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Treme “Poor Man’s Paradise”

By Jason Weaver on Nov 21, 2012 to Treme

“Poor Man’s Paradise” was an episode in which many of the characters experienced Newton’s Law of Motion which states “for every action there is an equal or opposite reaction”.  Of course I’m not talking “motion” but describing how every character’s actions this season have sparked reactions.  The building of the storylines all season long are starting to pay off with some results.  As the season nears its end, the storylines are really beginning to ramp up the intrigue.

The police corruption and abuse post Katrina has always been a great storyline to follow on Treme.   Detective Terry Colson’s actions of trying to find out if investigations were really being undermined by other cops really hit home last night in the opening scene.  Colson has now made himself a pariah in the precinct by exposing these issues.  When he enters the house of a suspect only to get jumped and beaten all the while two uniformed officers and another detective stand outside acting like nothing happened, two things are clear that he is on his own and in danger.  Colson is noble but flawed character, and his actions of trying to set things right may have also cost him everything.


Toni’s actions may have cost her her daughter’s safety but it looks like she has made more than one breakthrough.  After reaching a dead end of people willing to testify against a corrupt police officer, she still cannot find any eye witnesses.  As she decides to put the case on the back burner, one of the persons willing to testify has been holding out on her and actually knows an eye witness.  She now has all the evidence she needs to push forward with this case.  She also learns that Colson has been actively trying to ferret out corrupt cops from the NOPD.

Prior to the end of season 2, Colson and Toni seemed to be getting close in a “more than friends” type relationship only to have it fall apart when she sees him as part of the problem.  Armed with her knowledge of Colson’s honorable activities, I see these storylines merging back together.  I have a feeling his knowledge of the activities that have gone on in the NOPD will help Toni’s case.
At the beginning of the season, the impending doom for the deals both Annie and Janette have made was just a guess.  Each episode has shown us the troubles both ladies are having with their careers thus foreshadowing the disaster that awaits.  Annie has time and time again been asked by her manager to write her own songs instead of using songs written by her friend Harley.  It is very blatant what the writers want the audience see as the main cause for her eventual demise.  While recording songs in the studio the engineer asks who to put as first on the album credits and she quickly states that Harley should be first.  They have mentioned this in numerous episodes and I see her having a successful album only to be brought down by not recording her own songs.

Janette has a similar set of circumstances in that her success is causing her problems.  Her crawfish ravioli is a hit and now a signature dish for the restaurant but she certainly doesn’t want it to be.   She now has a dish she cannot remove from the menu that is extremely difficult to make large numbers of.  This has certainly changed her character as she snaps angrily at a friend/employee and we see her mentally tired.  She is not having the same fun she had cooking previously.  Its the “careful what you wish for” paradigm.


Treme is very similar to The Wire in that the stories build slowly and reach a boiling point by the end of the season.  Its one of the reasons many loved The Wire.  This also presents a very sad realization for many of Treme viewers because these episodes keep getting better and better only to see this show cancelled after a half fourth season.  Storylines are not wrapping up but instead getting better.  How they are going to wrap them in a short final season will be interesting and may come off poorly.  With only a few episodes remaining I expect a number of these storylines to catch fire. No pun intended from the sad episode ending scene of LaDonna’s bar, GiGi’s, going up in flames.

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