CBS debuted the second episode of its bold new miniseries “Limitless.” Acting as a continuation of the hit 2011 movie, episode 2 forced the narrative to break away from the setup and focus on all the fun of crime-fighting with the super drug NZT.
After Brian Finch (Jake McDorman) discovered the wonders of the mysterious drug, he was given a shot by Eddie Morra, played by Bradley Cooper, reprising his role from the film. The shot allows Finch to use the drug without regard for any of the side effects -- namely death. Morra demands that Finch keep the shot a secret, for a yet unknown reason. Thanks to his skills and his seemingly unique biology, the FBI hires him as a consultant.
That’s where episode 2 picks up, with Finch being studied by the bureau and eagerly anticipating his new life as a James Bond-esque field agent. Unfortunately, things aren’t going to be that easy. Although the NZT drug makes him the perfect investigator, the FBI doesn’t want him leaving the building while high on the drug. Instead, they just stick him in an “analyst” position learning Farsi. It doesn’t take long for Finch to get antsy, especially since he masters the foreign language in about an hour, so he starts to work the case of his liaison Rebecca Harris (Jennifer Carpenter).
She’s tracking down the murderer of a journalist who specialized in exposing corruption in Fortune 500 companies. His car crashed after a small explosion was triggered in his vehicle. Finch quickly realizes that he’s not going to be of use to the FBI locked away in a room, so he gives his bodyguards the slip and starts tracking down the technology used to make the bomb, after getting some money by counting cards in Atlantic City. His lead brings the FBI to a bomb contractor who goes by the name Taurus.
That night, while relaxing at home, Finch starts to give thought to the events of episode 1 and begins to wonder if taking help from Morra was really a good idea. He gets on the computer and tries to do an Internet search for Morra’s connection to NZT, but the electricity in his home mysteriously drops out. Instead, he decides to spend his spare time figuring out who Taurus is. Finch puts together the fact that every time this bomb maker strikes, the news brings in the same explosives expert. In 2011, when he was brought in for a bomb attack that used acid, he had a burn on his wrist, therefore, he’s Taurus.
They capture the bomb-maker only to learn that his bomb malfunctioned and had nothing to do with the car crash that killed the journalist. Unfortunately, the higher-ups at the bureau don’t seem too concerned with finding the journalist’s true killer now that they’ve collared a more high-profile target. That leads Finch to take matters into his own hands, which is when things get very, very strange.
He escapes his FBI bodyguards once again and starts to interview doctors about what could cause a perfectly healthy 28-year-old man to suddenly have a stroke behind the wheel. He learns that two other cases popped up in New York City that very week. Smelling foul play, Finch spends all night chasing the case and learns that someone has developed a biological weapon that can target anyone with a genetic link to Genghis Khan, which is apparently thousands of people in the world since the historical conqueror was also a notorious breeder.
With another successful discovery, Finch narrowly escapes being fired from his life-changing job with the FBI after only two days. To celebrate, he goes to a family dinner with a few hours of NZT left in his system in order to show off. It goes well, but he crashes hard from the drug and wakes up having passed out in his parents house. He quickly tries to run a search on Eddie Morra again from the family computer, but the electricity goes out on cue once again.
When his father, Dennis (Ron Rifkin) comes to investigate, he reveals to his son that he can tell something is different and that he doesn’t like this new opportunity he has with the FBI if it means Brian is going to be lying to him all the time. Dejected and desperate for a win, Brian shows up to work the next day to learn he’s been upgraded to a field agent working under Harris’ close supervision.
Together, they chase down a string of leads that takes them to the office of a biological research company. Although they have proof enough, there’s no hard evidence that the company’s business manager is responsible for unleashing the Khan virus. So, they try to bluff him into confessing. When that doesn’t work, Finch makes a public spectacle and gets some disgruntled employees to e-mail him the proof and rat out their boss for murder. Just like that, the case was solved and Harris was vindicated for her trust in Finch.
To reward him, she mentions that he can patch things up with his father, who happens to be a lawyer, if he legally hires him. That way, he could reveal all his FBI and NZT secrets under attorney-client privilege without having to worry about breaking the law or his deal with the bureau. However, the night he goes to his father’s place, he is confronted with a chilling surprise. The episode ends with Finch noticing that his dad’s new live-in nurse is the same one who worked for Morra, injecting him with the immunity shot in episode 1.
With Morra’s plan still unclear but Finch’s relationship with the FBI slowly becoming more solidified, fans will have to wait until next week to see how the chess game plays out.