As the show continues to pick up the pace, episode five of Limitless sees Finch struggle over what to do with the NZT related truth he discovered last week...
Ever thought about making a leaving a video message to yourself? Well that’s exactly how this episode kicks off with NZT Brian having created one for non-NZT Brian. It’s a bit of a weird start, but it does help Brian weigh up the many options that are currently occupying his mind – most notably, that of whether or not to tell Harris that her father WAS an NZT user and face jail and/or death as a result.
It’s not often a show can truly manage to define a character as two different people the way Limitless does in the opening few minutes of the episode. Finch most definitely considers himself to be two different people and this bothers him, as shown in his earlier conversations with Harris where he confesses to believing people only like him when he’s on NZT. One of the best lines in this episode, which he tells himself, is the stark reminder that: “You gotta be Badass Brian…When all this is over, Badass Brian gets to walk away – free and alive.”
Arriving to find the FBI have a new case for him to work on, Finch is able to put aside his concerns for a while and focus on the task at hand. Harris and the team have been investigating meth labs and tracked one to a housing project nearby. Handily, Finch locates the exact apartment and while he is ordered to stay out of the apartment block while SWAT head in, his bladder causes him to do exactly the opposite. A few minutes later, he runs smack-bang into an individual running from the FBI and despite NZT allowing him to recall Bruce Lee’s best moves (of which I’m sure there are many, I’m not a kung-fu fan), he still finds himself getting thumped.
The kid, Chris Garper, says he was following his brother Sam who is in the company of a bloke named Norris Allen who owns the apartment. Allen is mixed up with an anarchist group by the name of Sons of Nathan, who he got ‘friendly’ with in prison. From here on out, it’s hard to look at this case as less of a drug related issue but more a potential terrorist one.
Garper steadfastly believes his brother isn’t involved in whatever Allen’s up to, having all but raised him on his own. The FBI head off to try and find Sam while Finch meets with SWAT team leader Casey Rooks to learn the basics of self-defense. Rooks, as it turns out, is in a relationship with Harris and proves himself to be a true tough guy as he dishes out some ‘hard-hitting’ (see what I did there?) advice: “Don’t get into a fight. If you do…get on top of the guy, isolate one of his limbs and make it bend the wrong way until he doesn’t want to fight anymore.” *shudders at the thought*
Bringing the episode back to the case, the Feds find Sam Garper’s email address and more specifically, three pictures in a folder. Said images, a cat, a spaceship and Jack Black are encrypted with data – an address of a Queens hospital where five units of iridium – which can be used to make a HUGE bomb – have gone missing. A quick watch of the security footage clearly shows Sam in the building just 36 hours before the radioactive material went missing. Chris is notified of his brother’s involvement in the ongoing investigation and Finch gets to thinking again about whether or not to tell Harris about her father’s NZT use.
Rather than asking a friend for advice on the matter, he calls Sands instead – yes, Morra’s lackey – and unsurprisingly, the response he gets isn’t heart-warming. Instead, he informs Finch that telling Harris about her father might result in him needing a new partner, maintaining his threatening and menacing glare as he does so.
Putting on a leather jacket – what badass doesn’t have one? – Finch returns his attentions to Sam. Chris appears with his brothers’ bag and inside are a number of materials he’ll need to finish the device he’s working on. Finch, being his usual persuasive self, convinces Chris to go through with the exchange in order to help catch and stop Sam. All appears to go well until (come on, we all knew there’d be an ‘until’ moment...) Allen, standing by Sam, twigs something’s wrong and subsequently shoots Chris, really hitting home the first truly dramatic moment of the series.
Despite the tragedy of Chris’ death, the team do call to a halt the dramatic bomb plot that was so close to destroying a good chunk of the city and all, on a larger scale at least, is right with the world again.
Finch however is still troubled over what to do regarding Harris and her father and he tells himself sharply: “If putting myself first means being okay with what happened to Chris Garper, then I’m not playing.” With that, before takes his next pill, the closing moments of the episode see him standing by Harris’ house, an NZT file on her father in his hand.
And there we have it. Five episodes in and Limitless is finally starting to deliver on the drama and intrigue it promised. So, will Finch tell Harris the truth? Will badass Brian return in the near future? And what will Morra make of what Finch is up to? Join me here again next week, but in the meantime, hit the comments below with your thoughts and theories!