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October 9, 2015

'Treme' - 'Smoke My Peace Pipe' Recap

by Sandie Angulo Chen, posted May 24th 2010 8:21AM
Clarke Peters in Treme(S01E07) Sorry this is a little late, folks, but I -- like many of you, I imagine -- had to catch 'Treme' on the DVR after watching the series finale of 'Lost.' But I managed to get off the proverbial Island and back to New Orleans to savor this new, emotionally charged episode. It's almost Mardi Gras, and our favorite NOLA residents are taking stands, making changes, and facing death.

Although the show opens on a hopeful note for LaDonna and her mother in their season-long quest to find Daymo, by the end of the episode hope is abandoned and Daymo -- the real David Maurice Brooks -- is finally found, dead, in a makeshift morgue made out of rows of air-conditioned trailers. The scene at the trailer-park morgue is one of the highlights of the series. From the moment Toni drives into the lot, LaDonna is tense, anxious and on the verge of breakdown.

Khandi Alexander was a revelation as she stares at all the trailers and realizes just how many dead are unclaimed. I'm relieved there's finally resolution to the Where's Daymo? plot-line, but it's heartbreaking that the worst possible outcome came true. Then again, this is a David Simon series, so it's not exactly a surprise.

It was also sad to see Antoine lose his mentor, Danny, to whom he'd just bestowed the brand-new trombone last episode. I expected Danny to make a recovery and play with Antoine, so I was taken by surprise when he died. The moments in the hospital -- both when Antoine visits a frail Danny and puts the earphones on him, and when he returns to find the empty bed -- were well acted, as always, by Wendell Pierce.

After the last few episodes, I expected Chief Albert to do something high-profile to garner support for re-opening the housing projects, so it made perfect sense that he'd enlist his crew to break into the projects, squat in one of the apartments, and calmly inform reporters, first, and police, second. Love the irony that the housing projects were so solidly built they're better off than many of the other residences we've seen on the show. The community-relations sergeant was actually quite sympathetic, and part of me wishes the Chief had listened to him and spared himself the police beat-down, but then we would've missed his fantastic refusal to get on his knees to be arrested. "Won't bow, don't know how," indeed.

Janette seems so much happier now that she's a one-woman traveling grill chef. I'll miss her kitchen rapport with Jacques, but this new nomadic cook role suits her much better than the stressed-out, in-debt restaurant owner. She's free and unburdened and reconnecting with Davis again. Between his record sales for 'Shame, Shame, Shame' and her new-and-improved attitude, they make for a much cheerier couple (or friends with benefits) than earlier in the season.

Creighton's latest rant about Katrina fatigue was quite rage-filled, but I have to say that he was a big old arse to Toni in this episode. But no one is a bigger jack-ass than Sonny, who continues to prove he's bad news for Annie, ruining her fiddling mojo. Get away, Annie, before it's too late!

Next week, Mardi Gras! I may order a King Cake and wear my beads for next Sunday night.

Best quotes of the episode:

"Knowing that this young man has been lost in the system, that many of our public figures would rather he stay lost than to admit the obvious -- that there were fundamental problems with how our jail inmates were handled during the storm and its aftermath -- I cannot put into words the embarrassment I feel for us all." -- Judge Gatling

"Its fraud and farces represent some of America's worst excesses and affronts, but day by day, year by year, New Orleans also conjures moments of artistic clarity and urban transcendence that are the best that Americans as a people can hope for..." -- Creighton to his University class

"Man, you could hire a dead hooker in here, and no one would know." -- to Davis

"You're going to second-line back, right?" -- Danny's daughter to Antoine
"Your father'd be spinning if I did anything else today." -- Antoine, at Danny's funeral

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Khandi Alexander was amazing in this ep! But then, she never disappoints, really.

May 27 2010 at 11:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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