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Headscratchers / Limitless

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What happened with the money

It's already established that Writers Cannot Do Math, which badly affects sizable chunk of the plot. But how about few doses of Most Writers Are Writers, which breaks the "I need money fast" subplot instantly. As we know, Eddie was a writer. He managed to write the book under NZT, the one that he get advance for earlier and the book was due. Fine, that money was already spent. But what the scenario glosses over is that he wrote another book (in four days). Logically, he should get money for that too. The subject is never touched and is simply mentioned to impress viewers with his new capabilities.
  • Don't forget that Eddie was able to perform card counting and other calculations in casino. This, with few good bets, can provide absurd amounts of money in no time, before the casino get suspicious you are counting. Or entering few different casinos, each time with bigger capital from the previous one. What Eddie decides to do instead? Go to a loanshark. Not only the money he get could be achieved in four days of his stock market machinations, he could get the money in countless other ways and means than from a loanshark. Why then go to him in the first place?
    • Casinos share information on cheaters, get caught in one place and you will be blackballed from all casinos.
  • From what I understood, the book he finished in four days was that one book. Still, he could have written a sequel to raise more cash. Or get on a show like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?. And there are various forms of mortgage fraud (like selling a house to yourself at a profit) that could have gotten him a good sum of money to invest.
    • Ultimately NZT causes the user to feel invincible and often neglect consequences. NZT users will do things in ways they believe are the most efficient, though often at great risk. If not for the euphoria, he probably would've realized he could afford to wait.
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  • You remembered the movie wrong. He finished the first few chapters in a night and gave it to the publisher. Then he finished the rest of the book in 4 days.

The loanshark

And how exactly did Eddie get in the touch with this guy in the first place? Not that there are advertisements on the streets saying "Need money? Get it from Ivan, the fastest loanshark in the West!".
  • This is better explained in the original book, The Dark Fields, where he got hooked up with the loanshark through the owner of the diner they met in.

The loan

If Eddie was super smart, why didn't he just remember to pay the loanshark back straight away?

Dealing with the loanshark

As the loanshark was forcing Eddie to supply him with NZT, why wouldn't Eddie just have some pills made that look like NZT but containing lethal poison instead? It's not like the loanshark can verify them with a testkit.
  • To answer this, and the previous, one has to remember that NZT usage does not make one omniscient. He's still a slave to his own recalled memories and his own personality. He didn't pay the loan shark back right away because he was too single-mindedly focused on his money making task at hand. As for not poisoning him, Eddie simply wasn't a murderer (at the time). Even if he could gain the knowledge of chemistry quickly enough in order to do a task like that properly, and the materials to do so (this would take at best quite a few days even while on NZT), not only would he have to hope that the loan shark that is now also on NZT wouldn't notice, it wouldn't automatically occur to someone with a kinder heart to immediately murder someone in what would essentially be cold blood. He does eventually kill the loan shark, but only after it's made abundantly clear that Eddie would be killed otherwise.

All his eggs, um, pills, in one basket

Why didn't he split up his stash? And if you're super smart, why not put them in a vault and only carry around what you need? When his suit is stolen or lost, it's all gone. Nevermind being frisked, try explaining to the cops that bag of pills is your medication..

Why didn't Eddie make it himself?

He employs a chemist to replicate the NZT, but it would take the chemist at least 6 months. As he knew everything about everything, why didn't Eddie either do it himself or give the chemist some NZT so he could get it done in 6 days?
  • A genius chemist who's only a genius chemist on NZT is screwed if he runs out of the drug in the middle of the experiment. Even when they figure out how to make more, it might take time to actually make. If he gets the chemist hooked on NZT, too, his stash runs out twice as fast, and if they can't make more before then, they're both screwed. And the second argument for not dosing the chemist is the personality changes NZT users go through. Un-drugged, the chemist is loyal or kind enough to keep to the deal. On NZT, the chemist might decide to screw Eddie over for whatever reason.

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