After last week’s clustereff – which had been coming since the start of the season, but was no less traumatic for that – Brian has decided that he needs to get himself free of his dependence on Morra and Sands. The only way of doing that is to ensure that he doesn’t need the shots he’s been getting, and the only way of doing that is to track down Piper, the former Morra/Sands employee from episode 12. Which he does.
To St Petersburg, then – a spot of in-previous-episodes exposition is handled as imaginatively and wittily as ever; this show works really hard at drawing newbies in – where Piper is in prison, having tried to steal, from an absurdly wealthy Russian oligarch, an ingredient she needs to synthesise the enzyme in the anti-NZT shot. Brian manages, with the co-operation of George RR Martin, to leverage her release. The two of them plan to go back to the oligarch’s house, when he’s holding a party, and try again. But this time they’re going undercover… as a pretend married couple.
As you know, when it’s the show OTC who play at being husband and wife this, in Unpopcult’s firmly-held view, is the second-greatest gift a procedural can bestow on its audience. Brian and Piper don’t quite fall into that category, but there was certainly chemistry when they first met, and even more so this time, because they have to wait a week or so for the party, so they do it a few times. And who can blame either of them, really? They’re both pretty adorable, although interestingly the show hints quite strongly that Piper is something of an NZT evangelist, with views which aren’t a million miles from Morra’s. There’s also a suggestion that they might, y’know, stay together, be normal, and forget this NZT thing, although we know that probably isn’t going to happen.
In the meantime, Rebecca is trying to find Brian, although doing so from several thousand miles away. In the course of that she visits his family home, whence she’s very firmly chased away by Dennis, Brian’s father. It’s always good to be reminded anew of just how good an actor Ron Rifkin is: he can radiate avuncular charm or chilly menace as required. All in all, ‘Bezgranichnyy’ is another absolutely dazzling episode, one of the best yet. The pleasure of watching Limitless now comes overlaid with sadness, though, because there isn’t that much of it to go.