“Homeland” returns with a solid reset. A beautiful essay on tennis as a metaphor for marriage. And a way-cool photo montage of NYC at night

Episode 301

Too depressed about the ridiculous government shutdown to rant and rave about it tonight. I’m just so disgusted by the Tea Party and their desire to burn down the village, rather than try to save it. Probably will be ranting about it here tomorrow. For tonight, I’d rather spend a few minutes in a fictional Washington, D.C., with Carrie, Saul and Brody…

I was one of the many people who was down on “Homeland” toward the end of last season. It had gotten too ridiculous, too soap opera-ish, and tried to cram way too much into each episode.
Then, the Season 2 finale was breathtakingly awesome, and all seemed right with the show again.
Happily, Sunday night’s season 3 opener was very good as well (SPOILER ALERT: STOP HERE IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN IT YET).
Picking up where Season 2 left off, with the huge explosion at the CIA building, Brody on the run somewhere, and Carrie and Saul left to pick up the pieces, we got a normal (for this show, anyway), well-written episode.
Couple questions the first show set up: What will happen to the Carrie-Saul relationship, now that Saul basically outed her affair with Brody to Congress? (well, someone else on the inside (Quinn, maybe?) outed it to the Washington Post first, but still.)
Will Dana Brody try to kill herself again? (And nice job by her to get into a relationship while in counseling, that’s always a good move). Is Saul’s new right-hand man, Dar Adal, going to become his frenemy, or is he legitimately interested in doing evil without going too far around the law? And most excitingly, is Carrie really going to try to convince the whole world that Brody isn’t a terrorist who blew up the CIA building?

I think the show works best when Carrie is off her meds, so from that standpoint, this looks like a great season. I have no idea what Quinn’s role will be, nor if Carrie decides she needs to go “rogue” again and starts working against Saul and the remaining CIA peeps.

And we saw from the coming attractions that Brody will be seen again, but it doesn’t look good for him.

So happy to have “Homeland” back. Especially now, this dysfunctional government is a lot more fun to watch than our real one.

AnnLeary

**I’m a huge fan of the writing and performing of Denis Leary; both in stand-up comedy and in his all-time fabulous drama “Rescue Me,” Leary is brilliant, hilarious, poignant and able to pull on any emotion in you that he wants to.

Turns out, his wife is a pretty fabulous writer, too. Ann Leary has written several novels that have become best-sellers, and on Sunday she wrote a beautiful essay in the New York Times about her marriage to Denis, the sport of tennis, and how two people brought their relationship back from the brink, thanks to a little help from the sport me and Roger Federer love so much.
This is definitely worth a few minutes of your time, whether you’re married or not. It’s eloquent and beautifully done.

**Finally, this is pretty awesome and hypnotic: A man took 41 photographs of New York City’s streets between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m. one day using a Nokia Lumia 1020 camera, then strung them together to make this cool video.

Every once in a while I see something like this and think: Thirty years ago, most of us were using Polaroids and shaking our pictures to get them to develop.

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