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BraindDead - 1.08 "The Path To War Pt.1" - Review: You're Not My Father

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Again, this week's episode of Braindead starts right after where the previous episode ended with Gustav possibly picking up feedback from Dean Healy! And I would just like to give a shout out to two spoiler TV members, J.F. & Candice M, who gave me a little more information on Dean Healy that I clearly missed. He was certainly a "Democratic" senator and his occupation was given in the Pilot. He's a consultant for the Armed Forces. However, it is still not specified what his field of expertise he is/was in. Also,notably, he has a checkered past related to Lobbying. Thank you for giving me all the information. :)

So Gustav proceeds to get closer to Healy with his cell phone that results in Scarlett walking in front of him, followed by Healy turning around only to have zero frequency or feedback coming from anyone!

From there Gustav and Rochelle both debate if they should tell Laurel, as Gareth learns Red Wheatus is targeting Gustav and Rochelle and sets off to tell Laurel about it, which she happens to be on her way to see Gareth to discuss her behavior, yet again, with Laurel explaining, she just wants things to be normal.

Laurel then goes to see Rochelle and Gustav, whom are still in debate about if they should say anything to Laurel, but Laurel senses something is up straight away and insists that they tell her, so Rochelle does. Very upset again, Laurel leaves and just barley remembers to tell them to be careful because Red Wheatus has them on his radar.

Laurel then comes to confront Dean directly, not being able to make much progress in being able to tell if he's infected, but after exploring his medical cabinet, calling Rochelle for medicine information, and confronting Luke, Laurel then discovers her father has Parkinson's Disease with only a year to live. 

For a brief time Laurel thinks this is an acceptable explanation, but is not convinced and seeks out her father's mistress, a Washing D.C. Tour Guide, to see if she and her father had seen each other recently to get an idea about the nature of her father's sex life. It turns out they hadn't seen a each other in couple of weeks...

In the meantime Rochelle is followed by a guy in a suit, named Kevin, back to her apartment, who tries to assault her, but thanks to Rochelle's great six sense she's able to club the guy with a frozen lamb shank from her freezer! She calls Gustav for help. The two duck tape him up to a pole and begin to question him, only for him to deny everything and being rather sarcastic and nonsensical while doing so, as he argues that he just wanted to steal Rochelle's knives and tells them they should call the police.

Laurel then catches her father play-acting trying to fake Parkinson's Disease and confronts him again, but instead of denying the claim, he does the opposite, but tries to convince Laurel that he's still her father, but that the bugs and humans can have a symbiotic dynamic, which is good for humanity! Laurel is disgusted and not willing to by it. She leaves.

She then meets Gareth in front of the Washington Monument, where Gareth brought her burger, remembering what she said about wanting one earlier. He then gives a cue to reenact a famous
romantic trope of wiping ketchup off her lips and then kisses her. The two then end up back at Gareth's where they are having sex, but Laurel begins to ask Gareth about his relationship with his parents, which suddenly prompts Laurel think of her mother. She gets up in a flash and leaves.

Again, back at Healy house, Laurel confronts her father again. She asks him if he's planning on infecting her mother too and threatens that she will tell her about him, He just shrugs it off. Laurel runs upstairs to find her mother and Laurel begs and demands that leave right this instant. Dean walks in and tells Mrs. Healy that Laurel is just being silly and not to listen to her, but Laurel quickly tells her mother that Dean has being seeing his mistress again, which totally does the trick!

Back at Rochelle's apartment Rochelle and Gustav (and Laurel stops by too) resort to forcing alcohol down the Kevin's throat, hoping it makes him more loosed lipped. It too does the trick, as he reveals all sorts of stuff, which goes against what Healy had been saying. He tells them that they can't be beat and that they want to people to go to war Middle East so they'll be preoccupied,

With this in mind, the episode also had another big thing going on. Pushing on from last week's FBI interrogation and Red's push on fighting terrorism abroad, another intelligence comity occurs in which congress gets to argue on going to war with Syria with Red trying again to link it to the head explosions to terrorism. Red asks the comity to hear two witnesses. One is a young man named Ahmed Kadhiyma, who claims to be hired by Syrian government officials to create a chemical agent that makes heads explode. Provoking Ella Pollack to his cause, the man also further testifies that they were testing on animals including Zebras, Panda's, and Baby Seals! The other is a older scientist named Dr. Ragheb Samira.

At the end of the day, the witnesses prove to be frauds, and the war does not go through, but this is not the most contort thing the viewers witness Red Wheatus do.

Definitely one-upping the scene from last week, It wasn't bizarre enough to see the Queen space insect crawl out of Red's ear, eat some veggies, and lay some eggs before retiring back into Red's head, but this week viewers witness the mating ritual that most likely leads to the females laying of their eggs, Ella Pollack stops by Red's office. The two begin to talk a little dirty to each other before Ella's smaller male insect crawls out of her ear, while Red's queen does the same and the two insects breed as Red and Ella continue to talk to each other, as if they themselves are about to have sex, but ultimately the insects finish and return to their respective hosts, and Ella walks out the door, while Red tucks his already tucked shirt into his pants.

But again in another cliff-hanger twist, the episode ends right after Laurel visits Rochelle and Gustav, they decide to let their captive go. Rochelle decides to do what some police or law enforcement do following arrests when they didn't get enough information, which is "cut someone loose" so you can follow them. She follows him back through Luke's and Laurel's office building leading to a corridor. The infected guy goes in and Rochelle is about to follow him in, but is it a trap? What will Rochelle find?!!!!

What I liked:
Briandead just continues to have these amazing episodes that are so jammed packed with ridiculous fun, mythological gains, and some seriously scary stuff.

For the story of Dean Healy, it was great to see a bit more of Zach Grenier's David Lee of The Good Wife shine out when just happily explaining things to Laurel, as if it's just another day. Even more so, Dean, along with Gustav and Rochelle's captive, gave us some interesting philosophical insight, as food for thought.

It's still hard to say if there is in fact one agenda or if Dean Healy is being honest. After all, when we look at Stacie, Scarlette, and Red we see more aggressive hostile approaches, especially when confronted by Laurel, but when we look at Dean or the Burkes, we get a sense of a romanticized perspective and lighter personalities that are friendly or loving, despite the threat they pose (although I think Dean takes the cake on using the memory of his host to his advantage), but then again, even Red and Ella seem to come together despite radically different views, but was it only to procreate?--Is that the thing that is the highest on their list and is it the radicalism that draws them together? Are the people of Earth just "cars" for the insects? Are there "good parasites and bad parasites"? Does it matter who the host is? There are just so many questions.

On the same train of thought, really the show is exploring identity and what makes a person and person, but the infected and what was verbally proposed in this episode was not the only way the writers touched on this, but they took it a step further with Red presenting "fake" Witnesses with "fake" testimonials to the Intelligence Committee. That in itself are leans towards the idea that are willing to fake being human at any cost, but ironically, we see that in every case in this episode, the infected were unsuccessful in possibly trying to do so.

Gustav and Rochelle continue to be highlight as well. I especially like that the writers are really willing to give all the characters their strengths and their weaknesses, and allow someone like Rochelle to be very tough in way that Laurel isn't. It was so fun to see Rochelle club the infected guy that followed her and have Gustav and her try to find a hilarious way to coheres him to talk.

And lastly, Gareth continues to be helpful to Laurel's plight, making him one of the most charming characters, but I admit, I'm read for him to see something, he can't deny, before he begins to feel used, although, I think it's highly likley, especially looking at future episode press releases, that there will be something that will monkey wrench his and Laurel's relationship.

The Good Wife Factor/Odds and Ends:
- So Dean Healy not only acted a lot like David Lee, but the reveal that he had Parkinson Disease ties back to another TGW character, Louis Canning played by Michael J. Fox. Fox in real life also has Parkinsons, and so did his character Canning, -but even worse than David Lee, which the two teamed up towards the end of the series, Caning was not whimsical or fun in his manipulations, but rather his brand of cynicism was sharp and course. He used his disease as way to manipulate and take advantage of judges and clients alike while presenting cases in court. (Many of TGW fans found him to be one of the most irritating characters on the series) So it's interesting to see the infected Dean try to take advantage that his host had Parkinson's as a way to offer himself as a kind of cure, but only after he was going to try an fake it to play on Laurel's sympathies. In addition I would like to point out that Canning was able to compartmentalize his ruthless work life from his seemingly caring home life.
-Although the ritual itself was surely unconventional, TGW often had characters who slept together that either were coming from opposite sides and/or had work related conflicts of interest. So it wasn't a totally surprise that Ella would be paired with Red.
-That Cheeseburger sounds so good right now.
-Love the fact that the analogy about humans being "cars" for the space ants goes hand in hand that their favorite song is by The Cars.
-And it kind of looks like Red keeps trying to motivate Ella by bringing up animal abuse to sway her to his side, but I can't help to think that this isn't just political move, but a way attract Ella to Red so that their ants will procreate...
-Fun to finally meet Laurel's mother and her father's mistress!
-I want Rochelle's apartment.

-Starting to see more diversity in either personality or methodology of philosophy of the infected. Are they one, or are they separate, or are they in various clusters? Are they at war or do they just want to live bigger better lives?
-Apparently some of the infected can either change their frequency or block their frequency. It's unclear if any of the infected can do this, or if just some of them can, and/or if this whole thing is really a trail by error/learn as you go process for the space ants. This unfortunately seems to set Gustav, Rochelle, and Laurel back a step.
- Mating Ritual is interesting. Again, looks like telekinesis occurs for the hosts.
-It also appears that there may be one space ant per host. So where do rest go? Do they die or just go find another host? Or is there some kind of brain-eating competition, where maybe they behave cannibalistic???

So what did you think? Is Rochelle walking right into a trap? Are all of the infected faking and/or are not human at all? Are they all on the same side? Do you think Dean can or will ever be saved? How long do you think it will take before Gareth see the truth? Sound off in the comments below!

About the Author - Darthlocke4
Laura Becker (Darthlocke 4) is a long time commentator, TV addict, and aspiring writer participating with other fans on SpoilerTV. She writes reviews and analytic type articles. Some of her other interests include philosophy, cultural anthropology, reading, drawing, and working with animals, as she grew up and continues to work on her family's horse farm.
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