Let’s settle this right away: I generally enjoy Limitless. All of the episodes have wowed me thus far, but tonight’s installment, “Page 44”, didn’t strike a perfect chord with me. It felt really cluttered with a ton of different subplots going on, and I found myself having to go back and re-watch it twice to fully catch everything that went on. Don’t get me wrong; I still had a good time with “Page 44”, but this was probably the weakest episode in the season so far. (spoilers ahead!)
Last episode, we met the shady and enigmatic Sands, played by Colin Salmon. Sands is essentially the private voice of Senator Eddie Morra, communicating with Brian Finch on his behalf. Someone has to keep Finch in line to ensure that he doesn’t go against the Senator’s wishes of keeping NZT a secret, and Sands is just the man to carry out that job. In this episode, he orders Finch to retrieve the FBI files on NZT for him. Finch thinks he can outsmart him by giving him fake, forged copies of the documents, but Sands is smarter than that. Not only does he easily deduce that the files are fake, but he also sends a warning to Finch by harming his already-sick father with a virus. It’s disturbing seeing what kind of lengths Sands will go to in order to get Finch to comply, and it also raises two interesting questions. One, is Eddie Morra actually a villain since he’s willing to harm innocent people to keep NZT a secret? And two, is Sands even working for Morra? For all we know, he could just be a separate agent who’s trying to manipulate Finch for his own personal gain.
There are two main cases that the episode revolves around, but Finch really only gets involved with one of them. The CIA has intercepted a Chinese drone that is carrying highly-advanced technology, and the main suspect in this case is a defense contractor named Mao Zhang. Finch hardly dabbles in this case since he’s more concerned with getting those FBI files AND trying to exonerate a falsely accused man of murder.
See, a few nights earlier, Finch became buddies with a guy named Arthur, who claimed to have cracked the code for increasing life expectancy in rats. Arthur’s former partner screwed him out of a deal and essentially stole the company from him. That partner ends up dead about a day after Arthur comes to Finch. The only clues to work with are the deceased man’s will and a lost mouse. Honestly, I really wish they just stuck to this one single storyline in this episode instead of going in a billion different directions. In fact, I think the Chinese drone case was rather irrelevant. We had enough going on as it was; we didn’t need any other arbitrary storylines. However, I wonder if it will tie into the main story (and possibly NZT) in the future?
One good thing that came out of the Chinese drone case was that we got to see more of Finch in detective mode. No matter how mundane the task, I always highly enjoy watching him work. It fascinates me when he goes full Sherlock Holmes on a case and begins to deduce various hypotheses from the most random scenarios. Finch is the kind of guy who can look at a bent paperclip and then accurately describe the age, weight, and height of the person who bent it. For real – they should make that a scenario in an episode. I’d watch the hell out of it.
The one really bad thing about Finch is that he’s too much of a jokester. This guy is working for the FBI. I know the NZT gives him a huge spurt in confidence, and that he’s a bit of a douche to begin with, but there’s gotta be a limit. It’s like if someone gave 10 energy shots to Tony Stark and told him to only speak in quips. Bradley Cooper barely acted like that in the film version of Limitless; he wasn’t nearly as cocky or annoying as Finch. I hope they tone it down by next episode.
Another thing I was iffy about was the side-story involving Rebecca Harris and her late father. Yes, we have yet another subplot going on. As you may recall, Rebecca’s father died a while back, possibly while he was under the influence of NZT. Rebecca learns that her father had created three paintings before his passing, and that they would be on display at a local gallery. At the end of the episode, there’s a bit of a twist regarding the art and Mr. Harris. I won’t say what it is because I THINK it’s meant to be a surprise. But it really didn’t surprise me? Did I miss something? I felt like I missed some huge effect at the ending revelation. Oh, well. Take a look and find out for yourself and let me know if it was meant to be a surprise.
Despite all these shortcomings, I still had a fun time. Limitless is a great show for crime-drama and science-fiction fans alike. Even if you find yourself losing track of the billion storylines going on at once, you can’t help but have fun watching Finch work his brain magic in both his every day life and in the workplace.
Final Grade: B
+ I always enjoy Brian’s deduction process when completing tasks.
+ Sands is a shady character, but dammit, Colin Salmon plays him so well!
+ Jennifer Carpenter does a great job portraying Rebecca’s emotions when reminded of her father’s troubled past.
– The episode felt very cluttered; we had two crime scenes, Brian’s secret file-stealing mission, AND Rebecca’s daddy issues all packed into an hour!
– Brian’s constant joking around sometimes comes off a bit too cheesy; 99 percent of his lines are quips, which get annoying fast.
– The ending revelation about Mr. Harris’s artistic talents didn’t surprise me too much; was it supposed to?
– So is Eddie Morra a villain?
How did you feel about tonight’s episode of Limitless? Are you as wary about Sands as I am? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter.