ReviewsTelevision & Film

Recap: BRAINDEAD Checks Out What’s Hidden in the “New Congressional Budget”


[All photos courtesy CBS]

BrainDead logo sm

Season 1, episode 11: “Six Points on the New Congressional Budget: The False Dichotomy of Austerity vs. Expansionary Policies”
Written by Jacquelyn Reingold & Jonathan Tolins
Directed by Brooke Kennedy

Damn you, Gary, I’m sure Red will put up a statue for you…after he eats your brain.


Act 1: Gareth (Aaron Tveit) is writing his resignation but decides not too. Red has a new intern, Gary (Spencer House). Red (Tony Shaloub) sends Gareth to his war room in SRB-54 before he goes, Red forgets to close his door, and Gareth sees the queen bug come out of Red’s ear and lay some eggs.

Down in the basement, Red picks up copies of the new Congressional Budget for fiscal year 2017. Red then pushes to have it voted on in Committee in 48 hours time, so Luke (Danny Pino) tasks his staff with breaking down the budget and finding what Red put in there.

Luke meets with some representatives with “The Campaign” (read: Hillary Clinton, after all, Luke’s a Democrat.) Luke is their choice for Director of the CIA. He accepts and will be vetted by the campaign.

Gareth meets with Laurel (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and tells her what he saw in Red’s office.


Act 2: Gareth draws a picture of the bug he saw, he also tells Laurel, Gustav (Johnny Ray Gill), Doctor Wu (Marcus Ho) and Rochelle (Nikki M. James), that he saw it lay eggs.

During that act, we see all the ladies that Luke had an affair with, starting with Scarlett (Paige Patterson), getting interviewed by the vetting committee.

Rochelle, Laurel, Gustav, Gareth and Dr. Wu discuss what Gareth discovered. They identify it as the queen and try to decide what to do about it.

When Laurel gets back to her office, she finds a man named Cole (Patrick Breen) there. Luke has brought him in to decode the budget into something lay people can understand.

Red calls Laurel and asks her to come to his office to discuss something, she declines.

Cole finds that the budget is a masterwork, offering something for everyone.

Luke and the vetting committee meets and they are not happy, they want a list of everyone he’s had an affair with.

Gareth can’t sleep, he’s getting paranoid about the bugs. So he calls Laurel and she comes over to keep him company.


Act 3: The vetting is wrapping up, the committee talks to Agent Onofrio (Charlie Semine) who tells them about Laurel. Laurel, in turn, refutes what Onofrio told them.

Gareth confides in Laurel about what Red changed in the budget, the farm bill.

Gustav talks with Laurel, he thinks monkey brains will draw the bug out.

Luke tells Laurel to knock it off with the bug talk, the vetting committee thinks she’s crazy and it will hurt his chance of becoming CIA Director.

Laurel finally meets with Red; he wants to give her several million dollars to go away and make her documentary. She declines and pushes him to tell her about what’s in the farm bill. He kicks her out but keeps the monkey brains.

Brains…does a conservative good.

Act 4: Laurel meets with the vetting committee again, she tells them that “the bug stuff” was just a metaphor.

Luke rails against the budget with someone on the phone when the CIA calls and requests that he comes to headquarters for a briefing.

Cole has finally translated the farm bill portion of the budget. The odd part of it is 380 million dollars for construction projects in 80 small towns not known for growing anything. Laurel cross references it with the list of internment camps Red wanted to build, and finds it’s a match.

Gareth notices that the air conditioning in the Senate office building turns off at the same time every night, 10:30 PM. He figures out that bugs need a certain temperature in order to spawn.

Time to make the bugs.

Act 5: Red talks with someone on the phone, but the queen bug is restless and wants to come out to spawn. He finally lets it out and Laurel surprises him! She lets Gustav and Rochelle in and they try to destroy the Queen while holding Red’s ears so the queen can’t go back in. They manage to hit the bug once, but Gary The Intern, hearing the commotion, comes in and saves Red, the queen pops back into Red. The gang has lost.

At the CIA, Luke meets Bob Isenstadt (Dakin Matthews) – “The Director’s Director”, he keeps the CIA running between directors. Luke gets a briefing, he tells him all about the meteor, the bugs and Red. He also tells him that they believe it’s all part of a plan to keep humans fighting themselves. They want Luke to make his sister stop because she’s messing up their operation to take out Red.

As Luke leaves, Bob is joined by Red. “What ya think?” Bob asks. “I think it worked,” Red replies.

Analysis: So, this episode we get Gareth in the Scooby gang, although he’s not sure of what he sees. He does come up some crucial information about the temperatures in the building and how bugs spawn. It gives them they’re first effort at squishing the queen and possibly ending the bugs mayhem once and for all…if it weren’t for Gary the Intern’s interference.


So I’m guessing the direct assault a second time is out of the question. It’s a shame; they almost had her.

We also got some good story for brother Luke, as he was offered the Directorship of the CIA under the possible Democratic President, note they didn’t say who, but they’re using video of actual politicians, so, yeah, it’s Hillary) However, he was having a terrible time in the vetting process. How is it he was able to keep all his affairs that level of secret that the vetting committee didn’t know ahead of time? The ability to keep all those affairs secret from the press DOES make him a good candidate for a job heading up Americas spy agency.

However, we now know the bugs’ new effort: they are using the farm bill to build internment camps. Since the call for war in Syria has died down, who are the camps for?

I must applaud the bugs for sticking the plan into the giant budget bill. No one ever really looks deeply in those. Not even in real life.

Next episode is the last two episodes in one two-hour season finale.  It looks like Luke’s gonna try to stop the farm bill with a sit-in. Red and Ella battle each other for control and Laurel tries to expel the queen from Red, once and for all.


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.



Thomas Townley

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Solve : *
27 ⁄ 9 =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.