I think it’s safe to say that Treme is sort of like the Seinfeld of dramas. There’s nothing really happening. I mean, sure, LaDonna is trying to find her brother and Janette is trying to keep her restaurant afloat, but for the most part everyone is just drinking, playing music and hanging out. And while it may seem like a show like that isn’t doing a lot to bring you into its world, I felt like this was the episode that did just that. I finally feel like I’m caught up in the characters and what they’re going through. And while it’s made the show that much more enjoyable to watch, it’s also made me feel like less of an outsider to the whole Treme phenomenon. And while this show may not have the mythology of Lost, or keep me on the edge of my seat like Breaking Bad, I do feel like that’s progress.
While some of the show’s characters still seem to be on somewhat nebulous trajectories, I think we’re getting an idea on where some of these characters may end up by the end of the season. Leading the pack here is Sonny, who went with some friends to Texas to play at a roadhouse. I was worried what we were going to get was some stereotypical Texas honky tonk bar, where guys in 10-gallon hats walk around saying things like, “I’ll take whiskey, and make it a t-bone!” Luckily, what we saw was pretty on the level. Things didn’t work out exactly as Sonny had planned though, and besides making for an interesting scene, I think it speaks to Sonny as a character, and to his arc throughout Treme’s first season. Sonny got to New Orleans as fast as he could. And while I don’t think he had dreams of becoming a famous jazz musician, I think it’s reasonable to say that he expected his music to take him somewhere. But instead, one thing after another falls through. Now, he’s using drugs. Meanwhile’s Annie’s playing gigs back in New Orleans, and after being asked to play with Tom McDermott, it looks like her trajectory may be pointed a little higher than his. We’ll see how things pan out, but I think the happy couple’s days are numbered.
But things don’t look so bleak for all of our characters. Darius, the kid Albert found messing around in his bar stumbles on his Mardi Gras practice. Later, when his aunt comes looking for him, she invites Albert to dinner. It’s not like there’s much to be read into the dinner scene, as her intentions — not to mention Albert’s — were pretty obvious… They’re going to have sex. Both of them. Together. So that’s something to look forward to.
Toni’s come one step closer to finding Daymo, when she discovers that an accused murderer switched ID bracelets with him during the storm. I understand that situations like these are somewhat embellished for television, although I suspect that David Simon would portray them more realistically than most. Still, I don’t want to look at this all doe-eyed, saying, “Can you believe something like this could actually happen?” I can only imagine the madhouse that the justice system had become after the storm, with all the lost paperwork and what not. I think it’s situations like this that give us viewers the bigger glimpse into the post-Katrina chaos, even more than things like Janette and her restaurant.
The last character I wanted to touch on is Davis, who after running his car into a pothole filled with gravel has had the idea to run for city council. You can count me in with the crowd who hasn’t been completely turned off by Zahn’s character, but I am glad that they seem to have finally found something for him to do, and as it seems somewhat of an unlikely path, I’ll be interested to see how it all plays out.
Four episodes in, and I feel like I’ve watched much more of Treme than I actually have. While this show may not have the impact of other show’s, I am glad to be swept up in it, and that it seems to be picking up steam.