BrainDead’s dirty politics – and alien bugs – have heads exploding

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On the opening episode of BrainDead, both political parties took a few jabs, but the tone of the show is decidedly liberal. This week, no punches were pulled as the Republicans were definitely made out to be the villains with the government shutdown. Senator Wheatus, in particular, has upped his political game ever since his cranium was invaded by creatures from outer space, conveniently lopping off a piece of his brain but giving him a clarity of purpose he never had in the past.

Now Wheatus is gung ho to get to work even turning his back on his former best friend, a bottle (or three) of booze. Wheatus is agreeable to meet with Senator Healy to cut a deal that will end the shutdown and get people back to work … at a price. Yes, Wheatus wants to cut the three things it seems Republicans in real life are always going after: commerce, education and energy, three agencies that are always seen as budget drainers (of course, the idea is to privatize everything so someone makes a bucketload of money). Senators Healy and Pollack don’t bite, but Healy is in a real pickle because as the Minority Whip, it’s his job to keep the party together, and there have been too many defections.

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But he has an ace up his sleeve in his sister Laurel. She’s already dealt with Wheatus’ right hand Gareth Ritter, so Luke kinda sorta nudges her to make nice with him to get information about a vulnerable Republican who they may be able to swing over to their side. Reluctantly she accepts an invitation from Gareth to the Tax Prom, and while having a drink he gets a call from Wheatus and jots down a phone number. Laurel has some amazing powers of cognizance because she memorizes the number, calls it, and gets a moderate Republican’s answering machine. She gives the news to Luke and he and Pollack set up a meeting to offer the guy the world in exchange for his loyalty that will give them back the majority.

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As a subplot this week, a young cancer survivor and her father have been traveling the country visiting a national monument in every state. Of course DC is their last stop and all the monuments are closed, but Laurel thinks she may be able to get her brother to pull some strings. Now here’s where both parties get skewered. Healy makes the girl’s plight a political issue as he puts her on TV and tells the nation how she can’t visit the Lincoln Memorial because of the Republicans’ shutdown.

But Laurel learns all is fair in politics and war when the news breaks that there is a report out that Lincoln was gay. Yes, Wheatus’ and Gareth’s handiwork to deflect attention from the plight of the little girl (classic political ploy, but also seeming to forget that Lincoln was a Republican). To make matters worse, the moderate senator also went to the media to blow up the Dems’ offer to him to switch sides. Yes, Laurel, you got played … hard … setting the stage for more political shenanigans to come.

But what of the bugs?

The little critters have obviously taken up residence in the craniums of more people, including Healy’s chief of staff (and lover) Scarlett, who has taken on a newly aggressive attitude, speed eats celery, and has become a bit robotic in the sack which foiled her attempt to introduce Luke to her little friends.

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Laurel ran into to of her college friends at the Tax Prom, Abby and Stacie. However, Laurel and Stacie are completely baffled by Abby’s political 180, now a devotee of Donald Trump (yes, the show is fortunate to be airing during a presidential election year and freely uses soundbites from the candidates). Even a girls’ night with the three turns sour when politics enters the conversation and Abby storms out. Laurel later calls to apologize and the two seem fine with Abby inviting her over for some tea. Laurel takes a raincheck, but we learn Stacie is already there. Locked in the bathroom. With a swarm of alien parasites pouring through the air duct. Bye Stacie.

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But politicians aren’t the only victims of the alien horde. In the park, a young man is playing several games of chess with several different people. One of the young men though seems to be in a daze. Blood is spotted coming out of his ear and he’s immediately rushed to the hospital for a CAT scan, where … his head explodes. But his friend finds a piece of cranial matter in his jacket pocket – yuck – and sets a camera to take a series of images. Scrolling through the images, he finds one of the bugs walking around, posts it to the internet and asks if anyone else has seen this phenomena. Well, Laurel was shown the CAT scan by the daughter of the doctor whose head exploded at the end of the previous episode, seeing the mass of spots that seem to be moving inside the skull. Time to put two and two together.

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Of course, when she saw the video she must have recognized the lone bug from the encounter she had herself in her own apartment before leaving for work as a parade of them marched into her home, impervious to bug spray (but not foot stomping, maybe). Now she has a clue that something is amiss from the bugs and the behavior of Scarlett and Senator Wheatus, but the big question now is why do some people come under complete control of the aliens, and why do some experience the head exploding effect of the bugs? And what on earth do a race of alien bugs want with us?

What did you think of this week’s episode? Start a conversation in the comments section below!

 

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