villain. Hit me, my brothers." This time, Antoine himself takes the lead vocals. "Oh…oh…give it up…come on now…come on now. What would I give/for just a brief moment/What would I give/just to have you near…" CUT That's as much of that song as we're allowed to hear then — and I've been enjoying listening to Wendell Pierce vocalize as Antoine this season, but God forbid we get to see more of his number than that, not in this episode. It's pathetic. Fortunately, even with that little to go on, I was able to identify the song as "Slip Away", which is even more unforgivable given that the episode takes its title from the Clarence Carter hit, which complements "The Dark End of the Street" by being sung from the point of view of a cheating spouse. Carter also covered "The Dark End of the Street" as a B-side to a 45 of his single "Snatching It Back." (38.) We go back to GiGi's and resume Antoine singing "Slip Away." Was there any good reason not to play out his performance in one piece instead of cutting away for a 31 second scene in Baton Rouge? That scene could easily have waited. Were they trying to make the point that LaDonna was "slipping away?" Only the truly expert would have known from those two lines Antoine had sung that "Slip Away" was the title of the song. The crowd at GiGi's certainly gets into the spirit of the song and Antoine performs more comfortably than we've seen him yet, almost turning the song into a seduction for the many ladies in the crowd, a lot of whom enjoy flirting back.


(5) Colson watches the TV in his office as it is announced that the so-called "Danziger 7," cops accused in the shooting deaths of James Brissette, 19, and Ronald Madison, 40, on the Danziger Bridge after Hurricane Katrina had turned themselves in to central booking. Four other civilians were injured. In what could be time discrepancies (or creative license), the news story I found had that event happening on Jan. 2, 2007, while the program for Shavers' funeral placed it on Jan. 4. More problems with the way these tiny scenes are ordered and assembled. (14.) Lt. Colson arrives at a crime scene, ducking under the yellow crime scene tape that cordons off the area where a few feet past it a body lies on the street. The officer on the scene (Edrick Browne) informs him that the victim was shot with a semiautomatic and homicide has been notified, but they are backed up and have to call in detectives from home. "It's the first for us," Colson says, referring to his district. "Fourth citywide. Crazy." Colson contacts dispatch, seeking an ETA for homicide. (19.) Colson enters another murder scene, this one in a small house. "Bad one here," a detective from homicide (Jim Klock) tells Terry as he arrives. "I heard," Colson says. "I came past to see if you guys needed the manpower." The detective goes on to describe the death scene in the home's bathroom. "He's crouched there, holding the little boy." "Protecting him," Terry presumes. "Wife went first. One shot to the neck. She dies quick so not much blood. "And the husband?" Colson asks. "He asleep in the bed with the son?" "So he says," the detective replies as if he doesn't buy the story. "One shot grazes him in the cheek. Says he gets up, he runs to the bathroom. Two more shots — forearm and the hand. Still, he looks good, kid too. Looks like a straight-up robbery but Terry, the way this guy played it — " Terry interrupts the detective, "The guy's shot three times. He's in the fuckin' hospital, right?" the detective sticks to where he was heading. "You didn't see how he reacted to his wife's death." Terry's not buying it. "The guy's in shock. I fuckin' would be." The detective can't be budged. "I got a feeling about this," the detective insists. Colson shakes his head skeptically. (21.) The next morning, Colson checks the electronic list of the previous night's calls in his patrol unit. Something catches his attention. (22.) Terry returns to the scene of the wife's murder. 6th District Capt. John Guidry (Michael Showers) and some other officers still linger around the crime scene. Terry notes a small shrine that has formed around the a bicycle in front of the house. He spots Guidry and asks, "Did you guys know that you had a call for service 18 minutes earlier over at 2416? I mean that's only a few houses away for chrissakes." The captain affirms that they did. "And your guys still like the husband? Seriously, John?" Colson questions. "The more we talk to him, the better he looks," Guidry says. (47.) Since the homicide detectives seem stuck on the idea that the thrice-wounded husband faked the robbery and shot himself so he could kill his filmmaker wife in their Marigny neighborhood home in front of their child, Colson decides to go to Deputy Chief Eugene Marsden (Terence Rosemore) with his doubts. "Twenty minutes before the Helen Hill murder, there was a report of an aggravated burglary two doors down," Terry tells Marsden. "I talked to the detective working it and he said homicide isn't even looking at any possible connection." Colson shakes his head. "In certain cases, if you don't solve 'em quick, this sends a message. This one — a couple with a young kid, wife's a filmmaker, husband's a doctor, a home invasion," Terry suggests. "We don't want to come up empty," Marsden says. "No, we don't," Colson agrees as he hands him a flyer for the march against crime. "People are scared. They're lookin' at us and what do they see — Unsolved cases or cases dumped before they even get to court. The only perp walk that makes the news is our own guys in cuffs," Colson tells the deputy chief. "You say the aggravated burglary call was in the same block as the murder?" Marsden repeats. "Twenty minutes earlier," Terry reiterates. "Chief, mark my words — if we don't change up on this, a week from now we're gonna be sittin' here with a cleared husband, no other suspects and a murder case open as the day is long." Marsden says he'll mention it to the captain.


(6.) Toni and her friend Andrea also watch the announcement concerning the seven current and former police officers. A grand jury empaneled by Orleans Parish District Attorney Eddie Jordan indicted Sgt. Kenneth Bowen, Officers Robert Gisevius and Anthony Villavaso and former Officer Robert Faulcon each on a charge of first- degree murder, Officers Robert Barrios and Mike Hunter with attempted first degree murder and Officer Ignatius Hills with attempted second-degree murder. Andrea tells Toni that if the cops don't get convicted, she will have a helluva civil case to follow up with in the Danziger matter. "The Danziger file suddenly has all kinds of potential," Toni says. Andrea, who is perusing Toni's file on Joey Abreu's case, comments, "This one, not so much." Toni asks if she should call the father, tell him what she found out and give him the number of the Loyola Law Clinic. Andrea suggests that she recommend Mr. Abreu hire a private investigator. "You have enough on your plate," Andrea tells Toni, who reluctantly agrees. (15.) Toni looks aggravated. She's been reading papers on her couch when she hears the cab pull up in front of the house and she's up, ready to confront her errant daughter. "OK, where were you?" she demands to know. "I went for a walk," she answers. Toni tells her that she'd been calling. "It's 10 o'clock at night. You didn't go to your after-school internship. You left your bookbag in your locker," Toni rattles off. "You made them check my locker?" Sofia says, sounding offended and violated. "I was worried," her mom replies. "Where were you?" "Out!" the teen snaps, trying to get past her mother, but Toni blocks her exit. "I'm gonna need more of an answer than that." Sofia maintains her pissed-off attitude. "Why? I was out. It's the truth. I didn't do anything I'm not supposed to do. I didn't go anywhere I'm not supposed to go." A concerned Toni tries to reach out for her daughter, but Sofia withdraws. "It's the truth. I'm not lying to you," she says before escaping to her bedroom and slamming the door behind her. Toni leans against her daughter's door as the shot widens to show the entire entry way, making the widowed mother look small and isolated.

(23.) Toni hands Alison a paper and tells her to attach it to an invoice for 36 billable hours and, "note it as fee waived and overnight it to Massachusetts." Understandably, her assistant asks, "Why bother with that if you're not gonna bill him?" Toni explains that she needs to give Mr. Abreu a reality check to know how much it would cost to continue the probe into Joey's death. "I can't keep going," Toni says, before getting antsy and unleashing a mini-rant. "I'm dealing with a new mortgage, an old one on a house that won't sell an angry-all-the-time daughter who for sure is going to pick the most expensive East Coast college in a year. And oh yeah — Creigh's pension payout — it doesn't come to half his teaching salary. I need to work paying cases. For the rest of the day, I prep for this afternoon's hearing — no calls, nothing. If we get any walk-ins, we aren't lawyers, we sell insurance, do window treatments, whatever." Toni then stomps into the sanctuary of her office. With the ridiculous microscenes of this episode, only a few of the cast get enough meat in any individual segment of screentime that really allows them to let loose. Melissa Leo, in this scene which runs a mere 40 seconds, is one of them. Clarke Peters in the earlier snippet with the inspector is another. (31.) The hearing that Toni was cramming for earlier (and one Oliver Thomas wants to personally watch) has started and it concerns the city's hike in permit fees for parades of any sort — second lines, funeral marches, the works. We hear Toni's voice before we see her as the camera moves from the back of the room to where we can see her from behind, standing at the podium addressing the judge. "Which is to say your honor that this case is scheduled for a settlement conference next month and the plaintiff had every hope of reaching a settlement with the city about a fee reduction," Toni tells the judge as the camera cuts so we can see her from the front. "The fact remains that we are well into this year's second-line parade season and as Ms. Schwartzmann made clear in her own remarks" — Toni points to Katie Schwartzmann, staff attorney with the Louisiana ACLU also arguing against the city's fee hike in the suit — "several of the city's social and pleasure clubs are in danger of canceling their parades." Toni cites the example of The Pigeon Town Steppers Social Aid & Pleasure Club, who face a deadline from the city the following week for fees in excess of $5,000. A woman reporter notes Thomas' entrance to the hearing, though it's doubtful she recognizes Sofia, who he's brought with him. Schwartzmann asks the judge for permission to say something. Once granted, Schwartzmann proceeds to say, "The officers from the Pigeon Town Steppers have informed me that their fees, based on their parade route and police concerns about violence* on that route, are now $7,560." From their spot leaning against the courtroom wall, Thomas leans down and whispers to Sofia that he needed to see for himself if the permit situation was any closer to being settled. "And I thought you'd get a kick out of watching your mama do her thing," he adds. Sofia just nods, but doesn't show much in the way of pride or interest. "And by the time we get to a settlement conference," Toni resumes, "half the spring parade season will have passed and we'll be in Carnival. When you compare the burden being placed on the clubs…" Without saying anything, Sofia leaves. "…and what's being asked of the more affluent Mardi Gras krewe, there is, frankly, the suggestion of a cultural and racial bias." Thomas seems torn between following Sofia and staying until the hearing finishes. He stays. (42.) Toni reluctantly unloads Joey Breau inquiry on Majeeda Snead at The Loyola Law Clinic. Snead says it will be a great exercise for some of the school's third year law students. She asks Toni if she's going to go to the march. Toni seems unaware until the associate professor at Loyola's law school points to the flyer labeled ENOUGH! on the bulletin board. "Oh, that shooting in the Marigny," Toni recalls. "I remember that one in '96 — Louisiana Pizza Kitchen killings." Toni's friend tells her, "A few hundred protesters tops," Snead says, referring to the '96 incident. Quietly Toni says, "Most of them white." Snead expresses hope that that won't be the case this time.


(7.) As Albert examines the progress he's making on this year's Indian suit, a city inspector (Jesse Moore) enters the still incomplete restoration of his home. Noticing the plumbing, the inspector says he didn't see a permit for the installation. "Don't need no permit. My pipes work just fine," Albert tells him. "I called down to sewage and water, paid up on my account and they turned me back on." The inspector tells him that "this is new work. New pipes, new commode. Until you get a state licensed plumber to sign off on this work and get the proper permits, I'm gonna have to shut the water off at the street." Lambreaux's voice rises in tone immediately, "I'm out here living hand-to-mouth, day-to-day and you gonna make me pay for work I already done?" The inspector already has turned to start walking away from the livid Albert. "I don't make the orders, sir." (44.) Albert lies stretched out asleep on his makeshift bed when the sound of a cough startles his slumber and he sits up. "Who are you trying to fool, chief?" George Cotrell (Otto DeJean) laughs. George has brought Albert his mail from the Post Office. (46.) Again, another example of two scenes that had no reason to be separated. Cotrell still is there, eyeing the progress Albert has made on his suit, and asks him about a piece of mail that seems to have upset him. There's no reason why the New York Del scene needed to be placed between the two parts instead of letting it play as one scene. "What's up?" George asks. "Road Home application," Albert sighs. "They bounced it. They say 'cause my wife's name was on the deed, they need to have her signature on the forms." Albert drops the documents. "Lorraine been gone since oh-three," Albert says as he stands, getting aggravated. "Now I must have wrote that down at least a dozen times on those papers." Albert slinks off to a different part of his house. (53) George Cotrell happens to be the person on the other end of the call Delmond received at The Blue Note in New York. "Says he's done Delmond," George relays to him about Albert as we see Albert gathering his belongings. "He's done? What does he mean by that?" we hear Del's voice ask. "He say he's done with all of it.…with New Orleans even. He's packin' his shit, talkin' about leavin' tomorrow." (55) George continues to behave like a spy, watching Albert from around the corner while on the phone with Delmond. It looks as if Albert might have a U-Haul. George backs up and says Del into the phone.


(8) Janette drops in on famed chef Tom Colicchio at his restaurant Craft in Gramercy to apologize for her Sazerac-tossing at food writer Alan Richman at Brulard, since Colicchio helped her get the New York job in the first place. If you recall, in the first season, Colicchio was one of the four New York chefs to unexpectedly drop by Janette's late, lamented New Orleans restaurant Desautel's and that's where the two met. "You made things happen for me here," Janette says to him, "and I fucked it up. I embarrassed you." What Colicchio wants to know though is if she threw both the glass and the drink at Richman, or just the drink. "Just the drink," she reassures him. "A direct hit?" he asks for confirmation. "Pretty much." He recommends that she go talk to Eric Ripert, another of the four who visited Desautel's. Janette asks if he's serious. "Yeah. He's a Buddhist. He's all about forgiveness. He'll take care of you," Colicchio says. "But whatever you do, don't throw drinks in people's faces." (24.) Janette crosses the Mountain Rose granite floors of the lobby of The Equitable Building at 787 Seventh Ave. to reach its concierge desk and ask for directions to the service area of Le Bernardin. (25.) She stumbles upon a man removing a fish from a container of fish with a large hook. She tells him she's looking for Chef Ripert. The man points the way. (26.) She walks through the kitchen, heading toward Ripert's office. I realize that Le Bernardin is a real place and a lot of these scenes were probably shot on substitute sets in New Orleans but with all the doors, steps and passageways that Janette traverses here, what a wonderful tracking shot this would have made instead of having all these cuts (even if it would have looked as if it were ripping off Scorsese's Copacabana shot in Goodfellas. They could have called it an homage.) She finally turns a corner of the kitchen and we see Eric Ripert at last. They mutually agree how good it is to see each other again then Ripert adds, "Now you are the woman who throws drinks in Alan Richman's face." Janette gives a nodding shrug. "I guess I'm going to have to live with that. Yes." Ripert tells Janette, "You know actually Alan is a friend of mine. We get along very well." Janette looks as if her world has indeed exploded, that perhaps Colicchio was wrong. Then Ripert speaks again. "But you are a good cook and we like good cooks at Le Bernardin. It's OK. Business. We have a very different system here." Ripert goes on to explain that everyone starts at the same kitchen station. "After what I did, I feel lucky I have a job," Janette says. (39.) When Janette enters her apartment with her overnight delivery, her roommate Nick tokes alone. As always, he politely offers her a hit, but she declines. "It's my first day at Le Bernardin. I'm working the lunch service," she tells Nick as she sets the box down on the table. The stoned Nick recalls that Janette had mentioned that to him and congratulates her on her new job. "I'm happy to be working anywhere after what I pulled but Le Bernardin…" she says as she starts opening the box and frees its first prisoner, a bottle of rye. She notes there's a half a case. "Plus Herbsaint. And Peychaud's bitters," she announces happily. Nick asks what all that liquor is for. "Sazerac." He laughs and coughs at the same time. Janette finds a note which reads:

"You are a Rock Star!
From your biggest fan

"Of course," Janette smiles with a sweetly touched look on her face that makes you wonder if she doesn't have more than just a soft spot for her ex-lover. (41.) Janette prepares to enter the kitchen of Le Bernardin for her first day of work. She takes the service elevator down to the main part of the kitchen where sous chef Colby Wood like Bogart who came to Casablanca for the waters, I was misinformed. It's actually Chef de cuisine Chris Muller who introduces himself and greets Janette with a fist bump before giving her the tour and some instructions. He shows her the station she'll be starting in, the Garde Manger, where currently there are three chefs and she will be No. 4. "I want you to learn to pound the tuna first. It's our most popular appetizer," he tells her. He introduces the three chefs she'll be working alongside: Victor, Kobe and Bill. Janette puts on her hat and prepares to get to work.


(9.) Davis, Mimi and Don B. have ensconced themselves in the studio once again — and Mimi already looks prepared for long hours of work, outfitted again with the Saints cap on her head and the flask full of liquor clenched tightly in her right hand. They are listening to Ballzack's rap track "Wine Candy." Mimi and Don try to move enthusiastically to it and even McAlary seems as if he's trying to convince himself of his own song's worth. Don hits the stop button and finally says what Davis didn't want to hear. "We'll move some units locally but Davis, there's nothing here that can go national." Davis tosses out the names of some other artists, though Don seems skeptical that Davis can corral them into participating. Mimi asks about "that other young man's name. The one you were playing for me in the car." Davis realizes she's referring to Mannie Fresh and Don sees him as a hopeful possibility because he's heard he's in town for the holidays. Mimi lights a cigarette and says they'll just set up an appointment with Mr. Fresh. (27.) The office for Davis, Mimi and Don's business meeting with Mannie Fresh has a great view but what it doesn't have is Mannie. Instead, it has his manager Ron Remsberg (Phil Austin). Remsberg explains that it's the first time Mannie has been back home to New Orleans since Katrina, "so he'd rather have this be a phone meeting." The manager opens a folder and flips through it while Davis whispers something to his aunt. Don's resting on a couch (he even shaved for the meeting), checking his watch, probably because he knows that no scene in this episode will last much longer that this one already has and he's right. We're done. Next. (30.) The two would-be record producers and Don B. continue to waste time in Ron Remsberg's office. Even if they accepted the fact that this interview with Mannie Fresh would only be conducted by conference call, it would be nice if Mannie would at least make a vocal appearance. Davis fiddles with a pen on Remsberg's desk, Mimi fans herself and Don doesn't appear to have moved much at all aside from switching the position of the toothpick in his mouth. "Understand, it's not personal with Mannie," Remsberg tells them. "It's just his sense of time." Davis suggests that they give him a call, just to see where he's at. "Sure," Remsberg responds quite agreeably, closing the folder he'd been reading and getting a dial tone and calling Mannie. "What's up," Mannie's voice echoes through the speaker, making the phrase sound like it's at least three syllables. "Mannie, it's Ron Remsberg calling. Mister McAlary is here for your meeting," he informs his client. Davis grins wildly now that they've made contact. "Oh shit," Mannie says. "Yeah, alright. Let's roll with this then." Davis leaves his seat to the other side of Remsberg's desk so he can speak directly into the phone's mic. "Hey Mannie, it's me — DJ Davis," McAlary tells him, quickly summing up his bio. Mannie remembers him and asks how he's been, but wants Davis to get to the point. Davis explains the idea of launching his new label with a sampler and how one or two tracks from Mannie Freeze would give it real weight. "Look dude, I can't help you right now," Mannie rattles off some other commitments and tells Davis it's just not a good time for him. As Davis grows dispirited, Mimi busily removes some papers from her purse. "If I may," Mimi says, planting her butt on Remsberg's desk. "Fuck the fame/Fuck the power/Fuck the fake ass friends/We gonna do it like this/From the nine-six/to the nine-seven era/Takin' over one state at a time/One rhyme after one rhyme," Mimi recites Mannie's lyrics back to him as Davis spins as if he doesn't know what to do and Don B. just appears constipated listening to this aging, drunken Southern belle attempt to rap. "Mister Fresh, seems to me somebody's forgettin' where they came from," Mimi lectures Mannie via speakerphone. "Who the fuck is that talking?" Mannie wants to know. Remsberg tells Mannie he'll finish the meeting up and Davis attempts to step in and perform damage control, referring to Mimi as his assistant, but Don finally speaks up, "That's his teedie." Mimi grins. Mannie asks Don how she rolls. "Go in style, past Jackson, definitely," Don B. reassures him. Mannie asks Don what Mimi looks like and Don starts to conjure an image, "Lots of Chanel…" but Mimi interrupts, "Oh, you already know." Thanks to Mimi and Don, Mannie agrees to contribute a track and tells Remsberg to help set "Mrs. T." up. Mimi beams with pride as her nephew's amazed once again. (49) What happened? We were enjoying Delmond and Tony Jarvis play at The Blue Note in New York with Janette but before the bartender even served us our drinks, we find ourselves watching spoken word artist Gian Smith recite his work on open mic night at Club Fabulous in Treme (the neighborhood, not the series). In the audience are Davis and Simply Red. Someone hands Davis a flyer for the march. I'm just starting to get into Smith's act when CUT. (51) Gian Smith remains on stage and we've caught him midsentence. "If you don't know, then you better ask," Smith tells the audience. Know what? Was it something important and we missed it because of this nonsensical switching between scenes as if the episode has been taken over by some bored fourth-grader with a remote control who keeps changing channels on the TV? Smith chants something and the audience chants something in return and then his time on stage over. Smith's place in front of the microphone is taken over by Lil Calliope (Altonio Jackson), a rapper who took his name from the infamous housing projects. As they watch, Red tells Davis that, "Every other cat up there can give you what you're looking for." Davis grimaces and whines, "I can front my own shit." Red looks skeptical, or at least that's how Davis interprets it. "I can. You doubt my flow?" Lil Calliope begins his act. Red gets into him, but Davis resists at first but then he gets sucked in until CUT Anyway, back to The Blue Note. Anyone need to a drink of water or a hit of oxygen first?


(11.) Harley Watt plays his guitar while Annie sits next to him on the Riverwalk. "Dinerral's funeral today — all those musicians that showed up — made me kind of proud," Annie admits. Watt asks her what it was like to play with Shawn Colvin and how that came about. "She saw me on Frenchmen Street. She asked me to come down for the sound check and we worked out a song," Annie tells him. "Very cool," Harley says. Annie also lets Watt know about Colvin introducing her to her manager, "this dude from Austin," after the set. "I think he's gonna sign me right up if Shawn tells him so," Annie shares without much enthusiasm. "No interest?" Harley asks. Annie shakes her head no and Watt resumes playing. "I gotta sing, I know," Annie says. "Not just sing," he tells her. "If you want to reach for a brass ring, you gotta write." (20.) "Today I write a song," Annie tells Davis. "What?" Davis says with surprise. "Really? Can I help?" "I'm not sure you should," she replies. "I think it has to be my song." Davis awkwardly tries to slide on his pants while sitting at the table. "So what are you going to start with — the melody or the lyrics?" She asks her boyfriend where he usually begins and he says he the lyrics. "The melody for me then," she answers seriously before cracking a big grin. (35.) Annie continues to struggle writing her first song of her own, but it isn't easy because Davis is on the phone with a credit card company. "I'm her nephew. I'm authorized to use the card," he tells the person on the other end. "OK. She's in the other room. Hold on." Davis puts his hand over the phone's mouthpiece and interrupts his girlfriend's train of thought in hopes she'll help him commit fraud. "Say you're Mary Margaret McAlary and you authorized the charge on your Visa," Davis whispers to Annie, holding the phone out for her to take. Annie shakes her head and quietly says, "No" but Annie takes the phone anyway and pretends to be Mimi. She returns to the phone to Davis, but she looks pissed. "Alright. On delivery tomorrow. Great. Thanks." Davis clicks the phone shut and Annie turns those sad eyes toward him. "I'm not sure I like you sending stuff to your ex-girlfriend," she admits. Apparently this fraud they committed against Aunt Mimi was for something Davis is overnighting to Janette. Davis tries to reassure his current girlfriend. "It's not about that, it's about honoring an act of heroism — or terrorism." Annie doesn't look as if she completely buys it and wants to know how much Davis bought. "Half a case," he answers. "That's very generous — on your aunt's card." (40.) Annie's tries out her first composition on the piano — and she's even testing it on an audience, in this case Davis and Simply Red. We've mainly seen Annie as one very talented violinist, but now we get to hear her sing and play piano. "Try so hard/to lift you up/but I fall/I can't carry us both/I must walk/away from this/and say my goodbyes," she sings. It's not too hard to imagine those lyrics being about her relationship with Sonny (or how her relationship with Davis could turn out somewhere down the road). "It's beautiful," Davis tells her. Annie laughs nervously, hiding her face as she does. "It really worked for me," Red adds. The sound of the tea kettle gets Annie's attention so she heads to the kitchen, giving Davis a kiss on the way, and doing a little dance, "I wrote a song, bitches." When she's out of the room, Red starts to say something to Davis, but he puts his finger to his lips, "Shhh." (43.) Annie tries her song out on Harley — this time on guitar. "Nice. You wrote a hit," Harley says. "It isn't that good," Annie smiles, though you can see that part of that modesty is false. "I don't know. 'Don't Think Twice' did alright for Bobby Dylan," Watt tells her. The comment takes away her smile and helps with that slight swelling on her head. "I mean — you changed the progression so it doesn't go back to the two but other than that I gotta say — at least you're stealin' big." Annie cringes before letting out a "Fuck!" "This is so hard," she says. "That's why the world is full of players," Harley tells her.


(13.) C.J. takes Nelson to another of the area's most famous eateries, Mosca's Restaurant, which has served its mix of seafood, Italian and family favorites since 1946 at its location in Avondale on the West Bank of Jefferson Parish. It may not look like much from the outside, but looks can be deceiving, according to its faithful clientele. In 2005, it took severe beatings from the strong storm winds of both Katrina and Rita that carried off Mosca's roof and devastated its kitchen, closing the restaurant for a time. When it re-opened, not only did the food taste the same, the building itself looked as if it had been meticulously restored to its previous look. The restaurant has such a reputation, Calvin Trillin penned a love letter to it in The New Yorker late last year. One thing is for certain: Unless C.J. is picking up the bill, Nelson better not expect to pay with plastic: Mosca's only accepts cash. Hidalgo seems to be in heaven with what he's eating. "To me, what's great about Mosca's is the same thing New Orleans struggles with in a way," C.J. says. Nelson asks what he means. "Change. Nobody wants the city to change. Not ever. Not in any way." "Now?" Nelson inquires. "Now we're a flooded-out wreck, trying to scratch out whatever tourist dollars are left, and still if you want to build anything down here, change anything, modernize anything, you get looked upon as the problem," C.J. says. Nelson calls it crazy, but one of C.J.'s dishes has caught his attention and he asks what it is. It turns out to be Oysters Mosca, one of the restaurant's signature items: fresh whole Louisiana oysters with Mosca’s special seasonings, topped with bread crumbs and baked. "To bring change to New Orleans, there are a lot of arguments that if they can be avoided, they should be," C.J. continues though Hidalgo's first taste of Oysters Mosca may have proved too distracting for him to hear anything the banker just said. "Arguments that are off point that don't have any actual merit with anything anyone is actually trying to do." It looks as if C.J. has finally figured out that he is losing the conversation to shellfish, so he tries to shake it up a bit. "Pop quiz Nelson: What's the next step after demolition and removal?" Nelson, still voraciously chowing down, answers, "We build something?" with his mouth full. "Don't get ahead of yourself," C.J. warns. This slows Nelson down long enough to pause and take a drink before he responds, "Planning. Land use." "And what, Mister Nelson Hidalgo of Dallas, Texas, is your reassessment when it comes to planning?" "That no one in this town knows Nelson Hidalgo from a hole in the ground," Nelson responds. C.J. nods approvingly. (34.) C.J. and Nelson have met again in the corner office of Ligouri's bank with papers and maps spread across the conference table. "You put whatever you want into it," C.J. tells Nelson, though we're uncertain what they're discussing at this point. "Beyond that, anyone that I send, you get two-and-a-half points on anything that they bring." Nelson nods affirmatively and says, "Fair enough." C.J. returns the nod and then stands, pulls out a pen and designates an area on a city blueprint. "Anything inside that." Nelson, shifting slightly as always and with his hands in his pockets asks, "Just curious. What's coming?" Liguori says, "I don't know what's coming — and we never had this conversation." That bemuses Hidalgo. "Just a hunch then, huh?" Nelson figures out loud. "Just a hunch," C.J. repeats. "But you never gamble," Nelson declares, repeating what Liguori said about himself during their Thanksgiving trip to the Fair Grounds. C.J. just grins slyly and Nelson rolls up the marked-up blueprint and takes off. (95.) Nelson drinks at a bar and looks over papers C.J. gave him. The TV news is on covering the march, but he only looks up briefly when he hears Oliver Thomas' voice.


(16.) Despite Antoine's subtle pushing to cancel her plans for it, LaDonna has brought live music to GiGi's — and the people pack the place. At the moment, the entertainment is provided by Walter "Wolfman" Washington, but the bar is so crowded and noisy I can't even begin to make out lyrics to his song. In fact, so many inhabit the small saloon, it's difficult for LaDonna to navigate the bodies enjoying the entertainment to deliver the two handfuls of beer bottles she's carrying. You can see LaDonna flinch slightly each time she rubs against a stranger as she tries to make her way to a table to deliver their order. Once she's handed out all the beers, it's as if she's fleeing to exile and safety back behind the bar, rubbing her face and staring at the wall of booze. She composes herself and turns around to face her customers — but not for long — she does a 180 and pours herself a stiff one. As she's downing it, a stern voice shouts, "Yo girl!" and startles her into dropping her cup and covering her mouth, but John's keeping a watchful eye on the situation. The patron (Jaren Mitchell), at a much lower volume, says he was just going to ask about his change. LaDonna runs from behind the bar and exits through another door. (17.) In the bathroom, LaDonna throws up into the toilet. (18.) Back in the bar's main room, John looks outside to see if he spots LaDonna. He looks back inside and sees her coming out of the bathroom and figures out what happened. He asks her if she's OK as he holds her up. LaDonna tells John to do whatever needs to be done and to close up the best he can and gets in her car and drives away. (28) In Baton Rouge, Mrs. Brooks quietly comes into her daughter's bedroom, whispering her name. She spots the bottle of Seagram's on LaDonna's bedside table and shakes her head. She then decides to try to rouse her daughter awake. "LaDonna, honey, it's damn near noon," her mother says. LaDonna doesn't try to even open her eyes, only squeezing herself tighter into sleep mode. She whispers, "Be up in a bit, mama." (37.) A TV set has been tuned to WWL Channel 4 in New Orleans which is reporting on a man shot and killed in the 2500 block of LaSalle Street. As the camera turns, we see Larry coming from the kitchen sipping a glass of water and realize we are back in Baton Rouge. He leans down and whispers to LaDonna, who's transfixed by the TV report, that he's turning in for the night. He gives her a kiss and LaDonna tells him she'll come to bed after the news finishes. Larry says goodnight to Mrs. Brooks, who is sitting on the other end of the couch. Though it's difficult to hear over all the goodnighting, something that's annoying LaDonna, the TV news is reporting the huge increase of murders in New Orleans in the early days of 2007 and growing outrage in the community about the increase in crime and violence. They cite figures, but it's hard to make out. LaDonna would have liked to have heard this and so would I, but once Larry has left the room, LaDonna's mother takes the opportunity to speak to her daughter. "I thought you were supposed to mind the bar food til Saturday," Mrs. Brooks says. LaDonna, twirling that tight ponytail she wears now, tells her mother, "The bar can mind itself." Her mother glares with a look that half concern, half like she wants to take LaDonna over her knee. LaDonna takes a big swallow from the glass that holds whatever she's drinking now. (96.) The TV coverage of the march has LaDonna mesmerized in Baton Rouge, especially since Glen David Andrews is speaking at City Hall and he was at GiGi's earlier in the day she was raped with Dinerral Shavers before Dinerral was murdered. (97.) It's slow at GiGi's itself where John and a customer are half-watching the coverage, but the customer seems more interested in his beer and John has glasses to dry. Fade out with about 1:30 left for the closing credits.


(45.) Albums lay strewn across Del's New York apartment. (I forgot to note before how great I think it is that this musician, supposedly of some stature, has an entire home music collection that seems to exist on wax. Very cool, Delmond.) Again, though the episode as a whole gets undermined by its quick-cut structure, this scene does contain another nice touch when Del searches through his records while standing next to a mirror on his wall, making it appear as if two Delmond Lambreauxs stand there. Yes, it may be too literal a representation of his character's conflict between the modern and the classic and his duality in general, but it's still executed nicely. He's listening to a vintage recording and, despite my best efforts, I couldn't narrow down the song or the artist. While Del concentrates on the song, searching his collection and even grooving in the middle of the floor, knocking interrupts his train of thought as Jill shows up. Since she could care less about his exploration of the past, she turns the music's volume down and tells Del to take her out to dinner. The musician almost looks crazed in his quest to find what he seeks within his album stacks. "I got a gig later," he answers her meal request, trying not to be distracted. "We got time to eat first," she says, getting pissed at the burgeoning triangle between her, Del and Jelly Roll Morton. (48.) That gig Del mentioned earlier to Jill and days before during the Giants-Saints game has started that night at The Blue Note and Janette takes advantage of the fact her fellow exiled New Orleanian placed her name on the guest list and has arrived to see Delmond perform. As Janette enters, Del's taking a breather on stage while Tony Jarvis entertains the audience on his tenor sax. As Janette grabs a stool at the bar, Delmond joins in with Jarvis on his trumpet. Janette orders a drink we can't hear and watches Del intently. Now, it's time for an excessive example of this episode's use of editing whiplash. CUT (50.) We've returned to The Blue Note and Del's really putting some wind power behind his blowing of his horn. Delmond and Jarvis finish and Janette adds a "woo" to her applause. Del addresses the audience, saying, "Normally, we usually have our set pretty planned out, but for the past couple months I've been chasing somethin' in my head, you know, and it's been outrunnin' my ass." The audience laughs. "I'm not making much sense," he tells them, "so we're gonna get right to it." He tells Jarvis and the other musicians to just follow him. The sound that starts coming from his trumpet definitely has a vintage twinge to it — you can detect it in the disgusted look that comes over Jill's face where she's sitting. The other musicians he's playing with seem to catch on rather quickly and happily and its recognizable to Janette too who starts shifting her head back and forth. This must be the season on Treme where everybody sings, because Del lowers his trumpet and unleashes his vocals. It is, of course, a Jelly Roll Morton standard, recorded by Morton as part of The New Orleans Rhythm Kings in 1924. Del sings, "Rock my soul/with the Milneburg joys/I said Rock my soul/with the Milneburg joys/Play 'em mama/don't refuse." Ms. Desautel enjoys this change-of-pace so much that she grabs a napkin off the bar and begins dancing in the middle of the club's floor, waving the napkin like a flag of surrender. "Separate me from the weary blues" Even Jill seems to be having a good time, though it's unclear if it's coming from Del's performance or this stranger's enthusiastic gyrating. "Hey, hey, hey, hey/Sweet girl, syncopate your mama/All night long, with that second-line** strain/Play it down, then do it all again CUT (52.) Following the set, Janette joins Del and Jill at their table at The Blue Note. "Y'all didn't know each other in New Orleans, you met here?" Jill asks. "Yeah," Delmond tells his New York girlfriend, "just watching the Saints game at that bar over on Third with the NOLA refugees." Delmond pauses, because he still can't believe that night's performance. "I can't believe I up and went into Jelly Roll Morton." Jill gets a big grin and squeezes Del's neck. "Everyone was lookin' at me like I lost my mind." Janette smiles and says she was loving it, then Del's cell starts going off. "Excuse me for a second," he says as he leaves the table. "What, may I ask, did the likes of him do to deserve someone like you?" Janette asks Jill who breaks out in a big grin. (54) Another that's really more shot than scene as we see Del's side of the call with Cotrell. "Go where?" Del asks. We hear George say Houston. "Houston," Delmond says with raised eyebrows. (56) We can still hear George calling Del's name, but Delmond just hangs up without saying anything.


The sequence involving the march against crime (or violence, it went by both names) that took place in New Orleans on Jan. 11, 2007 could be depicted as a montage and counted as a single scene, but it's doesn't really flow like the classic definition of a montage (which, after all, still is a collection of scenes). Two more typical (and outstanding) examples happened in this season's second episode "Everything I Do Gohn Be Funky," which had the sequence of Antoine recruiting musicians for his band as well as how all the characters were celebrating Thanksgiving. The "Slip Away" sequence, while relating to the same subject, really plays as a collection of disparate scenes with just a few glimpses of characters we know. It also makes it difficult to summarize since each scene is so similar. At any rate, since I'm counting this as a collection of scenes, this part, which runs 3:20 includes scenes (57-94.) We start with a shot of the cityscape that allows us a view of some of its neighborhoods as well as its downtown. We can see that the tributes around the bicycle at Helen Hill's house has grown larger. A man walks into a corner store while across the street you can plainly see the ENOUGH! flyer promoting the march. So far, in an interesting touch, this section has been devoid of any music or sounds. The next scene alters that as we get our first audio — the noise of a young man using a staple gun to attach flyers about the march to a pole. Music is added next as someone beats a rhythm on a drum at a small table set up for the march with just three people and a large sign saying STOP THE VIOLENCE. Bells go off at a church. A woman exits The Sound Cafe with signs for the march and people stand ready to take them. She might be Baty Landis, one of the march's organizers. The drummer keeps up the steady beat, but more people have shown at that once under-populated table. More people begin converging from everywhere, or so it seems. The camera closes in on a drum, withdrawing to show a brass band in attendance. People use a car as a table for drawing more signs, including one which reads, "WALK WITH US." Signs in hand, marchers start leaving the site of The Sound Cafe. The drummer now leads a group of marchers, one holding the signature sign ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. A policeman on motorcycle escorts a growing group of marchers down one street. Yet another group is coming up another street and it includes Antoine, Desiree and little Honoré in a stroller. Groups seem to be coming down every street now. The marchers coming up one street even have a chant against Nagin and Riley. When we see more chanters, they include Toni. "We say no more," another group shouts as you can see more marchers about to intersect with them from a side street. The separate groups are converging everywhere, cheering their union while keeping up their chants. Sirens blare and the streets are empty for the moment closer to City Hall, the marchers's ultimate destination. Colson looks all alone standing in the street as he sees the approach of the motorcycle unit escorting the marchers, though other officers stand close to the buildings. More unite in this area, coming from three directions. The lead banner reads, "MARCH FOR SURVIVAL WALK WITH US." Colson just looks helpless as he watches them pass, giving a glance to Deputy Chief Marsden, who also keeps away from the street, pressed against a building. It seems as if it's an endless parade of people with an infinite variety of signs (ANOTHER HURRICANE IS HERE! THIS TIME IT'S RAINING BULLETS) and they just keep coming. We look back at Colson witnessing this spectacle for peace and he actually cracks a smile. That's where the sequence ends. Now, the city may not have given Treme permission to re-create the marchers' final destination, when 5,000 people ended up descending on City Hall, so that's sort of a shame. As a result, we have to settle for three quick final scenes of people watching coverage on TV at home, which includes some City Hall coverage which may just be archival footage. That's not the series' fault I imagine, but New Orleans' unwillingness to tie up City Hall so they can re-create a massive protest around it. So, the episode have three quick scenes left, back to individual characters, first to Nelson, then to LaDonna. The photo below, by the way, is not from tonight's episode but from the actual 2007 protest that did make it to City Hall.

*This incident is what prompted then-Police Superintendent Warren Riley to propose the huge rise in permit fees in the first place.
**Del adds and subtracts words here and there, but the biggest change is substituting second-line for Dixieland.

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