Yearly Leftovers – my favorite bits and bites from 2012

Sick of making leftover turkey sandwiches? Read some of my leftover TV favorites from 2012! A smattering of things that I haven’t had a chance to write about that I’ve loved over the past year. No lists, no numbers, just some of my favorite stuff. 

Gravity Falls’ title sequence – It seems that more and more that title sequences for television shows are becoming short, efficient works of art.  I can’t think of a show that has a title sequence that is quite as brilliant as the one for Gravity Falls. Every episode begins with a beautiful sequence, animated to look like a time-lapse film, that takes us through the weird and wonderful town of Gravity Falls. The title sequence smartly recalls the title sequences of Twin Peaks, The X-Files and even Northern Exposure but its frenetic pace, quirky music and in-jokes tell us exactly what we are getting ourselves into.

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Homeland – Season 1, Episode 7 – “The Weekend”

Best Episodes

We investigate our favorite episodes of our favorite TV shows. Be warned: these articles will contain spoilers!

“I figure we’re safe here” – Nicholas Brody to Carrie Mathison.

The idea of safety, who you are ultimately safe with and where you are ultimately safe, is central to “The Weekend” the seventh and best episode in Homeland’s stellar first season. Being safe and being at peace comes up several times in an episode that quietly explodes everything that has come before it and sets the table for the rest of the season.

But before we get into the episode, some background: Homeland was created by a couple of the folks responsible for 24. The show revolves around a CIA operative named Carrie Mathison (played by Claire Danes) who, during a stint in Iraq, finds out that an American prisoner of war has been “turned’ by Al-Qaeda. When Carrie finds out that Marine Sergeant Nicholas Brody has been released by his captors, he immediately becomes her number one suspect. Like 24, Homeland has many twisty, turny elements that make this kind of thriller exciting to watch. However, where 24 often employed shock for shock’s sake, Homeland stays more grounded and relies on character development to do its heavy lifting.

In the previous episode, after Brody and Carrie’s shocking back seat hook-up, Brody is interrogated by the CIA. During the interrogation, and at Carrie’s prompt, Brody is asked if he has ever been unfaithful to his wife. Brody says no. Carrie knows he is lying (and fooling the polygraph) but can’t prove it without outing herself to her colleagues.

“The Weekend” starts exactly where the previous episode left off:  Brody picks Carrie up in the parking lot of the CIA headquarters and they head to a bar that is improbably populated by a bunch of neo-Nazis. They get into a fight with a rather forward Nazi asshole and flea after they give him a beating. Then (and this is where the episode really starts) they take a trip to Carrie’s family cabin and settle in for the weekend. Continue reading