A decade ago, the Krewe of Muses added a twist to Mardi Gras-shoes, specially decorated Muses shoes. The feminine equivalent to the prized Zulu coconut throw. While Davis McAlary and Toni Bernette compete for shoes at their respective locations on the parade route, Annie and Sofia get the much sought after prizes with little effort.
Lt. Terry Colson is monitoring Muses in a neighboring district. It's frivolous and dangerous work: One girl flashes the all-female krewe. Colson tells her that such nudity is not acceptable in the family-oriented parts of the city. Colson also arrests a kid for carrying a gun, nipping some potential violence in the bud.
There are parallel Carnival celebrations in Cajun Country. Annie wants to experience Cajun Carnival. Davis is not convinced. His Mardi Gras appears doomed until his mother unwittingly provides him with an excuse.
At the Theophile Jones Elie school, Antoine Batiste's students want to form a marching band. But their ambitions outstrip their abilities. Instead they agree to meet on Mardi Gras to hear other bands perform.
While New Orleans celebrates, Janette Desautel plates salmon at Le Bernardin. Sensing she's homesick, Chef Eric Ripert gives her Mardi Gras night off and even allows her to dine at the restaurant, violating the usual prohibition against employees in fine dining establishments eating where they work. As if to make the celebration complete, Janette receives the gift of a king cake in the mail.
Cornell Williams successfully lobbies Batiste to give Sonny another chance. Then Cornell convinces Sonny to enter into a homemade two-step program. First step: Cornell holds Sonny's earnings for safe keeping. Second step: Sonny works in Plaquemines Parish with Cornell's cousin, harvesting oysters.
Nelson Hidalgo presents a computer cable deal to city council president Oliver Thomas that could save the city a lot of money. Thomas tells him he needs some "home cooking," local connections, to help move his proposal through. The best place to make such connections? The Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club.
Mardi Gras notwithstanding, Sofia and LaDonna Batiste-Williams are depressed. Both of them opt to go it alone on Mardi Gras. LaDonna stays home in Baton Rouge. Sofia quietly slips away before Toni spreads some of Creighton's ashes in the Mississippi River. Later, Sofia finds an unlikely savior in Davis.
Despite his threat to retire as big chief, Albert Lambreaux masks. Beneath the Claiborne Street overpass, Delmond hears the juxtaposition of traditional Mardi Gras Indian music and Benny Golson's tune, "Killer Joe."
At Cajun Country Carnival, Yankees are defined as "anybody north of Ville Platte," and Annie and Harley are outsiders but, ultimately, welcome ones. In New Orleans, Batiste has to abandon his plans with some female admirers and spend "daddy time" with his sons. Watching the St. Augustine Marching 100, Batiste realizes he made a mistake in not insisting that his kids learn to play music.
Ultimately, Carnival ends quietly: crime free for Colson; drug free for Sonny; heroically for Davis and carnally for Hidalgo.
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.