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Limitless - Finale: Part Two!! (Season Finale) - Review: "CBS, RENEW. THIS. SHOW."

So that's all for Season 1 of Limitless. I am obviously very sad, and I want to send off this season of the show in a gratifying way. I decided to structure this article a little bit different than my normal ones. Seeing as it is the season finale, I want to review the episode in full, but as well, offer up some thoughts on the season in general. I also want to share my predictions and hopes for a season 2. I don't know how great the show's odds are for getting one, but I figure I should give my ideas anyway, and I certainly have quite a few. You can click on each item to read my piece for that topic.

  • Finale: Part Two!! - Review
    Previously on Limitless...Brian was away from the CJC, and this proved to be a horrible happenstance for everyone. The DEA agent Bruster was revealed to be working for Sands. He broke Sands out of prison and the two of them blew up the bus of Morra's last remaining operatives. It was a massacre. The stakes could not be higher than they are right now. In Part Two, they lead right where Part One ended off. Our favourite people are trying to figure out how to stay ahead of this, despite Sands and Bruster "kicking their ass on their own front yard". Naz is blaming herself for all of this, and I felt so horrible. Brian suggests that Clay Meeks is how they're gonna find out what happened. It's a great idea, and I was waiting to learn a lot more about Meeks. I felt as though they kind of rushed through him a little bit. There was so much more they could've said. I do hope he returns in Season 2 because there is a lot more to his story that they could've dwelled upon. Anyway, Brian also starts to suffer from side effects, mostly in the form of hallucinations this time around. I did like that they chose to focus on a specific side effect we didn't really see in episode 6. However, I wish he could've hallucinated other people than just Piper. (That sounds a bit weird, doesn't it. I'm wishing that this cinnamon roll character could hallucinate other things. I digress.) I also need to stress the fact that I was a bit disappointed that it really didn't feel like Brian was in real danger with them. The jump scare zombie!Piper - that was absolutely horrifying. I think there should've been a warning somewhere about that. As well as the blackout Brian had later on - that too made me feel very scared for him. But later on, he should've been in a lot more danger. He should've been clinging onto life, unable to actually help anyone in his current state. But I guess this brings up another point the show wanted to make that Brian needs NZT to be special. Blah blah, I'll get into that.

    There was not nearly enough Naz and Boyle in this finale. Boyle especially. The one thing I have been waiting for since episode 11 was for Boyle to somehow use that NZT he found. He brought it up to Rebecca in episode 19, and then he pocketed it again. That just made me want to see it be used even more. But I guess they didn't think they had the time or the plot for him to use it. I don't know. But if the show doesn't have the opportunity for more episodes and I never get to see him use it, I will be very disappointed. I guess that's a smaller thing, but I'm still a bit upset that it didn't happen this season. Let's get bad into more positives. I loved the Legion of Whom in the volcano. I thought that was so true to the show, and I only wished we saw more of it because it was amazing. Especially when they brought Canada into it. Being Canadian myself, I chuckled at the representative saying, "Eh?" at the end of his sentence. But I will say that those doughnuts Brian brought to the meeting were NOT Tim Horton's doughnuts. So I didn't feel quite as bad when Brian hallucinated a finger coming out of one of them. As well, Canada, as far as I know, does not have a Secretary Of State for Global Affairs. Maybe you guys were thinking about a Governor General? I'm not well versed in politics, but this seemed wrong to me the whole time. Despite me saying all season long that I am perfectly okay with the procedural elements of this show, in this episode it felt a bit tiresome. Like, we had so much to get through and that scene with Brian in Rebecca's house after he had a "productive night" went on for a long time. I get it, I really do, we needed to learn this information. But I ended up forgetting all about it by the end of the episode. They could've tackled it a different way, I guess. But who am I to tell people how to write their show, ha. That scene in the office when Gordon kills Andrew was really tense and well done. I have been saying this a lot but that should've been longer and even more drawn out; I was loving it! Brian, even on the side effects, can still notice that he's ready to kill. But he was too late to stop it. My poor son.

    I seem to going all over the place in this review. But I must bring up when they gave NZT to Gordon and acted like it was no big deal. This is really frightening. If the CJC is going to start interrogating like this in the future, where do we draw the line? Is this really a safe future? How can we control the NZT given out to random criminals? How do we know that it's safe to give it to them; what if they've taken it before? This can all be addressed in a second season, but for the finale, it was merely skimmed over. It's okay, I still enjoyed it. It was a nice indirect callback to Headquarters! after they gave Lawrence Drake NZT. "You might remember more than you think." Chilling! And James Tech, yet again, helped save the day. Honestly, when will that man get a raise and a promotion? He is almost like what Penelope Garcia is to Criminal Minds. The CJC ultimately could not function without him. NOW, let's get into one of my favourite scenes of the episode. Mike and Ike chase Meeks on the roof! It was excellent (and probably should've been longer)! But wow, I loved it so much! One of the best things this finale did was give them screen time, and even though it wasn't much, their scenes were perfect. Helping out with the chase, offering to be there for Brian as he takes another NZT, and of course the ending. Up until the second half of the episode, it didn't even feel like the season finale yet. But man, that second half really took off. Once Brian helped find the NZT plant, with the help of Gordon, the action and intensity really took off. A shootout, and then finally finding Sands, everything was so great. Rebecca's "last words" to Sands were immensely satisfying. I loved her arc this season a great deal. However, it would've been nice (and perhaps more logical) if Sands had a moment where, while on NZT, he stopped to think about all the angles. It seemed odd to me that he would just turn around fast without really thinking it through. Unless he wanted to get shot, it just felt weird. And we don't know if he's alive or not. I did feel cheated a tad there. They could've just announced his death, or shown us a scene at the hospital if he was alive. Both of which would've provided us with more closure than what we got. I get that they needed a cliffhanger of some sort to keep us wanting for more next season, but I think the character deserved a bit better, is all. I guess that's the problem with shows on the bubble. It just feels wrong, but I don't blame the show for this. I will say that The Brunisher moment was excellent - I would love to see more of that in the future.

    I have to mention that beautiful scene with Brian and his dad earlier on. How beautiful was that acting from both of them? Jake McDorman really deserves Performer of the Month for this episode. Ron Rifkin was effortless here. And later on, you get that car scene with Rebecca. It was quite illuminating, and very important to me that she continues to talk to Brian as a friend. I continue to see people who want them in a relationship. Please, no, please don't do this. There is no romantic chemistry of the sort. This is a very well done friendship here and it would be utterly obliterated if they added a romantic element. That car scene alone proves it. They have such a deep connection that it is almost familial, and it made that scene so much better. The score was breathtaking. I loved it all. And then Brian went inside his house and saw Piper. Like so much of the audience, I too thought it was to be a hallucination. Upon further analysis, it's possible it still could be. Piper kept looking at the vial as though it was a placebo or something else to that effect. However, I am eternally grateful that Piper is not dead and Brian is not in a mental institution like some people wanted. He deserved this happy ending, even if it means that Rebecca and Piper both added to the notion of him being "super special" with this drug, and the drug is the only way for him to achieve this. It's just not true. The drug is simply an outlet for him to achieve the greatness that has been inside of him all along. His emotional and moral maturity Rebecca was talking about? On and off the drug, especially off, that is still inside of Brian. Giving him permanent NZT usage seems like a step backwards. However, I will say I did like the fact that he is the only person with this. It could be extremely dangerous if anyone else were to have it. And who knows, maybe it is a placebo. I hope we can find out for sure. This decision seems to be a very polarizing one. I will continue to analyze it over the hiatus, and I look forward to reading all of your thoughts and theories to help me process this.

    Last, but certainly not least, Brian gets his own squad. If it were a series finale, this is one of the best ways to go about it. The interview scenes were brilliant and perfect. So many callbacks and familiar faces. Andrea Knows Things, the woman from the pilot, whose appearance was very interesting because they almost had Brian sleep with her, which would've been too similar to Morra in the movie. But they had him help her out with becoming CEO instead. That is so fascinating to me, and I was so giddy to see her again. Spike was there too. Honestly, is he supposed to be gay? Because I was getting that vibe all over the place. Why else would he want to know what kind of underwear Brian was wearing, huh? And finally, you've all been waiting for me to gush over this, but Mike and Ike get invited to the squad. All season long I've been waiting for them to get the promotion that they both deserve. This season did something very interesting with the two of them. They kind of showed how they are polar opposites. Mike, getting all these awards and accolades, and Ike, being the bottom of his class at Quantico and consistently being overlooked while Mike is getting noticed. It is particularly interesting when you factor in Mike being a man of colour and Ike being this white guy. I always admired that about this show. However, I've been hesitant about them getting that promotion because I don't want them to leave Brian, and I don't think they want to leave him either. The solution? HAVE THEM GET THE PROMOTION THEY CRAVE BY WORKING WITH BRIAN ON HIS SQUAD. It is a perfect decision, and this, right here, closed off the show. 22 episodes of development, and this is how it ends. MY TWO FAVOURITE SIDE CHARACTERS ENDED THE SEASON! Can you believe that? It was everything I wanted and more; I am SO thankful! Darryl and Jason? Mike and Ike? Whatever you call them, you cannot deny how incredible they are and how in love they are. I still have mixed feelings about the finale in general, but there's no denying that this ending sequence was the best scene of 2016 so far. Thank you so much, Limitless.

  • Review of the season as a whole
    I thought the season as a whole was one of the best seasons of any show I have ever watched. It can really stand alone as a cohesive, serialized unit despite having so many procedural cases in there too. It's because of the way the show tells its stories and presents its cases. These episodes never felt like work to watch, even with Brian working at the FBI. I was always invested in him solving the crimes with Rebecca and Boyle, AND I was obviously elated when the show dealt with the NZT mythology and the Morra/Sands debacle. Let's talk specific episodes:

    Headquarters! was absolutely the star of the season for me. Even though it was a procedural case, they opened up a lot of doors and had a lot of discussions which would be brought up again by the characters in later episodes as well. It was the most unique concoction of pure, crazy comedy I have ever seen in my life, and the cherry on top was that Bruntouchables montage Brian created in his head at the end of the episode. The case itself is pure genius - who doesn't want to see these characters tackle the FBI's Top 10 Most Wanted Criminals? The premise was perfect and they executed it perfectly. Craig Sweeny's quippy writing alongside Doug Aarniokoski's brilliant directing style, this episode was pure bliss from start to finish. The "No" montage with Naz, Brian's incessant begging to her for a Headquarters!, Mike heading to Costa Rica while Ike was shafted in Greenland, all of which made for excellent TV the likes of which I have never seen before and will probably never see again. They don't make 'em like that, and without another season, they certainly won't ever again.

    There was also Side Effects May Include..., and despite being early on in the season, it made its mark on me. Watching Brian go through those side effects, I hate to say it, was a delight. Jake McDorman proved himself in spades that not only can he handle the comedic side of Brian Finch, not only can he be a successful leading man for the show, but he can truly handle the dark and serious acting the show would throw at him. If we had the Performer of the Month article back then, I would've campaigned hard for him to win that thing. He was excellent, and I honestly think he was the best he ever was there. Bradley Cooper was also the best we had seen from him there. The two of them together made the episode shine, despite the constant tugging of our heartstrings to see Brian suffering like that. To then have us see something similar to this in Part Two!!, well it just made my love for the sixth episode grow stronger. This episode had it first, and in my opinion, we really felt the scope of just how bad the side effects could be a lot better in this one.

    And I would be remised if I didn't mention the epic halfway point for the season, This is Your Brian on Drugs, which probably could've served as a finale if we weren't fortunate enough to get those extra episode orders. The structure of the episode, having everyone have their own time dedicated to their character, was fantastic. Mike and Ike had a ton of screen time and they did not waste it. I would have loved an hour long scene of the ending...but I'll let that one slide. It was the show in top form. It did not disappoint. It still continues to be one of my favourite episodes to rewatch; it feels fresh every time. I think I might enjoy this episode more than Finale: Part Two, in terms of its closure and the structure. Now, there were many things to enjoy about each episode, but these three are the ones that stand out the most to me.

    Sure, there might have been a few missteps here and there, but all shows have this. Maybe some episodes didn't land the way you wanted them to. Maybe certain characters did some things that you were really hoping they wouldn't. Maybe the writers have proved themselves to be evil in ways you had no idea they were capable of. All of this just means it was a captivating show, and the fact that you stuck around to see how the season ended means they did their job, and they did it well. One of the best characters by far was the show's soundtrack. This alone could be responsible for keeping people coming back to the show. In episodes like This is Your Brian on Drugs, Close Encounters, and Finale: Part One! they ended off with these big montages where something amazingly intense was happening. And the music perfectly echoed the sentiment. Paul Leonard Morgan and his team did such a marvellous job scoring the show and I wish for another season for the opportunity to learn about even more amazing songs I otherwise would not know about. It was a wonderful season of TV, one of the best ever. I am so blessed and thankful that I was able to witness this show. Thank you to everyone involved, truly.

  • Hopes and wishes for a second season
    This show has done a wonderful thing by not giving too much away in every episode that we can't foresee everything that's going to happen in the next one. This was very true with Part One of the finale. I tried to think hard about what was going to happen in Part Two, and what was going to lead over into a season 2, but it was pretty difficult. After seeing all 22 episodes of this magnificent show, I do have some 'big' wishes and things I want to see next year, as well as some 'smaller' requests. It's safe to say that, if this show is renewed, there are many things to consider when going about writing for round 2.

    The big stuff:

    --> Obviously some LGBTQIA representation would be nice, but I know that's asking for too much. Still, I can dream, and this is my biggest dream. We've had all the breadcrumbs, now it's time to finally reveal the light at the end of the tunnel. I think we earned this. I wonder if Spike will return in some way, in this vein...
    --> Similarly, if the women introduced on this show can stay for more than one episode, that would be swell. And maybe they don't always have to be love interests for Brian? I know, he's irresistible, to men and women alike, but it's a bit ridiculous that every single woman (bar Naz and Rebecca, so far...) have had interests in him and have eventually slept with him. It's a little insulting and these women are badass on their own, they're even badass working with Brian. But they don't all have to end up sleeping with him. Let them exist on their own. While I am inordinately grateful that they did not kill off Piper or any other female character on the show this season, I do hope they include the women we already know and love more. Blair Brown once said that this is a man's show, and she's not completely wrong at all. What happened to Naz's daughter? Why is Lucy Church only available because Brian wants her to be? I understand that Georgina Haig will probably have a new show so she won't be in season 2 that much. But I do admire this show and I love the way Rebecca and Naz have been written so far. But we have a slew of male characters to love and only a handful of females. And I hear Craig Sweeny wants Brian to have two new bodyguards next season - a male and a female. Are they going to immediately have Brian flirt with the female? Why do we need yet another male character on this show? Which brings me to my next point...
    --> More information on a select few characters would add to the show immensely. I know there is temptation to bring in new characters, and maybe even a need for them as well. Naz and Boyle are great and we do know a few things about them, but imagine if we knew more about them. I want to know them as much as I know Brian and Rebecca. They're such great characters; keep developing them. Obviously more Mike and Ike would always be nice too. I think it is crucial to have Tom Degnan and Michael James Shaw promoted to series regulars. They have done impeccable work, and the audience loves them. Especially now that we know both of their names - it is time. If you are going to bring in new characters, develop them as well, but don't forget to continue fleshing out the characters we already know and love. I love the idea of having this next season be more focused on an ensemble. Just don't forget about the characters we are already acquainted with!
    --> We need Brian to have a big, season-long foil. Without the standard NZT side effects, Brian is going to come off as a superhuman character, and I don't really want that. After all the good and amazing stuff he has provided to the world, at the end of the day, he is still a human being suffering from addiction. Piper and Rebecca tried to make nice of it and make us forget about this, but I won't forget. And now it's addiction on a whole new level. This must be addressed in season 2. Maybe not the typical side effects, but something else needs to happen to Brian to bring him back down to earth. I hate being this blunt about anything, but it's true. As well, we don't know if Sands is alive or not. Yeah, I've said my piece about this, but regardless, he was the big bad, and his legion can perhaps still function without him. Morra is still out there as well, and people have access to NZT and without a permanent booster. It's going to be tricky, but I know the writers can pull it off somehow. I love the cases, you know I do, especially the really unique ones. But we're going to need something behind it all if you want to keep viewers really interested.

    The smaller stuff:

    --> Like I mentioned earlier, get Boyle to use that pill somehow. It has got to be done. He needs his moment somehow. As you continue to flesh him out and reveal more background on him, either get him to use it or give it indeed to his mother. Something. This isn't even a small request, this should be on the big list. Oh well.
    --> Can we see Taurus again somehow? I know that bomb maker is behind bars but he was an interesting criminal and I wouldn't mind another appearance from him down the line.
    --> Interesting that Gordon Cooker was in this episode, and Gordon Cook was a criminal Ike helped track down in Headquarters! Are they the same person? Was it just a coincidence? They were both involved with Greenland, after all. I must know...
    --> There's not much else I can think of off the top of my head. This show is very good at knowing what it is and it mixes the light and dark tones very well. So I trust that they can make a second season the season we all want it to be.

Lastly, here is a poll you can fill out.
I'm very curious to know what you pick.
Leave a comment with your choices!

So, what did YOU think of Finale: Part Two!!? Was this a satisfying conclusion to the season for you? What are your hopes if the show does indeed get renewed (which it should)? What have been your favourite episodes and moments of the season? Please leave a comment down below!

And thank you to everyone for reading my reviews and participating in discussions about this wonderful show. Thank you, so much, to the amazing cast and crew, who have worked so hard to craft 22 episodes of delight. I will miss this show dearly and I only hope people will make some noise and get this fantastic show another season!

About the Author - Laura Markus
Laura Markus is a Media Studies student from Canada, infatuated with several TV shows. Past favourite include: House, Psych, Chuck, White Collar, Dexter, Arrested Development, Boy Meets World, Battle Creek, and Scrubs. Some of her current favourites are: Limitless, HTGAWM, Suits, Daredevil, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and probably 70 others. She also enjoys music from all genres, but her favourite band is Muse. She is a huge Potterhead, and loves books by John Green. She is currently reviewing Limitless for the 2015-2016 season. Feel free to connect with her on any of these social media sites.
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