Limitless s1 ep 6

My turn to throw in my two cents about Limitless and what a terrific episode to weigh in on.

Brian and Rebecca are working together to try and find out more about the Venn diagram between her dad, NZT and the FBI. Unfortunately, Brian and Rebecca are both being pulled in other directions too; Brian has to choose between destroying Rebecca (“not an option”) or succumbing to a slow, mind-bendingly painful death from the side-effects of NZT (“really not an option”), while Rebecca is being pulled up the corporate ladder via a starring role in a Red Team / Blue Team exercise at Naz’s behest. Neither of these competing missions is a coincidence: it’s clear that our hero and heroine are both being played by various factions, the question is just how much the people playing them know and how far the people playing them will go.

Pretty damn far, I guess, considering the final scene of the ep, which is less of a surprise than a horrible inevitability – anything less would have been far too easy and Limitless isn’t going for easy.

Unlike so many procedurals on tv, the over-arching mythology/conspiracy here is genuinely multi-layered as opposed to just multi-tentacled: unusual, exciting, deep and menacing, with frighteningly believable stakes, both in terms of the big, global picture (as underlined by another guest appearance from Bradley Cooper) and the smaller, local one. That the show manages to leaven all this darkness with humour, imagination, a charming leading man in Jake McDorman as Brian, and a beautifully-judged partnership between him and Jennifer Carpenter’s Rebecca, makes it all the more impressive. If I had a quibble with this particular instalment, it would be that Rebecca’s sustained, almost unbelievable brilliance at the Blue Team exercise was verging on Mary Sue (or NZT?) territory, but that’s a minor niggle – the show’s great and so was this ep.

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5 thoughts on “Limitless s1 ep 6

  1. e March 22, 2016 / 11:20 pm

    I loved seeing McDorman falling to pieces (even with the JJ Abrams lens flares) and it was lovely to see Rebecca shine on her own, even if she was a little overcapable (what, no ideas from anyone else? the best and brightest in the FBI too afraid to speak up?)

    As of Episode 6, Morra confuses the hell out of me. I don’t know his motives or what is driving him. I trust that his “you are a good guy, a guy with potential” speaks to deeper manipulation of Brian who is craving that kind of encouragement.

    There’s a much bigger story going on here and Rebecca and Brian are the pawns. I love that the writers seem to have given a great deal of thought as to what that story is rather than the Lost/BSG “we’ll just figure it out some point in the future”.

    The ending of course, had to happen. And possibly my favorite episode is next week (although there are a few others coming up that are very close)

    • CJ Cregg March 23, 2016 / 9:05 pm

      Yep, I thought Morra played Brian like a violin – used Sands and a stick in the form of horrible side effects/ threat of unspeakably awful death to test how far Brian would go under duress, then pulled out the carrot of “you’re special, work with me, we can do so much good” just at the right moment. Brian is such a decent guy that the possibility of helping to save the world is going to be a much better incentive than threats to get him to do almost anything that Morra wants.

  2. Jed Bartlet March 23, 2016 / 1:29 pm

    Liked it a lot, not quite my favourite episode so far (which remains ep 4). A good move to make Morra more nuanced, in my view, even if the nice-guy thing is clearly a front for something.

    The Rebecca/Brian relationship is a great one. I am simultaneously (a) fine with it staying just the way it is; and (b) shipping them hard.

    • e March 23, 2016 / 8:11 pm

      I miss Rogelio/Michael but Rebecca/Brian are also on my list.

  3. CJ Cregg March 23, 2016 / 8:54 pm

    Co-sign on Rebecca/Brian. They are terrific together, so I’m (a) and (b) too.

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