Thursday, June 24, 2010

What I’m Watching: Treme (Season Finale)

Treme: Season 1, Episode 10 “I’ll Fly Away” (A-)

This lengthy two-parter is an appropriate way to close out the short first season of this show, which after only ten episodes feels like it’s still just getting started. Yet there’s a definitive sense of many things being wrapped up here that lend credence to the fact that this was a packed freshman year that explored many different avenues and did in fact bring many of them to closure. Starting this episode off with a shot of Toni talking to the cops led to the devastating revelation that she and Sophia weren’t yet aware that Creighton was already dead in his car. Not seeing but only hearing Sophia react to the news when Toni finally tells her was particularly powerful, in a way that few other moments this entire season have been, and having other characters like Davis, Janette, and Ladonna comment on Creighton’s death made his absence felt even more. Davis had quite an interesting day, providing Janette with a whirlwind of reasons to stay in New Orleans instead of going to New York, and it was a very sentimental farewell, complete with Janette’s comment of “Shame you didn’t reserve a room” followed by Davis dangling a key. Even though he couldn’t get her to stay in the end, he really lucked out by finding Annie, who abandoned Sonny for good after finding another woman in their bed, waiting for him on his doorstep right as he got home. His delivery of “What did I do right?” was fantastic. The attendance of Ladonna and Toni at David’s funeral was a very strong trigger for an immensely moving flashback to before the storm, where everything we know to be true isn’t yet. Sonny and Annie are happily roaming the abandoned streets together, Creighton is alive, and David is being arrested due to the warrant out on him. That ten-minute flashback serves as one of the most memorable scenes of the season, especially in its final moments when the torrential waters truly threaten to cause destruction. The musical tribute to David was a terrific way for the season to sign out, and it was only made it even more meaningful by the dedication to late writer David Mills, who died in New Orleans twelve days before the series premiered. This has been an excellent start to the series, and while season two may not arrive for quite a while, it’s sure to be just as great.

Season grade: A-
Season MVP: John Goodman

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