By Lolis Eric Elie
This is the way it's supposed to work: the catharsis of Mardi Gras leads to the reflection and renewal of Lent, which leads to new beginnings. That's pretty much what's happening this week on ‘Treme.' If only all new beginnings were happy ones . . .
LaDonna Batiste-Williams gets the welcome news that even though she was raped by two assailants, her tests for sexually transmitted diseases have all come back negative. It seems that she'll be able to keep the details of her attack from her husband. But later, Larry Williams insists upon accompanying her to see the assistant district attorney in charge of prosecuting her attackers. In that meeting, he learns the complete story of what happened.
D.J. Davis and the Brassy Knoll make their world debut at the Hi-Ho Lounge with the boast that "we are definitely part of the problem." They open with "Road Home," a satire about the federally-financed program that was supposed to help Louisiana citizens repair their flood-ravaged homes and lives. They continue with "Not One Word," in dishonor of George W. Bush. The president failed to even mention Hurricane Katrina in his 2007 State of the Union address though it had only been 18 months since the failure of the federal levees destroyed New Orleans.
Sonny seems to have gotten used to life as an oysterman. When bass player Cornell Williams comes to check on him, he's upbeat and happy. He gets even happier when he meets Linh, the beautiful daughter of a Vietnamese shrimper.
Delmond Lambreaux is finally able to articulate the sound that has been eluding him. He wants to create a fusion of modern jazz and traditional Mardi Gras Indian music. He recruits Donald Harrison, Jr. and Dr. John to play on the CD he plans to record. That's the easy part. Convincing his father to participate is the challenge. Of course, Albert Lambreaux might not have agreed if he knew the whole story--that Delmond and Davina are using the record deal as a money laundering operation. Since their father won't accept any money from them to fix his house, they plan to give him money from their own savings and tell him that it is part of an advance from the record company.
Toni Bernette hires Anthony King, a sharp investigator who is able to get information about the Joey Abreu killing that has eluded her: King learns that George Cotrell, a member of Lambreaux's Mardi Gras Indian tribe, discovered the body of Leon Seals in the Iberville public housing development. Seals may have been killed by the same police officers who shot Joey Abreu in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
But things at home are not as good for Toni. Sofia gets arrested in Jefferson Parish, joyriding with her friend Jocelyn and two boys they don't even know. The heroin in the car does not belong to Sofia. The marijuana, however, does. When Toni confronts Sofia about her drug use, Sofia confronts her mother about Creighton's suicide.
Annie has written a new song. She and Harley Watt have practiced it almost to death and, in the process, have driven Davis to insist that they play it in public. Susan Cowsill invites her to play the song at a club, with her band. Annie the busker ultimately decides to debut it in the venue where she's most comfortable-on the street.
It's taken some doing, but Nelson Hidalgo has finally gotten his nose into the tent of the New Orleans politics business. His proposal to sell computer cable to the city has been partially accepted. He gives City Council president Oliver Thomas a thank you envelope for helping him get the contract.
In the latest twist in the saga of Antoine Batiste and his Soul Apostles the drummer, Herman Jackson, shows up to a gig without his drums. "Can I Change My Mind," is the song Batiste sings, and it may also be the thought he thinks. If there's a bright spot in Batiste's life it emanates from where he least expects it-his bourgeoning career as a teacher. Robert, the young trumpet player, shows enough enthusiasm and promise to whet Batiste's appetite for teaching.
Janette Desautel is trying not to show it, but Chef Eric Ripert sees that she is not enthusiastic about her work at Le Bernardin. He recommends her for a job at Lucky Peach where wunderkind David Chang runs a different kind of kitchen.