BrainDead: Season 1, Ep 4 – Increased Aggression (Review)

Mary Elizabeth Winstead in BrainDead

BrainDead picks right up with more ant alien “invasions” between two neighbors who are obviously interested in one another. After the ants take over these two shy potential lovebirds they get angry at political rhetoric and bash their cars into each other on the road.  This week’s episode: “Wake Up Grassroots: The Nine Virtues of Participatory Democracy, and How We Can Keep America Great by Encouraging an Informed Electorate” sees increased aggression and a new symptom or two.

Last week’s episode finished with Gustav’s cat possibly being infected  and the romance between Laurel and Gareth going strong.  Now Laurel finds herself falling for FBI agent Onofrio (Charlie Semine) and Gareth gets jealous.  (The Eastern European 10 cent gag was funny.) Gustav takes Zeke the cat in for a cat scan. (No pun intended here but we cannot say the same for the Kings.)

None of the ants are found but Zeke is missing a part of his brain and has a punctured eardrum. Gustav deduces that infected people will have balance issues and be deaf in one ear.  Gareth pledges money to Laurel’s film startup project. (He gives $750.10 referencing his 10 cent  joke.)

(On a sidenote: You have to admire the show’s creators. Naming Gustav’s cat Zeke has to be a homage to the hapless cat in the 2002 comedy horror film,  Eight Legged Freaks.  “Come here Zekey-Doodle” calls the cop in this different kind of invasion story.  If this was not done on purpose by the Kings, it should have been…)

Luke Healy works hard to end  the government shutdown over the  budget stalemate.  Meanwhile Laurel is noticing a number of politicos who are unsteady on their feet.  (This is a new development in the show and was not obvious last week.)

Both Red Wheatus and Senator Pollack (Jan Maxwell) walk into walls this week.  There is increased aggression and antagonism being exhibited by those infected. No heads explode this week and Luke’s plan to end the shutdown works. 

Dr. Rochelle Daudier,  Gustav and Laurel go to meet with Daudier’s friend Dr. Dexter Wu (Marcus Ho) who works with the CDC. He goes along with their screwworm idea and asks for an infected person to study.

Laurel and Rochelle go visit Abby Summers (Brooke Bloom) whom they believe to be infected. They propose a short 15 minute  painless test that Summers refuses to take. The two women leave Abby’s apartment. They then meet with Anthony and ask him to bring her in using his new power under the new 26-2 law. 

Agent Onofrio goes to Abby’s apartment and asks her to come in. She tells Anthony that she will get her phone and purse and  then jumps off the balcony killing herself.

As the search for infected people in Washington DC continues the Red Wheatus instigated group of One Wayers,  that Red ordered Gareth  Triplett to create, have  organized and started a website. They offer links on the site to bomb making sites. Red’s aid is horrified and tells the group they cannot do that.

Laurel learns of Abby’s suicide and meets Anthony at the scene. He tells her that Abby was depressed.  Laurel asks who told him that  and he replies, Stacie Zara (Nikita Mathis) another infected person that Laurel knows. 

Red and Ella are arguing  as guests on  Misty ‘s show (Gareth’s one night stand and news reporter) when they get word that Luke and a republican are opening the government back up with their supporters. The two rush to stop the action and are too late.

Luke comes out and asks Red, “How was your 15 minutes of fame.” Wheatus threatens Senator Healy’s life.  Rochelle and Laurel talk about Zara and what she told Anthony.  The FBI agent stops by Laurel’s apartment and brings her some cookies.

She asks Anthony about the report that a jealous Gareth dropped off at her office.  Anthony replies that he tortured no one in Iraq and was a whistleblower.

The two kiss and it moves to  the bedroom.

Afterward, Laurel calls Luke to talk about his power play. Healy warns her that things are about to get rough. She watches a news clips and sees the constituent with the  cut on his forehead.

She goes back to bed and speaks to Anthony who does not hear her. He cups one hand behind his ear and Laurel looks alarmed. Is he infected?

While things were a bit calmer this week (As mentioned above there were no exploding heads.) the aggression level has grown exponentially.   The new development of missing parts of the brain and the punctured eardrum are opening up new avenues of interest and amusement.

Red Wheatus has threatened Luke…Twice.   Now is seems that  Anthony has joined the alien ant team and the infected seem to have a hive mentality.  Abby killing herself was the only fatality and it is not clear what happened to Zeke.

BrainDead continues to entertain and amuse while pushing the mystery forward at a pretty impressive rate of speed.

The series airs Mondays on CBS. Tune in and see who gets infected next and see what has become of Zeke.


Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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"I hold it, that a little rebellion, now and then, is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical."

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