[Spoiler Alert] Treme returned Sunday night for its final semi-season, one thing I admired about the most recent episode is that David Simon and Eric Overmyer are sticking to their guns at every level. The show's very specific pacing continues as if they've got another season or two instead of a final five episodes. Some scenes seem to casually set up stories that will be hard to wrap up, while others are more about the moment than any story.
[Spoiler alert] "You can't show them you're afraid," Albert Lambreaux (Clarke Peters) says in an episode of Treme that focused on fear. He's dealing with it as he faces chemo, and LaDonna (Khandi Alexander) faces it as she's threatened by friends of her rapist. One of the strengths of this season is how a couple of storylines working similar themes make it possible to see all the stories in their light.
[Spoilers abound] Early in this week's episode of Treme, Davis (Steve Zahn) shows tourists the battered, neglected remains of Perseverance Hall, a venue where Buddy Bolden once played. That structure is contrasted later with the clean, white architectural models for the jazz center project designed for the Memorial Auditorium. The meaningful difference between the two - people saw how money could be made off the latter.
Last week's Treme looked at the bargains we make to get what we want; this week's episode examines the same thing from the perspective of those we bargain with. Scenes of Tim (Sam Robards) closing the deal with Janette (Kim Dickens) in The Parkway are intercut with shots of Marvin (Michael Cerveris) doing the same with Annie (Lucia Micarelli) over dinner at Bayona.
"We are going to be back for a season 3.5," Treme producer David Simon announced Saturday night at the Joy Theater. "HBO on viewing the 10 that we gave them and where we left it, they want to see the end of the story. There are people there who fought very hard to give us half a loaf, and we're going to take it and run.
Treme returns for its third season on HBO on September 23. This trailer suggests that Delmond (Rob Brown) is going to more fully embrace his Mardi Gras Indian heritage, that Janette's going to have heavy anxieties about starting a new restaurant, and crime's going to be a big part of the season.