Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Sami on Limitless 1.11


Limitless airs at 10pm on CBS Tuesday nights.

After a weird several-week break, Limitless came back for one episodes--the Fall Finale! And it was one of the ones that plays with story structure and storytelling, and gave a large part of the spotlight to everyone other than Brian.

Mike and Ike start out the episode. They're going to the dispensary every morning to get the pill they give to Brian, and every morning they argue over whether this is a permanent thing or a temporary thing, whether they can look forward to something else if they do well here, or if this is all they've got. And then, one morning, they walk in on a robbery that ends in Mike getting shot.

It sets off a string of events.

The team (mostly Brian) tracks down the robbers, and Rebecca and Casey go to catch them, but she's been trying to break up with Casey while he's been planning a weekend away without really listening to her feelings or noting her hesitance on the subject. She finally breaks up with him by text--but the text doesn't go through until they're in a meeting and he's sitting right across from her. A meeting where they're discussing what happened to 80 pills that went missing sometime between the dispensary's last inventory and the count of what was seized.

Because Casey was broadsided by the breakup, he gets reckless--he and his team go out for a night on the town and it turns out they're the ones that stole the pills, because all four of them take them and go do whatever they always wanted to do...which results in Buffy the Vampire Slayer's old boyfriend killing his teammate for sleeping with his wife.

Casey decides to blame the dead guy for stealing the drugs and get rid of the body so that they can say he disappeared with them.

Brian figures it out, though, which puts Casey in a corner. He kidnaps Brian and Rebecca, and Brian has to talk him out of it, because even on NZT, Casey is a mess right now and not thinking straight. He also, however, warns Boyle, so that when the SWAT guys are trying to use him and Rebecca to get out and tear-bombing the office, Boyle is prepared with a mask, and takes Casey out.

Boy Boyle had been dealing with caring for his sick grandmother when his mom was away, and when they're cleaning up after the case, he finds a dropped NZT pill--and pockets it--after talking about how when you're on the drug, you can figure out other ways to do things that you never would have thought of before.

And through the whole thing, Brian was learning that he can't think of Mike and Ike as nobodies--that one of them almost died for him (sort of), and deserved to be respected as the actual trained agent he is.

It was a tense and kind of sad episode. The goofiness was toned down by most of the episode not being in Brian's exclusive point of view, but it was really nice seeing what happens to the others when Brian isn't around--and seeing how they feel about things away from what Brian picks up on. The episode as a whole made the point that all of these characters do, actually, have their own lives and their own concerns outside of work, and it was a really good character-building episode.

It was also quietly setting stuff up for the second half of the season*. Brian has realized that these are real people that he works with every day, and will hopefully treat them better going forward**. Rebecca had a traumatic experience--breaking up with someone who doesn't think anything is wrong is bad enough, but to them have him wind up dead by your friend is above and beyond. How will she handle it?*** Boyle is having a hard time with his mom and his grandma, and is looking for a way out or a new solution, and taking the NZT can't be the best way to do it...but he's probably going to do it anyway. Mike and Ike have issues with their job to work out. And the team is now without their SWAT contingent, and will have to break in a new team; will they let them know what's really going on with their secret mission?

And the fact that this is the first time we've really seen other people we know on the drug and all this happened brings up issues with the drug itself. Casey, who always seemed mellow and affable before, got all cold and calculating; was that because of the breakup, or the drug? And Buffy's ex killed a dude because he figured out with perfect clarity what was going on and couldn't control himself during the confrontation--was that the drug, or would he always have gone that far? If this is the drug, does that mean that Brian is just that much intrinsically nicer a person, that he hasn't gone so far? Especially since he did let those guys kill each other when he was kidnapped in the woods, and even encouraged it, without any mental problems from it, these are scary questions to apply to our favorite crime-solving goof.

What does long-time use of NZT do to someone's personality and their moral compass?

What did you guys think of Limitless's fall finale? Any guesses on what'll happen in the second half of the season? Share in the comments below, or come talk to me on Twitter!


*Which we have because the back episodes were picked up! Whoo!
**But hopefully won't "grow up" so much that he becomes too serious or gets boring!
***And did she break up with him in part because she's getting sweet on Brian, or is that wishful thinking?
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