‘Limitless’: Jake McDorman on Brian’s Risky Decision, Rebecca’s ‘Scary’ Turn
Spoiler alert! Do not read this post unless you’ve seen the latest episode of Limitless!
Brian (Jake McDorman) took a dangerous step towards potential independence from Eddie Morra (Bradley Cooper) in the latest episode of Limitless, “The Assassination of Eddie Morra.”
With Piper (Georgina Haig) on the loose and determined to kill Eddie, Brian was ordered to take her out. But instead, he tipped Piper off, and the duo collaborated to fake her death convincingly.
And though Piper is supposed to stay away, Haig is set to return for a few more episodes this season. “I can’t wait to see whatever context that is in,” McDorman says. “I don’t know if…she’s been caught or she’s been discovered or what [brings her back]. It’s one of the things I’m most excited about. It’s just another thing in a long list of [things causing] Brian anxiety…I can’t imagine juggling the level of [things Brian is].”
“It’s becoming such a web of who knows what, and who can he tell what to?” he continues. “How many lose ends are there, like Piper, who has agreed to go out of the country to some undisclosed location, but she said she’s not going to discontinue the war she has with Morra. So, whenever she feels she’s primed and ready to make a second attempt on his life; if she doesn’t succeed, he’s going to be in a lot of trouble. I think it’s incredibly unsettling.”
But Brian has more pressing problems to worry about in the immediate future: Rebecca (Jennifer Carpenter) seems to be putting together that Eddie might be where he is due to NZT.
“It’s scary, because Rebecca is wandering into such a minefield, unknowingly,” McDorman says. “She’s just doing her job, and she’s great at her job, and she’s a passionate agent. I don’t necessarily think she [knows the other pieces]…other than the fact that NZT is involved; I think that’s what’s scary.”
And will she share the suspicions with Brian? “Brian’s not her partner; he’s a consultant,” McDorman points out. “She doesn’t have any obligation to divulge any of the theories she’s been coming up with about the senator’s involvement in NZT if it doesn’t involve Brian.”
“That’s something that starts to get really scary for Brian: she’s moving in a direction he knows is dangerous, and he’s not really privy to all of the information,” he continues. “She’s just connecting the dots as she does, and as she does well. This is the first time the question is said out loud: ‘What if the senator is on NZT?’ That is the big red button of the entire show; Brian’s sole purpose, his involvement with the senator, is to make sure those things don’t get connected by the FBI. Now the person closest to him is starting to bark up the tree.”
As the rest of Brian’s world threatens to fall apart, McDorman says one thing will remain true: Brian’s fight to remain the same person he was before he started NZT.
“I kind of think that is the ultimate theme of the show,” he says. “You have Eddie Morra, who is taking NZT, steadily, for four-plus years, and is operating on a post-human level now. And some of the [most enjoyable] stuff to talk to Bradley, and [showrunner] Craig [Sweeny] and even [director/executive producer] Marc Webb about, is the future of the show and future concepts. When this inevitably comes down to Brian versus Eddie, or Brian up against Eddie, I think that’s going to be the terms of their big disagreement.”
“[Eddie] sees the human race and morality as something beneath him, that he can work for the greater good to preserve and manipulate it,” McDorman says. ”Brian, I think, is the person who will fight until the bitter end to hold on to every shred of who he is and what makes him, him, until his last breath. I think the more you take NZT, the more your morality changes because you can think through things more logically, and you can play with that, with badass Brian and sweater Brian. There’s definitely the duality, and he’s having the inner conversations about that. But I think it would take a lot to have Brian abandon who he is…Eddie Morra looks at who he was before this drug as almost a different species than who is he now. Completely untethered. I think Brian is very much afraid of that way of thinking, and he thinks it’s wrong, a perfect example of a misuse of the drug.”
This means that when Brian is faced with trying to catch a serial killer in an upcoming episode, he’ll deal with it in a very human way. “That’s actually a big aspect of the show: how Brian ends up coping with that, subconsciously,” McDorman says. “We’re able to dive in and see what goes on in Brian’s subconscious, which is a fun place to be. There’s kind of two sides to that episode: the top [level], and what’s happening in the story, which is Brian and Rebecca tracking down a serial killer. And then there’s, in tandem, what’s going on with Brian’s subconscious, to help him get through the trauma, and the day-to-day grim details of tracking a person that grisly. It’s really, really fun, the way we do that. They came up with some really cool things to do, and it’s a device that, now it’s been invented, we can hopefully use it in the show more—[see] what’s going on, then fly into Brian’s subconscious and suss it out there, and then return to the timeline.”
Limitless airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on CBS.