TV Recap: Limitless, ‘Pilot’

Written By Megan LaBruna

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Last night the television version of Limitless premiered on CBS. The show starts up in NYC and looks to be a little while after the movie had taken place as viewers can see a re-elect banner for Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper). He himself doesn’t make an appearance until about 45 minutes in, but I think most viewers assumed his part would be minimal so there was no real shock there. The main character Brian Finch (Jake McDorman), means well but just can’t get his life together. He went from having grand dreams of singing in a band to becoming a solo act with no record and an awful temp job. Luckily his past connections pay off when his old band mate, Eli (Arjun Gupta) ends up being an investment banker at the place Brian is temping. After catching up over lunch Brian tells Eli about his dead end jobs and his dad’s deteriorating health and how the doctors can’t find out what is affecting him. Eli offers him a way to change all of it with one simple pill.

Anyone who watched the movie knows what the NZT pill does and knows that its affects over time are pretty terrible. The one nice thing about the show is that viewers didn’t have to watch the movie to understand what’s going on; however as someone who did watch the movie, I definitely noticed a few lines here and there that were literally ripped from the movie itself. The writers pretty much explain the concept of a 2 hour movie in half the time to address what NZT does and why people will literally kill for it. Which is exactly what happens, Eli and another banker who were on NZT end up being killed for their stash, however the blame gets laid on Brian. Luckily Brian is able to find Eli’s extra stash of NZT and work his way through to a solution.

He teams up with the police to help prove his innocence, but not before a run in with Eddie Morra himself who offers Brian an opportunity to continue taking NZT without having to be concerned by the long term side effects. It appears Eddie has been using his money to work on research to counteract the effects and confirms that he has still been taking the pill every day for the past several years. This was the one part of the show I really liked because the movie left it open ended as to whether he was really still taking the pill or if he had been able to wean himself off of it. I assumed he was still taking it, but this interaction confirmed it! Because Brian made a deal to not discuss this opportunity offered to him by Morra, I don’t think we’ll be seeing a ton more of Bradley Cooper in the series; maybe a few more bits of interaction before they phase him out completely.

We will however have to suffer through watching Jennifer Carpenter play yet another officer of the law as Agent Rebecca Harris. It’s not that I mind her acting, it’s that at this point after playing Deb for so many years on Dexter, I would have liked to have seen her do something new. At least we don’t have to worry about her falling in love with her brother in this series, as I’m pretty sure she’s going to end up romantically involved with Brian at some point in the show. Mostly because she’s already shared with the viewers that she didn’t shoot Brian because he had the same look in his eyes that her father did the night he died. She couldn’t save her father but she believes she might be able to save Brian and figure out what really happened to her father the night he died. To do this, she works out a plan with the FBI to allow Brian to be a consultant for them. Does anyone else think this idea is sounding an awful lot like White Collar? Anyways, Brian agrees to work with the feds barring one condition, they help get his father a liver to save his life. Already a tangled web has begun to be spun in this drama. I wasn’t overly impressed with the pilot, but I’ve enjoyed watching Jake McDorman since his days on Greek, so I figure I can suffer through a few more episodes to see how the plot unfolds.

Rating: 5 out of 10

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