Limitless S1Ep09 Headquarters! Review
For over two months now I have enjoyed watching CBSs Limitless, the sequel series to the similarly named movie from 2011 starring Bradley Cooper. The premise is still the same as the movie. A secret wonder drug called NZT-48 allows users complete access to their brain functions radically increasing their mental prowess. In the TV series Brian Finch, played by Jake McDorman, has been recruited by the FBI after an incidental use of NZT. Unlike many all other people Brian remains unaffected by NZTs side-affects, which ordinarily kill the user after a year or so. For 9 episodes Brian has worked with a partner at the FBI, agent Rebecca Harris (Jennifer Carpenter) at stopping all sorts of criminals that come along their path.
Limitless has so far been a fun-ride. There has always been the danger that it could jump-the-shark. Who would want to watch a show were the protagonist can just think up the answer before the end. There would be no suspense. Show runner Craig Sweeny has tackled this issue right from the start with the pilot. Unbeknown to the FBI, Brian is not actually immune to NZTs side-affects. Chief protagonist from the movie, now senator Eddie Morra regularly gives Brian an antidote. In return Brian is forced to report to him, as well as perform certain odd jobs that are illegal. The viewer is left confused about Morra’s motives. Another element of the show that is boiling in the background is regarding agent Harris’s father who was murdered about a year before the show and whom she believed had gained access to NZT. These two storylines have been part of all episodes one way or another ever since the pilot thus allowing the creative staff to counter the procedural elements that have doomed plenty of other shows.
This weeks episode, Headquarters!, leaves off where the last one ended. Naz is still thanking Brian for saving her daughter’s live and her career. She is forced to admit that plenty of people within the FBI and other agency would want access to Brian’s special abilities. Brian instead wants to be rewarded. He wants to have his own office with the headquarter with an exclamation mark written on the wall. After nagging Naz for weeks they make a deal. If Brian catches all of the FBI top ten most wanted he will get his office.
Brian enlists the help from a everybody in the office including Boyle, Harris’s sometime boyfriend Casey Rooks, Mike and Ike and new-guy James. Brian also adds a janitor to his team but nobody can figure out why. Quickly Brian has managed to leads on those that are on the top ten. Mike is sent to Costa Rica to look at resorts while Ike is sent to Greenland. Brian and Rebecca quickly manage to apprehend one of the fugitives after they a Mafioso to rat out on him just to be able to enter the FBI top ten himself. Despite this happy start Brian’s relationship with his father deteriorates when the latter suspects Brian is keeping secrets. While Boyle and Rooks catch another fugitive Brian and Rebecca are stumped by Lawrence Drake who manages to evade them. After Rebecca is called away Brian manages to corner Drake, only to suspect that he is innocent of the murder he was charged with.
Brian decides to keep Drake at this FBI apartment while his inept colleagues continue their streak of catching more of the most wanted. Rebecca is against keeping Drake out of jail but decides to give Brian a chance to proof his innocence. Brian instead come sup with an even better idea. He gives his daily pill of NZT to Drake instead allowing him to have total recall of the events during the night in which his wife was murdered. Drake remembers he felt the murderers face beneath his mask. He is able to create a clay sculpture of the man’s face. Brian and Rebecca visit a suspect fitting the description jail and make a deal with him. As he has been convicted to multiple life sentences he will admit to this murder as well in return for a lengthy supply of freshly baked bagels.
At the FBI headquarters Naz finally puts an end to his hunt for the FBIs most wanted. It is causing too much attention to their activities. Instead she agrees that Brian won the wager. Drake will be released from prison for time-served while Brian finally gets his office. Sadly, it only says H.Q. with no exclamation mark. This is instead placed on the wall by Boyle during the credits. Brian finally has his heart-to-heart conversation with his father. His father admits he has been keeping his distance from him because he felt he couldn’t trust him anymore. Brian had always been forthcoming during his previous transgressions. Brian decides to finally open up to his father about what has happened to him over the last 9 weeks. As the episode ends we see dream impressions of Brian leading a FBI task force re-enacting movie scenes.
Conclusion of Limitless Headquarters!
This episode finally answered the long-held fan question what would happen if Brian Finch would go all in. It made sense for Limitless for finally trying to borders of what is possible. The show will from now on be continuously questioned by fans to stretch its premise. I can only hope that Limitless will deliver. Brian’s admission to his father also seemed long overdue. His other relatives have always been less important. It was his father situation that forced Brian to help senator Morra and join the FBI task force. Limitless is thus not forgetting that NZT can also have a hum toll. It will be interesting to discover whether Morra will find out Brian told his father. The consequences that stem from this episode will be felt for a number of episodes. I also approved of how the episode made of the extended cast. Having Boyle and Rooks talk about NZT felt like clever fore-shadowing. Overall, this the ninth episode of Limitless that it really needed to keep viewers engaged.
Score; 8.5 / 10. A very good episode of a very good and entertaining TV show.