For the past eight episodes, almost all of Limitless’ goofy, irreverent style has come entirely from Brian. He’s the show’s hero and its comic relief, and up to this point, all of the characters surrounding him have only served to rein him in or (attempt to) keep him on the straight and narrow. “Every day I come in here, and this place tries to make me a little bit more like it,” he explains to Rebecca. “I’ve done a lot now. It can be more like me: fun, cool, colorful.”
So, in Brian’s quest to get his own fun, cool, and colorful FBI headquarters (exclamation point!), he badgers Naz — “Remember that time like three weeks ago when you were languishing in prison and how I got you out and stuff?” he reminds her — until he comes up with one of his most ridiculous schemes yet. If he can catch all 10 criminals on the FBI’s Most Wanted list, she’ll acquiesce. After all, he’s already caught No. 4, who’s been on the run for years after bombing doctors’ clinics. (Sidenote: Brian caught him by checking in with everyone’s favorite bomb expert, Taurus, from way back in episode 2. Interestingly, Taurus made an appearance in last episode’s game of screw-marry-kill, too, and while it was a throwaway line in both that episode and this one, I wonder if he’ll play a big role in a future episode.)
Naz begrudgingly accepts Brian’s wager, and he assembles the Brian Finch and Rebecca Harris Amazing Major Crime Squad, a.k.a the Bruntouchables. While Boyle, Mike, Ike, Casey, James, and Stavros the janitor aren’t initially thrilled, they can’t help themselves when faced with such a crazy task, and finally, characters other than Brian get to have a little fun. There’s no NZT intrigue or veiled threats from Sands; just a race to catch as many bad guys as possible. The result is the show’s snappiest and most delightful episode yet.
James heads to rural Idaho to try to locate cult leader Susanna Travis, who convinced her followers to commit suicide and then skipped town. He successfully infiltrates the new cult but manages to get mildly indoctrinated himself. Casey and Boyle team up to take down Ray Allen Clements, a notorious cop killer. Mike tries to find a cartel leader who murdered several DEA agents and now spends all his time poolside in Costa Rica. Poor Ike, on the other hand, is trailing a kidnapper in the wilderness of Greenland, and he spends so much time shivering and being miserable, he fails to notice that the guy who’s running the research station where he’s staying is the guy he’s looking for.
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It takes Brian and Rebecca all of like two seconds to convince No. 12 and his mistress to rat out his mob boss, No. 9, so he can get bumped up into the top 10. Apparently, being on the FBI’s Most Wanted list is the best publicity you can get if you’re in the mob. With another name checked off the list, that frees up Brian for a fancy dinner party with his entire family, where he dazzles them with fancy quail at his fancy apartment. The only thing he can’t do is get Hamilton tickets. Come on, even NZT can’t get you Hamilton tickets. Brian’s father, however, is uncharacteristically silent through the entire evening, and it’s clear that something’s up with him.
While Brian’s trying to figure out why his dad is acting so weird, he befriends Katy Perry, Bill Gates, Justin Bieber, and Ellen DeGeneres and convinces them to tweet out the FBI Top 10. The Katy Perry fans come through, and one of them points Brian to an apartment where Lawrence Drake may be staying. Drake is a former engineer who killed his wife nine years ago and later escaped from Rikers with another inmate.
The only problem with using social media to track down an escaped convict is that it’s not exactly private. By the time Rebecca and Brian show up, Drake is long gone, and Brian has officially declared him his nemesis. He’s so desperate to track down Drake that he takes to sniffing his old clothing and using synesthesia (or smells visualized as colors) to hunt him down, but when Brian sneaks into Drake’s new digs by himself, he learns that the man has spent the past few years obsessed with solving his wife’s murder. Not exactly the behavior of a guilty man. By the time Drake returns, Brian’s convinced that he’s innocent and decides to help Drake prove it.
NEXT: Bribery by bagel