Shallow Water, Oh Mama
Treme | Season 1 | Episode 6

Shallow Water, Oh Mama

TV-MA | 58 MIN

Story by David Simon and Eric Overmyer
Teleplay by Tom Piazza

Davis McAlary rolls through the neighborhood with a bevy of strippers on a flatbed truck blaring his campaign song.

As part of the Crescent City Carnivale tour, Delmond Lambreaux is in Arizona with saxophonist Donald Harrison. Listening to Don Vappie on banjo, they discuss New Orleans' musical traditions. Harrison suggests ending their set with something hometown, "Iko" or "Saints," but Delmond prefers to stick to the script.

In Port Arthur, TX, Antoinette "Toni" Bernette tracks down former NOPD Officer Jim Dietrich, who was on duty the day Daymo went missing. Trying to retrace the events of that day, Dietrich recalls pulling a man over for running a light, but is unable to positively identify him as Daymo. "That was five months ago," he says, adding, "Let's be honest. Looks like a lot of the guys I've written up over the years."

Antoine Batiste visits his former music teacher Danny Nelson. Antoine gives him the expensive trombone the Japanese jazz fan bought him (saying it was purchased for Nelson) and encourages the old man to try it out. When Nelson demurs, Antoine reminds him of the advice he used to give: "Straight ahead and strive for tone."

Creighton Bernette picks up his agent Carla Hall at the airport. She reassures him his publishers still want the book, but they're also interested in his newfound role as the city's spokesman. Hall suggests the novel include details from present day New Orleans, an idea that Creighton rejects. He promises to deliver his manuscript within six weeks - and it will be about the flood of 1927.

On her way out, Toni asks why Dietrich quit the force and he recounts the eight days he spent living out of his car after the storm, scavenging to survive. Dietrich apologizes if he was responsible for getting Daymo lost in the system and Toni clarifies - why would he have locked up a guy for running a red light? But Dietrich corrects her: There was an outstanding warrant for failure to appear so he had to arrest. "I guess we're not done," he says as she settles in for more questions. Although the paperwork is now lost, Toni realizes there should be a carbon copy of the citation. Dietrich tells her it would be in his patrol car, which he abandoned in Lake Charles when he quit.

Spotting Sofia with one of McAlary's bumper stickers, Creighton asks his daughter what it is. When she explains McAlary's candidacy and his platform, Creighton is furious that Davis has reduced the election to a joke.

Arriving at a local TV station for a candidates' forum, McAlary surprises the producer, showing up with his entourage of strippers. Although he is prohibited from singing his campaign song, Davis describes some of his initiatives, including "Greased Palm Sunday," during which bribes will be televised. Watching the forum telecast later at a bar, he encounters Jacques Morial who is amused by his council bid and offers to drum up more publicity.

Already frustrated that Sonny is wasted and sloppy when they are busking, Annie arrives home with her hands full of groceries to find him getting high.

 Impressing the crowd - and Don Vappie - in Houston, Delmond and Harrison perform "Iko" as an encore.

After hiding from her suppliers who are insisting on cash payment for their deliveries, Janette Desautel realizes she won't be able to make payroll this week and will have to ask the staff to forgo their wages in order to stay open.

Drinking at a bar, Antoine complains about not being able to find a gig and Kermit Ruffins gives him a lead on a Mardi Gras ball with one stipulation - he'll need a tux.

In Lake Charles to check out the abandoned patrol car, Toni gets an earful from a local police officer who has been waiting for the car to be picked up for months. Searching through the debris in the back seat, Toni locates the book of carbons, and finds Daymo's name - David Brooks - within the pages. She's thrilled - documentation that Daymo WAS arrested - at last.

Albert Lambreaux sifts through costume material with Franklin, his second chief, as they discuss the continued shortage of housing.

Sonny, high again, forbids Annie from taking a gig. When Annie counters that passing a hat for change is nothing to brag about, Sonny hits her and she flees.

Watching a movie at home with her husband in Baton Rouge, LaDonna Batiste-Williams gets a call that her mother is having trouble breathing. She immediately heads for New Orleans. 

After the dinner service, Desautel gathers her staff but is unable to ask them to sacrifice their paychecks. Instead, she suspends the restaurant's operations indefinitely.

Delmond and Harrison perform in New Orleans. During his set, Delmond notices his father in the audience talking to well-wishers. Delmond introduces Harrison to his father, and chides Albert for not paying full attention. Delmond plans to stay behind to mask with his dad, but is annoyed when Albert says he can't stay for the next set.

At the hospital in New Orleans, LaDonna is unable to fully answer the nurse's questions about her mother's medical history. When the nurse suggests they check with their pharmacy, LaDonna points out it's closed.

Back in New Orleans, Toni updates Creighton about her search. Sofia shows off her parade costume, and Toni is unable to guess what she's meant to be. When Sofia tells her she's a sperm, and Creighton explains the centerpiece will be a papier-mache mayor pleasuring himself, Toni refuses to participate, fearing it will make her dealings with the cops and City Attorney more difficult.

Having fallen asleep at a café in the French Quarter, Annie returns home. A contrite Sonny promises it will never happen again.

Batiste brings Nelson news of a gig he booked for them both welcoming arrivals at the airport. There's just one requirement - they need to get a mandatory check up. Nurse Catherine Lasperches instructs Antoine to lose weight and confides she thinks Nelson is depressed. "Ain't we all," observes Antoine.

Visiting his parents, McAlary is lectured by his mother who thinks the campaign is a bad idea. His Aunt Mimi disagrees and throws her support behind her nephew.

Alone in her empty restaurant, Desautel has a glass of wine and some lemon ice before she picks up her knives and heads out the door, ignoring the ringing phone.

Getting ready for the Mardi Gras ball, Antoine discovers Desiree put his tux in the washing machine. At the ball, he's the only musician not in black tie. Antoine further earns the ire of the bassist band leader by adding his own flair during a rendition of "Take the A Train."

Toni meets with ADA Renée Dufossat to present her new evidence, including the revelation that the warrant that triggered Daymo's arrest was outdated. She asks for a joint motion for an emergency rehearing, but is shot down. Toni argues that an innocent man has been lost in the system for six months, but Dufossat explains it's a new policy: no joint motions on emergency hearings.

As Albert and his gang continue to work on costumes, council aide Eric Newsome proudly arrives with news that Councilman Singleton has secured Albert a single FEMA trailer. Albert tosses him out. 

The Krewe du Vieux parade winds through the streets - and Toni is dressed as sperm with the rest of her family. When Creighton asks her what changed her mind, "F**k those f**king f**ks" she quotes.