BrainDead :: The parasites are sending people over the edge

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Why am I the only person watching BrainDead? Yes, it got off to kind of a meh start, but I saw potential. It often takes at least three episodes for a brand new show to really find its footing and its voice, and BrainDead found that with the third episode, and this week’s fourth episode is really getting the ball rolling. (I believe there are just ten episodes total, so get caught up now!)

A lot happened this week as we’re seeing more and more people become infected by the alien parasites. Not just DC politicos, but the average citizen as well. While someone like Senator Wheatus or Scarlett seem to be able to keep their shit together, people in the real world are becoming increasingly aggressive as their personalities change. Case in point: apartment neighbors, one on the right, on on the left (politically) who became hosts to the parasites and a friendly encounter the the hallway turned into a demolition derby in the street as they each listened to their favorite talk radio show, one in support of and one against the current government shutdown.

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As we saw last week, it looked like Gustav’s cat was infected as well, and a CAT scan (for a cat!) revealed a large portion of his brain missing, as well as a punctured eardrum. The missing brain material is the catalyst for the personality change, and the perforated eardrum is now a sure-fire way to tell if someone is infected if they are suddenly deaf in one ear, not to mention the balance issues this causes. Neither of these things have been evident in those we already know are infected so it would require a little rewatching to see if the imbalance has been there all along, or if it’s just something the writers threw at us this week. But Laurel seems to now see Senator Wheatus listing a bit to the right. We also saw Senator Pollack lose her footing while making tracks back to the Capitol, not to mention her increasingly aggressive behavior.

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Wheatus is also playing out the shutdown as a good thing, claiming a grassroots organization called the One Wayers is fully behind the Republican party on this issue. Except it seems that Wheatus himself has formed and recruited citizens for this group, as we see Gareth giving them a rundown of things they need to do. But, he’s still unaware of the infection, and these One Wayers are definitely infected as they want to add links to bomb-making instructions on their website to kill the Democrats! Needless to say, Gareth is slightly alarmed by this radical notion.

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Senator Healy, however, wants to get the government back in operational mode and he goes over Wheatus’ head to make a deal to cut funding to the NEA (Wheatus still wants the EPA and education defunded as well), and hold a vote to get things moving. But Wheatus and Pollack are obstacles, so they arrange for them to appear on a political talk show while they conspire to get the other members of Congress in their seats for a vote. Wheatus got a taste of his own medicine when he was not able to board the special Capital subway system to carry them back to the chamber in time for the vote because of his shutdown. In the end, Healy won to get things going temporarily, and Wheatus very seriously told him, “You’re dead.” And he didn’t mean politically.

With the discovery of the missing brain material and perforated eardrum in Gustav’s cat, Laurel and Dr. Daudier decide to bring in someone from the CDC, which had issued a statement that blood pressure meds could be the cause of the exploding craniums. The agent was hesitant to investigate their claims, but Gustav mentioned his screwworm theory which intrigued the man who had studied screwworm eradication. But the only way he can truly get to business is to have a live, infected human subject.

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Lucky for him, Laurel knows one — her friend Abby. When Laurel and Daudier approach her about the exam, she gets extremely defensive, claiming the “nanny state” is infringing on her liberties. Laurel’s FBI crush Anthony Onofrio had told her that they can invoke some rule that allows them to insist someone who may be a health risk have a mandatory exam. As a last resort, Laurel tells him to get Abby, but while she again gets very defensive, she agrees to go with him … and then jumps off her balcony, head first! It was a very shocking turn of events that only leads to more questions and an eagerness to see the next episode. With us coming to the halfway point, it will be interesting to see how they begin wrapping things up.

Some other things of interest this week:

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  • The opening recap song again was totally cute, especially the last line: “My god, you monsters, not the cat.”
  • Tony Shalhoub’s Maryland accent is amusing, to say the least.
  • We finally got to see Megan Hilty’s newcaster somewhere other than on television. I had wondered if she just shot her segments separately, but we saw her hosting the talk show with Wheatus and Pollack, and on a “date” with Gareth.
  • Gareth invested in Laurel’s documentary, but why was “received” spelled wrong when she got the alert that a donation had been made? Was that on purpose or an oversight?
  • Gareth, who obviously has a thing for Laurel, is trying to derail her attraction to Anthony, presenting her with documents that claimed he was a mercenary involved in torture. Anthony admitted that he was actually a whistleblower to those illegal activities … but is he telling the truth?
  • Anthony and Laurel hit the sheets, but she ends up falling asleep on the sofa after getting up to check the news. In the morning, she wakes Anthony and he seems to be having problems hearing from his right ear. While the window was open all night, we never saw the parasites so is he infected (his demeanor so far doesn’t suggest that) or is this an injury he sustained during his time in Iraq?

What did you think of this week’s episode of BrainDead? Tell us in the comments below!

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