BRAINDEAD deploys the power of love and a dose of comedy while exploring “The Path to War Part One: The Gathering Political Storm.” This week’s episode was a giant tonal step forward from the torture story of episode seven. The topic is war and the way congress goes about crafting their reasons and support for a “boots on the ground” type mission. It isn’t Henry V, but it does use Shakespearean elements to muddle through its presentation.
Red Wheatus and Ella Pollack coach witnesses to lie before congress and use factual but deceptive media tactics to move their teams towards war. It’s a bit silly and a little difficult to follow. BrainDead makes the smart choice by focusing on the serial plot; the Aliants, who has them, what do they want, and what will they do to get it. Most of these questions are answered when Rochelle captures an aliant named Kevin who sneaks into her apartment to steal her knives and kill her.
He claims they are from space, hate being called “aliens,” and are only there to find a new place to live; not with humans but in humans. He lets something slip about it being a toss up between the ants overthrowing the humans and the humans overthrowing the ants. Neither Gus nor Rochelle knows what that means. Gus makes a quick assessment about their numbers and current concentration in the beltway.
Laurel discovers her dad is an aliant. The Dean Healy aliant won’t leave Laurel’s mother be, so she lies to her mom about her father carrying on an affair to enrage her into leaving him. Every week, Laurel gets more aggressive in her confrontations with the aliants. Gus wants to torture Kevin for more answers, but Laurel and Rochelle win a vote to release him. Get it, they had their own little meeting on war powers which was free of the corruption playing out on the hill. It works for this show for now. Rochelle follows Kevin to a secret senate briefing room. We’ll know more about this next week.
The love plot also works. Laurel and Gareth are cute together. BrainDead can always lean on the love story. Gareth is harmless and means well. He helps Laurel when he can. This week he gives her a heads up about Red targeting Rochelle and Gus. He also gives her tips to pass to Luke for a witness he helped coach. If not Laurel and Gareth, Rochelle or Gus could both handle love plots to distract us from less compelling weekly story themes.
The ants need love too. Red and Ella set aside their differences long enough to give his queen and her king a moment of weird intimacy; the bugs do it in front of a mirror. It’s funny and it’s a mini love story, a win for BrainDead.
Season 1, Episode 8 (S01E08)
Braindead airs Sundays at 10PM on CBS
Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.
Eric Rodriguez | Contributor