Braindead 1×07: “The Power of Euphemism: How Torture Became a Matter of Debate in American Politics”

Buckle up, kiddies. This one got REAL.


Previously: Everything was fine after Laurel got infected by space bugs, well, except that Gareth had to have sex with a drunk Laurel in order to uninfect her, which was awkward. Gustav figured out how to listen to the bugs with his iPhone. [Insert science rap about the concept here.] Also, although this isn’t really in the song, Laurel wore a fabulous cherry-blossom-print dress to a date with Gareth, they “started over,” and she told him that she thought bugs were eating people’s brains and “turning them stupid.”

We open back on this moment. Gareth is drinking his old-fashioned and not quite sure how to react to Laurel. Soon, though, he settles for a sort of patronizing amusement that Laurel does not appreciate. She clarifies that she doesn’t get migraines, and that telling him this is “not smart” (you know, because as a woman you should really just be pretending to be “normal,” as Gareth said he wanted, in order to hook yourself a man).

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Braindead 1×06: “Notes Toward a Post-Reagan Theory of Party Alliance, Tribalist, and Loyalty: Past as Prologue”

Previously on Braindead: Everything I wrote was wrong. Or at least, the part where I said Laurel obviously did not have a spacebug infection. The previouslies song is very slow and sad and informs us that indeed, Laurel has bugs in her brain. At least he agrees with me that “this isn’t supposed to happen to the main character.” He also sings briefly about Abby’s death, Stacie’s infection, Gareth’s crush on Laurel, and that time Laurel beat Anthony up with her brass knuckles.


Laurel sits up in bed, panicked and in pain, grabbing her head. Don’t freak out, Laurel! That’ll just make your head explode! She writhes out of bed, holding her head, and calls 911. Sucks for her that the dispatcher is also infected (she’s the lady from apartment 304 in episode 4), so she pulls out a carrot and snacks calmly on it with no sense of urgency at all. It’s pretty much what Laurel deserves for thinking 9-1-1 can help her with spacebugs in her brain, like, does she not remember when that dude’s head exploded in the ambulance in the presence of half a dozen completely helpless EMTs? Why is she not calling Rochelle? Luckily, Gustav is knocking on her door to warn her. She opens the door and informs him dramatically, “They’re in.”

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Braindead 1×05: Back to Work: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at Congress and How It Gets Things Done (and Often Doesn’t)



Previously on Braindead: You know. Space bugs. Most importantly, Laurel’s buddy Abby killed herself and Laurel slept with Agent Onofrio only to realize he was partially deaf in one ear (a sign of bug infection, along with balance problems). Prime quote: “You can count on him when booty calls” (of Onofrio). Also, the lightning-speed “previously-on” songs have helpfully acquired karaoke-style subtitles.

The episode opens right where the last one left off, with Laurel realizing that Onofrio—who slept in her bed while she slept on the couch—can’t hear what she’s saying unless he turns his left ear towards her. He gives her a sweet smile, which is rather unlike a bug person. But her relief is premature: when he gets up to get ready for work, she realizes he’s changed the sheets. He explains this by saying that he’s “a bit anal,” and says that there was “a wet spot.” Ew! That is so much more than I ever wanted to have to picture about the sex between those two. Laurel goes to the dryer and smells the sheets. Uh… does she know that that’s a sign of infection? Is she sniffing for brain fluid? Does brain fluid have a smell? (The internet seems to think not.) Is she sniffing for the supposed wet spot? No matter what she’s smelling for.

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Links We Loved This Week — 7/22/16

Read the heartbreaking tweets Leslie Jones posted before being chased off Twitter by racist harassment. Vox has a good write-up of the topic, too.

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Emily Nussbaum wrote a fantastic piece about Braindead and Mr. Robot. Her analysis of why Braindead succeeds despite its insane-sounding premise is spot on. (via The New Yorker)

Matt Damon did a Reddit AMA in honor of the new Bourne movie. His answers are great — or as one poster amusingly put it, “my boy’s wicked smaht.”

How well do you know Anne of Green Gables? This is a pretty basic quiz, but it should whet your appetite for the planned 2017 revival (and if you get less than 100%, you should probably just go rewatch. Actually, we probably all should).


Braindead 1×04: “Wake Up Grassroots: The Nine Virtues of Participatory Democracy, and How We Can Keep America Great by Encouraging an Informed Electorate”

Previously on Braindead: Spacebugs, Gareth and Laurel making out, head explosions, Abby infecting Stacie, Gustav reading a lot, Scarlett being weird, Ella getting infected, Luke versus Ella, Laurel investigating the bugs, guys sharing a candy bar, and bugs eating a cat.

Whew. It’s pretty catchy when the guy sings it though.

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Braindead 1×02: “Playing Politics: Living Life in the Shadow of the Budget Showdown – A Critique”


We have SINGING PREVIOUSLIES!!! A male voice (which I hoped was Aaron Tveit’s but, tragically, is not) narrates everything that happened last week: the mysterious meteor, the space bugs, the brains, Laurel’s sad documentary, Luke’s job, Laurel’s job, Gareth’s job, Senator Weenus’s job, the government shutdown, Luke’s affair, Scarlett’s “space bug problem,” and the good doctor’s exploding brain. It’s pretty damn catchy too.

Laurel’s listening to pundits discuss the shutdown and trying to spray the ants that are parading in a column right towards her feet. They do not give one shit about the spray, so she stomps on a couple of them with her hipster-masquerading-as-professional-lady clunky boots, and then runs out the door. The camera gets way too close to the ants, who seem to be nudging each other and possibly reanimating. Yikes. OK so it’s been like a day, and already these things are ALL OVER D.C. and in Laurel’s actual apartment. Realistically, does Laurel have a chance of surviving the season with her brain intact? Things are moving way too quickly here.

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