Story by Eric Overmyer & George Pelecanos
Teleplay by George Pelecanos
Directed by Anthony Hemingway
Antoine Batiste faces a long wait to have the stitches from his lip removed in one of only two ERs open in the city. Biding his time, he sings his own lyrics to the tune of "St. James Infirmary."
Albert Lambreaux gets bad news from his insurance agent - no payout because he didn't have flood coverage.
Sonny's friends Jay and Leo talk him into taking a road trip to Houston for a Sunday night gig at Rusty's Roadhouse, when a bunch of New Orleans cats play.
Creighton Bernette puts finishing touches on the family Christmas tree. Toni Bernette, home after an unsuccessful search for Batiste's trombone in Temporary Evidence, asks whether her husband has been out at all, suggesting he use the downtime to work on his novel. "My fiction seems a bit inconsequential to me right now," he says.
At Desautel's, Janette and Jacques struggle to serve a full room with no gas flame, because there is water in the gas lines. "Fire up the butane burners and set up the chafing dishes," she commands.
LaDonna serves Antoine food and drinks at Gigi's, listening to his worries about how his mouth injury will impact his trombone playing. The ER doctor told him it's a dental issue. LaDonna sees a solution: Antoine can come to Baton Rouge and let Larry do the dental work -- and visit his sons. Not thrilled, but seeing no alternative, he agrees.
Delmond Lambreaux plays the game "Monogamy with Exceptions," with Jill, the journalist he's seeing, as they wander through Battery Park. He is unimpressed with her three "Exceptions": baseball player Bernie Williams, gay playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and 70-year old jazz legend McCoy Tyner. She, in turn, questions his ability to be monogamous.
Albert Lambreaux observes as Robinette sends the young Darius on his way with severance pay. "Don't get me wrong, boy's got a back," he tells Albert, "He just don't like to tax it."
On his way to teach piano, Davis McAlary hits a major pothole that sidelines his Camry. An elderly local suggests his nephew can give him a ride - for a small charge. McAlary has to leave his keyboard and amp in the car since the ride is on a motorcycle; the old man offers to watch it for him free of charge. "Consider it lagniappe," he says.
Creighton watches President George W. Bush's Jackson Square speech on YouTube. When McAlary arrives late for Sofia's piano lesson he asks Creighton to give him a ride back to his car to retrieve his belongings. When they arrive later, his car has been broken into and his keyboard and amp are gone. "Even lagniappe isn't worth what it used to be," notes Creighton.
Annie questions Sonny's need to head to Texas, but he thinks he may have better luck getting on the bill with real players out of town. He warns her not to play with any other piano players in his absence: "It would be like cheating."
At Desautel's, the burners go out again. Knowing the gas company won't make a service call in time, Janette has the night's reservations cancelled and heads out to get drunk.
Creighton Bernette makes a video to post on YouTube, ranting against those who are questioning the rebuilding of New Orleans and suggesting canceling Carnival.
Walking by Poke's, Darius hears Albert's Mardi Gras practice and slips inside. He picks up a beer bottle and taps away with a spoon. When they are wrapping up later, an angry Lula Pritchett comes by looking for her nephew; Albert assures her Darius was behaving himself. She invites Albert to dinner the next night.
At Rusty's in Houston, Sonny sits in on a song, but is replaced by Joe Krown when John Boutté is called to the stage. Dejected, Sonny heads out for a smoke and strikes up a conversation with a guy who offers him drugs. After getting high, he strikes up a conversation with the unlikely bouncer, who admits he's never been to New Orleans - something Sonny chastises him for.
Back on Frenchmen Street, Annie plays with a mandolin and guitar player. Inside, McAlary and Desautel drink to the incompetent rebuilding efforts - most especially Entergy (responsible for Desautel's stove troubles and Davis' pothole). Annie comes in to order a glass of wine, and shares a flirtatious moment with McAlary that annoys Desautel, who heads home alone, rebuffing Davis' attempts at seduction. Rejected, McAlary lifts his spirits with a rap announcing his platform for public office: "Pot for potholes." Which is witnessed by local politico Jacques Morial.
Delmond's manager James Woodrow tries to talk him into a New Orleans-focused tour. "I'm from New Orleans, but I don't play New Orleans," he objects. But Woodrow convinces him.
At his dental appointment, Antoine discusses LaDonna and the boys with Larry.
Toni gets the DNA results from her source at the NOPD, Captain Richard LaFouchette, confirming the prints are not those of David Maurice "Daymo" Brooks. The person wearing Daymo's bracelet is Keevon White, waiting trial on a murder. .
At a café on Frenchmen's, Annie explains to her new musician friends that she came to New Orleans with her boyfriend - dropping out of Conservatory in New York after meeting Sonny in Europe. They offer to get her a recording gig, but she demurs - for now. Inside, Creighton is recognized at the coffee counter and out on the street for his YouTube rant. "Give ‘em hell big man!"
Over dessert following a fine meal at Lula Pritchett's, Albert and Lula share a flirtation as she mentions, "I got a crack in my wall upstairs, needin' tendin' to." He offers to take a look.
Back at Larry and LaDonna's Baton Rouge home, Antoine gives his kids Christmas gifts that are not quite right. Larry tosses Antoine the keys to the car to take the boys out to eat. Over dinner, his sons ask about their new sister and whether he can bring her to Baton Rouge for a visit. He protests he needs to stay in New Orleans to work, talking up the good life they have with their mother and stepfather.
At a party that Jill takes him to in New York, Delmond meets Stanley Crouch, Nelson George, and other prominent African Americans - including the three on Jill's "Monogamy with Exceptions" list. "You set me up," Delmond realizes.
Lorenzo Hurd shows up with a message for Albert: His grandmother doesn't want him or any of the other Mardi Gras Indians to chant - or speak - at Jesse's funeral service. "For her it was disreputable," he explains. Albert agrees to honor her wishes. Lorenzo announces he's leaving town; with the house gone, there's no place for him to live.
Sonny and his pals drive back on the I-10, getting stoned, with the bouncer from the roadhouse crammed in the back seat.
Toni, LaDonna and Mrs. Brooks question Keevon White about where David is. Pressed, he explains the harsh circumstances the prisoners faced when they were shuttled around after the storm and claims he talked David into swapping bracelets in exchange for protecting him. "I know how to jail, your boy don't." But he refuses to sign a statement admitting what happened, wishing them luck in finding David.
At Jesse's funeral, Albert remains quiet, taking in the Iberville Projects outside the Cemetery.
Annie gets invited to sit in with The Jazz Vipers. Sonny walks in just as she's taking a solo. He notes the piano player, and they exchange a look as he heads to the bar.
Antoine says goodbye to his boys, LaDonna and Larry and boards the bus home to New Orleans.