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'Limitless' recap: 'Hi, My Name Is Rebecca Harris'

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David M. Russell/CBS

Limitless

type:
TV Show
Current Status:
In Season
seasons:
1
run date:
09/22/15
performer:
Jake McDorman, Jennifer Carpenter, Hill Harper
broadcaster:
CBS
genre:
Drama, Scifi, Thriller

Every drug-enhanced crime-solving FBI consultant needs a partner.

All the best mystery-solving duos consist of two people who have different strengths but who also make each other better. (Think Sherlock and Watson, Mulder and Scully, any TV procedural from the last 20 years.) Even when he’s on NZT, Brian Finch wouldn’t be nearly as effective — and Limitless wouldn’t be nearly as interesting a show — without Rebecca Harris there to back him up. Time and time again, Rebecca has shown that, even though she’s not on NZT, she’s a brilliant FBI agent who’s damn good at her job, and when she and Brian work together, amazing things can happen.

But as Brian has become more and more tangled in Morra and Sands’ web, Rebecca has been relegated to suspicious sidekick status. While she’s stuck in B-plots that always keep her one step behind him, Brian has been the one having all the fun over the past few episodes. However, when we last left Limitless, Rebecca had laid it all on the table. (Literally. She put a gun and handcuffs on Brian’s dining room table.) She’s finally put the pieces together about Brian’s involvement with Sands and Morra, and she needs answers. Now.

Just to emphasize how this is a Rebecca-centric episode, the story takes us back to the pilot with an in medias res opening and a “Hi, my name is Rebecca Harris” voiceover. It’s a direct parallel to the pilot and how Brian introduced himself to us while facing an oncoming subway train before explaining a little bit about his background and childhood. Rebecca does the same, recapping how she was close to her artist father for many years but he disappeared after years of struggles with substance abuse, only to later turn up dead. It was watching him struggle with addiction that led her to her career in law enforcement, and she’s about to bring Brian into the FBI for interrogation when he drops a bombshell: Sands is the one who killed her father. This is enough for Rebecca to decide that she’s sick of being in the dark and she’s more than ready to be the “smartest person in the room” for once. So, she swipes Brian’s NZT pill, and together, they try to figure out a way to take down Sands and prove that Rebecca’s father was murdered.

They have an advantage. As Brian says when she takes her pill: “It’s not fair. You, on NZT. It’s not fair.”

Sands, meanwhile, has Piper, and after threatening her brother, he gets her to agree to craft the immunity shot for him and his coalition of evil collaborators. One of those collaborators is his girlfriend/mistress/business partner/something — whatever you call a person you hold hands with while planning a murder. She sees Brian as a liability and wants to bump him off, but Sands is reluctant. (After all, Sands and Brian did share a magical evening of rescuing a kidnapped child. Although Brian has seen Sands in a “Female Body Inspector” T-shirt, which means, yeah, he probably has to die.)

NEXT: Huston, we have a problem

[pagebreak]

After Rebecca gets used to the effects of NZT and Brian fills her in on the entire season of Limitless, they decide that their best way to pin Sands is to use Huston’s burn book. Huston, Sands’ former associate who is now in a coma, kept a book with all sorts of deals and details that could expose Sands as a murderer. The book has two authors, and since Huston is, as mentioned before, in a coma, their only option is to track down the first author and see if they can get him to testify against Sands.

Their search for clues leads them to a woman mentioned in the book: Amelia Glasser, a former DOJ up-and-comer that Morra hired to track down NZT dealers. When she outlived her usefulness, Morra stopped giving her shots, and the withdrawal pain was so bad that she turned to other drugs. All she remembers is that she was contacted by two men, Hawkes and Huston. We already know Huston, and the only detail she has about Hawkes is a cigarette butt she picked up and has saved for so many years. An address or a physical description would be great, but sure, a cigarette butt works, too.

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As Rebecca and Brian are leaving Amelia’s trailer in the woods, one of Sands’ cronies tries to eliminate them both. But Sands is still grateful for Brian helping him save his son, so he sends a helpful text message telling him to duck. He won’t actually, you know, call off the assassin or anything, but he will send a text message. Sands’ message doesn’t get there fast enough, though, and Rebecca gets shot in the shoulder. Even as she’s bleeding out, she manages to shoot the guy in the head through the sight of his own rifle — which is the most badass thing that has ever happened on this show. If this was a show about Rebecca Harris on NZT, all episodes would be 10 minutes long and all criminals would either be dead or in jail.

Thanks to NZT, Rebecca is able to ignore the gaping wound in her shoulder, and a little DNA analysis (and a lot of poring over genetic documents) lead her and Brian to Hawkes. However, they get there too late, and they find him lying dead on the floor of his own home gym. Thanks, Sands. Their only option is now Huston, and even though he’s comatose, Brian figures out that his brain still seems to be working. So, they fashion a homemade EKG machine, and Huston happily spills everything he knows about Sands.

The only thing left to do is bring Sands into custody. It seems like things are wrapped up in a neat little bow, and if we weren’t still two episodes away from the season finale, it’d feel like a fitting ending to the season: Rebecca got some closure with her dad, and Sands is behind bars. But there’s one wrinkle: Now that Rebecca knows about Morra, he won’t give Brian his NZT immunity shots, which means that Brian’s time at the FBI is done. (He’s right, though: He could always team up with Stavros and sign on as a janitor.) Fortunately for us, there are still two more episodes left in the season — and Piper is still out there somewhere with an NZT shot. So whatever Brian may think, I highly doubt his time at the FBI is over. 

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