Khandi Alexander

Cheers to Khandi Alexander for her tour de hurricane force on Treme.

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As her character, bar owner LaDonna Batiste Williams, raged at the rapist who attacked her — and the legal system that temporarily freed him due to a clerical error — Alexander powerfully embodied the citywide anger at the lawlessness in post-Katrina New Orleans. The actress, who was unjustly denied an Emmy nomination for her fiercely nuanced turn as a recovering drug-addict mother in Treme creator David Simon's 2000 miniseries, The Corner, deserves long-overdue recognition for this role.

Alexander's was only one of many encore-worthy performances in the HBO drama's sprawling 90-minute season finale. Other standouts included Steve Zahn (DJ Davis bid farewell to his band, the Brassy Knoll, and to Season 2 by spinning Louis Armstrong's "Wrap Your Troubles in Dreams"), Kim Dickens (Janette helped free her imprisoned sous chef and pondered a move home from New York City to New Orleans to open a restaurant), Jon Seda (opportunistic Nelson saw the flood of money from rebuilding projects shut off due to a political scandal) and Clarke Peters and Rob Brown (Albert and Delmond's father-and-son reunion was sealed with an ecstatic appearance at JazzFest).

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