Limitless Recap: Back in the USSR


Season 1 Episode 18
Editor’s Rating *****
Jake McDorman as Brian. Photo: Michael Parmelee/CBS

When we last left Limitless, Brian had reached his, uh … his limit. He’d decided that he no longer wanted anything to do with Sands and Morra and a vast shadow conspiracy that, if I recall correctly, had something to do with magic rice. So he’d set off to find Piper, another former Morra lackey.

Which brings us to a nightclub in Russia, where Brian is tracking down Piper by getting super drunk and spilling the beans on his secret magic-genius pills to a bunch of Russian gangsters. Seems like a bad call from where I stand, but nothing bad happens.

The idea, as Brian lays it out, is this: Brian finds Piper, they take down Morra, Brian is free from Morra and the FBI, and his estranged family takes him back. Everyone’s happy and gives a thumbs up.

That’s not entirely how it works. The FBI is not happy that their Very Important Asset has dropped off the grid. Naz is worried: “I don’t want him to get shot. I want him to come home. In one piece. So I can shoot him.” Okay, maybe not that worried. In the meantime, Mike and Ike inform Rebecca about the yet-unidentified Sands’s visit a few weeks back.

Anyway, turns out Piper’s in prison. One of those notorious, trope-y Russian prisons, not the fun kind of prison. To get her out, Brian concocts a typical, overly complex Limitless scheme. He hacks the accounts of a high-ranking official and discovers that he posts a lot in Game of Thrones discussion forums. So Brian calls George R.R. Martin and gets him to reveal how the series ends in order to get Piper released. Martin does not actually appear in the episode, which means that this whole sequence comes across as lazy reference-dropping.

Moving on! Piper’s out of jail now, but they can’t leave just yet. To concoct the booster shots that make them immune to NZT side effects, Piper needs a rare flower that’s kept in a seed vault by a paranoid Russian oligarch. To grab it, Piper and Brian need to dress up and infiltrate a fancy party. Another Limitless episode, another fancy reception to infiltrate.

Back Stateside, Rebecca visits Brian’s parents as they try to track him down. She does not get a lot of love from Brian’s dad, who blames her for getting Brian mixed up in all this. He’s pissed. Here’s how pissed he is:

Photo: CBS

Rebecca then requests a vacation to go hunt Finch on her own, Naz is like, “lol Rebecca … come on … Rebecca, no.”

So anyway, Brian and Piper have a week to kill before the gala and they mostly spend it eating borscht and boning. Very romantic, a great combination of activities. Classic Russia.

Brian expresses some reservations about continuing to take NZT, but Piper is fully onboard the Magic Pill Train, claiming that without the doses, they are lesser versions of themselves. So they take the pills.

At the party, Brian dazzles the audience with a balalaika, while Piper goes to steal seeds. Lotta MacGuffins on Limitless.

Piper gets the seeds, but sets off the alarm in the process of stealing them. This ends with her escaping and Brian getting kidnapped, which honestly he deserves because he was just standing around like a doofus.

Anyway, Piper pulls another George R.R. Martin move and gets Brian out of prison. They later make plans to meet up in the States and get rid of Morra once and for all.

Then, we find out that Sands had Brian tailed on his little adventure, so the cat’s out of the bag. Sands makes that face he always makes.

Photo: CBS

That’s the face.

At FBI headquarters, Brian’s sister pays Rebecca a visit and says, “Yeah, Sands is the guy who visited Brian a few weeks ago.” Rebecca makes the face she always makes.

Photo: CBS

That’s the face.

All in all, a very low-impact Limitless. Really, Brian just steals some seeds and Rebecca looks confused. Next week, the stakes get raised. (I assume.)

Limitless Recap: Back in the USSR