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Recap: BRAINDEAD is Taking on Water


[All photos courtesy CBS]

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Season 1, episode 9: “Taking on Water: How Leaks in D.C. are Discovered and Patched”
Written by Jonathan Tolins & Aurin Squire
Directed by Ron Underwood

Never has so much interest been put on one door before….save the Price Is Right or Let’s Make a Deal. I wonder if the number 54 has any significance?


Act 1: We open at room SRB-54 in the basement of the Capitol building. Laurel (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Rochelle attempt to gain access but are denied entry. Seeing the Syrian doctor there from the previous  episode, Laurel thinks it’s a war room. When Luke (Danny Pino) tries to find more about the room on Laurel’s behalf, he’s rebuffed too.

The journalist, Claudia Monarch (Beth Malone) receives leaked info from the closed CIA briefing that Luke, the committee chairwoman Vaynerchuck (Brooke Adams) , Red (Tony Shaloub) and Ella (Jan Maxwell) received in the last episode too.

Red hires Ashley (Tracie Thoms), an investigator to dig up dirt on Luke and his family and he wants Gareth (Aaron Tveit) to help her.

In committee, Luke and Red argue about who leaked. Former Senator Lawrence Boch (Michael Gaston) is nominated to be a special prosecutor to find out who leaked.

Laurel asks Gareth about SRB-54, he’ll look into it.

Boch and Luke meet, he tells Luke, “I know you leaked.” and he tells Luke he should get a lawyer and his sister should get one too.

Gareth checks out SRB-54….and they won’t let him in either.

Ashley comes back with a file detailing Laurel’s sexual relationships.


Act 2:Mr. Boch visits GBS studios to question Claudia about the leak, she refuses to reveal her sources, so she’s placed under arrest.

Luke’s lawyer, Kara (Linda Emond) is a friend of his dad. She asks him who he thinks leaked and Luke thinks Laurel might have.

Gareth discusses the information that was in Laurel’s file. She comes clean on what he asks, so she turns the tables and asks about his. Gareth won’t talk, so she throws him out.

Ashley goes over the file with Red and is sent back out to get more information. Red then tells Gareth not to stick his nose in SRB-54.

Luke’s lawyer talks to Laurel.

Gareth gets the IT guy to turn off the internet down in SRB-54, this allows Gareth to gain entry so he can turn it back on. While there he talks photos of secret plans laid out in the room.

Luke, Kara and Boch talk.


Act 3: Gareth and Laurel meet again. He shows her what he gleaned from SRB-54. He also tells her there’s a countdown clock counting down to September 12th.

Ashley has dug up some more dirt. It says that Laurel slept with Michael Moore (appearing as himself). That’s a mental image that Gareth has trouble getting out of his mind, causing him to vomit.

Laurel, Luke and Kara meet. Laurel does admit to calling Claudia Monarch, so they decided to give Boch something else to look into.

Boch and Luke meet and Luke tells him about Red’s secret war room in the Senate basement and his plans for Syrian internment camps.

Gareth confronts Laurel about the Michael Moore affair and she admits to it.

Boch confronts Red about SRB-54 and that he’s expanding his investigation to include that as well. They argue over what war means and Red shoots Boch in the head, killing him instantly.


Act 4: Red’s intern races in at the sound of the shot. Red tells him that Boch killed himself and then tells the intern to get some tarps and a dolly. Red’s gonna cover this up. He goes to clean the brain matter splattered on the wall but ends up licking it off his finger. He then scrapes it off the wall into some tupperware, for later.

Laurel and Gareth argue over Michael Moore and she throws him out again.

Red throws Boch into a dumpster.

In committee, Red calls for a new prosecutor since Boch vanished, the committee just decides to put the issue to rest and let Boch turn up.

Ashley’s research turns out to be faulty. Laurel didn’t sleep with Michael Moore.

Apparently Red doesn’t understand sarcasm anymore.

Act 5:Claudia Monarch is released from jail. We find out that Senator Diane Vaynerchuck, the committee chairwoman was the one who leaked the information to Claudia.

Luke confronts Red about the internment camp plans that Gareth found. Luke cuts a deal with him, Luke won’t leak it to the press and Red will stop with all the war talk. Red tells him, to go ahead and leak it. The people will love Red for it.

Laurel and Gareth talk in her office and Gareth apologizes, but she doesn’t want to get back in the relationship with him. He blew it and they split up.


So we are now 4 episodes away from completion on this season. Three Sundays away. The last two episodes will be presented back to back. We also have some good news this week, the ratings have rebounded somewhat, back above 2 million viewers. This is good, but it still doesn’t mean we’ll get a season two. So let me ask nicely, “Please CBS, may we have another season of BrainDead?”

So what are the lingering questions that need answered in the next four episodes? Who are the bugs trying to call? How do we get rid of them? Where was Gustav during this episode and where did Rochelle disappear to during this episode?

Michael Moore appeared as himself in this episode. This might just be the first time on SciFi4Me that that name was ever typed into an article or recap. Welcome, Michael.

I wonder how late at night Boch and Red were meeting cause apparently it had to be pretty late. Red fires a gun and NO Capital Police officers run in. Just the intern. There’s also another problem for Red, if anyone checks the security camera footage from the Capital, they’d see that Boch came in, but didn’t leave. They’d also see Red and the intern carrying a large tarp through the building to the dumpster. Maybe the bugs have already taken over the Capital Police? (Hey writers, I just plug your plot hole! Your welcome.)

Next episode, Luke’s child cometh, but so does the bugs plan for war!


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.

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