BrainDead Episodes 12 & 13: A Big Build Up for a Quick End


The season finale of BrainDead was clearly trying to wrap up all of the loose ends that it continued to create, even during the last two episodes. For the most part, it was successful, I suppose. The bug invasion was successfully avoided thanks to Gary the Intern bringing in coffee at the wrong time and stepping on the queen. That was a season long build up for not a lot of satisfying payoff at the end. Still, that doesn’t mean these episodes were without their merits.

Red’s inability to make any sense whatsoever after his bug was injured is amusing to watch, as is Ella’s “Oh my God” reaction to all of the nonsense he mumbled. However, Red, of course, gets better and ends up offing Ella (and her bug) to take control. To be fair, Ella tried to kill him first, but failed because she doesn’t know how to operate a gun. And then no one seemed to notice or care that Ella died. It is literally never mentioned by anyone else. Not even in the final sing-a-long recap. So that was a pretty awful way to end one of the best characters on this show.

We also finally get to see Luke step up for what’s right, and damn the consequences. He leads a sit-in to postpone a vote that would put funding towards building greenhouses for cherry blossoms (aka bug breeding trees) all over the country.  While he eventually ends the sit-in, apparently because Red threatens him with a sex tape, it turns out Luke had another trick up his sleeve. He added a clause about funding motorcycle helmets for public safety that supersedes the farm bill, putting a stop to the greenhouses. Yet, for some reason that I don’t quite get, he apparently has to leave Congress and ends up getting a job on Wall Street instead. Maybe he was voted out?

Meanwhile, Laurel and Gareth spent a majority of the two episodes deciding if they liked each other or not. Is Laurel going to leave to make her documentary? Did Gareth mean to propose to Laurel? Did they both really just say “I love you”? Pretty much every sitcom romance trope you can imagine happened between them this last episode. At least it’s better than when Gareth imagined her sleeping with Michael Moore? Gareth’s parents also make an awkward visit and for literally no purpose serving the plot. Whatever. In the end, it seems like Laurel and Gareth will make it work. After the queen bug is smushed, and the other little bugs rush to her corpse (or, more aptly, puddle of goo), Laurel and Gareth romantically kiss (I mean, bug swarms are such a turn on).

Oh, and Gareth got stabbed at one point. I almost forgot about that amidst everything else that was going on with him. He’s fine, though. There was quite a harrowing fight scene between Gareth and the PBS-obsessed guy.  And by harrowing, I mean hilarious. The BrainDead team purposely upped the tropes in this scene, even adding a lightning strike.

Now, for the arguably two most important characters, Rochelle and Gustav. Gustav asks Rochelle out, and she, of course, says no. However, they continue fighting the good fight, even when Laurel briefly leaves them. These two are supposed to be responsible for destroying the cherry blossoms. While they couldn’t destroy the greenhouses, due to the presence of the douche bag FBI agent, Anthony Onofrio, they decided it would be enough for the time being to destroy the cherry blossom trees. Of course, before they can they are pulled over for speeding (while the car was parked), so basically, for being black. Anthony shows up again and threatens them. Rochelle urges Gustav not to make any furtive moments, to which he replies, “I know how to be black.” I’m going to miss Gustav.

Don’t worry, though! Gustav and Rochelle are ok because as it turns out, Gustav is a high-level NSA agent. This both makes a strange sort of sense and is also heavily ironic given Gustav’s paranoia about pretty much everything. Rochelle and Gustav then successfully kill the cherry blossoms. At least we know they’re ok. No word on Gustav’s cat.

No word on any of the previously infected people, aside from Red and Dean, as a matter of fact. Laurel’s friend, Stacie, doesn’t make a reappearance. We don’t find out if Anthony was actually a douche bag or if that was just the bugs. We never hear from Scarlett again.

As for Red, he is about as stupid with half a brain as he was before the bugs took over, yet still electable. Dean would have preferred the bugs to Parkinson’s disease, according to the rather chipper finale song at the end. This seems mildly not ok, but again, the writers were trying to wrap it up quickly.

No word yet on whether BrainDead will get a second season. This season slowed down quite a bit towards the end. Still, there were a lot of funny lines and great acting from everyone throughout season 1. I’d watch the second season just for Gustav. And the writers did leave it open. The closing shot is of a bug zooming away from a (regrown) cherry blossom tree towards the camera, so who knows? Laurel and team might have an even bigger bug threat to face next time. Hopefully, it will be a bit more exciting than this time around.

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