Six Points on the New Congressional Budget: The False Dichotomy of Austerity vs. Expansionary Policies Recap

Gareth is trying to write a letter of resignation to Red when Red comes out and says that he likes the new intern, Gary. He calls Gareth and introduces him into Gary, and points out that the interns in his office tend to die. Once Gary leaves, Garrett asks if he should prepare a statement about losing the war vote. Red says that they just need to redefine winning. He tells Gareth to go to room SRB-54 and pick something up, and tell them people there that they're ready to release "it." When Gareth wonders what he means, Red avoids answering and tells him to set up a press conference for the next day. Gareth asks if Red trusts him, and points out that he's making moves he doesn't understand. Red assures him that he's his rock, and escorts him out.

Back in his office, Gareth starts to erase his resignation letter. However, he hears red cooing to someone and peers in. Red is feeding a bug and telling it to push out its eggs. The senator picks it up and looks at it, and it enters his head via the ear. Gareth goes to SRB-54 and tells them to release it, and they wheel out a cart filled with the new budget.

The next day at the press conference, Red announces that it's a bi-partisan budget. He insists that they will bring it to a committee vote in 48 hours. Luke is on the phone to Amarant, who says that he can't be seen as an obstructionist. The vote was negotiated by Red and Ella, and Luke warns that no one knows what's in it. Amarant figures that there's nothing but pork in it, and says that he can't push the vote off. He tells Luke to find something objectionable to give him an excuse to call off the vote.

Luke calls Laurel in and says that he needs everyone. He snaps at her, and then says that he's sick of all the gamesmanship and tribalism of Congress. Laurel says that he's helping people, but Luke doesn't believe it. After a moment he gets control of himself and meets with his staff. He tells them to go over the budget and figures that the opposition is hiding something. Luke tells them that they have 48 hours to find any issues and they'll have to read it manually.

Three men from the campaign transition team in, and they meet with Luke privately. The head of the team, Nicholas Pohl, explain that they're vetting candidates for the new administration, and want Luke to be the next director of the CIA. Flattered, Luke agrees for the good of the country and they ask him to keep it confidential. Once they leave, Luke tells Laurel the news and worries that he has a lot of enemies. Laurel points out that he told her, and he can't tell anyone else. Gareth calls from his office Laurel and asks to meet her. Red comes in and Gareth quickly hangs up. He assures Red that Laurel isn't his girlfriend, and Red asks how he's doing. Gareth insists that he's fine, and Red asks if they're still working together. When Gareth says that they are, Red stares at him for a moment and then, satisfied, asks for a rework of the speech Gareth wrote for him.

Later, Gareth waits at an outdoor cafe and notices two men watching him. Laurel arrives and asks him what Red is doing with the budget. Gareth says that he doesn't know, and he finally asks her to tell him more about the bug stuff. When she wonders why, Gareth says that he saw something. He draws the bug that he saw, and Laurel says that it's not a bug that she's seen. People go by and Gareth thinks that they're staring at him. He wonders if he's going insane, and says that it was dropping its eggs. Laurel says that they have to show it to someone.

The transition people start vetting Luke by questioning Scarlett. She says that Luke listens to their staff and makes it clear she was having an affair with him. When they talk to Germaine, she says that she knew about the affairs, breaks into tears, and walks out. Pohl figures that they have to talk to Luke again and get his side of the story.

Laurel takes Gareth to meet with Rochelle, Gustav, and Dexter at the CDC. They figure that it's the queen bug and if they kill the queen then they kill the hive. Gareth wants to leave, and mentions that the bug is in Red's head. Gustav wants to kill Red and save the human race, and Laurel says that would be wrong. She admits to her friends that she didn't tell Gareth everything, and Gustav says that they're alien bugs. Gareth quickly leaves, and Laurel goes after him. He insists that what they're talking about is insane, and Laurel asks him to call her if she's not too insane. Gareth kisses her and promises that he'll call.

As Gareth goes back to work, he sees a group of joggers go by. He then calls his parents Sam and Nora to see how they're doing. Nora realizes that Gareth sounds funny, and he says that he's fine. She says that his sister Kathy is doing better, and starts trying to matchmake Gareth with his ex-girlfriend. Gareth quickly hangs up.

Laurel goes to her office and finds a man, Cole Stockwell, sitting there. He talks about her energy bars, and says that he was checking them out because he couldn't find the budget. Cole introduces himself and says that Luke told him to help her. While he goes through the budget, Red calls Laurel and says that he has something he needs to show her. Laurel insists on meeting with him publicly, but red says that he has some oppo research that she doesn't want it revealed privately. She hangs up, and Cole says that the budget is beautifully written to conceal what it's about. Meanwhile, Laurel calls Rochelle and tells her about Red's call. Rochelle and Gustav agree, and Dexter shows them his research on queen bugs. Once Laurel hangs up, Cole says that the budget offers something for everyone.

Pohl tells Luke what they've heard about his affairs. They say that he needs to provide a complete list of all of the women that he's had relations with. Luke talks about how he told all the women he was involved with that he was done with. He asks if their candidate wants to suggest that he can't do his job because he's a failed human being.

Gareth lies in bed and stares at the ceiling, unable to sleep. As he notices a loose wall outlet and a buzzing noise coming from it, his phone rings. It's Laurel, who asks if he's okay. He invites her over and she gets into bed with him. Laurel says that it's okay, and Gareth wonders what's happening to the world. She asks if she'll keep the bugs away, and Laurel says that she will.

The vetting people talk to Anthony, who says that the FBI brought in Laurel for interrogation and had some radical theories about the head explosions.

Cole continues to go over the budget, explaining it to Laurel. Gareth comes in and says that that he checked Red's file on the budget. There was only one series of corrections concerning the farm bill. Laurel thanks him and tells Cole to look in the farm bill section. The vetting people question Laurel what she thinks about bugs, and Laurel claims that she broke up with Anthony. He then abused his position and had her interrogates. Pohl asks her if she claimed that bugs were eating half the brains of senators, and Laurel bursts into laughter. The men join her, just as Gustav comes in and says that they can use monkey brains to get the bugs out of Red's head.

Outside, Gustav tells Laurel to take the monkey brains into her meeting with Red. They'll draw the queen bug out, and he gives her the brains in a Tupperware container to hide in her purse. When Laurel goes back to her office, Luke asked her what happened in the interview. He got a call that it didn't go well, and figures that he's out of contentions. Laurel tells him that they it's about the bugs, and says that she'll handle it.

Laurel goes to Red's office and finds him listening to Melanesian choir music. He points out that she slept with one guy who killed his mother for her Social Security money. Red notices a smell and starts to check Laurel's bag, and she pulls it away. He then offers to finance her Melanesian choir documentary if it will get rid of her. Red then opens her purse and asks what kind of brains that they are. Laurel asks what's in the farm bill, and Red escorts her out and tells her to think about his offer. As she goes, Red says that he'll keep the monkey brains. Inside, he sniffs at the monkey brains.

Later, Laurel meets with Pohl again and shows him the viral video that she made. She claims that as an auteur, she used bugs as metaphors.

Agent Roary from the CIA calls Luke and asks him to come in for a briefing with the director.

Cole tells Laurel that he's translated the farm bill budget. There's one oddity that he can't explain: $300 million for a construction project in 80 small towns across the country. The towns aren't known for growing anything. Laurel goes over the list and realizes that they're the same towns that were on the internment camps that Red is planning.

Gareth does research on flesh-eating bugs, and his air conditioner goes out. He goes to Laurel and says that it's the heat, and bugs need a temperature between 85 and 90 degrees to spawn. The air conditioner shuts off at 10:30 pm, and he tells Laurel that he's been researching bugs for the last 24 hours. He saw the queen bug spawn at 11, so he figures the queen will come out again after 10:30. Laurel hugs him and Gareth figures that he's insane.

Red is in his office at 10:40, and starts cooing to the queen bug in his ear. Once he finishes his call, she has him go out to Gareth's office. Red discovers that the cherry blossoms are gone, and Gary says that they were dying so he tossed them out. The senator finds some in the next room, and takes them back to his office. Once he closes the door, the queen bug emerges from Red's ear and he sets her down next to the cherry blossoms. Laurel is waiting at his desk, and Red tells her to get out. She wonders what he'll do and asks to see who he's talking to. Laurel opens the door and lets Gustav and Rochelle in. Red shouts a warning to the queen as the others tackle him. Gustav covers Red's ears and the queen ducks under the couch.

Laurel and Rochelle roll up magazines and look for the queen, and they spot her flying away. Gary hears the banging noises and knocks at the door, When he gets no response, Gary comes in and Red takes advantage of the distraction to put the queen back in his ear. He orders everyone out, saying that they lost, and tells Gary to call the Capitol police.

At the CIA, Bob Isenstadt meets with Luke. He explains that he's in charge of continuity and tells Luke that he's the top choice for CIA Director. Before giving him a briefing, Bob swears Luke to secrecy. He then says that two months year ago, a meteor landed from the constellation Draco. Inside of it were flesh-eating bugs, and they consume about half of the human brain. They recently learned that the bugs are part of an intelligent outside plan to keep mankind struggling with itself. Bob assures Luke that it is real, and Luke says that he's heard something of it. The CIA man says that they need Luke and Laurel to stand down. They were attempting to take Red into custody but Laurel and her friends prevented them from executing their plan. The CIA has a plan to battle the invasion, but they need Laurel and Luke to stand down. Luke agrees and Bob thanks him for his cooperation.

Once Luke leaves, Red tells Bob that he thinks it worked.

Written by Gadfly on Sep 5, 2016

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