BrainDead recap: ‘The Path to War Part Two: The Impact of Propaganda on Congressional War Votes’
Love, war, and potentially bug-infested babies
Poor Luke. They say all’s fair in love and war, but I’m not quite sure that applies when your obstinate congressional colleagues have been taken over by bugs from outer space and are now trying to declare war on Syria…or when your baby mama may herself be infested with bugs.
Red and Ella still want their war with Syria, and gosh darn it, they’re going to do whatever it takes to make it happen — proof be damned. After it became clear they couldn’t forge evidence that Syria is behind all these head explosions, they moved on to Plan B: harnessing the power of the people.
Remember Noah and Jules from a few episodes back? The two bug-infested radicals trying to start their own grassroots movements, the One Wayers and the No Wayers? (Great names, guys.) Red and Ella decide to pull them in for a little outside help. The two swear they have absolutely nothing in common, but as Ella and Red remind them, they actually want the same thing: They both hate the government and want to burn it down.
Luke, on the other hand, is trying to do everything in his power to STOP Red and Ella from going to war. Thanks to public pressure from radicals like Noah and Jules, it seems like tide is turning. The more sensible members of Congress, like the chair of the war committee, seem to be considering voting for war just to appease their constituents. Even Luke and Laurel’s father, Dean, is pressuring Luke to vote yes, arguing that to do otherwise would hurt Luke’s presidential chances in 2020.
Still, Luke is a moral guy — or somewhat moral, at least…more on that later — and he can’t justify voting for this war. He hires a guy named Ben Valderrama to put together a short anti-war propaganda piece in hopes of swaying the tide of popular opinion. The only problem is this Valderrama guy isn’t very good. The documentary he turns in is less about the war and more about Wall Street corruption. So, Luke asks Laurel to put her documentary experience to good use and work with Ben to fix things.
As it turns out, though, Ben and Laurel have a bit of a history… and now, they have creative differences, too. Ben is obsessed with the One Percent, but Laurel is more focused on actually, well, stopping the war. Eventually, Ben agrees to adjust his angle and focus on the actual problem: extremists.
First, he starts by trying to get Gareth to admit to funding the One Wayers and their extremism. Even though Gareth and Laurel didn’t exactly part on amicable terms after the Michael-Moore debacle of last episode, she feels bad he’s being tricked and stops the interview. That’s when he tells her that yes, there’s still something between them, but it’s starting to get in the way of them actually being able to do their jobs. For him, that’s the one thing he can’t take. So now, not only are they not romantically involved, but they can’t even be friends. That sound you hear is the sound of Laureth shippers everywhere crying.
Ben conducts the interview, and before long, he’s pissed off Noah so much that Noah lunges at him, teeth bared. Rather than being concerned, Ben is ecstatic: It’s the perfect footage for his documentary.
Meanwhile, remember Luke’s wife, Germaine, whom we met in the first episode or two and then promptly forgot about? Well, she’s about a week away from giving birth. Time sure does fly! Besides being ready to pop, Germaine is also worried Luke is still cheating on her and hooking up with Scarlett, so she comes to Laurel with her concerns. Germaine also drops the news that the baby inside her is getting really strong…and reacting violently whenever she hears Donald Trump’s voice. (I mean, I also react violently when I hear Donald Trump’s voice, but that’s a different story.)
NEXT: Baby got bugs?
Laurel’s concerned about the possible cheating, of course, but she’s more concerned that Germaine and Luke’s baby may be infected. She takes Germaine to the hospital for a full work-up. The doctor tells her everything is just fine, but Laurel makes him check again, just to be sure. He does, and the results seem to be normal, so he tells her to back off and stop pushing the issue; all she’s doing is stressing out Germaine and endangering the health of the baby, he says. Her fears assuaged, Laurel feels better — at least until she hears the doctor’s ringtone. Seems like he’s a fan of The Cars, too.
Rochelle tries to calm her down, telling her maybe it’s just a coincidence. After all, the song is kind of having a resurgence right now, thanks to the bug people. Still, Rochelle promises to check out the doctor and see what she can figure out. As for Luke, Laurel confronts him and tells him to knock it off with the mistress. Or, as we soon learn, mistresses…plural.
It seems Luke has been sleeping with a lot more people than just Scarlett. Laurel, ever the rational one, is like, “Dude, what the hell is wrong with you?” while Luke just throws his hands up in the air and says he can’t help himself — which is the lamest excuse of all time. Luke, you’re kind of a scumbag. I like you, and you may be the only senator in Congress who’s actually sane, but you’re still a scumbag. Still, he tries to do the right thing and break it off with his MULTIPLE mistresses, including finally firing Scarlett. (Which he should’ve done the FIRST time news broke that he was sleeping with her… But hey, better late than never.)
Scarlett is, understandably, pissed. And the fact she’s infected by bugs means we should see some pretty devastating revenge from her sometime soon. There’s nothing like a woman scorned…except for a woman scorned who also happens to be possessed by malevolent alien bugs.
Meanwhile, Germaine finally goes into labor and out pops a seemingly healthy and extremely cute baby girl named Grace. Rochelle did all the tests herself, and she swears Grace is 100-percent healthy. No issues whatsoever. Laurel is satisfied, and it looks like Luke’s family is finally as it should be.
As for Ben, he turns in his newly edited documentary, but it’s still useless and completely focused on the One Percent. So Laurel decides to take things into her own hands and put her editing skills to good use. She creates an anti-war video that actually does what it’s supposed to do — and includes a little extra footage of Red and Ella scheming. Even though the footage of Gareth would’ve helped her case, she deletes it. Good girl, Laurel.
For a while, it seems like everything is going to be okay — at least as okay as things can be on BrainDead. Laurel’s documentary causes enough of an outrage to stop Red and Ella from going to war. Laurel and Gareth are back on speaking terms. Luke and Germaine now have a healthy baby girl, and Luke swears he is going to devote all his attention to their family. There’s only one tiny problem: Germaine.
It seems that during all this time she’s been offscreen, Germaine may have picked up a bit of a bug problem herself. Not only is she rebuffing Luke’s romantic advances, but the fancy crib she picked out for Grace comes with a very special lullaby that plays when you spin the overhead mobile: “You Might Think.” Never has a lullaby sounded so sinister.
Odds and ends
Number of times we hear “You Might Think”: Twice, once in the hospital and once in the baby’s crib.
Grossest moment: Nothing too gross this episode! I guess the writers figured they should give us a break after the whole Red-eating-brains-off-a-wall scene from last week. Still, it’s been a while since we’ve actually seen any bugs…which feels odd, seeing as this is a show about alien bugs. Give the people what they want: alien bugs eating people’s brains! Also, more Gustav. We need more Gustav.
- Red’s inability to remember anyone’s name — whether Laurel or Jules, the leader of the One Wayers — is one of my favorite running jokes.
- Red: “Ella and I agree on almost nothing. Isn’t that right?”
Ella: “It is. You are the devil.”
Red: “And she’s a bitch.”
- It’s not actually a line, per se, but let’s include Red’s indecipherable growling when he stares out the window at the rest of Washington.
- Senator Vaynerchuk: “Senator Wheatus?”
Red: “Aye, damn it.”
Vaynerchuk: “Belligerence noted.”