This gives Davis the idea to release a promo album in advance of his still-in-the-works opera which can serve as a hype-maker for this passion project while also getting some money to pay those who were treated unfairly back in the day. It’s noble, but it also requires that he and his boozy aunt take a small hit on production costs and personal gain. It’s a good moment for Davis, allowing his idealism and enthusiasm to mesh with his reverence in a real and tangible way. Sometimes he seems a little too manic, but this is a grounded moment for him to really make a choice and do something concrete.
He and Annie aren’t the only musicians making strides, though. Sonny is still playing, with Linh and her father in the audience cheering along. Her father, a fan of jazz, leaves them alone following Sonny’s set, seemingly bestowing upon them his implicit blessing. It doesn’t take long for their long chaste romance to become consummated. Antoine, meanwhile, takes a week off from teaching to tour with a band that needs him on the ‘bone. This, of course, worries his wife, Desiree, who aptly compares him to a dog on a leash about to be let out of the yard. He plays down her concerns and reaffirms his commitment to the kids, but it’s only one night on the road before he’s got some young fan under him in a hotel room as the phone rings unanswered.
Earlier, Antoine had played with Del, who is taking gigs all over the city while he helps his father get ready for their Indian duties and repair the house. This week, he finds a new practice space for the Indians at Ladonna’s bar, where she has never seemed more at home and in control. She still picks up the kids every morning, but it’s up to her husband to meet her in the city, where their relationship seems to become much stronger outside the withering influence of her sister-in-law.
These stories show a larger sense of character cohesion this season than in any season past. We’re seeing more cross-pollination between stories than ever before, which is something also exemplified by the meeting between Desiree and Nelson Hidalgo. Nelson is playing the home-renovation game straight, knowing that NOAH is already under intense scrutiny. When the program sinks and the people who benefitted start getting sized up, he knows that he will be found trustworthy, and thus have an improved position for future, big-money projects. It’s a shrewd move, and one Desiree is invested in, and she grows more suspicious of the program, which allows the city to give rights to contractors without owner approval.
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