Limitless recap: This Is Your Brian on Drugs
I mean, if someone breaks up with you via text message, you’re totally justified in jacking a bunch of NZT pills from the FBI, helping your co-worker cover up a murder, and stealing a janitor’s sudoku book. You pretty much get a free pass. That’s how this works. But before we can get into the exact events that led to the most dramatic breakup the FBI has ever seen, we have to start with everyone’s favorite bodyguards: Mike and Ike.
This episode switches between multiple viewpoints, and although we’ve slowly learned more and more about the pair’s backstory over the past few episodes, this is the first time we’ve really done a deep dive into who Mike and Ike are when they’re not fetching Brian obscure vinyl albums and gas masks. We knew that Ike got assigned to babysit Brian because he wasn’t the brightest student at Quantico, and when he was posted in Alaska, he fell asleep on duty. Now, he’s breaking out in some seriously scaly rashes, all thanks to the stress caused by having Brian in his life every day. But this is the most we’ve learned about Mike, who’s counting down the days until his year with Brian is up. After that, he gets a permanent spot at the CJC. Ike has no such guarantee, and he’s terrified that he’s going to spend the next decade of his career retrieving cat food for Brian.
Their main responsibility is picking up Brian’s dose of NZT from the dispensary each day, until one morning they stumble upon a robbery in progress. Mike holds the intruder at gunpoint, and when the guy reaches for his gun, Mike fumbles, forgetting the safety is on. The guy fires and bolts, as Ike dives in front of his partner and takes a bullet to the chest.
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Ike survives, but we leave him in a coma, with 6,000 NZT pills now missing, before cutting to Rebecca’s POV. She’s giving herself a pep talk in the mirror, trying to convince herself that she should break up with Casey. That doesn’t go so well. Instead, he invites her to go stay at his buddy’s cabin, and they end up on assignment together, tracking down the thieves. Casey’s not stupid, and since the very beginning, he’s known there was something off about Brian. Remember, the guy learned everything Casey knows about martial arts in just a few days. The CJC doesn’t send elite SWAT teams to track down your run-of-the-mill oxycodone burglar, so it’s pretty clear that whatever’s been stolen is the key to Brian’s superpowers.
By the time they get back to New York, Rebecca’s complete desperation and fear of confrontation forces her to do the worst thing a human being can do to another, which is break up with them via text message. In a classified MEETING. With their BOSS RIGHT THERE. Stone cold, Rebecca. You may be great at giving Brian relationship advice, but you need to get your own house in order. Casey is thrown for a loop (UNDERSTANDABLY), and they’re all barely listening when Naz reveals that, though they were able to recover the pills, 80 of them are missing. She believes somebody in the CJC skimmed some off the top. Naz fills Casey in on exactly what NZT is, and while he emphatically declares that none of his men would ever do something so corrupt and heinous, it turns out that, oh wait, yes they did. He’s initially reluctant to pop one himself, but by the time Rebecca breaks up with him — again, by text message — he’s on board.
NEXT: NZT vs. NZT
Thanks to NZT, he and his buddies have the best guys’ night ever, scaling buildings and killing it at standup. Everything looks like a happy-go-lucky Budweiser commercial until the NZT helps one of them, Nick, realize that his wife is cheating on him with Russ, one of the other team members. The next morning, Nick calls Casey to reveal that he strangled Russ, and Casey pops yet another pill before deciding the best plan of action is to pin it all on Russ, now that he’s conveniently dead. Casey rehearses his story and prepares to fill Naz in on the whole thing, right as Brian finally realizes that he’s not the only one at the CJC who’s on NZT.
It’s about time that Brian faced off against someone on his level. Most of the criminals he’s locked up so far haven’t had the benefit of NZT, and it’s been almost too easy to take them down. While it wouldn’t be all that interesting to see Brian face off against a new NZT-enhanced baddie every week, it definitely raises the stakes, and tensions are running high by the time Casey takes Rebecca and Brian hostage. The CJC is put on lockdown, and Casey and his team don gas masks and deploy tear gas to try to make their way out of there. They’re almost home free when suddenly another figure in a gas mask appears to block their way out.
Cut to Boyle’s perspective! The poor guy was just trying to get out of work early so he could be home in time to take care of his mother when Brian texted him to grab a gas mask. By the time he makes his way through the smoke and confusion, Casey has Brian at gunpoint, and although Brian’s convinced they can work out a solution, Boyle’s not taking any chances. Bye, Casey.
It’s a sobering end to what might be the bleakest episode yet. Rebecca’s obviously shell-shocked, and Brian and Boyle face off over whether or not Boyle made the right call in dispatching Casey. Brian believed that he could’ve talked Casey down if he just had more time, but Boyle did exactly as his training dictated. Still, he’s bitter that Brian, an untrained, unqualified consultant, seemingly knows better than him, so when he finds an NZT pill that Casey dropped on the floor, for the first time ever, he doesn’t go by the rulebook. Instead, he pockets it.
But there is one bit of good news! Ike’s out of his coma — and Brian finally shows him the ultimate sign of respect: using his actual name, Jason. Awww. It’s a pleasant end to what is otherwise an extremely dark episode, and there are a lot of questions that need to be answered when the show returns in 2016. How is Rebecca going to cope with her partner shooting her ex-boyfriend? What’s Boyle going to do with that secret NZT pill? And perhaps most importantly: When are we going to find out Mike’s real name?