Treme Review: “The Greatest Love” (Season 3, Episode 4)

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Del isn’t just helping out his father, though. At a gig in town he is approached by a developer looking to make inroads to the musician community for the previously-mentioned jazz center. It’s another moment where the builders of the new New Orleans seem to want to do right by the spirit of their city while still attempting to “monetize the culture,” and time will tell whether or not their intentions are pure, or even effectual.

This is the golden goose of a project that Nelson wishes he was on while he is stuck cleaning up and remediating the houses of owners who don’t even want him there. On the surface, his service is a great one – homeowners know their houses are safe from summary destruction thanks to the rehabbing he does, which they don’t have to pay for – Antoine even tells his wife as much. However, the idea of a government service encroaching upon their property without their knowledge or consent rubs a lot of people the wrong way. Following a confrontation with an unhappy homeowner, Nelson is beginning to wonder whether or not it’s even worth sticking around the City That Care Forgot for much longer. For him, at least, the speed of progress is nowhere near fast enough.

That just leaves the crime fighters, with Toni’s ad seeking complaints against Office Williams making waves, LP’s investigation getting a strange boost, and Terry still struggling against the bureaucratic nightmare that keeps rotten cops on the streets. Toni undergoes a rough scene of trying to convince complainants to come forward with their stories surrounding Officer Williams and being met with the predictable resistance. LP, meanwhile, gets information from a cagey source who tells him that Henry Glover’s body was burned by the police. Whether to keep the body from going putrid due to lack of morgue facilities or to cover up a crime is yet to be determined.

LP comes to Toni’s for dinner, where he and Sofia talk New Orleans metal (all hail Goatwhore!) and decide to take a trip to see a kind of guerilla performance of ‘Waiting For Godot’ where the levies broke. There’s a strange beauty to this scene, and during a suicidal conversation in the play Toni can’t help but break into tears. If someone doesn’t appear, one of the characters affirms that he will hang himself. Toni knows this impulse too well, and the sting from her lost husband isn’t aided by the man next to her saying, “motherfu**er ain’t coming.” The progress of a select few has not translated to full hope for the city, and the fear that something worth living for isn’t coming can’t be held back for long.

Terry, meanwhile, can’t get beyond the politicized red tape in order to get the FBI to start cracking down on the various infractions of the NOPD. Being a straight-laced kind of guy, this impotence of the good guys maddens him to the point that, when his kids bail on him, he hooks up with the hotel manager who previously bumped him up to a suite so his kids wouldn’t have to stay in a possibly dangerous trailer. (This, as it turns out, is a well-founded fear, as this article points out). What this dalliance means for him and Toni is yet to be seen, but I still hold out hope that those two will find one another. Their relationship was the one small ray of hope in a very dour second season.

There’s plenty of potential out there for positive and negative progress. Given the steps forward taken in this episode, it seems odd that Sonny was left out completely, especially since he is now back on the music scene and has consummated his relationship with Linh. I can only assume this might mean that his next step was too big to fit into the already narratively-heavy course of this hour.

The screw gets turned ever further with this episode, but only time will tell what kind of plot Treme is actually building. However, it’s undeniable that this episode left me in a state of excited, nervous agitation for what we’ll see in the weeks to come.

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