It’s become clear that the thing that separates BrainDead from other TV shows is its willingness to add an element of quirky comedy to nearly every scene. The show doesn’t take itself too seriously which is good since it’s about bugs possessing humans. There wasn’t really a lot of plot progression for most of the episode, and only the last scene signaled a possible game changer. In addition, Laurel’s indecision about Anthony made her seem a bit stupid, given that she’s diagnosed people with bug possession using a lot less evidence in the past. That being said, the episode somewhat made up for its glacial plot pace with its funny, endearing, and yes, kickass moments. Here are some of my favorites.
- Gustav drugging a possibly infected Anthony. It was pretty evident that Anthony was infected from the beginning, and I wanted to scream at Laurel to not go to his apartment. Luckily Gustav was thinking the exact same thing. He drugged Anthony so that when he and Laurel got back to the apartment, Anthony collapsed before he could do anything to get Laurel infected. Gustav then ran in to apply bacon to his face in order to draw out the space bugs (this apparently is a real method used for screw worms).
- Laurel kicking Anthony’s ass. Now, we know that Anthony was probably cheating on his girlfriend with Laurel from the beginning, and may have been involved with water boarding. So, even knowing he’s not in complete control of his actions when he grabbed Laurel in the hopes of getting her possessed by space bugs, it was still sort of great to see her beat him up. She used the brass knuckles Gustav gave her and punched him out of her apartment. It was a pretty big “YOU GO GIRL” moment.
- The committee meeting. The fight over what to name the kiosk was almost too real. It’s not difficult to imagine our current politicians fighting over this exact thing. Given the fictional nature of the show, though, it landed on the side of hilarious. Red’s insistence that they not name the kiosk after a fallen police officer because his name sounded like “Sharia,” as in Sharia law, coupled with Luke’s disbelieving reaction, and Ella’s response of “it should be named after a woman!” made the entire scene work really well. As did Red’s suggestion that they instead name the kiosk after “war hero” Ronald Reagan (momentarily forgetting Reagan only portrayed a soldier in a movie).
- Luke finally being a decent person. Luke seemed to genuinely care about the fate of the veteran with cancer, whose treatment was shut off with the government shutdown. Red’s attempts to block the funding of the treatment, out of the hope it would hurt Luke’s political career, meant the cancer patient wouldn’t get his treatment in time. So Luke decided to sacrifice the political gain he would get from helping out the veteran, and let Red take the credit. This during the same episode that Luke slept with yet another woman. Still, at least Luke seems to be somewhat growing as a person. The real kicker was that Red still got to name the kiosk “the Reagan hut.”
- The bipartisan party. There was a short and snappy dialogue between Laurel and Gareth that made me smile, and which they should have had more of. However, the scene stealer was the conversation between Laurel, Gustav, Rochelle, and Luke about the bugs. Gustav decided to come to the party even though he wasn’t supposed to, given his pushy manner when it comes to the space bugs. He had to be shushed a couple of times so as not to scare Luke off. Luke couldn’t get over the CAT scan. Laurel and Rochelle were just trying to seem as sane as possible given the subject matter.
This week ended with a cliffhanger making next week look like it’s going to be moving the plot along further. Hopefully, BrainDead will maintain the comedic moments, while also moving forward plot and character development.