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Treme' Season 2, episode 1: New beginnings

Having persisted through the initial shock and turmoil of post-Katrina life, the city begins to rebuild

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  • Paul Schiraldi
  • Desiree and Antoine do a final walk-through of her family home before turning it over for demolition.

The deep moan of Antoine Batiste's solo trombone fills the air of a New Orleans cemetery in the season 2 opening of HBO's "Treme." Like a ghost, the sound of the horn passes over crypts and slips by tombstones, grazing the shoulders of mourners such as Landonna and her mother at the grave of her dead brother Damo, and other visitors such as big chief Albert Lambreaux busy sprucing up a loved one's final resting place with some fresh paint. From beyond the cemetery walls the sounds of a novice trumpet player mingle with Antoine's seasoned playing. A young boy stops and starts on his horn as he feels out the opening notes of "When the Saints go Marching In," sputtering his way through the Crescent City anthem.

The scene illustrates sea change for New Orleans and its residents. Having persisted through the initial shock and turmoil of post-Katrina life — returning home, digging through the ruins, finding and burying the dead — the city and its inhabitants are beginning to begin again. It's a shift that's even noted in the series' revised opening credits: We still see the the Weather Channel swirl of clouds over the Gulf and the waterlogged homes, but signs of rebuilding play prominently too, in the fresh wood of a crisp new door frame, for instance.

More than a year since Katrina and seven months since we left off in the season 1 finale, "Treme's" characters are slowly but surely feeling out the first notes of their post-Katrina song.