Review: ‘Tremé’ – ‘Careless Love’

A quick review of tonight’s “Tremé” – and, in case you missed the news, HBO announced how many episodes there will be in the fourth and final season – coming up just as soon as I misquote Spinal Tap…

Late in “Careless Love,” Antoine realizes that even at his age, there are still things he can learn about his craft, and education – both the official and unofficial kind – is one of the big themes of the hour. Antoine gets a lesson in bureaucracy and the sorry state of the New Orleans school system when he realizes his prize pupil Jennifer is illiterate. Janette gets several lessons in what life is going to be like as part of Tim’s corporate restaurant machine, including an endless HR lecture, the inability to hire undocumented workers for the kitchen, and a mortifying photo shoot. David evolves and grows enough to quit the radio station for once rather than be fired, then gets a memorable lesson in how to gracefully say no when Fats Domino himself performs “Blueberry Hill” for him(*) in his living room. And Sofia gets a crash-course in metal when she accompanies LP to one of the shows he likes.

(*) Loved Steve Zahn’s reaction to the whole bit. On the one hand, this is Fats’ way of declining to participate in the opera. On the other, Fats Domino is performing “Blueberry Hill,” just for him. For someone like Davis, that’d be a life highlight.

Not everyone’s quite so open to learning and changing, however. Albert refuses to start his cancer treatments before Mardi Gras, to the frustration of his kids, and even as Larry continues to be the most flexible, understanding husband in the world, LaDonna can’t help flirting with Albert when the big chief is hanging around her bar.

And then there’s Sonny, who falls back into an old pattern with his drug use, but recognizes more quickly than the last time that he needs to stop. My one real complaint with this storyline so far is that Lin has never really felt like a character herself, just an idealized woman who gives Sonny a reason to get sober again. Tranh has been more clearly delineated to this point. But Sonny’s stumble provided a good showcase for Michiel Huisman.

Lots more to talk about, including the progress of LP and Toni’s investigations, Nelson skipping town to make money elsewhere, Colson losing patience with the cops under his command, and more. So go read Dave Walker’s episode explainer at his NOLA blog, and then tell me, what did everyone else think?