Friday, June 18, 2010

What I’m Watching: Treme

Treme: Season 1, Episode 9 “Wish Someone Would Care” (B+)

This very important episode felt overcast, with the rain that came down right in the middle of Janette’s big event existing in more than just a literal, physical way. That is most represented in the alarming path of one Creighton Burnette, who went from frustrated, staunch defender of New Orleans to a man too consumed by his inability to do anything about the state of things to go on living. His initial answer to the student who asked about what material was going to be on the test seemed to indicate a sense of humor, but it now seems abundantly clear that he had given up on trying to be sardonic and moved on to no longer caring. His enthusiastic morning sendoff to his wife and daughter did seem overly chipper for the usually grumpy character, and tipping Annie generously and enjoying that last smoke felt especially foreboding. Not seeing him but only hearing that gunshot in his car by the river after his wife and daughter talk about not being able to reach him was a heartbreaking way to send off this show’s best character. John Goodman did a magnificent job portraying him, and while his work in this episode was great, I think he’d be better off to submit his work in the pilot or any of his YouTube video episodes should he earn a deserved Emmy nomination in a few weeks. Not having him on the show will feel very strange, but fortunately, the rest of the show is shaping up quite well. Lieutenant Colson, the cop played by David Morse, had an extremely interesting conversation with Albert about peaceful ways to go about his objectives, and I found that interaction fascinating. Janette defending herself in front of her parents was commendable, and it’s a shame that her impressively put-together gig got rained out. It’s intriguing to see the difference in mindset between Ladonna and Toni, how Ladonna doesn’t want her brother to be part of a larger moral agenda whereas Toni seems to want his death to stand for something. The conversation between Ladonna and Antoine was especially moving, and it’s good for Ladonna to have a (somewhat) kindred soul. Davis canvassing for his party was, as usual, the comic relief of the episode. In such a dramatic hour, however, it is certainly useful to have some light moments.

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