Limitless s1 ep 11

Just as I was saying that we’ve had a sunny few eps in a row about the positive, fun side of NZT, things suddenly get very dark very fast on this week’s Limitless.

Not that it starts off that way: we begin instead with a lovely opening sequence involving Mike, Ike and what must be the incredibly annoying – for the participant, that is; it’s very amusing for the viewer – side of babysitting Brian. It’s cute, funny and fleshes them out a little in Limitless’s usual deft, charming way, my particular favourite part being poor Ike’s recurring nightmares of being stuck in that job with a revolving door of colleagues leaving him behind – “There’s an Asian Mike, a white Mike, there’s even a woman he calls Mike!” – to wrestle with unrequited love and existential despair. Heh.

A robbery at the pharmacy storing the FBI’s NZT supply abruptly interrupts the comedy philosophising, however, and the subsequent recovery operation leads REDACTED into the path of temptation and squarely into the clutches of disaster.  The way things eventually resolve is tense, ambiguous and intriguingly downbeat, with interesting things to say not only about Brian but also about everyone else in the supporting cast. Not the cheeriest episode then, but still an excellent one.


3 thoughts on “Limitless s1 ep 11

  1. e April 28, 2016 / 4:16 am

    And this is the episode where I build my theory about Brian. it’s this: like Chuck, Brian is special. But he’s not special because his brain can hold the intersect or because he has superpowers. He’s special because even given all the power that NZT puts into your hands, he manages to be a decent guy and make good moral decisions both off and on the meds.

    You talk about NZT Brian and I think there’s a part of Brian who relishes the power and control but there’s also core Brian who keeps NZT Brian in check. We’ve already seen Leather NZT Brian vs Sweater NZT Brian show up but it’s always solid, slightly subnormal genius Brian who remains in control. He’s not a particularly good genius, but he’s a good person and that seems to make him, at least under the influence of NZT, extraordinary.

    Since you didn’t say it, I will. I love Brian.

    • CJ Cregg April 30, 2016 / 10:07 pm

      Totally agree, e – in my original draft of this review, I had actually written a line saying basically the same thing: NZT brings out the best in Brian because of his fundamental decency, while it brings out the worst in others (eg Casey and co), but I ended up editing it out!

      I was impressed by how he handled the conversation with Boyle afterwards as well. Sympathetic, caring, non-judgemental, but honest. I love Brian too 😉

  2. Jed Bartlet May 3, 2016 / 1:19 pm

    I agree that, at core, Brian has a good heart, but I don’t think it’s as black and white as that. At the start of the episode, we saw the way in which he treats Mike and Ike, one of whom is suffering so badly from stress as a result that it’s manifesting itself in physical symptoms. And I thought his conversation with Boyle was tactless as hell. Boyle has just shot and killed (?) someone who is either a friend or at least an acquaintance, and Brian is, like, “I take a drug so I’m better and smarter than you, and you got it wrong”.

    None of which is a criticism of the show, which is terrific; or this episode, which I thought was one of the best of the season so far.

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