BrainDead: The Path to War Part One: The Gathering Political Storm
August 15, 2016 9:33 AM - Season 1, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Get space bugs in your head...

We find out that yes, Papa Healy is infected, but he's cool with it. Laurel is not, and she gets Mama Healy out of bug-adjacency by revealing that Papa is

Rochelle captures a bugly Greg from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, and she and Gustav question him to find out that the bugs are spoiling for war.

(That's not all they're spoiling for, as Red and Ella's bugs get freaky on a desk as their hosts give monotonous readings of sexytalk.)

The Senate committee meeting leads to the U.S.'s looming war with Syria, thanks to some transparently bad insistences that Syrian terrorists are detonating the heads of pandas and baby seals. A CIA agent tells Red and Ella and Luke under no uncertain terms that it isn't Syria, but Red and Ella can't be stopped by the mere truth.
posted by Etrigan (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I continue to just Not Get how we're supposed to be reconciling the bugs being fully aware they are bug people with the behavior of Red and Ella. Ella seems to be legitimately manipulated by the animal testing stuff, not just playing a part. Pops claims to still be himself, but so does Secret Agent Bug... before being caught out on it.

I dunno, maybe my SF background and wanting some quality metaphysics here is an impediment. I'm still enjoying the moments and curious to see where they go with it, so I guess that will be enough.
posted by phearlez at 8:34 AM on August 17, 2016

My fanwank-theory is that the bugs manipulate their host's sense of self along with their other thoughts/emotions. When it's sufficient for their hosts to believe they're still basically people, that's what they believe. When they need the hosts to believe that they really are just bug-people, they believe that.

Which is the truth? Eh, that's a question it would take a much smarter show to answer - but my fanwank is that the bugs aren't actually sentient on their own. After all, they're bugs. I don't think they're puppet-masters - more like a set of unusually violent, contagious memes. They can alter behavior quite drastically, but it's still (half of) a human brain that does the thinking.
posted by Mr. Excellent at 1:26 AM on August 19, 2016

We haven't seen that all infected people are aware of it. Especially note how different Red's reaction to the bug-language-via-iPhone was -- sort of halfheartedly eventually "obeying" it while everyone around him was helplessly flailing and walking into walls.

(I may just be excusing bad writing here, I realize.)
posted by Etrigan at 1:40 AM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yeah this is not a show I watch with any kind of deep critical thought. I'm just enjoying the absurdity, Johnathan Coulton, and my weird crush of Mary Elizabeth Winstead. But Gustav and Rochelle are quickly becoming my favorite thing about this show.

(And speaking of critical thought: you can't really freely follow staffers into federal government buildings, let alone the capitol, like Gustav and Rochelle are doing. You need a badge to pass through any of those areas. Even congresspeople and senators have to wear theirs all the time. Also, unless this is all taking place in a span of a week, the cherry blossoms do not stay in bloom that long.)
posted by numaner at 10:50 AM on August 19, 2016 [1 favorite]

you can't really freely follow staffers into federal government buildings, let alone the capitol, like Gustav and Rochelle are doing.

I keep thinking Rochelle is one of Laurel's co-workers. I have totally forgotten that she's the daughter of the first brainsplosion victim.
posted by Etrigan at 11:23 AM on August 19, 2016

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