Parts Unknown: "Congo"
Season 1, Episode 7
"It is the most relentlessly f***ed-over nation in the world, yet it has long been my dream to see Congo. And for my sins, I got my wish." This is how Bourdain's raspy, New Yorkian voice opens up the seventh episode of PA's inaugural season, set in the Congo region of Africa, and heavily tinged with Heart of Darkness references. Like Joseph Conrad's classic allegorical novel, the region and culture Bourdain explores is intricately complicated, at times frustrating, and exudes danger. This episode set the bar high early on in Parts Unknown's run -- and remains one of the series' best.