Meet De Boys on the Battlefront
Story by David Simon and Eric Overmyer
Teleplay by Eric Overmyer
Directed by Jim McKay
Davis McAlary hosts a live performance of the legendary Coco Robicheaux at WWOZ during which Coco attempts to bring the old Congo Square vibe to the radio station's relocated "faux French Market" environs by summoning the spirit of Erzulie Dantor. "The beautiful mulattress whose earthly incarnation was Marie Laveau," explains Coco. "Voodoo Queen of New Orleans..." notes McAlary. As proof of their devotion, Coco sacrifices, off Camera, a live chicken.
Antoinette "Toni" Bernette discusses with fellow attorneys Andrea Cazayoux and John Moss how to locate LaDonna Batiste-Williams' missing brother Daymo in the O.P.P. system. Meanwhile, LaDonna gives her contractor Riley a hard time about not making the roof of Gigi's his number one priority. She grudgingly hands over more money and warns that the new shingles better be in place by the time she gets back from Baton Rouge the next day.
Albert Lambreaux discusses repairs with a homeowner, urging him to plaster rather than just sheet rock over the damage. The owner has no flood insurance and is worried about costs. "People do a lot a dumb shit, 'cause it's easier," Lambreaux warns.
Street musicians Sonny (on keyboard) and Annie (on fiddle) play a stirring version of 'Careless Love' as three church volunteers, in town to help with rebuilding efforts, look on. Sonny gives them a hard time about only being "fired up" about the Ninth Ward after the storm, and charges them $20 to play 'Saints' when they request "something authentic." "'Saints' is extra," Annie explains.
McAlary says goodbye to DJ Jeffy Jeff as he leaves with his belongings, having been fired for Coco's on-air antics. He heads to his parents for a loan but his father hooks him up with a new job instead - at a hotel in the quarter.
"Big Chief" Lambreaux goes door to door in the Seventh Ward, trying to round up members of his tribe for practice.
Creighton Bernette bemoans to his grad student the cuts being announced at the University in the engineering departments: "Sure, why would the university train people who know how to build things like, oh say, computer systems? Power grids? Levees? Hey, who needs them?" He wonders whether it's time to tackle his shelved novel about the 1927 flood: "Couldn't be more topical."
Desiree rides Antoine Batiste about the bills piling up, insisting there's a difference between a "gig" and a "job." She doesn't like him "coming home smelling like cigarettes" and strange women. He claims her olfactory sense is wrong - that's BBQ she's picking up. "Kermit's BBQ tastes right, but not that right," she tells him.
Over family dinner in Baton Rouge, LaDonna's husband Larry Williams broaches the idea of moving her mother up to Baton Rouge and selling Gigi's once the roof is repaired. She refuses, not willing to give up on the idea of rebuilding her life in New Orleans.
Delmond Lambreaux tries to talk his father into joining the family in Houston for the holidays, but Albert brushes him off, wanting to stay put. Delmond tells him he's actually staying in town a few extra days - for a recording session for Allen Toussaint. "You deigning to play local?" his father ribs. But after that, he's headed back to New York where there's a lot of work because of the renewed love for New Orleans music.
Sonny regales a skeptical bar patron with tales of his heroic rescue efforts during Katrina. Out of ear shot, Annie tells the guy she wasn't there to be able to confirm Sonny's version of events.
Antoine finds out about a gig on Bourbon Street. "Nothing to be ashamed of...pride on Bourbon Street!" folks assure him. He runs into his old music teacher, Danny Nelson, who lost all his instruments in the flood.
LaDonna shows up at Antoine's place with a ceramic elephant that their son Alcide made and meets Desiree - and Antoine's new baby girl. "I'll tell your sons they have a new half sister...another one," she says as she leaves. Desiree questions Antoine: "What she mean by 'another one'?"
At his new job at the Inn on Bourbon, McAlary is coached to refer any questions about dinner reservations to the concierge but he can't resist and sends the trio of church volunteers off the beaten path to "Bullet's." He assures them it's safe: "Crime's all gone to Houston."
LaDonna is furious to see her roof still in disrepair when she returns to Gigi's but her anger is quickly forgotten when Toni shows up to tell LaDonna they've located Daymo. She explains the process for getting him released, warning that because the parishes get FEMA money for every O.P.P. prisoner housed, some of them drag their feet so it may take a few days.
Lambreaux wonders at the security costs associated with keeping squatters out of the habitable projects over in Central City: "Makes no sense." When he returns to the house he's working on, he discovers his tools have been stolen. He asks Robinette to ask around.
As Delmond and the musicians wrap up their recording session, they make a plan to head to d.b.a.'s to see the funk group Galactic, urging Elvis Costello to join them. But he protests the late hour, citing the difficulties of being a middle-aged rock star. At d.b.a's, Delmond gets summoned to the stage to sit in. Smoking a joint outside after the set, he gets busted by NOPD and taken in.
A chagrined Benny returns Lambreaux's tools and reveals he bought them off of a kid named Skinny over in Gert town.
After his gig at the Bourbon Street strip club, Antoine heads to Bullet's for some barbecue and befriends the church workers who are soaking up the authentic atmosphere. Kermit calls Antoine to the stage and a scary looking patron takes his seat and offers to buy the girls a drink.
The next morning, McAlary gets fired for sending the church group kids to the Seventh Ward - they never came back to their hotel and now their parents are flying in and the NOPD are involved.
Janette Desautel has prepared a deluxe meal at her restaurant for her parents, visiting from Huntsville. She asks for a loan of twenty-five grand to tide her over until the insurance money comes in; her father promises six. Later, Desautel goes over the growing pile of bills with Jacques, looking for ways to cut corners.
Lambreaux bails Delmond out and drives his son to the airport. Delmond promises to pay him back for the bond and apologizes for having to leave before Sunday's practice: "I loved growing up with the tradition but the Indians - that's your thing. Always was." Later that night, Lambreaux tracks down Skinny to confront him about taking his tools and finds him ripping out the new copper wiring from a house undergoing renovation. When the boy refuses to take responsibility, Albert beats him senseless and washes the blood from his hands at an outdoor spigot.
The next morning, McAlary runs into the church kids who've been for two nights. They thank him for pointing them to the real New Orleans and promise to check in with the hotel staff - after they get some breakfast for their hangovers.
As Creighton heads out with Sofia to drive her back to boarding school in Baton Rouge, he tries to cheer his moping daughter about her options for returning to a reopened high school in New Orleans.
Waiting eagerly in the visitor's room at the parish prison, Toni, LaDonna and her mother are devastated when the David Brooks the guard brings out is not their David "Daymo" Brooks.
Alone at Poke's, Lambreaux is pleased when one member of his tribe, George Cotrell, shows up for practice. "You gotta start somewhere," notes Cottrell. The two men grab their tambourines and start punching out 'Shallow Water.'
Get HBO Max at No Additional Cost
If you’re a current HBO subscriber, you might already have access to HBO Max — all of HBO plus even more blockbuster movies, must-see series, and new Max Originals.