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Treme “…To Miss New Orleans” Review (4×05)

29 Dec

tremeBeautiful.

If I had to sum up this show in one word, that would be it. Everything about Treme is so rich, complex, and compelling, and it’ll be hard to say goodbye. Still, at least we get a brilliant send-off with “…To Miss New Orleans”.

This episode is all about life, which is pretty much the essence of the show, isn’t it? It’s about evolution, rebirth, and death, but it’s also about capturing a slice of these characters’ lives and letting us participate in it. One of the great things about this show is its ability to balance the bleakness of certain situations with a perpetual sense of hope; even though traditions may never change, the people who come together and participate in them do. When Davis talks about the fact that we can find something very different in a song we’ve heard a million times, it ultimately speaks to every character in this show.

Janette and Davis are back together and Janette has her restaurant name back, but Davis isn’t the man he used to be; that doesn’t necessarily mean he doesn’t still have that childish nature in him. Delmond is very much his own man, but his future will still involve his father’s legacy and his strengthened connection to the city. Sonny and Annie are reunited, but fittingly, not through a conversation; it’s through music, the very thing that brought them together. Terry may leave town, but the Saints will always be there to remind him of what he’s left behind. Antoine may continue to be the crafter of the kids’ futures, but he’ll always be able to let loose and awaken the child’s energy within him at Mardi Gras. The celebration may not be all fun and games and LaDonna may be afraid, but she’ll always be that headstrong, caring woman we’ve grown to know so well. Creighton isn’t there, but Toni and Sofia will still dance and “Go to the Mardi Gras”. This last one is a little moment that makes me teary-eyed; it’s so sweet, simple, and beautiful.

There are just so many little moments that remind me of why I love this show, and it’d be impossible to talk about them all. Whether it’s a small comedic scene–Antoine talking to Desiree about burnt sausage–or a conflict-filled scene–Annie blowing up at Marvin in the studio–the show stays true to itself and its characters’ evolutions. For example, although the show acknowledges the impending conflicts, it also emphasizes Annie’s growth; this isn’t the woman we knew in season 1, someone who wouldn’t be able to stand up for herself like she does here.

So, finally we arrive at the final scene. Although Davis’s pothole is still there, it’s grown to become a symbol of the beauty of the town; even considering all the challenges to come, that tribute to New Orleans will always remain there, growing and adding on to itself through the generations. For, although the people are constantly evolving, they’ll always be a part of New Orleans.

GRADE: A

SEASON GRADE: A-

SERIES GRADE: A-

OTHER THOUGHTS:

-The shot of Big Chief behind LaDonna’s bar is gorgeous. Also, Big Chief’s funeral is perfection.

-So many finales tend to want to wrap everything up, leading to a bit of rushing. Here, though, there’s still time for us to enjoy those musical interludes that have become essential to the show.

-The show uses Nelson nicely here as well, as he tricks Tim Feeney into giving Janette the name back. He’s easily the most manipulative guy on the show, but then again, he isn’t really a villain. He’s grown to love the town, and I’m glad he was portrayed this way.

-It would’ve been interesting to see the show’s take on the Saints Super Bowl win, but the fact is, this show doesn’t need to explore that to be emotionally affecting.

-Also, one of my other favorite little scenes: when the cop gets angry at Toni about the lawsuits, and she responds with “I sue everyone” and he offers up the bread pudding.

-Khandi Alexander does some great work in her scene after the shooting.

-Check out the “Treme Explained” posts at NOLA.com.

-Before this series, I knew nothing about New Orleans. Now, I want to go visit. Thank you, David Simon, Eric Overmyer, and co.

-Sadly, the ratings for this show never impressed, but I’m glad we got to spend the amount of time we did. This is a brilliant, brilliant show, and it will be missed.

Photo credit: HBO, Treme

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