THE SHOW: BrainDead
THE PAIRING: Laurel (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) and Gareth (Aaron Tveit)
THE EPISODE: Season 1, Episode 4; Wake Up Grassroots: The Nine Virtues of Participatory Democracy, and How We Can Keep America Great by Encouraging an Informed Electorate
THE ROMANTIC MOMENT: Gareth pledges money to Laurel’s Kickstarter Documentary Project.
The series finale aired for BrainDead this week and it was satirically perfect. Best of all, we had a happy ending for the unlikely couple Laurel and Gareth, who worked together to defeat the alien “bug” invasion in DC. Yes, if you haven’t seen the show, you read that correctly. And while the show starts off kind of strange it grows into a clever series that will no doubt grow in cult status over time.
One of the best parts of the series was the Elizabeth and Darcy like relationship between Laurel and Gareth, two people on opposite sides of the political spectrum. She’s a Democrat whose brother is a Senator in DC, while Gareth is Chief of Staff to the Republican Senator. So, as you can imagine, there are some definite fiery sparks between these two who disagree on just about everything. Except for the fact that they’re actually both romantic idealists. It’s kind of like why Mr. Thornton and Margaret Hale work so well together in North and South despite their ideological differences.
While Laurel and Gareth had many fun romantic moments throughout the series, I decided to focus on one of their underrated moments. In fact, I’m going all the way back to episode four, “Wake Up Grassroots,” when Gareth pulled out the old-fashioned Grand Gesture. If you don’t know what The Grand Gesture is, think of the moment when Mr. Darcy rescued Elizabeth’s family’s reputation at the end. Or when Gilbert Blythe gave the Avonlea school position to Anne so she could stay at home.
THE LEAD IN – LAUREL AND GARETH
Laurel comes to DC because she doesn’t have enough funding to finish her pet project documentary about Melanesian choirs. So while she works for her brother, she puts up a Kickstarter campaign to fund her dream project. Her passion. Not that anyone is really supporting the campaign. That is, until…Gareth.
THE ROMANTIC MOMENT
Gareth, already thinking about Laurel all the time, is in his apartment secretly watching Laurel’s Kickstarter Video. With a smile, he clicks on “FUND THIS PROJECT.”
Now Gareth is not Mr. Darcy or Mr. Thornton or some Korean Drama multimillionaire, so he can’t pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund the entire documentary. But he gives what he can in a way that shows he truly cares. I did say this was a grand gesture after all.
When Laurel checks in on her campaign, she discovers she actually has a contributor. Someone has “anonymously” donated $750.10. It doesn’t take her long to deduce who this “Anonymous” actually is.
Laurel then makes a surprise visit to Gareth’s office in order to confront him about the contribution. When he sees her, the two stare at each other from across the room. Gareth has the smolder down at this point.
She pulls him aside for what he thinks is another sparring match or accusation. Instead, she smiles knowingly and thanks him.
“For what?” he asks in genuine confusion.
“Seven-Hundred and Fifty Dollars and Ten Cents,” Laurel says.
A cheeky, boyish smile spreads across his face as he feigns ignorance. “That could be from anybody.”
“Yeah, well, thank anybody,” Laurel tells him.
And with that, the two smile at each other, further cementing their growing feelings.
What makes this moment so romantic is that Gareth proves he believes in her and supports her dreams. Now that’s a guy you want to keep.
By the end, these two lovebirds declare they love each other and move in together. Meanwhile, Laurel plans to finish her documentary…one day.
I just want to give a bonus shout out to the secondary couple, Rochelle and Gustav. They never get together or “really” have many scenes in the romantic department. But their banter and investigating together was spot on. So special nod to Rochelle and Gustav who reminded me a little bit of Ron and Hermione.
If you haven’t seen BrainDead, the entire series is now available exclusively on Amazon Prime.
Did you watch BrainDead? What did you think of Laurel and Gareth? Let me know in the comments!
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