Limitless recap: Undercover!
When Brian first joined the FBI, he had a very elaborate idea of what bureau work would look like. Specifically, it included plenty of martinis, fancy suits, and baccarat with billionaires. But he quickly learned that his day-to-day role at the FBI mainly involved paper pushing and grunt work, with the occasional chance to catch serial killers/kidnappers/pirates.
“Undercover!” allows Brian to finally channel his inner James Bond and go, well, undercover. And, as the episode’s title suggests (don’t forget the exclamation point), he’s totally psyched. Once again, the show plays with format, and the events of Brian’s undercover adventure are discussed after the fact in interviews with the relevant players. Add a snazzy, ’60s-style intro framing the episode as a romantic caper in three acts, and you’ve got a madcap, dramatic love story — with a Bollywood interlude, just for good measure.
But before Brian can start donning a suit and crafting his undercover identity, he has to meet with Sands. In case it wasn’t clear that this is a very serious meeting about very serious things, the pair sit down in a dimly lit bar, complete with whiskey, dark wood paneling, and a roaring fire. Brian can’t get over the fact that Sands murdered the evidence clerk who could’ve exposed his connection to Sen. Morra, and Sands’ response is not to apologize but to start guilt-tripping Brian by saying that if Brian would have taken care of things, he would never have had to murder the poor clerk in the first place. And to further showcase just how toxic this relationship is, Sands starts insinuating that Rebecca may meet a similar end. Quick, someone check and make sure Rebecca doesn’t have a peanut allergy.
Brian, however, can’t worry about Rebecca right now because the FBI’s entire list of undercover field agents was just stolen. The FBI has already managed to round up most of the NYC-based operatives, but there are still five who are unaccounted for. Brian tracks four of them down in no time at all, but he still can’t find Lucy Church. The mysterious Lucy Church was at Quantico with Rebecca years ago, but she got tapped for an undercover mission before graduating and has gone in and out of undercover operations ever since.
Her latest assignment is taking down a corrupt hedge fund accused of money laundering. As for where she might be now, all they know is that Lucy’s got insomnia and a penchant for driving fast late at night, so Brian holds up a sign with her name on it on every long, straight road in New York until he finds her. She’s grateful for the heads up about the leak, but she’s not coming in. Still, she’s intrigued by Brian and the fact that he doesn’t exactly look like your average FBI agent, so when her boss gives her two days to complete her mission, she recruits Brian to help out.
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At this point, Lucy has gathered all the evidence the FBI needs to nail the hedge fund scumbags, but they’ve also been laundering money for a high-end escort service called the Blue Limit, which is basically a human-trafficking organization. The Blue Limit recruits poor women from around the world before taking their passports and practically selling them into slavery. Several of the women have already disappeared, and if the hedge fund gets busted, they may see the women as liabilities and start killing them all off.
So, cue undercover assignment No. 1: Brian and Lucy don their fanciest duds to head to a fancy party, thrown by the Blue Limit, in the hopes of tracking down those hidden passports. There, Brian acquaints himself with all the Russian oligarchs and investment bankers, and he’s so charming that they give him a hotel room and an accompanying Blue Limit employee named Irina, but Irina’s more than happy to sit around by herself instead and watch Say Yes to the Dress and MythBusters. Irina and I have similar taste.
NEXT: Brian goes Bollywood
After Brian and Lucy narrow down the employees who may have the passports, they kickstart undercover assignment No. 2, which has Brian going back to his temp roots and working in the Blue Limit’s basement. It doesn’t take him long to notice the mysterious locked door in the corner, and after a quick bit of breaking-and-entering (with a YouTube tutorial on how to crack safes), he’s stolen back all the passports.
But it’s not enough for Brian to just give the women back their passports. After meeting Irina (and her obsession with reality TV), Brian decides to spend all of his afternoon at the race track, and after learning the ins and outs of horse racing, he casually wins enough cash to make sure all the women have enough to get them back on their feet. Not only that, but he discovers a mysterious organization called Edelweiss in Blue Limit’s ledgers, which is, presumably, the front for whoever’s been killing off the women. Lucy is, of course, completely charmed by Brian’s competence and kindness, which results in them hooking up and Brian slipping into a colorful Bollywood daydream, complete with elaborate choreography and special appearances by Mike, Ike, James, and Stavros the janitor. You know, the normal reaction to hooking up with your undercover partner.
By the time they wake up the next morning, Brian is ready for assignment No. 3, but he’s been undercover for 48 hours, which is all the time that Naz would approve. As a result, he has to face his third day undercover without NZT. It’s a lot harder to pose as an IT worker and infiltrate the Edelweiss organization when you’re not on NZT, but he does manage to get the name of the organization’s mysterious German hitman: Gudmund Friedrich, which is a name that sounds exactly like it belongs to a mysterious German hitman.
But before they can go bust the guy, the list of undercover operatives has already gone public, which means Lucy’s cover is totally blown. The FBI has enough now to break up the evil hedge fund, and they’re not interested in Gudmund Friedrich, but Lucy’s determined to get vengeance. So, she drags Brian to go talk to him, and when Friedrich refuses to spill, she puts a gun to his head. Brian manages to talk her down, so she settles for shooting Friedrich in the kneecap instead. Good compromise.
Friedrich isn’t going anywhere, so that buys enough time for Brian to get back to the office, grab some NZT, and put the pieces together to bring down Friedrich and the entire organization. And so Brian’s undercover adventure draws to a close.
While Brian’s busy chasing down hitmen and hedge fund sleazebags, Rebecca gets invited to Sands’ dark wood-paneled bar to drink whiskey and discuss her employment status. He says that he and Sen. Morra were so impressed by her investigation into Morra’s assassination attempt that they want to offer her a job, and he even does that thing where he writes a really big number on a cocktail napkin to show her just how serious he is.
Rebecca, however, wants none of it. She informs Sands that she knows all about his past — he used to work for MI6 until he was bought by Morra — and she knows that they only want to recruit her so they can stop her from asking questions about Morra’s connection to NZT. It’s one of the first times we’ve seen Sands get flustered, and it’s a nice badass moment for Rebecca, but it’s one with consequences. Sands has her apartment bugged, and while he doesn’t explicitly order a hit on her, he strongly hints that he wouldn’t mind if someone were to take her out.
We also learn that Rebecca’s father — who we haven’t heard anything about in the last few episodes — is not just a confirmed NZT user but someone who was definitely wrapped up in Morra and Sands’ shady organization. Which means that Sands isn’t going to let Rebecca walk away any time soon.