BrainDead :: The bug people are taking over

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Thanks to real life politics, CBS has decided to move BrainDead to Sunday nights to finish out the rest of the season. After last week’s dismal ratings, perhaps they’ll rethink that plan and put it back on Monday. There’s just too much competition on Sunday night.

That being said, the latest episode entitled “Back to Work” found the government back up and running, and once again locked in the same gridlock it was before. Except it’s even worse this time because of all the congressmen and woman who are now under the control of the alien parasites. Of course Red Wheatus is the chief culprit, this time blocking the approval of life-saving drugs needed to keep a veteran alive while having a hissy fit over naming a kiosk in the Capitol after a fallen police officer with the last name of Sharee … because it sounds to him like Sharia and he wants to name it after Reagan (because there aren’t enough things in DC already named after Reagan).

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Wheatus also thinks Luke Healy is just using the vet (and his young daughter) for his own political gain, at least his bug-controlled mind does. Of course that means there’s just one solution: if Luke will agree to name the kiosk after Reagan, Wheatus will vote to approve the drugs. And he gets to take full credit, in the end using the veteran and his child for a political gain photo op. Luke gets nothing but the satisfaction of knowing he helped save a man’s life.

It was all a bit of an unnecessary subplot that actually took away from the story that was set up at the end of last week’s episode when Laurel became concerned that Anthony seemed to be a bit hard of hearing in his right ear. He blamed it on tinnitus and seemed fine when he left her apartment so perhaps he didn’t get infected. We never saw the bugs, so maybe it was all just a set up.

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Later, Laurel, Dr. Daudier and Gustav were given a lead at the CDC to speak with about their findings. There they encounter Dr. Joan Alaimo (guest star Margo Martindale), a disheveled, short-tempered woman who doesn’t put much stock into the CAT scans, insisting that whatever is in the images are not screwworms. As she is about to dismiss them, Gustav pipes up about one of his theories that instantly gets her attention, and she sets them on a path of finding the colony after triangulating the area where known infections have occurred.

Gustav believes the bugs communicate with a high radio frequency that should be detectable with his little homemade gizmo after noticing a man with a hearing aid experienced a squelch when walking past another person. Gustav also wants Laurel to be safe, presenting her with earphones and mosquito netting. But she’s more concerned about Anthony (and her sorry love life), so she invites him to another function and witnesses him becoming easily agitated during a conversation. So first it was the hearing loss, now the quick temper. She’s certain he’s infected now and makes a haste exit from his company and the event.

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But the charming Anthony we all know shows up later to apologize, with a bouquet of cherry blossoms in hand. Laurel is still convinced he’s infected (after all, he did wash the bed sheets after spending the night) and tells him she wants to just be friends. That doesn’t go over too well as he grabs her, just like we saw the husband do to his wife in an earlier episode, obviously planning to introduce some parasites to her brain. Luckily, that care package Gustav gave Laurel also included a set of brass knuckles which she was able to grab and get in a few shots to Anthony’s face. Stunned, he leaves her but the bouquet stays.

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After the incident with Anthony, Laurel and Gustav pay another visit to Dr. Alaimo, but this isn’t the same woman they met before. Now she’s a smartly dressed, even-tempered woman who tells them their theories and evidence is hogwash. Yes, Dr. Alaimo is now infected (she accompanied Gustav on his first investigation and brought some bugs back to her office in her backpack), and her report back to Luke is an embarrassment, forcing him to tell Laurel that he doesn’t want to hear another word about bugs. But Gustav is determined to continue his search for the colony. Laurel goes home and gets ready for bed, first setting aside Gustav’s gifts but then deciding the netting may be a good thing. But not the earphones. Gustav makes a discovery among the cherry blossom trees when he locates a massive radio signal and then remembers Laurel told him about the flowers Anthony brought her. Yes, while she sleeps the space bugs emerge from the bouquet, make their way under the mosquito netting and into Laurel’s ear. But the sensation of something in her ear wakes her up with only two or three inside.

End of scene. Can Laurel fight the mini infestation in her head?

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

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