Limitless Recap: Is Bradley Cooper Actually a Bad Guy?


Limitless is back! We survived the Limitless-less weeks around the holidays, and now Limitless and the whole Limitless gang have returned. This week’s episode is called “The Assassination of Eddie Morra,” which means two things: 1) This episode is important; 2) Bradley Cooper is back. Good ol’ B-Coops.

Anyway, we open on … some unknown woman. She sneaks into an apartment with a bunch of shopping bags, removes her disguise, pops some NZT — if you’ve forgotten, this is also known, mainly by me, as “the Limitless pill” — and pulls a sniper rifle out of a shopping bag. She aims the rifle at Senator Eddie Morra, who is giving a speech nearby.

Morra, who is also on NZT, sees the glint of the scope and realizes that the woman is trying to kill him. After a bit of mental math, he figures out what to do so the bullet will only graze him, which will also earn him tons of sympathy in the public eye.

This is a new one. Obviously, the Limitless pill makes people very smart and perceptive. I buy that. I do not buy that the Limitless pill allows people to dodge bullets. Bullets move very fast and our awful flesh bodies move very slow. You lost me, Limitless.

So, Morra is superficially wounded. The FBI gets on the case immediately after meeting with Morra’s right-hand man, Sands. In the elevator, Sands assigns Brian to investigate Piper independently, without the FBI. He claims that Piper is a former Morra associate gone rogue. If the FBI finds out that Piper is tied to NZT, they’ll figure out that Morra is also tied to NZT.

While investigating the sniper’s nest, Brian discovers that Piper is sending him a morse-code signal from her laser sight. The message tells him to find the body of Sammy DiPietro, a union boss who disappeared in the 1970s, à la Jimmy Hoffa.

Meanwhile, back at the office, Rebecca and Boyle do some sniper math and conclude that the assassin’s shot was taken from an insanely long distance — a distance so large that the shot could only have been taken by someone on NZT. “Hmmm … ” they both say at the same time in my imagination.

Brian tracks DiPietro’s remains to a warehouse, which is where he finds Piper’s HQ. She’s already set a trap for him; it features some menacing computer text and photos of his parents.

Brian races to his parent’s house to find Piper already there, pretending to be his girlfriend. Out on the porch, she explains that as a former Morra pawn, she had to get to know his new lackey. She needed to learn whether Brian was a good guy or not. Morra “has a way of corrupting people,” she tells him, explaining that Morra used her to develop an antidote to NZT’s side effects. When she wouldn’t cooperate, Morra had her boyfriend killed. After speaking to Brian for roughly six seconds, Piper decides that Brian is a good guy. Because Brian is such a good guy, she tells him, “You’re going to help me kill Eddie Morra.” Brian does not sign on immediately.

Instead, he goes to meet with Morra, who totally admits to having Piper’s boyfriend killed. Ha ha, just kidding. He denies it completely. Duh-doy. Then, Sands threatens to withhold Brian’s NZT inoculations unless he kills Piper. Seems like he’s caught in a real Catch–22!

Back at the FBI office, a woman named Brandy Jo Hawkins falsely confesses to trying to 360-no-scope Senator Morra. Brian knows she’s a patsy; Hawkins is terminally ill and, in exchange for her confession, Morra will take care of her family. Rebecca and Boyle quickly figure out that something is up, but they’re not sure what.

In his office, Brian is visited by hallucinations of Nice Sweater Brian and Mean Jacket Brian, who each try to convince him to choose a side.

In the end, Brian listens to his Hallucination Dad, who tells him to figure out what he believes before he murders anyone. Neither sweater nor jacket are actually worn.

When Brian meets with Piper in the park that night, he attempts to shoot her, but she flees into the Union Square subway station. He quickly chases after her, and they struggle on the platform before Brian pushes her into the path of an oncoming train.

Killing someone is a pretty big step for Brian! Sands and a visibly-shaken Brian share drinks afterwards. “It’s like a baptism,” Sands tells him. The next day, at the office, Morra offers a similar line of thinking: “Why are you trying so hard to hold on to the person you were before NZT?” Brian rejects the notion.

Later that night, he heads to the pier to meet with … Piper?!

Aaah, there it is. It turns out the pair hatched a plan to fake her death. A really elaborate plan that involves Piper stealing a corpse and hacking into a DNA database. How they manage to do this is never explained. (“We just got the corpse and switched it,” — Limitless.) In all honesty, this was a pretty predictable twist, given how the set piece broadly mirrors the pilot’s subway escape. Anyway, Piper warns Brian that he can’t play both sides forever.

Meanwhile, Rebecca cracks the Eddie Morra case.

Great job, Rebecca. Great detective work. Great collage.