Limitless s1 ep 5

Not for the first time, Limitless filibusters a little in the first couple of minutes of ‘Personality Crisis’, by recapping three times: opening credits, previouslies, and the start of the episode itself. But given that the third version is a reconstruction of the most important parts of last week’s episode, with video, puppets, and a snappy Bob Dylan pastiche, it’s easy enough to forgive. In fact, the video – NZT Brian reminding Normal Brian not to tell Rebecca that her late father features in the FBI’s NZT file – sets up a dialogue between the two Brians, which runs throughout the episode, and again hints at the nature/nurture issues I wondered about before.

Anyway, it’s a procedural, so we need a Case of the Week. And, truth be told, it’s nothing special in itself: an investigation into a meth lab turns into a race against time to stop a terrorist group assembling a dirty bomb, target NYC. But, as before, the details elevate it: everything from Brian’s “bladder management”, together with computer graphics, while on a stakeout, through to the ambiguous resolution to the Case of the Week, giving Brian an ends-justifying-means dilemma, and leading to his realisation that he doesn’t want to become the sort of person who’s comfortable with shutting down the part of himself that cares about morality.

And there’s a new character: SWAT’s Casey Rooks, in a sort-of relationship with Rebecca, and played by Desmond Harrington, making it the second time he’s been Jennifer Carpenter’s on-screen love interest. I’d prefer Rooks not to be an ass – I think it would be out of keeping with the tone of the show – and so far he seems OK, although he’s clearly intrigued by Brian’s ability to pick up advanced self-defence technique in days. He could, of course, be a Morra plant. I don’t discount that possibility. Perhaps not quite as good as last week’s episode, but even on a medium flame Limitless still has wit, energy, and imagination in abundance.


3 thoughts on “Limitless s1 ep 5

  1. CJ Cregg March 14, 2016 / 7:29 pm

    I thought this was really good, again. I agree with you about all the recapping – when the clay figures appeared, I did wonder “Why are we wasting time with this again? We know all this.” But as you say, it was to highlight NZT Brian as a semi-separate personality from normal Brian, which makes perfect sense. Of course you can’t turn someone into a superhuman half the time and expect it to have no effect on their confidence/ arrogance / morals / attitude to non-superpeople etc. I like that NZT Brian is on the way to becoming the Hyde to normal Brian’s Jekyll. How long before Jekyll tries to find a more permanent way of keeping control? As e said, there’s a much darker underbelly to the show than I would have suspected.

    Although I also like that it balances all the philosophical stuff with a lot of fun and it’s not above a spot of shipping. That chat with Sands about Rebecca being a distraction could be pretty shipper-friendly in a certain light….

  2. Jed Bartlet March 14, 2016 / 11:38 pm

    Oh yes, the show has already hinted that it could go in that direction – last week, Sands (I think) was worrying about whether Rebecca could be a distraction for Brian. And I for one would be on board with it: Jennifer Carpenter’s not conventionally TV-good-looking, and she’s quite a bit older than Jake McDorman, which would be unusual for a TV relationship.

    Mind you, I think I’m now shipping Carpenter and Desmond Harrington IRL.

  3. e March 15, 2016 / 2:04 am

    I think they gave this episode a very Person-of-Interest resolution in that it builds the story more than it gives immediate satisfaction. For me, watching it through a second time with you guys, it also gives me an opportunity to recognize characters whose storylines kick in many episodes down the line. They are being really amazingly consistent with that characterization and looking back and seeing those same people earlier in the timeline, I had totally overlooked that they might at some point be developed.

    Also, I loathed Carpenter and Harrington on Dexter, and like them both here.

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