Limitless, S1 E1 Review

Your brain is a miracle, but it’s not efficient. There’s a maze inside everyone’s head, a labyrinth of missed connections and untapped potential – Brian Finch

Limitless is the TV series follow up the the 2011 film, that hits the UK for the first time this February – so be warned headed forward as there are spoilers from this point on-wards

Granted, my initial reaction to hearing that the 2011 movie that starred Bradley Cooper was turning into a television series was not filled with positivity. But that’s when I thought it was going to be a reboot.

Instead, Limitless Season 1 is more of an expansion on the Limitless film, picking up after the events of the movie but focusing on a brand new character in Brian Finch (Jake McDorman).

The first episode feels cinematic almost right away, even replicating the feel of the movie in its use of color (a blue tint for the real world and an orange one for when Brian is on the drug). There’s some decent action, including a very cool sequence of Brian dropping down off the fire escape, and I actually enjoyed the use of the two Brians communicating while he was on the drug.

The pilot certainly doesn’t require you to have watched the film at all to get into the story, especially because it focuses on Brian, a bit lost in the world and getting the opportunity to find some focus… and himself in a dangerous situation with other NZT users.

McDorman  does a solid job as Brian and one who should be able to carry the series. He’s able to portray the sort of down-on-his-luck character as an underdog with a care and compassion for his family above all else. And at the same time, when the drug is activated, there’s such a confidence and matter of fact smoothness that you can see the transition between when his brain is working normally and then super efficiently.

I’m a bit unsure about Jennifer Carpenter’s character, FBI agent Rebecca Harris, but I think with time we’ll get to learn more about her. We do know she has a connection to the drug, but hopefully as we progress she’ll be more than just the typical bad-ass agent and become someone we can truly care about.

And of course, the appearance of Cooper is an exciting one, and he makes fantastic use of what little screen time he has reprising his film role as Eddie Morra. If anything, his presence not only connects the movie with the TV series, but it adds it some gravitas, while offering some unique story possibilities when it comes to his character interacting with Brian and some larger mythology aspects, especially involving NZT.

I know the series will be much more focused on Brian, but I’m hoping we will get some more chances to see Eddie, considering his super secret conversation with Brian. Eddie’s definitely going to use him later at some point.

Overall, the hour does a nice job of explaining the concept of the drug, making you care about Brian, and wrapping up his little story involving helping his father. Though it may have been a little ridiculous that “robbing” a bank and holding it hostage, and calling on Rebecca specifically, would make everything work out so easily.

I was pleasantly surprised by this engaging pilot, especially the concept of expanding the film’s universe. There are plenty of possibilities this show can take, and we will see if the first season can really unlock its full potential with its follow-up episodes. But for now, I’m definitely hooked.

Limitless has the potential to be a huge hit… if it chooses to unlock it like a dose of NZT

What did you think of the Limitless season debut?

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