In retrospect, it’s a bit surprising and kind of admirable that Limitless took this long to get to “This Is Your Brian on Drugs.” If you gave me control of a show about a magic pill that makes people super smart and super skilled, then asked me to “raise the stakes” so to speak, my immediate answer would be “Give another person the pill. Two people should have the pill.” That would happen by, like, episode four.
Limitless waited half a season to get to this point. What I’m trying to say is: I should not be in charge of running a television show. What I am also saying is: Finally, more pill poppers.
The episode trades perspectives, but leads off with Mike and Ike. They’re starting to get tired of being Brian’s errand boys, sent to pick up cat food and vinyl records on their daily trips to the dispensary where they grab Brian’s daily dose of NZT. Ike, in particular, worries that he’ll be stuck babysitting Brian forever. “You think we’ll stay in touch when this is all over?” he asks.
One day, the duo arrives at the dispensary to discover that it’s been ransacked. Mike finds one of the culprits while inspecting the place, but forgets to release the safety off before firing. Ike throws himself in front of a bullet to save Mike, and ends up seriously wounded.
From here, our perspective shifts to Rebecca, who is having some relationship problems: Casey is moving a bit too fast. Before they can talk about it, though, she gets called to the CJC to deal with the aftermath of Ike’s shooting.
The thieves made off with 6,000 pills of NZT — which equals roughly 2,000 episodes of Limitless — though they probably don’t realize the significance of their heist. Brian tracks them to Michigan, then Rebecca, Casey, and Casey’s crew are dispatched to catch them. They bring them in without a hitch; it’s very anticlimactic.
At the debriefing, Naz reveals that a few dozen NZT pills were skimmed off the top, but it’s not clear who took them. At this same debriefing, Rebecca breaks up with Casey over text. Jesus, Rebecca. That’s a terrible strategy. In general, breaking up over text is rude. Doing it while you’re in the room is just amateur.
Then, the episode switches to Casey’s perspective, and quickly reveals the answer to the Mystery of the Missing Pills. Casey’s crew stole them. Fresh off his breakup, Casey decides that he and the gang should pop a few NZT out of spite and hit the town.
The pills end up heightening each guy’s natural inclinations. Casey decides to enter an MMA tournament, the joker of the group tries stand-up, the adrenaline junkie Spider-Mans his way up the side of a building, and Nick tries to be … good at sports? You get the picture.
It all goes wrong, though, when Nick’s NZT-heightened sense of smell helps him realize that his partner, Russ, is sleeping with his wife. He kills Russ, and Casey has to clean up the mess. Quite a pickle! So, Casey does what anyone who has suffered the poor consequences of drug use would do in this situation — he takes more drugs.
NZT basically turns Casey into Bizarro Brian. Whereas Brian is more animated and chipper on the pill, Casey becomes stoic and borderline sociopathic. To calm himself down, he grabs a sudoku book from the janitor, Stavros.
And then, the episode shifts to Stavros’s perspective. Here’s what we learn: Stavros loves the song “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” by the Delfonics. It’s a fakeout. Gotcha!
Time for another perspective switch. Brian, on the lookout for weird NZT-fueled behavior, approaches Casey with a theory. A guy with government boots similar to Casey’s was spotted climbing a building last night. Casey does his best “Hmmm, interesting, I will look into that,” and heads into Naz’s office.
Brian notices the sudoku book on Casey’s desk. He rifles through it. It’s full of completed sudokus! He stares at Casey. Casey glares back.
This is the smoking gun! Completed sudokus! An incredibly easy number puzzle. It seems kinda judge-y for Brian to assume that Casey was too stupid to complete a sudoku without NZT, but okay.
Meanwhile, what is going on in Ike’s brain?
Casey, with his back against the wall, takes Brian and Rebecca hostage before they expose him. Brian, also on NZT, convinces Casey and his remaining crew to stage a riot with tear gas to escape the building, which is now on lockdown. Once again, that seems extreme, but okay.
Brian also texts Boyle to grab a gas mask from his office.
We switch to our final perspective of the night: Boyle. Armed with a gas mask, Boyle dispatches Casey’s team, but Casey grabs Brian and uses him as a human shield. Boyle seemingly has no choice except shooting Casey in the head … so he shoots Casey in the head.
Rebecca is bummed, which makes sense. Brian is also angry, since he thought that he could defuse the situation. Boyle is pretty chill. At work the next day, he finds a NZT pill that fell under his desk during the scuffle. He keeps the pill. Cliffhanger!
Oh, also: Ike, whose real name is Jason, wakes up. Good!