The season finale of “Treme“ is tonight, the last two episodes have prepared the story for the kind of anything that David Simon’s shows have pioneered, the anything of life going on, regardless of what happens to individuals. The last shot of the last episode of season four of “The Wire,” the intersection outside Bunny’s house and the ordinary traffic going through it, coming at the end of a season that was almost unbearably emotionally wrenching and tragic, is the perfect example of both the technique and it’s power. It’s not a gimmick, it’s a way of looking at the world that defines the narrative; life is rarely fair, the world goes on in spite of it all.
And so Mardi Gras went on, and it was mostly desultory, hesitant, forced, not a lot of real pleasure. Creighton sums it up; starting off in costume and putting “Mardi Gras In New Orleans” on endless repeat, then coming home early, turning off the stereo, finally spending the night sleeping on the porch, to the shame of Toni. For him, it was the last chance to make everything normal again, or if not normal than to give the possibility it could be normal again. But it can’t; he not only can’t finish his novel but can’t bear to face the subject, Lambreaux is deliberately kept in jail for Mardi Gras, LaDonna’s family’s mausoleum is ruined from the flood, Janette’s guerilla cooking if washed away in the rain. Creighton can’t see any more future, and can’t face the past that is haunting him everywhere in New Orleans.
But life goes on, and while there may not be hope, there’s possibilities. Arnie Reyes comes and actually fixes LaDonna’s roof; it may not be Mardi Gras, but the episode after has three simultaneous parties, and they are the kind of fun you want to have, Antoine is someone how working it out both with his gigs and his girlfriend and LaDonna, and Lambreaux is going to parade with his tribe, and although it appears the police are at first threatening him, it seems they’re actually trying to find a way to make it work. The hint of possibility is on the night of Mardi Gras day, when Delmond is driving with the girl he met at a party, and he’s brought up short by real Indians, in full regalia, in the streets, appearing out of the darkness like birds of paradise. They’ve been there too long to ever go away.