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Treme Recap, Season 3, Episode 7: “The Promised Land”

Lindsay Beyerstein

A real life Mardi Gras Indian.

It’s Mardi Gras 2008 in New Orleans. This week’s episode is about starting over. It’s a bittersweet episode, one of the most satisfying this season.

Big Chief Albert Lambreaux is pretty, but he’s not the prettiest Indian in New Orleans. There, I said it! The red chief is the prettiest. By the end of the day Albert is coughing and appears spent. He’s a shadow of the man who seduced a documentarian half his age last Mardi Gras. Waiting to start chemo may cost him. Usually, by the end of Mardi Gras, Albert’s mind is racing ahead to next year’s suit, but maybe not this time.

Sonny’s bromance with Tran continues to blossom. Sonny may or may not love Linh, but he hungers for the grizzled Vietnamese fisherman’s approval. Sonny is two weeks sober, and he has levelled with Tran about his addiction. Tran worries that Mardi Gras in New Orleans will test Sonny’s sobriety, but he says he’ll find an AA meeting.

Sonny finds what might just be the prettiest AA meeting ever. The camera pans the attendees as they recite the twelve steps. Most of them are dressed in their Mardi Gras finery. Evidently, it works for Sonny, who manages to take it one day at a time and show up for work early on Ash Wednesday. Tran is impressed.

Davis shows what a petulant little twerp he really is. He’s charming as long as things are going his way, but he’s insufferable when he’s frustrated. When Annie’s blossoming musical career takes her out of town on Mardi Gras, Davis – who’s already sulking after being replaced as the frontman for his own R&B opera – tries to cheer himself up by cheating on Annie with his old girlfriend Jeanette. 

Jeanette’s restaurant is about to open and she’s still strugglingto play the role of celebrity chef. She’s uneasy representing herself as a local girl made good because she feels guilty about packing off to New York to apprentice after the storm.

Toni confronts Sofia’s ex-boyfriend, who informs her that they’ve been broken up for a week, and that Sofia dumped him. Problem solved. Sofia is a little irritated that L.P. Everett spilled the beans to Sofia about her ex being 27 years old. L.P. says he had to, He was my age!” Sofia seems disappointed that L.P. isn’t interested in her.

Terry the NOPD homicide detective comes dangerously close to revealing that he’s been informing on the departmental corruption to the FBI. He warns another officer to stay clean because something big is coming. When it does, they’ll wonder how Terry knew.

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​.hill​man​foun​da​tion​.org/​h​i​l​l​m​a​nblog), a publication of the Sidney Hillman Foundation, a non-profit that honors journalism in the public interest.
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