"Do You Know What It Means"
Season 1, Episode 1
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Air date April 11, 2010
US viewers 1.1 million
Written by David Simon & Eric Overmyer
Directed by Agnieszka Holland
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"Meet De Boys on the Battlefront"
"Do You Know What It Means" is the first episode of the first season. It is the series pilot, the first episode of the series overall.

It was first broadcast on HBO on April 11, 2010 and drew 1.1 million viewers. It was written by David Simon & Eric Overmyer and directed by Agnieszka Holland.

Three months after Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans neighborhood of Treme holds its first "second-line parade" since the storm. Albert Lambreaux returns to his home to find it ravaged by the flood, but begins cleaning up the damage instead of heeding his daughter's pleas to return to Houston. She calls her brother Delmond, who comes down to argue with their father but has no more success. A British television crew interview Creighton Bernette, who becomes so outraged by their implication that the city isn't worth rebuilding that he throws their microphone into the river. LaDonna Batiste-Williams finds out from a friend that her brother Daymo, who has been missing since the storm, was in police custody when Katrina hit the city; Toni Bernette is unable to find Daymo on any official record of prisoners in custody at that time, but she does uncover two newspaper photographs that appear to show him among a group of prisoners being taken across the overpass.


Three months after Hurricane Katrina precipitated the flooding of New Orleans the city is a disaster zone. Many residents are unable to return to their flood damaged homes and the streets are still littered with detritus. Pleasure aid and social clubs contract the Rebirth Brass Band to play the first second line since the storm, chiseling their fee when they show up without a second trombonist. Antoine Batiste fills in for the band, perpetually late and without the funds to pay his cab fare into the city from his temporary residence in Jefferson Parish. The parade is a rousing success, drawing many displaced natives back to the city for the day at least.

The second line ends outside Gigi's lounge, a bar owned by LaDonna Batiste-Williams. LaDonna is shocked to see her ex-husband Antoine back in the city. The bar is humming with trade after the parade. Antoine stays until things have calmed down and then makes a pass at his ex. She turns him down, far more concerned that he make more effort with their two sons, who are living in Baton Rouge with her new husband.

LaDonna has a second unexpected customer, Demetrius Bray, who is in town for the second line. He is a friend of her missing brother David Maurice Brooks, also known as Daymo. She tells him that she has not seen Daymo since the storm and he reveals that they were in police custody together during the Hurricane. He explains that they were at Orleans Parish Penitentiary (OPP) but were moved onto a bridge when it flooded and were then separated.

Davis McAlary is energized by the parade, waking up hungover beside chef Janette Desautel. She is less enamored with him in the cold light of day, criticizing his broken shower and his messy apartment. She heads into work at her restaurant, Desautels, while Davis joins the parade. Davis enjoys the festivities and returns home, antagonizing his neighbors with loud music before heading to work. Davis hosts his WWOZ radio show, ignoring the station's playlist in favor of a mafia themed broadcast.

Tulane University professor Creighton Bernette is a vociferous supporter of the city. He agrees to be interviewed by a British television program but is enraged by their implication that the city is not worth saving and tries to throw their camera into the river. His daughter, Sofia, is both amused by his antics and concerned about his levels of stress. Creighton returns home to his wife Toni Bernette only to blow a phone interview with National Public Radio in a similar manner.

Albert Lambreaux has his daughter Davina drive him back to the city from her temporary residence in Houston. His house is ruined by flood water. He refuses to return to Houston, instead opting to clear out his local bar, Poke's. Davina is worried about him and calls her brother Delmond. Delmond, a jazz trumpeter, has gigs booked in New York but agrees to move things around to see if he can help. Albert finds that the water in the bar is still off and goes to his friend Robinette for a shower. Robinette tells him that he is making easy money with his haulage business from Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) contracts. Albert asks him a favor; help clear the trash he has pulled from the bar. Despite Albert citing their shared involvement with Mardi Gras Indian Tribes, Robinette refuses to take time away from the lucrative FEMA work. Albert returns that night, dressed in his full costume as chief of the Guardians of the Flame tribe to demand assistance and Robinette agrees.

Janette finds it difficult to manage her restaurant in the wake of the storm; customer demand is high but her staff is a skeleton crew and sourcing ingredients is extremely troublesome. Her sous chef Jacques Vaz is her only reliable employee. Creighton and Toni come in for the evening service and she greets them personally. Creighton turns down lemon ice for dessert, citing loyalty to Brocato's. She gives him a sweet potato Hubig's Pie from her purse instead.

Antoine treks back out to his apartment, shared with his girlfriend Desiree and their young son. He is disappointed when she takes his entire fee from the second line to pay for groceries. He heads back into the city the next day, looking for another gig. He lands one supporting Kermit Ruffins at Vaughan's. Davis also attends the show and is surprised to see legendary singer-songwriter Elvis Costello in the audience. He tries to convince Kermit to network with the international star, but the jazz musician is content playing gigs and barbecuing in New Orleans. Antoine heads home with a fuller wallet after the gig but Desiree reminds him that they are behind on their utility bills.

Toni meets LaDonna in a busy cafe. LaDonna tells Toni that she has learned that Daymo was in custody just before he disappeared and Toni agrees to investigate. Toni spots a police contact, Captain Richard Lafouchette in the cafe and approaches him for help. He agrees to give her a list of people who were in custody at the time of the storm.

Toni is frustrated that Daymo is not on the list and decides to look for evidence that he was in contrary in the archives of the New Orleans Times Picayune paper. The photo editor gives her access to pictures of the bridge where the prisoners were held and she is able to find a couple of shots of Daymo. She takes the good news to LaDonna, who confides that she fears that her brother is dead because he has not called since the storm. Toni tries to speak to the Orleans Parish Sheriff about his disappearance but is stalled by his Deputy's. After waiting all day to no avail she returns home, angry at the institution's indifference.

Delmond arrives in New Orleans as Albert and Robinette are clearing the street outside the bar. His pleas to his father to leave town fall on deaf ears. Albert stubbornly insists that Delmond either pitch in, or pay the water bill for the bar.

Davis tries to reclaim a consignment of his defunct band Uncut Funk's music from the shuttered Tower Records store. He is thrown out by the security guard but comes back later with his friend Toby to grab them, also purloining a few choice jazz discs when he has the chance. Exhilarated he goes to Desautels to celebrate, opening an expensive bottle of wine without asking. Janette is unimpressed with his suggestion that he trade her the out of print jazz collection he stole for the $350 bottle. She refutes his assertion that he is her boyfriend and has Jacques throw him out.

Antoine books another last minute fill in - playing a funeral procession with the Treme Brass Band. He turns up at the last minute, confirming his eighty dollar fee before the cakewalk.


Main:Do You Know What It Means/Appearances


The following named, recurring characters are introduced in this episode:

  1. Keith Frazier Rebirth Band Leader, drummer
  2. Philip "Tuba Phil" Frazier III, Rebirth sousaphone player
  3. Antoine Batiste
  4. Stafford Agee III, Rebirth trombonist
  5. Glen Andrews, Baseball cap wearing Rebirth trumpet player
  6. Chadrick Honore, Tall Rebirth trumpet player
  7. Vincent Broussard, Rebirth Saxophonist
  8. Davis McAlary
  9. Janette Desautel
  10. Henry, Furious Five member #1
  11. Jacques Vaz
  12. Albert Lambreaux
  13. Davina Lambreaux
  14. LaDonna Batiste-Williams
  15. Creighton Bernette
  16. Sofia Bernette
  17. Toni Bernette
  18. Louise, Janette's waitress
  19. Delmond Lambreaux
  20. Jeffy Jeff
  21. Desiree
  22. Robinette
  23. Captain Richard Lafouchette
  24. Sergeant Alonzo Wilson
  25. Kermit Ruffins
  26. Davis Rogan




  1. Khandi Alexander as LaDonna Batiste-Williams
  2. Rob Brown as Delmond Lambreaux
  3. Kim Dickens as Janette Desautel
  4. Michiel Huisman as Sonny (credit only)
  5. Melissa Leo as Antoinette Bernette
  6. Lucia Micarelli as Annie (credit only)
  7. Clarke Peters as Albert Lambreux
  8. Wendell Pierce as Antoine Batiste
  9. Steve Zahn as Davis McAlary

Guest starring

  1. John Goodman as Creighton Bernette
  2. Elvis Costello as Himself
  3. India Ennenga as Sofia Bernette
  4. Edwina Findley as Davina Lambreaux
  5. Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine as Jacques Vaz
  6. Davi Jay as Robinette
  7. Sean Gormley as a British Journalist
  8. John McConnell as DJ Jeffy Jeff
  9. Phyllis Montana-LeBlanc as Desiree
  10. Gralen Banks as a Black Man of Labor
  11. Lionel Batiste as Himself (Treme Brass Band)
  12. Randy Green as Unknown
  13. Kermit Ruffins as Himself
  14. Stafford Agee III as Himself (Rebirth Brass Band)
  15. Glen Andrews as Himself (Rebirth Brass Band)
  16. Keith Frazier as Himself (Rebirth Brass Band)
  17. Philip "Tuba Phil" Frazier III as Himself (Rebirth Brass Band)
  18. Bunchy Johnson as Himself (Treme Brass Band)
  19. Benny Jones, Sr. as Himself (Treme Brass Band)
  20. Karen "Juicee" Ruffins as Herself
  21. Derrick Walker as Parade Organizer #2
  22. James Dumont as Captain Richard Lafouchette
  23. Anthony Michael Frederick as Sergeant Alonzo Wilson
  24. Henry "Simply" Griffin as Himself
  25. Daniel Mason as Furious Five member #2
  26. Nikai Clark as Louise, Desautel's waitress
  27. Joyce Deal as a Mother
  28. John Calvin McCann as Demetrius Bray
  29. Cindi Woods as a Photo Editor
  30. Levi Holiman as an Angry Cabbie
  31. Ike Jackson as an Affable Cabbie
  32. Jack Radosta as a Resigned Cabbie
  33. Dother Sykes III as a Desautels Waiter
  34. Leon Contavesprie as a Record Store Manager
  35. Rio Hackford as Toby
  36. Kevin Kemp as Tower Records security
  37. Marel Medina as Record Store Manager #2
  38. Mike Anderson as Record Store worker
  39. Samantha Beaulieu as Geraldine
  40. Albert Guillie as Sheriff's Deputy #1
  41. Christopher Paul-Horne as a Son
  42. Sharon London as Sheriff's Deputy #2


  1. Donald Harrison as Himself
  2. Chadrick Honore as Himself
  3. Karen Kaia Livers as Mrs Robinette
  4. Unknown as Honore Antoinette Batiste
  5. Derrick Freeman as Kermit's friend
  6. Carl J. Walker as Davis's neighbor 1


Opening credits

  1. Alexa L. Fogel - Casting
  2. Waldemar Kalinowski - Production Designer
  3. Chester Kaczenski - Production Designer
  4. Kate Sanford - Editor
  5. Alex Hall - Editor
  6. Lisa Rinzler - Director of Photography
  7. Irek Hartowicz - Director of Photography
  8. Anthony Hemingway - Producer
  9. David Mills - Co-Executive Producer
  10. Carolyn Strauss - Executive Producer
  11. Eric Overmyer - Executive Producer
  12. Nina Kostroff Noble - Executive Producer
  13. David Simon &
  14. Eric Overmyer - Creators
  15. David Simon &
  16. Eric Overmyer - Writers
  17. Agnieszka Holland - Director

Closing credits

  1. David Simon - Executive Producer


  1. Juvenile - "Nolia Clap": Playing in SUV in the opening montage.
  2. Rebirth Brass Band - "Feel Like Funkin' It Up": Played at the beginning of the second-line parade.
  3. John Boutte - "The Treme Song": Opening credits.
  4. Rebirth Brass Band - "It's All Over Now": Played under the bridge in the second-line parade.
  5. Dr. John - "Mama Roux": Played at Desautels.
  6. Rebirth Brass Band - "I'll Fly Away": Played as the second-line ends outside Gigi's lounge.
  7. Eddie Bo - "Hook & Sling": Playing inside Gigi's place.
  8. Steve Zahn (as Davis McAlary) - "Big Chief": Davis plays a phrase on the piano as he gets in.
  9. Mystikal - "Bouncin' Back": Davis annoys his neighbors.
  10. Mystikal - "Shake Ya Ass": Davis turns his speakers up before leaving.
  11. Louis Moreau Gottschalk / Hot Springs Music Festival Symphony Orchestra - "Gottschalk Symphonie No. 2": Davis's neighbors' house.
  12. Scott Joplin / India Ennenga (as Sofia Bernette) - "Solace": Sofia practicing Piano at the Bernette home.
  13. Tom McDermott - "For Brenda": In the Lowerline restaurant.
  14. Fats Domino - "Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans": Davina Lambreaux's car stereo in the parking lot.
  15. Donald Harrison - "Christopher Jr.": with Delmond Lambreaux in the Blue Note, New York.
  16. The Gaturs - "Gatur Bait": LaDonna and Demetrius at Gii's place.
  17. Louis Prima - "Buona Sera": New Orleans night montage.
  18. Ziou Harmonizers - "Somewhere Listening for My Name": Robinette on his porch.
  19. Beau Jocque & the Zydeco Hi-Rollers - "Gardez Donc": Tower Records in the French Quarter.
  20. Louis Armstrong - "West End Blues": Kermit Ruffins' house.
  21. Allen Toussaint - "Whirlaway": Jukebox at Vaughan's.
  22. Kermit Ruffins - "Skokiaan": Kermit's opening song at Vaughan's.
  23. Kermit Ruffins - "Swing This": Kermit's band at Vaughan's.
  24. Henry Butler - "Tetherball": On the street outside Vaughan's.
  25. The Iguanas - "Flame On": Desautel's restaurant as Davis arrives.
  26. Treme Brass Band - "A Closer Walk With Thee": at the funeral procession.
  27. Leigh "Lil' Queenie" Harris - "My Darling New Orleans": End titles.

External linksEdit

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