Limitless Recap: Dirty Rotten Lies and Clay Voodoo Dolls

Illustration for article titled Limitless Recap: Dirty Rotten Lies and Clay Voodoo Dolls

I’m gonna be honest. I was pretty skeptical of this Limitless at first. (The Bradley Cooper-voiced animated fetus in the pilot—which, yes, we must continually acknowledge—was a worrisome omen.) But last night’s episode dove into the dark subplots I’ve been craving, but was still chock full of jokes that echo favorites like Psych and Chuck. Limitless is gettin’ good. Spoilers ahead.


First, the dark. A good guy died this week. A young man named Chris (whose brother is a suspected terrorist who’s making a dirty bomb to blow up in NYC) was killed in crossfire during the episode’s climax. It devastated Brian, who befriended the kid and whose trust with him made the case successful. (Despite the innocent casualty, the terrorist was arrested and foiled.) Rebecca, consoling Brian, urges him to be strong and that this is the hardest part of the job.

But while Brian is grappling with the harsh realities of being in law enforcement, he’s also grappling with an inner conflict revolving around last week’s discovery: That Rebecca’s dad, whom she suspected was a one-time NZT user, was actually one of the many government guinea pigs who died because of using the superdrug. Does he tell Rebecca, a genuine friend, who deserves to know what happens to her father? Doing so would reveal that he stole the FBI files, and he might get sent to jail.

Or does he continue to be the quiet mole for Morra and his henchmen, who need a man on the ground in the FBI? (The exact reasons why Morra needs a spy are still murky—but, what we do know, is that if Brian doesn’t cooperate, his still-bedridden dad might encounter a grim “accident” at the hands of the senator’s baddies.)

Meanwhile! The web of lies is extending to nearly everyone in the bureau, as it’s revealed that Rebecca is secretly dating Casey, Brian’s combat trainer. Casey’s ridiculously suspicious when Brian goes from wimp to John Cena overnight, learning decades’ worth of wrestling moves instantly. Of course, it’s all thanks to NZT. But in addition to keeping her office romance off the HR papers, Rebecca’s also tightlipped on the real nature of Brian’s “sharpness,” and his real purpose for being hired by the FBI to begin with.

So yeah, shit’s rampin’ up. But it was also still really funny! I mean, the episode opened with a type of Play-Doh puppet show. Here are some of my choice quotes from the episode:

- That’s not Jack Black... “That’s Paul Revere.”

- “Why is there a clay effigy of me on your coffee table?”
- “It’s Charles Barkley!”


- “You stole those files at the behest of Senator Edward Morra’s... m, minion? I’d guess you call him?”

There were a couple moments where I actually lol’d. A first for me for this show. A sign I’m starting to dig it more, for sure. What about you guys?

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Kevin Street

I found the central conflict of Brian versus himself this week to be rather disturbing. The notion of leaving instructional videos for himself, or that he would begin to think of “NZT Brian” as a different person from regular Brian, is the kind of thing that could turn into a serious problem for him if he lets it go on. It’s a lot healthier to embrace the idea that Brian is the same person on and off the pill, as Rebecca already said to him in a previous episode.

But then there’s the conclusion, which suggests that regular Brian may *be a better person* than NZT Brian, because when he can’t accurately predict the consequences of his actions it’s easier for him to just follow his (natural decent) instincts. NZT Brian can do hard but necessary things and lie extremely well when he needs to, but regular Brian can’t so he’s more likely to be honest.