Recap: BRAINDEAD Uses Propaganda on The Path to War Part Two

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[All photos courtesy CBS]

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Season 1, episode 10: “The Path to War Part Two: The Impact of Propaganda on Congressional War Votes”
Written by Larry Kaplow
Directed by Felix Alcala

This episode we get a good helping of paranoia from Laurel about who is bugged and who is not. Luke tries to redeem himself… poorly. And where has Gustav been?

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Act 1: We open with a piece of a new documentary about Red’s push for a war in Syria. It’s good, but it keeps trying to link the war to the 1% and Wall Street instead of sticking with Red and his One-Wayers. Luke asks Laurel to talk to the documentarian, Ben Valderrama (Michael Zegen) about the film.

Red meets with Jules (Natalie Gold) who represents the One-Wayers. They meet with Ella and her Public Broadcast loving neighbor,  Noah (Michael Esper)(remember him brandishing the Splendid Table knife on Laurel so many episodes ago?) Ella and Red convince them that they are on the same page when it comes to the war.

In Committee, Luke and Red continue to argue over the proposed war resolution. Laurel sees Noah at the meeting and Gareth tells her that he was meeting with Red.

Laurel meets with Ben and she tells him to re-edit the film to focus less on the 1%/Wall Street stuff.

Jenny and Noah meet with Senators to try to get them to vote for the resolution.

Luke’s wife Germaine drops by and talks with Laurel.

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Act 2: At the hospital, Laurel gets a call from Ben, he’s re-editing the documentary to make the changes she requested. Laurel is concerned about the baby and if it could be infested in the womb somehow, the ultrasound comes back, but it’s not clear enough.

Luke and Laurel argue over his many infidelities, she tells him that he needs to cut it out. Luke decides to end them all for the sake of Germaine and the baby.

Laurel meets with Ben as he gets some new footage for his documentary, he’s doing an ambush on Gareth about the One-Wayers. Laurel stops Ben before he goes too far.

Luke breaks it off with one of his flings…but ends up sleeping with her one more time.

Laurel and Gareth meet to discuss what happened with Ben and the interview. Gareth decides to break off the friendship because of all the stress the relationship puts on his career.

Back at the hospital, Germaine seems fine. Her doctor wants Laurel to stop worrying Germanine, she and the baby are fine, as the doctor walks off his phone goes off, to the familiar melody of The Cars, You Might Think.

"It's not complicated."
“It’s not complicated.”, Laurel lays down the case for Luke to stop sleeping around.

Act 3: Laurel brings in Rochelle for a consult and they discuss the baby and the doctor’s ringtone. Rochelle thinks that Laurel is overreacting and maybe becoming a little paranoid.

Meanwhile Luke is breaking it off with Janis….after some sex, of course.

Ben takes Laurel on another interview, this time with her one-time stalker and all around NPR-loving nut Noah. Ben presses him on his seemingly conflicting views on wanting peace and war at the same time. Noah takes the bait and attacks Ben. Laurel scolds Ben for doing such an underhanded thing.

Luke’s father Dean stops by, he wants Luke to think of the bigger picture and vote for the war.

We see Ben’s re-done documentary…and it still ends up being an indictment of Wall Street and the 1%.

Meanwhile, Germaine goes into labor, so Laurel rushes to the hospital.

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It’s a girl…but is it a bug?

Act 4: Luke and Germaine’s baby is born. Healthy and normal. Rochelle and Laurel discuss the baby, no need to worry, the baby is fine.

Luke and Laurel talk about his trying to break things off with his mistresses and flings, he tells her that he doesn’t know why he does it.  All Laurel can do is to tell him to stop screwing around for good this time.

Luke angrily fires back at her about the crappy documentary.

Ben and Laurel say their goodbyes. After Ben leaves, Laurel decides to fix the documentary. She re-edits, lays down new narration and inserts footage showing Red and Ella talking about collaborating to make the war happen.

Luke and Scarlett have dinner together. He tells her that he’s breaking off their relationship and that she’s fired. She tells him that she’s going to Germaine.

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Scarlett is not happy to be fired.

Act 5: We finally see the re-edited documentary. Luke likes it. Red and Ella are furious because this shows them in a very bad light. In Committee, the war resolution is defeated. Ben takes all the credit for the documentary, even though it’s mostly Laurel’s work.

Laurel receives a call from Gareth, he knows that she fixed the documentary and thought she did pretty good.

Germaine and Luke look at their new baby. Luke tells Germaine that he’s done screwing around and he tries to get her in the mood for sex. She tells him not right now. As they leave the room, Germaine turns on the new mobile she got for the baby’s crib. It plays the all too familiar tune by The Cars…

Analysis:

Laurel thinks Luke and Germaine’s baby is. Which leaves the question of how the baby would be bugged. Did the bug crawl through Germaine? That doesn’t seem possible, so I will err on the side that says the baby is fine.  Germaine is not, as we get good indicators that she was taken over some time ago. (Lack of interest in sex, cold demenor and using “You Might Think…” by The Cars on the baby’s crib mobile.)

This episode we saw Luke try to redeem himself. He worked at breaking off his many love affairs and trysts…although he was very bad at it. The most important one was with Scarlett, he just outright fired her over dinner.  It’ll be interesting to see how this affects the last three hours of the season. Scarlett seemed ready for revenge. Will she try to bring Luke down?

We say cooperation between the King (Ella) and the Queen (Red) as they coordinated their respective grassroots organizations together to try to get the war resolution passed in the Committee meeting. We still have no clear reason why the bugs wanted the war, other than a distraction. They ultimately failed thanks to the power of Laurel’s re-edit of Ben’s documentary.  What this sets up in the final episodes of season one is a mystery.

This was also another episode without our little “Scooby gang” together again, what has Gustav been doing these past two episodes? I guess we’ll find out next episode as the previews show that he’s back. So the stage is set for the end of our story…whatever story that is.

Will the bugs be stopped? What are their plans exactly? What is up with the redistricting maps a few episodes ago? Will we get some concrete answers?

We will get at least one answer next episode as Gustav comes back, does he have a way to remove the bugs? Also, the bugs may have lost the war vote, but what are they hiding in the new budget proposal!

BrainDead airs Sunday at 10/9 Central on CBS. It can also be found on Amazon Prime Instant Video. For more information, visit the official website.

Read all our previous BrainDead recaps here.

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Thomas Townley

Thomas spends hours playing games, reading books and comic books and watching genre tv. You should too.

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