I actually watched this episode of Treme and didn’t realize it was the finale until the last 20 minutes. I sat there wondering why all the storylines were suddenly being wrapped up in a nice little bow for the end of season. No cliffhangers, no twists, no extending storylines, just quickly running through a little montage. I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing. On the good side, we won’t have to spend the time in between seasons pondering “What is going to happen to that person next season?”. Our minds torturing us everyday running through possible plots for said character. Unfortunately that is not a good thing for an HBO show. You want the audience counting down the days until its return like most of us do for say Game of Thrones. Last year’s Treme finale really made me excited for this season by producing dramatic storylines that left viewers curious how things would work out in the following season. I was hoping this episode would produce the same feeling but unfortunately the writers didn’t know the series would be canceled after a shortened fourth season. I’m sure they fully expected to start new storylines for the fourth season. This also doesn’t bode well for the fourth season but I will get into that later. Let’s run down how these storylines wrapped up and my questions/predictions for next season:
Sonny gets married to Linh and she seems very cool with him getting back into music. They made Sonny a really likable character but didn’t explore his reasons for turning his life around. Its hard to tell if this story is wrapped up for good or if we will see Sonny dealing with marriage and trying to balance home life with playing music. Either way I don’t see much of a storyline for season four. Will we see more Sonny and what direction will it take?
L.P. Everett published his article about his findings into the murder and possible police shooting of Donald Glover. It seems his article while not exactly putting the Glover family at ease with the loss of their family member, has at least sparked a fire within the New Orleans Police Dept. While Everett was a new character this season and seemingly will not be part of the fourth season, he did provide an important part of the crime and corruption story arc. As we see during the finale montage, the FBI is starting to investigate improper shootings by the NOPD post Katrina which leads us to Toni’s storyline.
Toni has worked all season with Everett to help along his article while working her own case dealing with a corrupt police officer who may have perpetrated an illegal shooting of his own. She has finally had a breakthrough in her case with an eyewitness and the FBI finally getting involved thanks to Everett. Toni has also re-ignited her relationship with Terry. Toni is an integral part to the storylines David Simon and Eric Overmyer want to bring to light every season. I have a feeling we will be seeing Toni doing what she does best, harassing the New Orleans Police Department.
Detective Terry Colson is in the worst spot possible. By doing the right thing and trying to find out if the NOPD is actually investigating crimes, he has exposed himself as a snitch to the FBI. The NOPD now know Terry has been talking to the FBI and are actively trying to push him to retire. Terry has a choice to either retire or keep fighting the good fight to clean up the department even though everyone is actively working against him. Colson has one of the few story arcs that didn’t get resolved in the finale montage thus I assume we will see his storyline extend into season 4.
One of the characters I’m not usually interested in since he is mainly used as a pass through to highlight famous musicians is Davis McAlary, but this season he kind of grew on me especially in the finale. Davis seemingly tired of the red tape and business behind the music industry has decided to quit music altogether. His noble efforts to honor the musicians of the past who got screwed out of making decent money has endeared him to many. Kermit Ruffins and his other friends show Davis what he’ll miss most about music. They also turn his song about quitting into a viral sensation. Sounds like he’ll be back to his same antics in season 4. The most endearing part about Davis this season was his interactions with his girlfriend Annie. Annie seemingly on a ride to success has forsaken her relationship with Davis. I feel sorry for Davis who has supported her all the way although at times misguidedly. Not sure what to expect from Annie for season 4. With the shortened season will Simon and Overmyer show her to be a success or bring her back down from some bad part of the deal she signed with her manager?
LaDonna had a heartbreaking storyline this season. Her family fully committing to moving back to New Orleans and getting the bar up and running again. Just when she thinks everything is back in full swing, the kid who abused and raped her walks during trial and has it in for her. He burns her bar to the ground and her hopes of any kind of normalcy. The season finale montage was based around a benefit for her bar so my guess for season 4 is another rebuild of Gigi’s.
Albert and Delmond Lambreaux see through the shady deal land developers are trying to pull to build a National Jazz Center. Albert seems to be dealing with his cancer. And in a very poignant scene at the end of the finale, Albert is beginning a new design for his suit next year. The culture lives on. Will Albert be able to don the suit next Mardi Gras? Will Delmond stay by his father during his treatment or go on tour to earn money?
Janette has fallen down the hole we all saw coming. The deal she has made with her partner Tim is coming apart. He owns everything including her name that adorns the restaurant. She resigned to just take it and cook. This is almost like seeing Anthony Bourdain’s book “Kitchen Confidential” come to life. The kitchen culture and corporate restaurant groups mix like oil and water. Janette wants to walk away from it all but can she? Her name is on the door but if she walks the name stays. She has a big decision for season 4, stay and make the best of it or decide to find a better situation.
I know I didn’t talk about Antoine Batiste or Nelson Hidalgo but both their storylines don’t really have arcs that need to be wrapped up. They are two open ended stories that can be extended into season four without any difficulty. Hidalgo will still be chasing the dollar signs in land development and Antoine has found his calling trying to educate the youth about jazz and its traditions.
This season came a long way from the first episode. The storylines were well written and as always the acting was top notch. Production on Season 4 has already started. This finale could easily have been the series finale the way they wrapped up almost everything during the montage. Maybe Simon and Overmyer saw this series coming to an end and tried to finish it with a happy quick montage. Thankfully they will have a few more episodes to fully bring this to a conclusion. Although the story of post Katrina New Orleans is a continuing story and I’m sure David Simon will enlighten this point to the audience in the real series finale.