Basing any television show on a popular movie can be a creative challenge, but unlike Minority Report, Limitless has so far managed to walk the fine creative line between respecting the source material and making its own independent storylines. Sure, it’s still rough sledding at times, but episode five finds the show finally hitting a groove. It’s not exactly Emmy material yet, but there are a lot fewer reasons to scream at the television in frustration.

This episode is entitled “Personality Crisis,” and it’s written by Limitless co-executive producer Sallie Patrick, who was previously a writer/producer on Revenge. And given that history, it’s not a surprise that the episode has a bit of weirdly vague romantic chemistry mixed in with the action.

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That Nagging Voice Turns Out to Be Me

Brian Finch wakes up in his apartment and he has two problems. First, his latest dose of NZT has worn off and he’s back to normal. Second, he realizes that Pill Brian has left him a video message. Sure, there are clay puppets and songs, but the warning is clear. Don’t tell Rebecca what he knows about her dad. At best, he’ll end up in jail and at worst he’ll end up dead. Before he can even digest that news, FBI agents show up, give him his NZT and take him to a stakeout.

At the stakeout, Brian helps the FBI identify the apartment they need to storm. But he also drank too much cranberry juice, so he ends up in the bathroom of the building, where he confronts a man who slugs Brian before he’s arrested. His name is Chris Harper and he’s innocent. But his brother, Sam, is friends with Norris Allen, the tenant of the apartment. They’re both members of the Sons of Nathan Bedford, one of those militias that mostly seem to exist on television.

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Back at the FBI, Special Agent Naz wants Brian to talk with Chris. She also wants Brian to learn a bit about self-defense. Brian manages to get some info from Chris about his brother, including the existence of a secret e-mail account. The FBI cracks his e-mail and tracks clues to a local hospital. It turns out that some radioactive Iridium is missing and that must mean Sam is planning on building a “dirty” bomb. But first, Brian gets in some training from a SWAT member named Casey. Among other things, it turns out Casey has been having a secret fling with Rebecca.

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Informants Deserve to Know the Truth

Brian still wrestles with telling Rebecca what he knows. But he’s also torn by another moral quandary. Sam has contacted Chris and asks him to deliver a bag of detonators to a nearby park. Brian needs to make sure that meeting will take place, even if he has to lie to Chris.

Brian does lie and the meeting goes wrong. Chris lets it slip that the police are nearby, and when Sam and Norris Allen attempt to flee, both Allen and Chris are killed. Brian is devastated by Chris’ death and he realizes that NZT can make him smart, but that won’t solve every problem. He also realizes that he needs to be honest with Rebecca. So as the episode ends, Brian shows up at her door with a file containing info about her dad.

Limitless airs Tuesdays at 10pm on CBS.

(Image courtesy of CBS)


Contributing Writer, BuddyTV