FANtastic TV: Surpass your limits in Limitless


The Magnet Tribune:

Shown is the poster from season one of Limitless.

Anna Davenport, FANtastic TV columist

If you had the chance to be able to do anything, become Limitless, even if it was only for a few hours, would you do it? Brian Finch would. All you need is NZT-48 pills and you’ve become a super genius. At least for about 12 hours, and then you crash. Hard.

Brian Finch, our main character in Limitless from CBS, is basically no one. He had five expulsions, four misdemeanors, three fake IDs, two attempts at the 11th grade, and a “partridge in a pear tree” (bong). He made a failed band called “Resorbed Twin” that eventually broke up. Brian became a solo singer but later began working as a temp for a bank. Then one day his old friend Eli gives him the miracle-like NZT drug pill. Suddenly Brian’s got access to every cell in his brain and he’s on top of the world.

I personally can’t watch crime shows continuously without breaks because of the hard heavy topics discussed but Brian is the character that changes that. ”

— Anna Davenport

While on NZT for the first time, Brian decided to use his newly found knowledge to attempt to diagnose his father’s illness after many professional doctors were unable to properly assess his condition. Within a single night, Brian was able to track his family tree and, using only his brother’s old medical textbooks, found out his father had a genetic disorder. The next day he had his father tested for hemochromatosis. His father tested positive with it, having it concentrated in his liver, needing a replacement.

Running out of time and options to help his dad, Brian goes to Eli’s home to ask for another NZT pill but instead finds him dead. Immediately, the FBI shows up looking for Eli. Seeing him dead they assume Brian murdered him so Brian takes a pill as he makes a run for it out the window. He runs through the street with moving cars and makes his way into the subway. When caught by special agent Rebecca Harris, in her moment of hesitation Brian uses his opportunity to jump onto the tracks as the train is soon to arrive. In his quick thinking, he calculated where the train would stop and crawled underneath to an abandoned track nearby, cutting the FBI off his trail.

Still, on NZT, Brian quickly analyzes everything on Eli’s phone in 40 seconds and found two other men were using NZT at the bank. He goes to the address of one of the men’s house, Jay Winston, and picks the lock but finds him lying dead. Although it looks like a suicide, Brian knows it’s a murder. Running out of time on his pill, he breaks into Rebecca Harris’s apartment to give the FBI information about Winston and Eli’s murder.

Out of NZT and running out of time to save his dad’s life, Brian attempts to pick the lock of the third man, Adam Honeycutt, from the bank using, only to be caught. Seeing Brian on the floor, begging for a pill, Honeycutt lets him in telling Brian he’ll give him NZT inside. However, once inside Brian gets suspicious so he snoops around while Honeycutt comes back with a gun. Honeycutt tries to kill Brian but instead, he just gets shot in the leg as he makes it out into the street. Now in public, Honeycutt lets Brian go, but not before threatening him.

Having escaped only with his life, Brian calls Rebecca Harris. He tells her about Honeycutt and asks her to coach him over the phone to patch his leg up but passes out. Brian later wakes up with his leg patched up by a nurse he didn’t know and the senator Eddie Morra proposing a deal. Morra gave Brian a pill and a shot that makes him immune to the side effects of NZT in exchange for something he’d have to provide later. Only Brian couldn’t tell anyone about it. Brian accepted.

With his last chance to prove his innocence and help his father, he takes the pill. Brian goes to a bank, steals the gun from the security guard, has the bank teller hit the silent alarm, and call the FBI to ask for Rebecca Harris. When she arrives, they both open Honeycutt’s security deposit and find NZT pills with Eli’s blood on it, proving his innocence in the murder.

Knowing Brian is immune to NZT, the FBI decides to study him and use him as a “consultant” and a “resource” but Brian declines. He tells them that unless they could get his dad a new liver, he wouldn’t join the FBI. Later, his dad got a new liver and Brian joined the FBI.

Brian is an eccentric character that always acts with such sincerity that you can’t help but root for him in whatever he does. He tries so hard to do what he can to be useful to others even when most just see a nuisance. Although Brian’s methods may not be the best way go about, he shines with a creative and fun light that seems to freshen up many of the dark, heavy situations shown in the show. Even when his world shakes, Brian refuses to let it change his life.

Limitless stands apart from other crime shows. I personally can’t watch crime shows continuously without breaks because of the hard heavy topics discussed but Brian is the character that changes that. He breathes life into many deadly situations by earnestly trying to make the best of his situation. When Brian gets knocked down he just gets back up to try again.