Braindead Guest Review

Braindead 1×03 – Goring Oxes: How You Can Survive the War on Government Through Five Easy Steps

“That’s all the time I have because this episode’s too long.”

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I know this show is not for everyone, but the third hour proved that it can be wonderfully weird and entertaining at the same time.

Despite not embracing its sci-fi elements as much I want it to, I love that the show spent this entire episode moving the plot further. Yet another head explodes, merely seconds before showing up on live television, and the alien ants have advanced so much they force Gustav to tape his ears shut with plastic cups. It’s all pretty insane and campy as hell, and I absolutely love it.

Laurel and Gustav finally meet where he tells her that bugs are eating people’s brains, and even though I’m a little frustrated with how Gustav is suddenly showing obsessive behavior, I’m glad this wasn’t dragged on forever. Laurel being more involved in the investigative side of things is a million times more compelling than seeing her scheme and work in politics. Case in point: her gut-wrenching and gripping scene with Stacie at the bar. Laurel is not an idiot and she knows when her friends are suddenly acting odd, so seeing her push Stacie’s buttons was completely natural from a characterization standpoint—even if we, the audience, know that the consequences of that could mean a head explosion. Luckily, Stacie makes it out with her head and everything (for now).

Other than the sci-fi, comedy and political satire, the show really dug deeper into to its thrilling storytelling elements this week, especially when Laurel is taken by the FBI. Every time the writers introduce a new character, I find myself staring at them trying to look for signs of “brain-eating bugs” as I did with the FBI agent. That sense of constant edginess is intense and works for the show’s favor, especially when it’s coupled with witty one-liners that contrast the scene heavily.

Also, the writers get a better grip on Gareth this week. He’s been manipulative for two episodes now, so watching him finally have a tender moment with Laurel was a nice change of pace. It’s crazy how this show can also be a love story among everything else, and still be able to pull off this unfeasible mix of tones in an entertaining fashion.

In fact, that’s the biggest compliment I can give this show right now: it’s so many things at the same time, and none of these things should work, yet it’s oddly compelling to watch it try.

Exploding Bits & Brains

– Another epic recap song right here

– Scarlett is such a fascinating character post-infection, it makes me wonder just how boring she could have been before the alien bugs crawled into her brain. Her “whom” statement is eerie, but not as terrifying as watching her read lips from across the room.

– Weird how I did not care about Laurel and Gareth at all until they shared their first kiss. Aaron Tveit and Mary Elizabeth Winstead have great chemistry together in a scene that feels like it’s on a completely other show. In a way, it does seem like the show is taking a hit at romantic comedies here.

–  NOT THE CAT, NOOOOO!

– Laurel watching her brother and father think of taking down Ella (who hurries to put her dog down so she can go to Paris) was hilarious. I can’t help but notice the similarities between Danny Pino’s Luke here and his role on Scandal last season.

– This episode did make me wonder about the alien ants’ master plan. We know they don’t just care about politicians (hence their unsuccessful ploy to eat Gustav’s brains), so what’s the deal, space bugs?

– The leak concerning Luke’s affair happened way earlier than I thought it would. As sleazy as he can be most of the times, it was heartbreaking to watch him kiss his pregnant wife’s belly.

Infectious Quips

Scarlett: You’re outnumbered.
Laurel: I am? By who?
Scarlett: Whom. By the people you are outnumbered by.

Stacie: They have guaranteed childcare until a child is 50.
Laurel: That makes no sense, Stacie.

Laurel: Why is everybody listening to the same song?

Red: Hey, buddy. What do you need?
Gareth: Peace of mind.
Red: Oh, can’t give you that.

Luke: How do you describe in prose something that’s poetry?
Laurel: It’s not poetry. It’s sleeping around on your wife.

Luke: No one got killed today. That’s a plus.

Conclusion
A funny, thrilling and consistently amusing episode. I love this weird show.

Chris Rating
B+

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