BrainDead “The Path to War Part One: The Gathering Political Storm” takes things away from last week’s torturous episode. Red pushes congress to declare war on Syria, Laurel’s dad is infected and Rochelle is attacked in her apartment. There is also some very odd “bug sex” between Senator’s Wheatus and Pollack (Jan Maxwell).
Gustav’s device is circumvented by the bugs who change their communication frequency. This happens just as Triplett discovers that Dean Healy is infected. Laurel talks to her father and then to his mistress; Terri, the tour guide. It looks like he is indeed infected as he and his lover no longer have sex. Terri tells Laurel that she suggested viagra.
Rochelle and Gustav are seen on camera by Red. Shortly after, Rochelle is attacked in front of her fridge. Taking a leaf from a short story by Roald Dahl (His protagonist uses a frozen leg of lamb to kill her husband.) Rochelle uses an enormous frozen turkey leg to defend herself from a utility-knife wielding infected assassin.
While Laurel questions her dad about his Parkinson’s she learns that he is infected. Her father tells her Laurel that he would rather be infected. He then tries to hug her.
Gustav and Rochelle force their captured assassin to drink copious amounts of alcohol as they question him. They want to know what the space bugs want and they do learn quite a lot. The push for war and all the aggression is to keep people from fighting them.
Red continues to provide fake witnesses who testify that the Syrian’s are causing the head explosions. Wheatus homes in on Pollack’s love for fluffy animals and gets the opposition riled up at his false evidence.
Gareth has leaked information to Laurel twice about Red’s nefarious undertakings. He is clearly all about “Camp Laurel.” They meet and after a hamburger have sex again, this time without the alcohol and desperation.
Luke Healy starts breaking down Red’s faux witness and the proceedings are interrupted by a CIA briefing. The agent reveals to the Chair, Red, Pollack and Luke that the Syrian bioterrorism threat is not real.
As the bug assassin becomes increasingly intoxicated he reveals more but ultimately they have to let the infected man go.
Pollack enters Red’s office and his queen bug comes out. Ella releases a male bug from her ear and the two alien creatures have bug sex. As they copulate Red and Ella engage in aggressive sex talk. It appears that the aliens are hostile no matter what they do.
Regardless of what Rochelle, Gustav and Laurel learned from their bug guy, the aggression exhibited by these space creatures appears to be the norm. Initially it seemed that the human hosts became more assertive because of the loss of brain tissue.
The infected man tries to convince them that the human host is still “there.” Red and Ella use double-talk to make the briefing by the CIA much more than it was. Luke is furious. Gustav has to set their captive free and Rochelle follows him.
Inside the capital building she watches him enter a room marked “SRB-54.” Luke talks to Laurel about Red and Ella’s actions. He wants to leak what the CIA really said in the briefing to stop a war with Syria. His father Dean disagrees.
The episode ends with Laurel and her father facing off over a table.
In many ways this series manages to interject some realistic elements of horror. At the very least is utilizes conspiracy theories about recent terrorist events to build on the bug’s determination to declare war on Syria. It all sounds terribly familiar.
The frozen turkey leg was a clear nod to the “Lamb to the Slaughter” short story that featured in Tales of the Unexpected. (The anthology TV show featured the brilliant Susan George as the wielder of the frozen joint of meat.)
As this episode is a “part one” it will apparently conclude next week. The battle lines have been drawn and it now appears that the next installment will be Laurel versus her dad and Luke taking on Red and Ella.
BrainDead airs Sundays on CBS. The series has dropped again in popularity, presumably because no one can find the show to watch it.