Lie To Me 2.09 Fold Equity (2009, Mystery Drama) – 3/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Tim Roth: Dr. Cal Lightman
Kelli Williams: Dr. Gillian Foster
Brendan Hines: Eli Loker
Monica Raymund: Ria Torres
Hayley McFarland: Emily Lightman
Mekhi Phifer: FBI Agent Ben Reynolds
Creator: Samuel Baum
Abby Brammell: Poppy Wells
Todd Stashwick: Hugh Ellis
Jose Pablo Cantillo: Amadeo Valadez
Gene Farber: Vas Belanov
Ricky Jay: Mason Brock
Executive Producer: Samuel Baum
Writer: Sarah Fain
Writer: Elizabeth Craft
Director: Elodie Keene

Lie To Me 2.09 Fold Equity (2009)

Lightman tries to find a missing finalist for the Poker World Championship on behalf on the man who had him permanently barred from Las Vegas.

3/10

Another poor episode sees Lightman return to Vegas to investigate a missing player from the final table of the Poker World Championship but, as with all of this season, it’s tremendously unconvincing with a plot that does sort-of make sense but not with his character motivating proceedings.

Links

Lie To Me 2.08 Secret Santa (2009, Mystery War Drama) – 1/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Tim Roth: Dr. Cal Lightman
Kelli Williams: Dr. Gillian Foster
Brendan Hines: Eli Loker
Monica Raymund: Ria Torres
Hayley McFarland: Emily Lightman
Mekhi Phifer: FBI Agent Ben Reynolds
Creator: Samuel Baum
Michael Goorjian: Franco James Vincent
Jason Gedrick: John Parks
Mark Rolston: Ed Komsiky
April Grace: Mrs. Lenox
Executive Producer: Samuel Baum
Writer: Alexander Cary
Director: Michael Zinberg

Lie To Me 2.08 Secret Santa (2009)

Lightman is sent to Afghanistan (!) to determine whether a captured American-turned-Taliban is telling the truth when he says he knows the location of two missing American soldiers.

1/10

This is quite staggeringly unconvincing in every aspect of writing and story. Sadly, this show has turned out to be a one-season wonder and with this dreadful episode it has become time to stop watching.

This Lie To Me episode contains gun violence, extremely unpleasant scene.

Links

Lie To Me 2.07 Black Friday (2009, Mystery Drama) – 4/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Tim Roth: Dr. Cal Lightman
Kelli Williams: Dr. Gillian Foster
Brendan Hines: Eli Loker
Monica Raymund: Ria Torres
Hayley McFarland: Emily Lightman
Mekhi Phifer: FBI Agent Ben Reynolds
Creator: Samuel Baum
Nick Searcy: Mr. Donnelly
Shashawnee Hall: Larry Bernardo
Jackie Debatin: Cheyenne
Lisa Waltz: Mrs. Roland
Daniel Owen Ross: Max
Executive Producer: Daniel Sackheim
Executive Producer: Samuel Baum
Writer: Ethan Drogin
Writer: Heather Thomason
Director: Daniel Sackheim

Lie To Me 2.07 Black Friday (2009)

Lightman is somewhat surprised to find a random teenage boy wander into his house and insist he confirm that the boy’s parents are lying to him when they tell him that they are his parents. Locher and Torres investigate a Black Friday stampede that resulted in the death of two people as the store seeks to reduce compensation payout by proving that they were not at fault.

4/10

Even by the standards of this season, this is a staggeringly unconvincing episode and it seems so unnecessary. Surely someone with the reputation of Lightman would get legitimate cases through normal means not through people randomly approaching him. Surely people wouldn’t tell Lightman and Foster deep personal secrets within two minutes just because he calls them on a lie or shouts at them. Surely Lightman’s abilities and research are just an indicator not the absolute be-all-and-end-all. Surely this show should be better.

Links

Lie To Me 2.06 Lack of Candor (2009, Mystery Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew

Tim Roth: Dr. Cal Lightman
Kelli Williams: Dr. Gillian Foster
Brendan Hines: Eli Loker
Monica Raymund: Ria Torres
Hayley McFarland: Emily Lightman
Mekhi Phifer: FBI Agent Ben Reynolds
Creator: Samuel Baum
Alicia Coppola: Sheila Radotti
Brian Howe: Garrett Denning
Matt Gerald: Marshal Johnson
Arlene Tur: Kimi
Kari Coleman: Mary
Executive Producer: Samuel Baum
Writer: T.J. Brady
Writer: Rasheed Newson
Director: Terrence O’Hara

Lie To Me 2.06 Lack of Candor (2009)

A witness in protective custody is murdered and Reynolds, being the undercover cop on the case, becomes next in line to testify. However, he refuses to testify and the reason is clearly not about the threat to his life.

5/10

There’s a lack of imagination and convincing coherent plot and character undermining what should be a much more affecting and insightful presentation of the moral quandaries of the undercover agent (and their handlers). Lightman is now, apparently, a law unto himself as he gains access to anyone and everyone and can wilfully ignore the direction and authority of the US District Attorney office.

Links

Lie To Me 2.05 Grievous Bodily Harm (2009, Mystery Drama) – 6/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Tim Roth: Dr. Cal Lightman
Kelli Williams: Dr. Gillian Foster
Brendan Hines: Eli Loker
Monica Raymund: Ria Torres
Hayley McFarland: Emily Lightman
Mekhi Phifer: FBI Agent Ben Reynolds
Creator: Samuel Baum
Lennie James: Terry Marsh
James Frain: McClellan
Jay R. Ferguson: Jimmy
Spencer Garrett: Mr. Anders
Executive Producer: Samuel Baum
Writer: Alexander Cary
Director: Eric Laneuville

Lie To Me 2.05 Grievous Bodily Harm (2009)

Lightman is surprised to see old English friend Terry Jones after twenty-two years but isn’t surprised that he needs to borrow Lightman’s skills to help him out of a bit of trouble. The Lightman Institute investigates a video of death and mayhem sent to a school headmaster and see it as a threat of homocidal intent.

6/10

This makes the error of the main-character-dies-in-flash-forward pre-credits sequence. This is a technique that works precisely once for each viewer in his entertainment consuming life. As we simply don’t believe the hero dies, our suspension of disbelief is deliberately shattered by the makers. As the situation is so common in entertainment (an onscreen character dies), there is no intrigue or interest. Despite the poor start, however, the episode manages to continually claw back quality and interest. The Foster storyline features an unusual situation (SPOILER teacher orchestrates bullying of a fat girl who eventually sends a cryptic and misinterpreted suicide video) while the Lightman story benefits from good antagonistic chemistry between Roth and guest star Lennie James.

This Lie To Me episode contains a sexual swear word, mild swear words, bad language, adult dialogue and unpleasant scenes.

Links

Lie to Me 2.04 Honey (2009, Mystery Drama) – 4/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Tim Roth: Dr. Cal Lightman
Kelli Williams: Dr. Gillian Foster
Brendan Hines: Eli Loker
Monica Raymund: Ria Torres
Hayley McFarland: Emily Lightman
Mekhi Phifer: FBI Agent Ben Reynolds
Creator: Samuel Baum
Garret Dillahunt: Eric Matheson
Billy Smith: Mike Zancanelli
Consulting Producer: Matt Olmstead
Executive Producer: Samuel Baum
Writer: Matt Olmstead
Director: Timothy Busfield

Lie To Me 2.04 Honey (2009)

A week after Lightman left his Macbook on a Mexican bar top and it didn’t get stolen, Torres is somewhat less lucky when she leaves a Lightman Group dossier on a seat in her unlocked car and gets taken hostage by a gun-toting wife-murderer.

4/10

Despite committed and good quality acting from everyone, this episode cannot escape the weakness of the plot and strained dramatics of having someone come in to the Lightman offices waving a gun around.

Links

Lie To Me 2.03 Control Factor (2009, Mystery Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Tim Roth: Dr. Cal Lightman
Kelli Williams: Dr. Gillian Foster
Brendan Hines: Eli Loker
Monica Raymund: Ria Torres
Hayley McFarland: Emily Lightman
Mekhi Phifer: FBI Agent Ben Reynolds
Creator: Samuel Baum
Marc Blucas:
Jose Zuniga:
Timothy Carhart:
Mary Mara:
Dale Midkiff:
Max Arciniega:
Patrick J. Adams:
Consulting Producer: Sharon Lee Watson
Executive Producer: Samuel Baum
Writer: Sharon Lee Watson
Director: James Hayman

Lie To Me 2.03 Control Factor (2009)

While in Mexico on holiday, Lightman is unofficially requested to look into the disappearance of an American national (!).

5/10

Lie to Me is in a rut but it’s still well acted and professionally produced and entertaining. Continuing to pack two plots into each episode certainly helps (one for Lightman, one for Foster) as it guarantees the show moves at a brisk pace. While it is normal for all television shows to have everyone outside of our regular heroes be hiding something or a baddie or be stupid, the fact that behavourial reading can only ever be taken as a sign and not as the be-all-and-end-all is really sticking out like a sore thumb. Unlike CSI and traditional maverick detective shows, Lightman’s opinion should be a tool for someone in authority to use. While consistently doing that would certainly undermine his role as the show’s hero, at least an occasional nod to it every so often would be welcome. Still, as I say, despite the instant transparency of this second season, I am still enjoying it.

This Lie To Me episode contains mild adult dialogue and extremely gruesome scene briefly but easily glimpsed in photograph.

Links

Lie To Me 2.02 Truth or Consequences (2009, Mystery Drama) – 6/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Tim Roth: Dr. Cal Lightman
Kelli Williams: Dr. Gillian Foster
Brendan Hines: Eli Loker
Monica Raymund: Ria Torres
Hayley McFarland: Emily Lightman
Mekhi Phifer: FBI Agent Ben Reynolds
Creator: Samuel Baum
John Carroll Lynch:
John Pyper-Ferguson:
James Marsters:
Gretchen Egolf:
Chadwick Boseman:
Jennifer Beals: Zoe Landau
Consulting Producer: Nick Santora
Executive Producer: Samuel Baum
Writer: Nick Santora
Director: Michael Offer

Lie To Me 2.02 Truth or Consequences (2009)

Lightman tries to determine whether a college student knew his frat party sexual partner was under-age but ends up learning more about his daughter Emily.

6/10

The endings of both storylines feel weak but some of the earlier scenes featuring Lightman with his daughter are very well done. It always intrigues me how behaviour usually performed by parents is later condemned when performed by their children. In a society where so-called casual sex is regarded with all the importance of a cheap alternative to ordering a pizza, why is the sexual activity of your child frequently a bitter pill to swallow? Perhaps, despite all the contemporary openness about the mechanics of intercourse, the fact is sex is still seen as a commodity (‘I’ve had / I want her / him’), an exercising of power, a defining of your relationship and not as a genuinely shared experience.

This Lie To Me episode contains adult dialogue and violence and sexuality.

Links

Lie To Me 2.01 The Core of It (2009, Mystery Drama) – 5/10 TV review

Cast / crew
Tim Roth: Dr. Cal Lightman
Kelli Williams: Dr. Gillian Foster
Brendan Hines: Eli Loker
Monica Raymund: Ria Torres
Hayley McFarland: Emily Lightman
Mekhi Phifer: FBI Agent Ben Reynolds
Creator: Samuel Baum
Erika Christensen:
Tomas Arana:
Michael Raymond-James:
Jennifer Beals: Zoe Landau
Executive Producer: Elizabeth Craft
Executive Producer: Sarah Fain
Executive Producer: Daniel Sackheim
Executive Producer: Samuel Baum
Writer: Elizabeth Craft
Writer: Sarah Fain
Director: Daniel Sackheim

Lie To Me 2.01 Core of It, The (2009)

A college student approaches Cal and tells him that she has seen a vision of a murder but that the police don’t believe her. Cal does and sets about studying either the truth or cause of her vision.

5/10

Two things that simply do not work on-screen: hypnotism and split personalities. So it’s a double whammy of fail for the return of this show and we’ll just ignore this mis-step for now. The acting is fine, though,

This Lie To Me episode contains bad language, adult language and strong violence.

Links

Lie To Me 1.13 Sacrifice (2009, TV) – 7/10 review

Cast / crew
Tim Roth: Dr. Cal Lightman
Kelli Williams: Dr. Gillian Foster
Brendan Hines: Eli Loker
Monica Raymund: Ria Torres
Creator: Samuel Baum
Mekhi Phifer:
Sean Patrick Thomas:
Molly Price:
Jonathan Banks:
Hayley McFarland: Emily Lightman
Anthony Azizi:
Bernard White:
Jennifer Beals: Zoe Landau
Supervising Producer: Josh Singer
Co-Executive Producer: Dustin Thomason
Co-Executive Producer: Adam Davidson
Writer: Josh Singer
Writer: Dustin Thomason
Director: Adam Davidson

Lie To Me 1.13 Sacrifice (2009)

The FBI use Lightman when a suicide bombing destroys a bus full of passengers.

7/10

Of course it would be marvellous if all suicide bombings could be cleared up inside a day but that’s the nature of television dramas and the story is interesting and unpredictable enough to close Lie To Me on a high. The episode title Sacrifice gets one worried that the writers had run out of ideas and would be killing off one of our heroes but, refreshingly, that’s not the case. The sacrifice comes in the form of the comic book cliché “with these powers, I shall become a superhero” and the famous Star Trek quote: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Or the one.” Lie To Me has proved to be an entertaining and interesting new show and I look forward to a second season.

This Lie To Me episode contains unpleasant scenes.

Links