On this week’s Limitless, all the fancy robotic arms in New York get hacked to commit crimes. The episode’s title? “Arm-ageddon.” I love this show.
It all starts with a flashback to Boyle’s old war buddy getting a futuristic new arm that’s got incredible dexterity and even has precise touch sensors. Fast forward to present day, and the arm suddenly strangles his wife! Meanwhile around town, all the other patients else with the same model of prosthesis has seen the arm spring to life to wreak all kinds of evil deeds, from chopping off fingers in kitchens to shredding priceless works of art. Why are these arms attacking people, with minds of their own? Brian (and NZT) to the rescue!
This week’s episode basically becomes Emerging Technology Theatre, with Brian discovering a whole section of the bureau devoted to engineers brewing up Bond-grade gadgets, with Brian telling the lead technologist, “You’re basically Q. You’re the real-life Q!” His name is “Quincy, actually,” the dude responds. I said I love this show, right?
So to catch the arm hacker, Brian uses NZT to become a hacker himself. (“Did you hack the New York Stock Exchange…?” is a sentence that escapes Rebecca’s mouth at one point.) While Brian’s breaking the fourth wall making fun of “hackers at work” montages in TV shows and movies, he doesn’t subject us to rapid vignettes of overly determined typing; instead, we get Vines of cats. There’s also a great illustrated inner conversation with a multi-eyed sock puppet and Andrew Jackson. (“Andrew Jackson’s goiter is right!”)