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Duly Noted

Tuesday, Oct 30, 2012, 10:54 am

Treme Recap, Season 3, Episode 6: Careless Love

By Lindsay Beyerstein

[I watched this episode while getting ready for Hurricane Sandy. Luckily, our corner of Brooklyn was virtually unscathed. We didn't even lose power.]

In "Careless Love" various characters are forced to examine their priorities.

Sonny is off the wagon. He relapsed because his relationship with Linh was getting more serious. Unable to cope with the pressure, Sonny threw himself back into cocaine, booze, and strippers. While Sonny was recovering from a bender, the shrimp boat literally sailed without him, accelerating his self-destructive spiral.

Sonny eventually returns to Linh's father and pleads for his forgiveness. We never hear what Sonny has to say for himself. We just see him in the distance, begging Tran's forgiveness in the driveway as Linh watches through the front door. As far as we know, Sonny hasn't told Linh or her family about his addiction. Is he levelling with Tran, or is he just making excuses?

Big Chief Albert Lambreaux has lymphoma, but he's refusing chemo until after Mardi Gras to make sure he's well enough to mask with his Indians. His daughter and his doctor are horrified, but his son Delmond seems to understand. When people get sick and stop doing the things they lived for in the first place, they only get sicker, he tells his sister.

Delmond doesn't yet realize that the same could be said for New Orleans. To some people, "saving" New Orleans means destroying everything that made it special. Delmond is consulting for the new Jazz Center. In the last episode, we learned that architect spearheading the Jazz Center project is also salivating over the impending destruction of four perfectly serviceable public housing projects, which Albert has been fighting to save since the storm.

Desiree has been radicalized by the unauthorized demolition of her mother's house. She teams up with local activists who start explaining the various moneyed interests carving up New Orleans amongs themselves. There's some sort of land grab afoot downtown. It's not yet clear how that relates to the planned Jazz Center or Tim and Janette's new restaurant--but I bet we'll find out soon.

Desiree has vowed revenge, and we all know she's not a woman to be trifled with.

Janette is discovering what a drag it is to work for a corporate restaurant chain. She has to sit through boring HR briefings about how to run her kitchen and work with a publicist to sell "the story of the restaurant" on TV. Janette doesn't care for her new roles of manager and spokesperson. In one scene, she's pulled away from teaching her cooks to plate a dish in order to take care of PR business.

Antoine is horrified to discover that his 14-year-old trumpet protegee, Jennifer, is illiterate. The vice principal tells him that their school has no resources to help her. The vaunted charter schools won't take her either, because special needs kids only drive down standardized test scores. This storyline is a dig at the charter school enthusiasts and free market education "reformers" who flocked to New Orleans after Katrina and tried to replace the public school system.

Lawyer Toni Bernette and reporter L.P. Everett track down an out-of-town pathologist who clashed with the local coroner over the Henry Glover case after Katrina. At the time, the visitor thought Glover was murdered, but the local doc insisted on ruling the death as inconclusive. When L.P. shows him the photo of Glover's skull, which was missing by the time his body was autopsied, the pathologist is all but certain Glover was shot and burned post-mortem. L.P.'s hunch was right after all.

Sofia's romance with a 27-year-old street musician has taken an anti-climactic turn. While Toni was off talking to the pathologist, she warned Sofia not to drive because of all the police harrassment. Her creepy boyfriend insisted on driving her to the abandoned Six Flags park, and he brought a joint with him, knowing that they were under surveillance. Sofia later tells L.P. that she's upset with her boyfriend because he's immature--which he is, but I hope the creep gets a more dramatic send off.

Lindsay Beyerstein is an award-winning investigative journalist and In These Times staff writer who writes the blog Duly Noted. Her stories have appeared in Newsweek, Salon, Slate, The Nation, Ms. Magazine, and other publications. Her photographs have been published in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times' City Room. She also blogs at The Hillman Blog (http://www.hillmanfoundation.org/hillmanblog), a publication of the Sidney Hillman Foundation, a non-profit that honors journalism in the public interest.

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