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Recap: BRAINDEAD Gores some Oxes


[All photos courtesy CBS]

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Season 1, episode 3: “Goring Oxes: How You Can Survive the War on Government Through Five Easy Steps”
Written by Jonathan Tolins
Directed by Jim McKay


Act 1: Ella (Jan Maxwell) receives some flowers from Luke as a peace offering, the bugs crawl out of the flowers and Ella gets to become the latest to be “bugged”.  Meanwhile Luke (Danny Pino)  is on a cable news show called Double Speak, when Red Wheatus Chief of Staff Jonathan Broadbent’s (Nick Sullivan) head explodes during the program.

Ella, now bugged, calls the Republicans terrorists. “Why must we be the party of adults,” she says.

Red (Tony Shaloub) promotes Gareth (Aaron Tveit) to Chief of Staff.

“Why must we be the party of adults?” asks Senator Ella Pollack. 

Act 2: Laurel and Gustav (Johnny Ray Gill) talk about the bug problem. As Laurel passes by Ella’s office, she hears The Cars being played on repeat and Scarlett (Paige Patterson) talking with the senator. Ella later accuses Luke of womanizing on TV, so Luke works on finding dirt to use on Ella.

Laurel meets with Stacey (Nikiya Mathis) and notices her out of character behavior. @hen she tests Stacey’s memories, blood starts to trickle out her ear.

Act 3: Gustav and Laurel discuss Stacey and meet Dr. Dauder’s daughter Rochelle (Nikki M. James) about the MRI from the last episode.

Trying to figure out the exploding head situation. [Photo courtesy CBS]
Trying to figure out the exploding head situation. 
Gareth tries to talk Red into getting more people on board to reopen the government, but Red wants to start his own grassroots organization called The OneWayers.

After Luke reveals damaging information about Ella, Ella turns around and outs Luke’s affair with Scarlett.

Laurel then as to go to bat for her brother with the female senators. Laurel is successful.

Meanwhile, Gustav sets traps for the bugs and goes to sleep, while he sleeps, the bugs try to get to him, but he outsmarts them by duct taping cups to his ears. After he wakes up, the bugs search for another target.

The FBI brings in Laurel to ask her more questions about the head explosions.

The FBI has some questions for Laurel. [Photo courtesy CBS]
The FBI has some questions for Laurel. 
Act 4: They question Laurel and even blame a terrorist organization as being responsible. Luckily Anthony Onofrio (Charlie Semine) tips off Luke, he then springs Laurel from the clutches of the FBI.

With the female senators now backing Luke, Ella backs down from her challenge for Luke’s position.

Gustav searches his apartment for bugs, playing “You Might Think” while he does it.  His eyes fall on his cat just starting at him.  The bugs are now controlling his cat as The Cars play on.


Again, I say bravo to Jonathan Coulton’s recap song, even if it was cut short because the episode ran long. The episode running long was also the reason that there were only four acts instead of five this week. We also got a week off because of the Fourth of July falling on Monday.

So the bugs now have senators on both sides of the aisle. I’m not yet sensing a coherent plan from the bugs yet.

We also learned that the bugs aren’t picky about what they take over, as they took over Gustav’s cat. So does that mean that they can take over any mammal? How many bugs does it take to take over a cat versus a human? More? Less?

Gustav is great, with MacGyver-like ingenuity (taping cups to his head to keep the bugs out). He reminds me of myself … except I’m not paranoid … or am I? Who’s reading this?! WHO ARE YOU! Just kidding. Johnny Ray Gill (Gustav) does a good job with the character: I have no problem believing Gustav is who he seems to be.

Luke is in a world of hurt in this episode after his affair with Scarlett is outed. If this was real life, he’d probably be forced out of congress in short measure, but that all gets smoothed over pretty easy. Maybe he’ll get more blowback from that in a later episode.

Red has decided to start his own grassroots organization to back him up: I wonder if they’ll all be taken over by the bugs, too. The One-Wayers sounds perfect for a group that’s looking for the one way to take over the world.

Is it just me or is this plot starting to sound like an episode of Pinky & The Brain?

BrainDead airs Mondays at 9:59/8:59 Central on CBS. It can also be found on Amazon Prime Instant Video. For more information, visit the official website.



Thomas Townley

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

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