Tonight is the third episode of the second season of TREME and the characters and the viewers are reminded that, even fourteen months later, nothing much has changed. Despite all of the effort and all of the hope, New Orleans is still a mess, the citizens are still being taken advantage of, criminal activity still abounds, and people that lost their belongings and businesses in Hurricane Katrina are still waiting for the insurance companies to step up and pay out the proceeds. Is the possiblity of a better future gone? Of course not. But as tonight’s episode shows, it is not something that will come quickly.
I had the opportunity to watch tonight’s episode of Treme called “On Your Way Down” in advance. Ever since the random shooting in the bar in the season premiere, I have been holding my breath waiting for the next bad thing to happen. Does anyone else do this? Well, the next bad thing happens in this episode and it is horrible.
Despite the horrific event, there are bright spots. Antoine is slowly building is big band, even if he has to yell at everyone to get them to take it seriously. Ladonna is making plans to build and expand her bar business, at least what’s left of it. Toni attempts to channel her daughter’s political anger into a more appropriate venue, Davis has left the radio business to pursue his love of music, Annie is making waves on the music scene from playing local bars to more highbrow photo exhibits. Each character is trying to find someting to grab on to, not only to keep them afloat, but to grow.
Naturally things are harder when you have police cover ups such as the dead boy that Toni is investigating at the request of his father, when Nelson is carpetbagging and making huge profits of demolition without lifting a finger, and when the neighborhoods become more dangerous to be in, night or day.
What I have discovered is that things move slowly on Treme, much like they do in the lives of the characters. However, the slow build up makes the climatic moments have that much more of an impact. That is what happens on tonight’s episode. The events hit me in such a way that I almost felt personally affected.
Treme fans and new viewers – tune in to tonight’s episode on HBO at 10 pm ET and then come back here and tell me what you thought. Will the characters be able to move past their troubles? Will any of them actually find the success, evne if it is merely defined as survival, that they seek? Tell us in the comment section below.
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