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.