From David Simon, creator of The Wire and Generation Kill, and Eric Overmyer, writer- producer of Homicide and Law & Order,' the debut series Treme is set in post-Katrina New Orleans, chronicling the rebuilding of a unique American culture after historic devastation. Treme refers to one of New Orleans' oldest neighbourhoods, an historically important source of African-American music and culture.
Treme begins in fall 2005, three months after Hurricane Katrina. The drama follows the interconnected stories of several struggling musicians and locals, including Antoine Batiste (Wendell Pierce), a smooth-talking trombonist. His ex-wife and bar owner, LaDonna Batiste-Williams (Khandi Alexander), concerned over the disappearance of her younger brother Daymo, turns to the local civil rights attorney Antoinette "Toni" Bernette (Melissa Leo) for help. Bernette's husband Creighton (John Goodman), a local professor, becomes an outspoken critic of the government's response to the devastation. Steve Zahn plays Davis McAlary, a rebellious local DJ and musician. McAlary's sometimes girlfriend, Chef Janette Desautel (Kim Dickens), struggles to regain momentum for her newly re-opened restaurant.
Elsewhere in the city, displaced Mardi Gras Indian chief Albert Lambreaux (Clarke Peters) returns to his devastated neighbourhood, determined to rebuild his way of life. His son Delmond a successful jazz musician, is torn between his family in New Orleans and his life in New York. And talented violinist Annie (Lucia Micarelli) and her boyfriend Sonny (Michiel Huisman), are street musicians in the Quarter looking for their big break. The series also features real-life musicians Kermit Ruffins, Elvis Costello, Allen Toussaint, Dr. John and members of the Treme and Rebirth Brass Bands.
Created by David Simon and Eric Overmyer; Treme is executive produced by David Simon, Nina Kostroff Noble, Eric Overmyer and Carolyn Strauss. David Mills is co-executive producer; Anthony Hemingway is producer. Directed by Agnieszka Holland, Jim McKay, Ernest Dickerson, Anthony Hemingway, Christine Moore, Brad Anderson, Simon Cellan Jones, Dan Attias, the series is written by David Simon, Eric Overmyer, David Mills, George Pelecanos, Lolis Elie and Tom Piazza. Treme's consultants include notable New Orleanians Donald Harrison, Jr., Susan Spicer, Kermit Ruffins, Davis Rogan and Mary Howell.
01 - Do You Know What It Means
New Orleans, LA Three Months After
A small crowd gathers around a battered edifice amidst the wreckage of a post-Katrina street in the Upper Ninth Ward to witness the first second line since the storm. A few white bohemians, police officers, National Guardsmen, Habitat for Humanity workers and church volunteers are scattered throughout the mostly black group of musicians and locals (many of whom have driven back from Houston or Baton Rouge for the parade.)
Inside the Social Aid and Pleasure Club, leaders of the Rebirth band negotiate their fee with the dancers from the half dozen clubs who have pooled their resources for this event. "Less than two hundred a man? That shit ain't right." Hungry to play, the musicians eventually agree to the reduced fee. The music starts and the musicians and crowd blend into a celebratory parade.
Late to the party, Antoine Batiste argues with his cab driver, accusing him of taking a more costly route. Handing over a twenty and promising he'll find him with the balance later, Batiste takes off, trombone in hand, to join the second line.
Hearing the approaching parade, DJ Davis McAlary wakes, fighting for the first shower with Janette Desautel, who, facing another morning-after blast of cold water, wonders why she didn't go home the night before. She takes off to tend to her restaurant and McAlary joins the parade. Arriving at Desautel's, Janette discusses options for the night's menu with her sous chef Jacques, given their limited provisions and a distracted staff.
Albert Lambreaux's daughter gives him a ride back to New Orleans from Houston. Returning to his ruined home, Lambreaux and Davina survey the destruction. He demands that his daughter take him to "Poke's."
As the second liners approach Gigi's Lounge, their final destination, the bar's owner LaDonna Batiste-Williams watches from the doorway, surprised to see her ex-husband Antoine amidst the players.
On the levee, Creighton Bernette is interviewed by a British TV crew while his teen-aged daughter Sofia watches. Bernette shoots down the interviewer's suggestion that what happened to New Orleans during Katrina was a natural disaster. "What hit the Mississippi Gulf Coast was a natural disaster," he says. "The flooding of New Orleans was a man-made catastrophe, a Federal f**kup of epic proportions and decades in the making." When the reporter presses him about whether New Orleans is worth rebuilding he grabs the man's microphone and hurls it in the river and tries to throw the camera in as well.
McAlary returns home and antagonises his neighbours, a gay male couple, by aiming his stereo speakers at the garden of their Creole cottage. His neighbours retaliate against his loud Nawlins rap music with their own blast of public radio classical fare.
Back home, Sofia Bernette fills her mother Antoinette "Toni" Bernette in on the number of F-bombs in her father's levee interview. Creighton starts to defend himself but has to take a call: "NPR...It'll be fine," he assures his wife. "The 'N' stands for 'nuance.'" Sofia complains about having to go back to her Catholic boarding school in Baton Rouge and her mother assures her she should be able to return by Carnival. From the other room, Creighton's voice grows louder: "The old city is not below sea level. It never has been," he explains, unraveling as he realises the interviewer' grasp of the situation is not as nuanced as he hoped.
After the crowd has cleared out of Gigi's, LaDonna feeds Antoine a plate of rice and beans and they discuss her dentist husband who commutes down to see her weekends from their home in Baton Rouge and her brother Daymo, missing since the storm. She chastises her ex for not visiting their sons, Alcide and Randall, more often.
Desautel and Jacques race to keep pace with their patrons. The place is crowded with locals looking for good food and companionship. "I could stay open 'til midnight every night if I had the staff," Desautel tells Creighton and Toni Bernette.
Davina calls her brother Delmond Lambreaux, who's playing a gig in New York City, telling him it's his turn to come down to try to talk sense into their father, who is now living in Poke's bar, and cleaning it out.
Demetrius Bray shows up at LaDonna's bar late, having missed the second line because his car broke down on his back way from Memphis. He asks after her brother Daymo, and tells her he was locked up with him in the storm.
Showing up to take over the late shift at WWOZ Radio, the evening DJ gives him the station's play list for the upcoming pledge drive, over McAlary's objections: "One in every three songs from a pledge drive compilation?"
As dawn breaks, Lambreaux, who has worked through the night to clear the debris from Poke's, unpacks a change of clothes and makes his way up the desolate block to his friend Robinette, in search of a bath. "Seem Poke need t'pay his water bill," he explains. Robinette invites him in.
Antoine wakes to find his cash from the second line gig has already been taken by his live-in girlfriend Desiree for groceries.
McAlary, strolling through the French Quarter, sees that Tower Records is liquidating and storms the store demanding the consigned copies of his band's CD, but the security guard throws him out.
A cleaned-up Lambreaux asks Robinette to haul away the debris from Poke's so he can use the bar for Mardi Gras Indian practice. "I'm askin' as a chief, here," he says. But Robinette refuses, pointing out Lambreaux isn't his chief -- and none of Albert's gang is even around.
At Lil' Dizzy's restaurant, Toni Bernette meets LaDonna, who arrives to fill Toni in on the new lead on Daymo. Toni promises to look into it. LaDonna leaves, and Toni enlists the help of a sheriff's department captain, LaFouchette, who is also having lunch there.
Antoine promises yet another cab driver he'll be back with his money and heads into musician Kermit Ruffins' house to get in on his gig at Vaughan's that night - and begs for an advance so he can retrieve his trombone from the waiting taxi.
At Vaughan's, McAlary spots Elvis Costello in the audience and tries to get Kermit to talk to him after the gig, but Kermit doesn't care. "You're just standing there telling me that all you wanna do is get high, play some trumpet, and barbecue in New Orleans your whole damn life?" demands McAlary. "That'll work," laughs Kermit.
Lambreaux, in the full regalia of a Big Chief of a Mardi Gras Indian tribe, comes to chant in front of Robinette's house. Robinette and his wife emerge from their home to watch. Moved by Lambreaux's determination, Robinette agrees to haul away the debris.
Toni Bernette waits outside the temporary parish jail for LaFouchette who brings her an up-to-date list of prisoners the parish had in its custody at the time of the storm - no Daymo. She takes the list and heads to the Times-Picayune to search their archives for photos of prisoners who were on the overpass when the storm hit.
Antoine returns home with his payment from Kermit's gig - Desiree says it'll cover gas and electric. This time he keeps enough to get him to the next gig.
McAlary gets an old friend to let him into Tower Records after hours so he can retrieve his CDs - plus an out-of-print collection of Dave Bartholomew that is "karmatically" his -- since his was stolen. He heads to Desautel's and opens a '98 Conterno - a $350 bottle of wine - offering the stolen Dave Bartholomew CD as payment. Furious, Desautel has Jacques throw her "kind-of" boyfriend out.
Toni brings two grainy prints she found at the paper to LaDonna, pictures that look like Daymo. Toni heads next to the sheriff's, willing to wait until he can answer her questions about the missing boy. She gets no answers from the sheriff.
Delmond shows up to try to talk his father out of staying in New Orleans. But Lambreaux orders him to either help clean out the bar or pay the water bill.
Antoine stiffs a cabbie once again as he arrives just in time for a gig with a band playing a funeral procession. "Forty to the graveyard, and forty to cakewalk back, right? Play for that money boys. Play for it," he says as the band begins its slow step to the cemetery.
02 - Meet De Boys On The Battlefront
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 apologises 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.'
03 - Right Place, Wrong Time
Antoine Batiste returns home from a visit to a stripper in her FEMA trailer and is immediately accused by Desiree of exactly that. He insists his only interest in working at the strip club is to make money. Desiree threatens to move to her mother's in Memphis but Antoine swears he wants her and the baby to stay. She tests Antoine's story, reaching for his belt: "You ain't got nothin' for me now, I'm gonna know for sure."Antoinette "Toni" Bernette bails out Davis McAlary, who's been arrested by the National Guard for being on the street with an open alcoholic beverage container - and mouthing back. He offers to give her daughter piano lessons as payment.
LaDonna Batiste-Williams tries to talk her mother into spending some time in Baton Rouge but Mrs. Brooks won't leave New Orleans, convinced that wherever her missing son Daymo is, he's trying to make his way home. She voices her anger at "that lady lawyer" for taking them on a wild goose chase in search of Daymo.
Robinette checks in on Albert Lambreaux, having heard about a kid that took a beating. Albert asks if the kid will be okay - not giving anything up. Later, Albert is starting to work on a new Indian suit when Lorenzo Hurd, the son of one of Albert's tribe ("Wild Man" Jesse Hurd) shows up, back in town from Arizona to check on his family's house in the Lower Ninth. His father hasn't been heard from since the storm. Albert goes with Lorenzo to check out the house. When they spot a boat - unused - Albert gets a bad feeling and they lift it up, finding Jesse's decomposing body.
Janette Desautel's meat supplier pays a personal visit to let her know he's putting her on week-to-week payments; word is out that she's struggling to pay her bills.
LaDonna's husband Larry Williams shows up with more bad news from the insurance company - no determination yet. She asks permission to go to his brother Bernard, a judge, for help locating Daymo. Larry reluctantly agrees to reach out to him.
Pianist Tom McDermott approaches Annie after she and Sonny and an accordion player finish a song and engages her in conversation. Sonny asks the fellow busker if he can take some off the top so he can get Annie a birthday gift. The busker warns him not to spend the money on coke, and Sonny swears, "The storm cleaned me up." Sonny heads to a shop picks out a nice bottle of wine.
McAlary, walking with his friend in the Treme, spots two buxom girls walking small dogs again. He runs after them, but they've disappeared.
Up in New York, Delmond Lambreaux rehearses with Dr. John and others for a Lincoln Center charity benefit, silencing his cell phone just as his father leaves word about Jesse. On a break, Delmond tries to convince the other New Orleanian musicians who are in town for the gig that they'd get more respect in New York and Europe, but the other musicians insist there's no place like home.
Toni Bernette goes to Sheriff Don Babineaux of the Atchafayala Parish Prison, where David Maurice "Daymo" Brooks is supposedly being held, to request a DNA test to prove he's the wrong David Brooks and that the Orleans Parish Prison (O.P.P.) lost a prisoner, but he refuses. She accuses the Sheriff of stonewalling to avoid losing any of the FEMA money they get for each prisoner.
Antoine gets ribbing by his fellow musicians at the strip club for not being invited to the Lincoln Center gig. Heading home later, he stops to sing with Sonny and Annie out on Royal Street. Walking away, he bumps an NOPD squad car with his trombone and they beat him up and take him in.
LaDonna, enraged to discover her roofer has taken off again with the job unfinished, puts a cap on her rage to call her brother-in-law Bernard - again - for help with Daymo's case.
Albert catches a teenage boy in his house at night using his place to have sex with his girlfriend and sends him away with a warning.
Toni consults with fellow attorney Andrea Cazayoux and realises she needs to take the O.P.P. Sheriff and the Department of Corrections to court to force them to produce the prisoner they claim to have. Creighton interrupts to show Toni a YouTube video of Sofia, complaining about Baton Rouge. Toni is upset by her "potty mouth," but Creighton is proud.
McAlary debates with his gay neighbours about whether or not they respect the history of the Treme and accuses them of calling the cops on him - both charges they dispute. He takes his paycheck from his short-lived hotel gig and invites Janette out for to dinner to repay her for the expensive wine he opened. She agrees to spend every last dime at Feelings restaurant.
Sonny wakes Annie to present her birthday bottle of wine. Pleased, she wants to save it for later. But Tom McDermott tracks Annie down and invites her to play with him at a charity gig that night. Sonny is put off, but agrees to come as a guest.
Toni bails Antoine out of jail as he begs her to make sure he gets his trombone back.
LaDonna shows up at Bernard's office in person since he hasn't returned her calls. He offers to make some calls on her behalf but she is skeptical.
McAlary gets stoned in his apartment. Hearing high-pitched barking outside he runs to the window and spies the buxom woman with the little dog enter a house across the street. When his friend Simply Reds shows up with a six pack, McAlary plays him the song he's been madly composing, "inspired by the Muses. Muses with big honking tits." Later, he seduces Janette with the expensive dinner and she comes home with him.
Albert is approached by a woman, Lula Pritchett, looking for work for her nephew Darius (the boy Albert kicked out of his place the night before) to keep him out of trouble while schools are still out. Albert agrees to be in touch if he has work.
At the charity benefit, Sonny drinks and tells his rescue stories to guests while Annie plays with Tom. Tired of killing time, Sonny takes off and goes home to drink Annie's birthday bottle of wine by himself.
The next day Davis shows up to give Sofia her piano lesson. Creighton listens to Davis' lesson as he teaches her "Tipitina." Leaving, Davis tells Creighton Sofia has talent. The skeptical father advises the green teacher, "Don't think about what she will or won't do in the future. That has nothing to do with you."
Toni fills LaDonna in on her plan to go to court. LaDonna tells her about going to Bernard but is frustrated with his family's "Seventh Ward Creole bullsh*t, like they a different race."
Albert has sent out the word and the Guardians of the Flame and several Indians from other gangs gather at the Hurd home in the Lower Ninth to pay their respects to Jesse. As they begin to chant, a Katrina tour bus pulls up and the driver asks them to explain what's going on. "Just drive away!" orders Big Chief Darryl Montana. Realising his trespass, he does, as the group watches the van pull out of site.
04 - At The Foot Of Canal Street
Antoine Batiste faces a long wait to have the stitches from his lip removed in one of only two ERs open in the city. Biding his time, he sings his own lyrics to the tune of "St. James Infirmary."
Albert Lambreaux gets bad news from his insurance agent - no payout because he didn't have flood coverage.
Sonny's friends Jay and Leo talk him into taking a road trip to Houston for a Sunday night gig at Rusty's Roadhouse, when a bunch of New Orleans cats play.
Creighton Bernette puts finishing touches on the family Christmas tree. Toni Bernette, home after an unsuccessful search for Batiste's trombone in Temporary Evidence, asks whether her husband has been out at all, suggesting he use the downtime to work on his novel. "My fiction seems a bit inconsequential to me right now," he says.
At Desautel's, Janette and Jacques struggle to serve a full room with no gas flame, because there is water in the gas lines. "Fire up the butane burners and set up the chafing dishes," she commands.
LaDonna serves Antoine food and drinks at Gigi's, listening to his worries about how his mouth injury will impact his trombone playing. The ER doctor told him it's a dental issue. LaDonna sees a solution: Antoine can come to Baton Rouge and let Larry do the dental work -- and visit his sons. Not thrilled, but seeing no alternative, he agrees.
Delmond Lambreaux plays the game "Monogamy with Exceptions," with Jill, the journalist he's seeing, as they wander through Battery Park. He is unimpressed with her three "Exceptions": baseball player Bernie Williams, gay playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney and 70-year old jazz legend McCoy Tyner. She, in turn, questions his ability to be monogamous.
Albert Lambreaux observes as Robinette sends the young Darius on his way with severance pay. "Don't get me wrong, boy's got a back," he tells Albert, "He just don't like to tax it."On his way to teach piano, Davis McAlary hits a major pothole that sidelines his Camry. An elderly local suggests his nephew can give him a ride - for a small charge. McAlary has to leave his keyboard and amp in the car since the ride is on a motorcycle; the old man offers to watch it for him free of charge. "Consider it lagniappe," he says.
Creighton watches President George W. Bush's Jackson Square speech on YouTube. When McAlary arrives late for Sofia's piano lesson he asks Creighton to give him a ride back to his car to retrieve his belongings. When they arrive later, his car has been broken into and his keyboard and amp are gone. "Even lagniappe isn't worth what it used to be," notes Creighton.
Annie questions Sonny's need to head to Texas, but he thinks he may have better luck getting on the bill with real players out of town. He warns her not to play with any other piano players in his absence: "It would be like cheating."
At Desautel's, the burners go out again. Knowing the gas company won't make a service call in time, Janette has the night's reservations cancelled and heads out to get drunk.
Creighton Bernette makes a video to post on YouTube, ranting against those who are questioning the rebuilding of New Orleans and suggesting canceling Carnival.
Walking by Poke's, Darius hears Albert's Mardi Gras practice and slips inside. He picks up a beer bottle and taps away with a spoon. When they are wrapping up later, an angry Lula Pritchett comes by looking for her nephew; Albert assures her Darius was behaving himself. She invites Albert to dinner the next night.
At Rusty's in Houston, Sonny sits in on a song, but is replaced by Joe Krown when John Boutté is called to the stage. Dejected, Sonny heads out for a smoke and strikes up a conversation with a guy who offers him drugs. After getting high, he strikes up a conversation with the unlikely bouncer, who admits he's never been to New Orleans - something Sonny chastises him for.
Back on Frenchmen Street, Annie plays with a mandolin and guitar player. Inside, McAlary and Desautel drink to the incompetent rebuilding efforts - most especially Entergy (responsible for Desautel's stove troubles and Davis' pothole). Annie comes in to order a glass of wine, and shares a flirtatious moment with McAlary that annoys Desautel, who heads home alone, rebuffing Davis' attempts at seduction. Rejected, McAlary lifts his spirits with a rap announcing his platform for public office: "Pot for potholes." Which is witnessed by local politico Jacques Morial.
Delmond's manager James Woodrow tries to talk him into a New Orleans-focused tour. "I'm from New Orleans, but I don't play New Orleans," he objects. But Woodrow convinces him.
At his dental appointment, Antoine discusses LaDonna and the boys with Larry.
Toni gets the DNA results from her source at the NOPD, Captain Richard LaFouchette, confirming the prints are not those of David Maurice "Daymo" Brooks. The person wearing Daymo's bracelet is Keevon White, waiting trial on a murder.
At a café on Frenchmen's, Annie explains to her new musician friends that she came to New Orleans with her boyfriend - dropping out of Conservatory in New York after meeting Sonny in Europe. They offer to get her a recording gig, but she demurs - for now. Inside, Creighton is recognised at the coffee counter and out on the street for his YouTube rant. "Give 'em hell big man!"
Over dessert following a fine meal at Lula Pritchett's, Albert and Lula share a flirtation as she mentions, "I got a crack in my wall upstairs, needin' tendin' to." He offers to take a look.
Back at Larry and LaDonna's Baton Rouge home, Antoine gives his kids Christmas gifts that are not quite right. Larry tosses Antoine the keys to the car to take the boys out to eat. Over dinner, his sons ask about their new sister and whether he can bring her to Baton Rouge for a visit. He protests he needs to stay in New Orleans to work, talking up the good life they have with their mother and stepfather.
At a party that Jill takes him to in New York, Delmond meets Stanley Crouch, Nelson George, and other prominent African Americans - including the three on Jill's "Monogamy with Exceptions" list. "You set me up," Delmond realises.
Lorenzo Hurd shows up with a message for Albert: His grandmother doesn't want him or any of the other Mardi Gras Indians to chant - or speak - at Jesse's funeral service. "For her it was disreputable," he explains. Albert agrees to honor her wishes. Lorenzo announces he's leaving town; with the house gone, there's no place for him to live.
Sonny and his pals drive back on the I-10, getting stoned, with the bouncer from the roadhouse crammed in the back seat.
Toni, LaDonna and Mrs. Brooks question Keevon White about where David is. Pressed, he explains the harsh circumstances the prisoners faced when they were shuttled around after the storm and claims he talked David into swapping bracelets in exchange for protecting him. "I know how to jail, your boy don't." But he refuses to sign a statement admitting what happened, wishing them luck in finding David.
At Jesse's funeral, Albert remains quiet, taking in the Iberville Projects outside the Cemetery.
Annie gets invited to sit in with The Jazz Vipers. Sonny walks in just as she's taking a solo. He notes the piano player, and they exchange a look as he heads to the bar.
Antoine says goodbye to his boys, LaDonna and Larry and boards the bus home to New Orleans.
05 - Shame, Shame, Shame
LaDonna Batiste-Williams has a troubling dream about her brother Daymo, locked up and lost somewhere in the system.
Creighton Bernette records another video - a direct appeal to President Bush to keep the promises of his Jackson Square speech. The next morning Creighton brushes off queries from Toni about his novel insisting there are more important matters: Krewe de Vieux, the first parade of Carnival. He tells her the tone-setting theme for this year: "George Bush, Kathleen Blanco, Ray Nagin and sperm."
Annie awakens to find Arnie Reyes, the Texican bouncer from the Houston roadhouse, waiting to cross through her room to use the bathroom. She asks Sonny how long his "new friend" is supposed to stay.
At the Royal Street police department in the French Quarter, Toni hands over an arrest report to Shift Lieutenant Terry Colson, filling him in on her futile search for Antoine Batiste's trombone.
LaDonna identifies Thadeus Riley, the roofer who has abandoned Gigi's, to a process server she has retained. Arnie Reyes has picked up a day's work from Riley and when LaDonna warns the workers that Riley is going to plead poverty when it comes time to pay, Reyes asks in Spanish if Riley pays his workers. They reply that he does.
Antoine Batiste hears from Toni there's still no word on his trombone, but she gives him a lead on how to contact Japanese jazz fans who are donating funds to help musicians out. Desiree is heading to the temporary personnel office for the school system, intent on getting her old job back. "You got the baby today," she tells Antoine.
Davis McAlary rounds up "Team McAlary" an all-star group of musicians to play (for virtually no money) on his "legendary four-song epistle against all that is unholy and corrupt in the government of New Orleans!"
Toni appears in court to demand that Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff's Office and state corrections officials produce David Brooks. She asks the judge to compel Keevon White's testimony but A.D.A. Renee Dufossat argues that there is no credible evidence to prove Brooks was in custody during or after Katrina, and reminds the court that the boy had a record of drug convictions.
Albert Lambreaux runs into a group of Social Air and Pleasure Club members outside the Municipal Building who are frustrated that their permit for Sunday's second line is in danger of being voided. Albert has come to talk to City Councilman Ron Singleton about why the projects are still boarded up when they could be housing people wanting to return to New Orleans.
Albert and Lula work on the Chief's Mardi Gras suit at Poke's when Davina Lambreaux stops by for a surprise visit from Houston - pleased to see her father has a "new friend."
Annie plays violin and Sonny comes home, high. Reyes gives Sonny rent money from his roofing gig. Sonny hits him up for extra money and takes off. "He copped in Houston, didn't he?" Annie asks.
When Toni and Creighton go to dinner at Upperline restaurant, Roy Blount, Jr. calls out. Praising Creighton's YouTube videos: "F**k you, you f**king f**ks," he quotes, admiring Creighton's poetry. "He pullin' my leg?" Creighton asks Toni.
Davis and his "Team" (including Kermit Ruffins) record his epistle, riffing on Smiley Lewis'‚ 'Shame, Shame, Shame.'
Sofia helps Toni read a damaged parole and probation document, giving her mother a glimmer of a lead on tracking down Daymo. She heads to Desautel's restaurant, discovering that Daymo was working for them before the storm. Janette and Jacques explain that Jacques had called Daymo the morning the storm hit and asked him to take the meat in the freezer to a shelter. But when they returned, the meat was rancid - and they haven't seen Daymo since.
LaDonna discusses Daymo with Antoine, confiding her concern that her brother may have started using again. They are interrupted by a Japanese man, Koichi Toyama, who shows up at Gigi's to meet Antoine and buy him a replacement trombone. Toyama praises Antoine's playing -- and corrects him on his knowledge of jazz recordings. When Antoine leads him to a pawn shop to make his purchase, Toyama refuses: "Please, spare me no expense."
Albert and Davina eat lunch while watching TV and when he spots Councilman Singleton at a press conference, Albert has Davina drive him to the location immediately. He confronts Eric Newsome, Singleton's aide, and then Singleton, about the need to press the Feds to open up the projects. Singleton insists it's not his call. Albert can barely stifle his frustration.
At Desautel's, chefs Tom Colicchio, Eric Ripert, David Chang and Wylie Dufresne (in town for a charity event) show up without a reservation and Janette squeezes them in. She heads back to the kitchen to figure out what to serve them, and deciding not to "out-New York a bunch of New York chefs" she orders Jacques to help her prepare a meal made of andouille, rabbit kidneys, sweetbreads and lamb neck. "We low-ball 'em," she orders. Later she grills the waitress for their reactions before she heads out to the table to greet them personally and hear their praise.
In the music store, Antoine and Toyama nearly come to blows over another bit of jazz trivia. They make their way back to Antoine's with the new trombone and Antoine plays for his patron in the empty courtyard outside his apartment. As he says goodbye, Toyama hands him a wad of cash.
Sunday's second line parade draws a larger crowd than anticipated, and grows in intensity and fervor as it winds through the Treme.
Creighton meets with officers of his subkrewe of Krewe du Vieux. Creighton objects to the proposal that they have a serious acknowledgement of the storm. "The sacred purpose of Krewe du Vieux is to mock the serious!" he insists. His view carries the vote. They take a break to appreciate the second line and Toni finds him, thrilled at the turnout but noting the police are nervous about the size. LaDonna walks with Larry and her boys. She spots Marcus, a friend of Daymo's and asks him if her brother was using before the storm. He assures her he wasn't copping from him.
As the parade winds up, suddenly shots ring out in the crowd and everyone runs screaming. In the panic, Sonny loses Annie, who is ushered to safety by Reyes. Watching the news in a bar later, Davis is stunned. He didn't see it. Drunk, he quotes Antoine Batiste, using the "n" word and another black patron dares him to say it again. McAlary talks back and the guy punches him. A wasted McAlary staggers out of the bar.
Back home, Sonny holds a sobbing Annie, still shaken from the shooting, and glares at Reyes in the next room.
McAlary wakes up the next morning on his gay neighbours' couch -- they found him laying on the street last night. When McAlary gets home he points his speakers away from his neighbours' garden.
Antoine heads into the pawn shop to buy a trombone for a friend who lost his in the storm and discovers his own trombone for sale. Later, Toni confronts Lt. Colson about the officers selling off Antoine's trombone. He explains the morale issues he's facing with officers: "The wheels are off the cart...and the crime is coming back and we ain't ready. But you wanna talk about a trombone."
Creighton reports with dread to Toni that his agent called and is coming for a visit. He's convinced she's coming to ask for his advance back. "My f**king agent's gonna ruin Mardi Gras," he snaps.
Sonny bids adieu to Reyes, who heads out to find his own way in New Orleans.
06 - Shallow Water, Oh Mama
Davis McAlary rolls through the neighbourhood 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 apologises 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 realises 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 realises 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.
07 - Smoke My Peace Pipe
Judge John A. Gatling rebukes ADA Renée Dufossat for losing track of Daymo and relying on the confusion after the floods as an excuse. Apologizing to LaDonna Batiste-Williams and Mrs. Brooks who are watching from the gallery, Judge Gatling approves Antoinette "Toni" Bernette's motion and gives the Dept. of Corrections 72 hours to locate Daymo.
With the help of his fellow Mardi Gras Indians, Albert Lambreaux uses bolt cutters to get past the chain link fence around the B.W. Cooper projects. Inside the apartment of Memphis Ronnie's mother, Albert spots dust and mold, but finds it otherwise habitable.
Creighton Bernette stands in front of his classroom reading a passage Lafcadio Hearn wrote in 1880, comparing New Orleans to his native Ohio. Hearn preferred the filth and corruption of old New Orleans to staid Ohio. Noting that the writer preferred a destroyed New Orleans to his native Ohio, he adds that in spite of the city's faults, "... New Orleans also conjures moments of artistic clarity and urban transcendence that are the best that Americans as a people can hope for."
Antoine Batiste and several other unemployed musicians perform in the arrival terminal of the airport. When a woman asks what VIP the band is playing for, he tells the New Orleans native that the music is for her.
Davis McAlary visits a music shop with boxes of his new CD. The manager hands him a check for his cut of the sales: $2500. McAlary promises to not only sign CDs when more come in, but also perform in-store.
Meeting with John Besh to sell off her restaurant equipment, Janette Desautel tells him that her small SBA loan finally came through. She's purchased a trailer equipped with a grill and smoker and plans to "do the guerilla chef thing."
Visiting McAlary at home, Jacques Morial urges Davis to focus the media attention he's getting on key issues. While Morial talks local and federal politics, McAlary struggles to come up with lyrics that rhyme with "infrastructure."
Antoine hands out checks to the musicians at the airport gig. They complain it's not cash -- and that Danny Nelson is getting a cut when he didn't perform. Antoine points out they got the gig because of Danny.
News crews begin arriving at the projects and Albert dials the police. With the cameras on him, he explains his position: Open the projects or arrest him. When two officers arrive to charge him with trespassing, Albert argues through the window that he isn't; the unit belongs to Pearline Cross. The officers correct him: The apartment belongs to the Housing Authority of New Orleans.
Antoine visits a sleeping Nelson in the hospital. Cueing up his iPod, Antoine plays Jelly Roll's "I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say," with one earbud in Danny's ear, the other in his own.
Another squatter arrives to take residence in the adjacent project building, draping a bed sheet that says, "My home."
Harley Watt recommends Annie for a three-week tour in Canada with some Cajun musicians. Post-sex, Annie runs the idea by Sonny. Knowing he can't say no, Sonny tells her to take the gig.
Creighton takes his notes for his novel and sets up in the guest house. Finding him working late at night, Toni can't convince him to break for dinner. When she brings him coffee the next morning he complains that his pages are "sh*t" and rebuffs her encouragement.
Sgt. Maurice Thompson of the Community Relations Division arrives to talk to Albert. Thompson reasons there has been no outcry to get the projects open from the people who vote and gives Albert a day to vacate before he's charged with criminal trespass.
Antoine visits Danny's hospital room again and discovers his bed is empty.
After much preparation, Annie still has trouble keeping up with the Cajun musicians at her audition. "It's not about the notes, it's about the feeling," they tell her suggesting she can try again after more practice.
Toni and LaDonna search for Daymo in a database of photographs of OPP detainees - all young black men. After checking the entire catalogue, Toni fears the worst and asks for a list of prisoners who have died in custody.
Judge Bernard Williams invites McAlary to lunch to persuade him to drop out of the election because he is costing Williams' candidate votes. In exchange, the Judge offers McAlary a "get out of jail free card": His number for when Davis inevitably gets into trouble.
Returning from the Portland Jazz Festival, Troy and James Andrews spot Antoine. When Antoine dismisses his humble airport gig, Troy assures him: "People need to hear y'all." The pair join the airport ensemble for a rendition of "Ooh Poo Pah Doo" and a crowd gathers to sing along.
Desautel visits Jacques to show off her new "kitchen" and ask for his help at Bacchanal, but Jacques already has a job working the grill elsewhere.
The police arrive to evict the squatters. Albert refuses to go, but leaves the door unlocked so the cops can enter without force. When he won't kneel to be cuffed, the police draw the blinds and beat him for resisting.
LaDonna can't find Daymo's name on the list of dead inmates, but she locates her cousin's, who is still alive. Toni wonders if Daymo assumed someone else's name, someone without a record, and tells LaDonna they have to go to the morgue.
Having stopped by Desautel's and seen it shuttered, McAlary visits Janette at home, bearing food, wine, and comfort. She invites him in and McAlary gets a look at her house, which still lacks electricity and drywall. When she refers to him as a friend with benefits, McAlary clarifies: "with or without."
Creighton films a new video addressing "Katrina fatigue." Forgiving non-residents who might be suffering from it, Creighton lists everything that remains wrong in the city, proving "we are always our own worst enemy."
Watching the Cajun musicians play at Tipitina's, Annie swears to a skeptical Watt she did her best at the audition.
Sofia and Toni watch Creighton's new video. Realising it was posted late the previous night, Toni finds Creighton asleep on the couch in the guest house. He tells her the novel is coming along.At the makeshift morgue - refrigerated trucks filled with corpses - LaDonna hesitates. When the body bag is unzipped and LaDonna recognises Daymo, she rushes out of the truck. Toni is unsatisfied with the details of the death certificate and questions how a young man could die in custody, and lay in the morgue for months without anyone learning his identity. After gathering herself, LaDonna refuses to make immediate plans for transporting Daymo's body to a funeral home - she doesn't want to break the news to her ailing mother until after Carnival.
At Nelson's funeral, his daughter Angela tries to return the expensive trombone to Antoine but he refuses it: "It's the last horn your daddy played. It's supposed to be in the family." He encourages Angela's son to take up the instrument.
Desautel cooks on her own terms at Bacchanal while McAlary mans the register.
LaDonna returns to her mother's. When Mrs. Brooks asks if they found Daymo, she lies, promising to relay any news as soon as she hears.
08 - All on a Mardi Gras Day
At church, Mrs. Brooks lights a candle for her son as LaDonna Batiste-Williams watches. Sonny and Annie play outside of the cathedral. Complimenting their performance, a former New Orleanian who lost his home and neighbors in the flood gets emotional about coming home for Mardi Gras.
Still in jail, Albert Lambreaux complains to Delmond about not being allowed to place a call for two days. Regardless, Albert plans to mask on Tuesday and instructs his son to tell his Indians to keep sewing.
Antoine Batiste greets Ian and Ivan Neville as they all set up for a gig at the Howlin' Wolf. Antoine informs them he has no plans to work on Mardi Gras -especially not this year.
Sofia Bernette stares at the guest house where her father is still holed up. Antoinette "Toni" Bernette assures her Mardi Gras always cheers Creighton up.
Janette Desautel and Davis McAlary part after a day together, as Davis teases her that working on Mardi Gras is a venial sin.
LaDonna and Mrs. Brooks welcome Larry and the boys. When Larry senses something is wrong, LaDonna says she's fine.
Delmond receives a call from his father's lawyer: The hearing has been changed to Wednesday. Delmond understands they're sending a message by keeping a chief locked up on Mardi Gras. He has to change his plans to extend his stay.
A spruced up Creighton Bernette emerges from his study and tells Toni he sees light at the end of the tunnel. Excited by her father's re-appearance, Sofia asks to join him on his drive. He takes her to Lake Pontchartrain and compares the sight to "an ancient ruin." Pointing out what used to be where, he says, "It's good to get out and see the destruction."
Delmond goes to Poke's to tell Albert's Mardi Gras Indians the bad news. Lula Pritchett expresses her regret that Albert will be alone on Tuesday. Delmond shares his opinion of Mardi Gras: New Orleans should focus on more pressing matters.
At a gig, Antoine bumps into Koichi Toyoma and buys him a drink. Antoine confesses he gave the trombone Toyoma bought him to Danny Nelson. Toyoma, who was sad to hear of Nelson's passing, is pleased that the trombone is now with the maestro's grandson.
Creighton and Toni reminisce about the parades that no longer take place. Unlike Creighton, Toni is not sorry that the Knights of Momus parade was discontinued since it featured riders on horseback wearing pointy hoods. When Sofia names Endymion as her favorite, Creighton scoffs, "B-list celebrities and tons of plastic beads."
Mardi Gras Day Annie awakes to find Sonny on his way out, and he announces he plans to spend the day apart. "Do what you wanna," he quotes. "F**king asshole," she mutters, suspecting he plans to get high.
The Bernettes head out in full costume. LaDonna's family attends the parade, but Mrs. Brooks stays behind saying she might attend next year when they're "all together again." McAlary, dressed like a pirate, pockets Judge Williams' get-out-of-jail-free card on his way out. In jail, Albert lies on his bunk.
McAlary stops in at his parents' party.
On the street, LaDonna runs into ADA Renée Dufossat who explains that in court she represents the office -- but she hopes Daymo is found soon.
When Desiree has to leave the parade to take baby Honorée home, she urges Antoine to stay and have fun. At a Mardi Gras party, Delmond meets a pretty girl.
LaDonna encounters a furious Riley: The police came and cuffed him in front of his kids to make an example of "crooked contractors." LaDonna insists all she wants is a roof for her bar. Antoine shows up as Riley is cursing out LaDonna and follows her to Gigi's.
Navigating the parades, Creighton is not satisfied with this year's experience. He urges his wife and daughter to stay and heads off alone.
Spotting Annie in a pirate costume, McAlary introduces himself. Escorting her through Mardi Gras, they stop in at a café. He is surprised to learn that Sonny is her boyfriend, and when she asks if he has a girlfriend McAlary responds, "kinda, sorta, I'm not really sure."
Sonny exchanges glances with a woman in a bar. Another patron recognises Sonny as the man who rescued him from his roof during Katrina and buys him drinks.
Finished serving, Desautel changes into a fairy godmother costume and ventures off to enjoy herself, alone.
LaDonna tells her family to start eating without her - she's still cleaning up. Later, when Antoine begins to massage her sore muscles, she turns off her ringing cell phone. The two kiss.
The Bernettes eat their gumbo in silence. At his neighbor's house with Annie, McAlary can't identify the piano player in a horse mask. Toyama tells him it's Tom McDermott. A tipsy Desautel wanders the streets, singing "Iko" and tries to turn cars into cabs. Driving with the girl from the party, Delmond spots Indians dancing. Sonny does lines with the woman from the bar before they have sex.Onstage at Le Bon Temps Roulé, Delmond works the crowd which includes the girl from the party, McAlary and Annie. He says he got goose bumps seeing the Indians, and notes: "New Orleans might just make it.Antoine arrives home to find Desiree asleep on the couch with the TV broadcasting the meetings of the courts of Rex and Comus. At midnight, McAlary and Annie watch as the police empty the streets of revelers.
LaDonna returns to her mother's and finds her praying. Larry and the boys headed back to Baton Rouge when LaDonna didn't answer her cell. Blaming phone trouble, LaDonna assures her mother everything is fine between her and Larry.
Creighton films another YouTube video. He compares life in New Orleans to a dream, "the way everything in a dream is the same, yet not the same."
Annie and McAlary sit in front of the cathedral, applying ashes to their foreheads. Refusing the joint he offers, Annie tells McAlary she's thinking of going back to New York for awhile. At the end of the night, he puts her in a cab.
In the morning, Ash Wednesday, Toni finds a still-costumed Creighton passed out on the porch, his manuscript pages everywhere and an empty bottle of bourbon by his side. She orders him to pull himself together before Sofia sees him.
Bailing out his father, Delmond says his Mardi Gras was perfect: "Met a girl, sat in on a gig, saw some Indians." But he assures Albert his Indians will be the prettiest come Saint Joseph's.
Bracing herself, LaDonna steps into the office of a funeral director.
09 - Wish Someone Would Care
Annie tells Sonny she wishes to play with other people. When Sonny questions her decision, Annie speaks up, "You're drunk or high half the time." Sonny, unsure how they can play separately and still be a couple, gives her an ultimatum: "Either you're with me or you're not." When Annie hesitates, he demands she move out.
Creighton Bernette assigns Kate Chopin's 'The Awakening' to his class. Trying to explain the protagonist, he says, "She's looking for truth. And some kind of peace." The class asks what they'll be tested on, but Creighton gives a cryptic response: "Every one of us will be tested and every one of us will be found lacking."
Antoinette "Toni" Bernette questions the Cherrys about the phone call they received saying Jerome was dead. She learns they corrected the caller, but didn't pursue the matter further.
Janette Desautel gives her parents a walkthrough of her restaurant, and the equipment and fixtures which will be auctioned. She tells them she now has a kitchen on wheels and invites them to see her in action at Bacchanal.
In a meeting with LaDonna Batiste-Williams, Toni informs her it's likely something happened to Daymo in custody so the parish wanted the body to remain "Jerome Cherry," even after they were informed it wasn't him. She pushes for an independent autopsy, which LaDonna refuses to consider. "It stays wrong for us no matter what else happens," she says.
Annie shows up at friend and fellow musician Aurora Nealand's with some of her things and asks to stay for a few days.
At Poke's, Davina and Delmond Lambreaux help their father sew. Albert Lambreaux and some of his fellow Indians are anxious about having to wear last year's suits, while Darius complains he doesn't even have one to work on. Albert tells him he's not yet ready to mask.
Desautel visits Jon Cleary and his band at rehearsal to firm up plans for Bacchanal.
Davis McAlary hands out fliers to musicians and "hot women" for his record release party, including his stripper friends. At a club, he runs into Antoine and a BBQ-sauce covered Honorée, who Antoine is watching before his gig starts.
Creighton struggles to write.
Returning to Sonny's for more things, Annie runs into him composing new pieces. He tells her to keep her key - he made a mistake. Annie agrees to meet for coffee.
At the cemetery, LaDonna and Mrs. Brooks find their family crypt in bad shape.
Albert is visited by Sgt. Maurice Thompson and Shift Lt. Terry Colson who tell him they don't want a repeat of last year's violence between cops and Indians on St. Joseph's Day.
Antoine visits LaDonna and finds out she's short $900 to fix the family crypt. He suggests she ask Larry, but she doesn't want to give her husband any more reasons to pressure her to sell Gigi's. Antoine gives her $150 which LaDonna takes after clarifying there is nothing between them. Arnie Reyes arrives to fix LaDonna's roof, estimating it will be a two-day job. LaDonna cautions she has no plans to pay him, and Reyes says there's no need.
McAlary spots Annie performing with a pianist and invites her to his celebration, which she cannot attend. "Party or not, you're always welcome," he says. At his bash, McAlary reminds his guests that at a party in the Treme, there is no stereo. McAlary's neighbor Donald requests Irma Thomas' 'Wish Someone Would Care,' and one of the strippers obliges while the musicians back her up.
At Bacchanal, Desautel cooks for the crowd with the help of some of her old staff. Her parents arrive to sample her food when it starts to pour - even though there was no rain in the forecast. The musicians unplug and take a break; Desautel and her staff try to salvage their dishes. Slipping with a tray full of food, Desautel dumps it, removes her apron, and leaves.
Antoine plays at Vaughan's with Kermit Ruffins, who comforts the crowd with the promise of more music, as the thunder bursts outside. Creighton stares at his blank computer screen.
As McAlary's party continues, Allan confesses it was him who called the cops with the noise complaint. Donald is shocked, but McAlary shrugs it off, "Bygones," he tells them.
Arriving home, Desautel discovers the electricity is out and her ceiling is leaking. She heads to McAlary's and spots the last of his guests leaving. McAlary explains he didn't invite her because she was working Bacchanal.
Sofia asks her father to take her to school later, but Toni insists she attend first period. Before the pair leave, Creighton compliments his daughter, and reminds his wife to "kick a little ass."
Waking up together, Desautel tells McAlary, "this town beat me." She plans to try her luck in New York. He tries to talk her out of it -- "Would you rather have f**king Bullwinkle floats, or an impromptu second line where you dance your ass off?" -- but her mind is made up.
A student tells Creighton she found 'The Awakening' depressing. Creighton tries to explain the end is not the end. "It is a transition. A rejection of disappointment and failure... She's embracing spiritual freedom." He excuses the class for the day.
Antoine goes to Gigi's; the roof repair is underway. He hands LaDonna another $100 from his latest gig, but she refuses it: Larry is wiring her the money.
Darius unloads building materials for Albert and Robinette at Poke's. When he's finished, the three head to the projects. In addition to the police, soldiers now guard the buildings. Lambreaux tells Darius he lost a battle, but he plans to be heard.
Creighton stops at Liuzza's for lunch. Driving into town, he parks and picks up a snack at Café du Monde. Walking around Frenchmen Street, Creighton drops a $20 in Annie's violin case as she performs Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans with the pianist. On the ferry, he bums a cigarette from a fellow passenger, and moves to enjoy the smoke at the boat's stern. When the passenger checks again, there is no sign of Creighton.
The pianist offers to walk Annie home, but she heads off on her own. Sofia struggles with her homework while Toni tries to locate Creighton. In the parking lot, Creighton's car sits empty, the last car in the lot.