Saw It For You: Homeland, Season 3

WARNING: I was very lucky to get an advanced look at the entirety of Season 3 of the hit Showtime series Homeland. I stayed up late and watched every episode in one sitting. I kind of felt like I was a spy double-agent! Because to watch Season 3, I had to betray my friend who was fired from his job at the network.

As with all Saw It For You articles, the following contains major spoilers.

Episode by Episode Synopsis

  • Episode 1: “Angry Sally.” With the death of all public officials in front of him for succession of the presidency, Nicholas Brody (Damian Lewis) uneasily takes office. His wife Jessica (Morena Baccarin) has sex with his best friend Mike (Diego Klattenhoff) during the swearing-in.
  • Episode 2: “The Pizza Man.” Saul (Mandy Patinkin) quits the CIA and is re-hired as a CIA consultant to the vacant position he just left, at three times his salary. During a breakdown, Carrie (Claire Danes) yells at a pawn shop saxophone.
  • Episode 3: “Horse for Broke.” Brody is instructed to perform an assassination during a State of the Union speech.
  • Episode 4: “That Old Devil Moon.” Saul loses a thumbdrive containing time-sensitive intel somewhere in his beard. Meanwhile, terrorist leader Abu Nazir’s (Navid Negahban) chicken restaurant cover operation becomes so popular he’s forced to run it like a real business.
  • Episode 5: “Snips and Snails.” Nazir delays plans to blow up the Washington Monument as he revamps Clucky’s value menu.
  • Episode 6: “The Pact.” Jessica discovers a new way to sort-of-but-not-really trust her entire family.
  • Episode 7: “Caribbean Queen.” CIA Director David Estes (David Harewood) becomes suspicious after finding a blasting cap in his Clucky’s Dollar Chicken Snackers.
  • Episode 8: “Temba, His Arms Wide.” Brody is forced to concoct an elaborate “Weekend at Bernie’s” ruse after Carrie finds him with a senator’s dead body. Carrie is unconvinced they are merely having a “pretend to be asleep” contest.
  • Episode 9: “Hospital Song.” Despite being unable to find the intel thumbdrive, Saul refuses to shave even under threat of torture by Quinn (Rupert Friend). Later, Quinn discovers Saul is immune to waterboarding due to the vast network of natural air pockets inside his beard.
  • Episode 10: “Packed With Peanuts.” Carrie has a major freakout episode when her doctor accidentally refills her anti-psychotic prescription with an illegal race horse stimulant. Estes, however, is impressed with her new go-getter attitude.
  • Episode 11: “The Ghost and Mrs. Brody.” Jessica and Mike vow to stop having sex in her marital bed. Later, Brody comes home early to find Jessica and Mike having sex on the roof of the garage.
  • Episode 12: “The Death of Abu Nazir.” We won’t spoil it for you, but a major character dies in this two-hour season finale.

Revealing Mistakes

  • The CIA is not in possession of handguns which only fire when “user craziness” is detected.
  • A full-size spy plane could not secretly patrol the interior of a family home, undetected, for eight months.
  • Continuity. During the interrogation at CIA headquarters, Nicholas Brody is handed a scrap of yellow paper which reads “you are now the head of both Al Qaeda and Hamas.” When it later falls out of his pocket onto the teleprompter, the scrap is now white.
  • Intelligence officer rank has never been related to beard length.
  • Dialogue goof. Jessica Brody accidentally refers to her husband by his first name instead of calling him “Brody,” implying that she is more than an acquaintance of his.
  • Continuity. At the barbecue where Brody hands his son Chris (Jackson Pace) a hamburger, Chris’ eyes dance with childishly-idyllic worship of his do-no-wrong war hero father. When the camera pans to Chris a second time, his eyes dance with slightly less worship.
  • Plot hole. Despite high levels of security in the Oval Office, Brody casually uses a wasp knife to open a bag of potato chips.
  • Before dinner, Brody’s daughter Dana (Morgan Saylor) is seen doing her homework instead of exuding an all-encompassing, disdainful ennui.
  • Continuity. Very very briefly at the 12:06 mark in Episode 4 (you may have to pause frame-by-frame to catch it), Carrie Matheson stops looking like she’s trying to take a sudden, emotionally-charged number two.

Saw It For You: Sinister (2012)

WARNING: Some of these spoilers I collected for the horror movie Sinister may spoil you… and spook you.

Sinister (2012)

Synopsis. A family moves into a house only to find it is already occupied by deviloids.

Trivia

  • Director Scott Derrickson was inspired to write Sinister after he killed his own family and blamed a ghost.
  • Ethan Hawke, who plays the film’s main character Ellison, has stated in interviews he became intrigued by the script after being made to read it “at ghostpoint.” Writer/director Derrickson remained in Hawke’s home until he had completed reading the script, menacing him with a drawing of a small ghost.
  • The original title of Sinister was I’m Innocent.
  • The title of Sinister in 2013 will be Exhibit A.

Body Count

  • Stephanie: First to uncover the identity of Bughuul, the Prime Deviloid. Stephanie learns that he can kill people via any image or visual representation of himself. Before she can tell anyone, Bughuul emerges from her visual cortex via her left nostril. Bughuul then throws a shuriken at her.
  • Spicy Mango Vendor: Dies after remarking, “say, these spicy mangos look a little like devils or something.” Bughuul transforms him into a spicy mango, which falls to the ground and is dramatically eaten by a medium-sized French bulldog.
  • Deputy: Killed after seeing a cloud that looks a little bit like Bughuul, but not really.
  • Teenage Girl: Killed after a deviloid throws a 1996 Toyota Tercel through her bedroom window. Her parents don’t come to help, as it is established the next morning that they are “heavy sleepers.”
  • Tracy: Dies after eating a dictionary page with the definition of “poison” on it.
  • Trevor: Dies of massive throat laceration after confusing a “hot-dog-eating contest” for a “hot-knife-eating contest.” Irony: he had eaten enough knives to win first place.
  • Bughuul: The Prime Deviloid meets his end when a young boy (voiced by Justin Long) draws a picture of Bughuul being cut in half by Captain America.

Mistakes

  • A gouged-out eyeball would not be able to blink, nor cry enough tears to create a puddle deep enough to drown a sleeping bank security guard.
  • Derrickson has proudly stated in interviews that he has never received any form of medical care, which seems to explain why most of the medical procedures in Sinister are variations on old wives’ tales and home remedies. Operating rooms typically do not provide doctors with access to leeches, crushed beetle snuff or “biting snakes.”
  • No doctor — at least none who has taken the Hippocratic Oath — would write a prescription for HIV.
  • At Kragen Auto Parts, Ellison (Ethan Hawke) laughs loudly at a Timbertoes comic strip in Highlights For Children. However, The Timbertoes has not been funny since 1961.
  • It is unlikely Kragen Auto Parts would carry incendiary crossbow bolts.
  • At the end of the movie, Ellison proudly tells the young boy that he defeated Bughuul using “the power of a child’s imagination.” However in a post-credits scene, Bughuul’s autopsy reveals he technically died of liver failure.
  • Despite the positive public health message offered by the movie, liver failure is not the number one killer of ghosts in America. It is not even among the top ten.

Memorable Quotes

Ellison: What’s that song you’re humming, sweetheart?
Unnamed Daughter: It’s something I learned from my new friend who lives in the attic, Mr. Boogie.
Ellison: You’re so creative. How does it go?
Unnamed Daughter:

I’m Mr. Boogie but my name is Bughuul
I may seem nice but I’m really a ghoul.
I live in the attic above where your children sleep
I come out of home movies and pictures to make your terror complete.
Maybe I’ll chase you with rusted knife.
You could beg and plead but it’s going to be the end of your very life.
I’ll chop off your neck and eat your head
And after that you will then realize that you are now dead.

Ellison: Something’s wrong. There’s no way you’re that creative.

Deputy: I don’t care who you think you are, Mr. Writer Man, there’s no such thing as “deviloids” in my town.
Ellison: Your careless attitude towards law enforcement is the real deviloid.

Ellison: (sneezes)

 

Saw It For You: Looper (2012)

A service of Saw It For You isn’t just previewing movies that haven’t been released yet — or in some cases, even made yet — it’s also to save you time on entertainment available right now. So here is our review of Rian Johnson’s Looper, which opened this past weekend. WARNING: ENORMOUS SPOILERS.

Looper (2012)

Synopsis. In the future, crime lords control time travel, but there’s just one problem: everyone you send back in time turns into Bruce Willis.

Trivia

  • Director Rian Johnson spent $30 million of the film’s budget on building an actual time machine. Another $750,000 was spent on hospital care for Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt after their exposure to it.
  • The first draft of the film contained over eighty different time puns, such as “isn’t it time we got out of here?” and “I must be a hungry time traveler, because I’m going back 4 seconds.” After three extensive rewrites, Johnson went with the first draft.
  • To film small numbers of Bruce Willises, lookalike extras were fitted with bald caps. For crowd scenes, makeup artists had the 500-plus lookalikes stand beneath a single flesh-colored parachute.
  • The ending was changed after test audiences responded poorly to Joseph Gordon-Levitt looking at the camera to say “ehhh, ain’t I a stinker?” followed by an iris out.
  • In order to maintain an authentic mood, Looper was shot over the course of the next 30 years.

Mistakes

  • In the first time travel sequence, Joseph Gordon-Levitt enters the time machine via its top hatch, but when he arrives in 2043 he emerges from an old witch’s cauldron.
  • According to the film’s logic, de-aging might have restored Bruce Willis’ missing arm, but de-aging further would not have given him a third arm, let alone an arm he “never knew was missing.”
  • Continuity. When Emily Blunt wakes Joseph Gordon-Levitt up, she is sipping chocolate milk from a cup. When she offers Gordon-Levitt a sip, she is sipping chocolate milk from Gordon-Levitt’s open mouth.
  • Incorrectly regarded as goof. Because of a product placement deal, the only thing to eat in the future is French’s Yellow Mustard. It is conceivable that the hardy mustard seed was the only plant to survive the Time War of Twenty-One-Twenty-Never.
  • Despite the multiple times Rian Johnson appears in frame shouting “edit me out in post,” he never was.
  • Knives do not “mature” into guns when buried.
  • Billy goats are not “nature’s time travelers.”
  • Plot hole. Grand theft auto would not produce enough energy to power a time machine, even if said machine did run on “crime energy.”
  • In the final scene of the movie, Bruce Willis tells Emily Blunt that he “was Hitler all along.” This is obviously dubbed in; Willis’s lips clearly mouth the name “Gandhi.”
  • Hitler was not an old bald Indian man.
  • Telling someone that they die in the future — regardless of the existence of time travel — would not cause them to dramatically fade from existence while screaming “noooo.”

Memorable Quotes

Young Joe (Joseph Gordon-Levitt). So you’re me? From the future?
Old Joe (Bruce Willis). Shut your stupid child mouth. I got something important to tell you.
Young Joe. I guess I timed that poorly.

Sara (Emily Blunt). The mob is coming after you, Joe.
Young Joe. Then I guess it’s go-time. And Joe-time. And Joe-time.

Old Joe. You’ll never catch me!
Young Joe. I don’t have to! I’m placing myself under arrest!
Old Joe. Damn! (clothes suddenly change to prison uniform)

Sara. I don’t understand. You did all this?
Old Joe. Yeah. Turns out I’m from the past. I was [Hitler] all along. That’s how I knew my young self would use passive resistance. He’s a [Nazi].
Sara. Namaste.