Many of this episode's themes echoed within me. The plight of veterans and the homeless. The shy affection between Donna and Josh. The murder of a young gay man in Minnesota.
One thing that surprised me, as it always seems to, was the carol they ended the episode with. The Little Drummer Boy is a particularly appropriate tune as the montage of military funeral images played across the screen. The staccato snare sounds martial to our ears. Mean while, the sweet voices of young boys sing out. They tell the tale of the birth of Jesus from a unique viewpoint, a common observer. Something about the event compels him to offer what he has to this newborn that so many important people hail as a king. Like the friend of the deceased homeless veteran's brother returning some of the money Toby gave him because, "You don't live around here. You'll need it for the bus..." the little drummer boy calls upon some simple dignity to give what he can. He plays his best for Him.
Something about that song, that story always makes me tear up. Whether it is a traditional version from a boy's choir or one updated by an artist that escapes me heard on the local "alternative" station, my eyes well up. Even now, as the song runs through me head, I get a bit misty.