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October 9, 2015

Lie to Me: Truth or Consequences

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Oct 6th 2009 11:40AM

Lightman (Tim Roth, R) and his ex-wife Zoe (guest star Jennifer Beals, L) work against an old rival (guest star James Marsters, C) on a case in the LIE TO ME episode 'Truth or Consequences.'
(S02E02) "I mean, how can I not judge someone who creates their own harem and then tosses out the competition when they hit puberty?" - Foster

Already this is shaping up to be leaps and bounds ahead of season one of Lie to Me. The cases are more interesting, the writing is tighter, and most importantly, it's becoming far more personal for the employees of The Lightman Group. Every case has far more meaning when Cal and his team are in it for more than just a paycheck. That isn't to say that I'm against seeing cases like we saw in the season premiere with Erika Christensen, but finding out that Cal's daughter Emily has a connection to a statutory rape case he's investigating is far more compelling.

With a college football player on the line for having sex with a minor (one of Emily's classmates, so she was only 16), I was initially inclined to side with Cal. There really was no reason for him to get involved with it, especially since it turned out to be one of Zoe's first cases as independent counsel (remember - she quit her government gig). However, as we saw to some extent last season, Cal is extremely protective of Emily, so his decision to dive in wasn't terribly surprising.

The extent of Emily's involvement was the shocker. She's been painted as a very good kid thus far. So to find out that she has a fake ID, is on birth control pill, and frequently attends college bars (for the music, not the beer) was interesting. There are obviously many layers to her that we don't know about yet and I'm guessing this is probably going to create a bigger rift between Cal and Zoe, since Zoe is obviously more sympathetic to what her daughter is going through.

The B-plot was equally interesting. By defying the government's wishes and aiding in the escape of the cult's only dissenter, Foster essentially did to Loker what he did to her last season when he lied about the CEO embezzling case. Now he's in the position to lie for her. Granted, the leader for the cult was a complete pompous ass and you can easily argue that helping the mother and her children escape is a good thing, but this was still very much out of character for Gillian.

A few more thoughts on "Truth or Consequences" --

  • I mentioned earlier that the writing is a lot tighter and it's resulted in some great moments like Cal and Torres at the frat party, Torres getting a buzz on, and making the comment to Cal that none of these college guys "could give her a good hump." Just simple, light-hearted moments between the characters that we didn't see a lot of last season.
  • I was hoping for a bit more from James Marsters as the rival ADA, but the role didn't really lend itself to a big performance, especially since the race card and his supposed bigotry seemed like it was going to take center stage and it never really materialized.

Back to Foster. Essentially, she destroyed the government's chance to potentially shut down the cult for good. I'm guessing this won't go away and it'll be very interesting to see if the IRS does lean on The Lightman Group as a result. Usually, it's Gillian chastising Cal for a poor choice and now the tables could be turned.

[Check out full episodes and clips of Lie to Me, as well as other shows, at SlashControl.]

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I agree, this show has definitely picked it up this season. The first season I mostly watched because I thought it was such a cool concept, but now, as you mentioned, the stories are getting more interesting and personal, and the writing is definitely much tighter.

I loved the college party scene, it was one of the more accurately depicted party scenes I've seen in a TV show or movie...it actually looked real, like it's a party you could stumble upon at the nearest frat house. Also, I was pretty stoked to hear Bijou's "Bang" bumping in the background - a perfect party track for the scene. FYI, you can watch the whole party scene at : http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xaqh89_bang-by-bijou-soundtracks-a-college_music

October 07 2009 at 2:47 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It was a good episode, but I was worried that they were getting too close to using Lightman as an expert witness in a legal proceeding with the statutory rape case. Remember, lie detectors - especially Lightman's subjective lie detection crap (no matter how well it works in the TV show) is absolutely inadmissible in a courtroom and the show has been very good about respecting that reality.

This was the first time that I can recall where a legal case was filed against someone and the first thing one of the lawyers does is go to Lightman. Granted, it was lightman's ex-wife who was the lawyer. The show is usually really good about using Lightman's techniques to find actual hard evidence, rather than just getting people to admit stuff and claiming the admissions alone are the evidence.

Only one example I can think of (the first season case with the two Indian girls who committed suicide) where Lightman's big break in solving a case was getting an incriminating statement (in front of the lawyers, no less, who can't be witnesses in their own cases). For the most part, though, the show is really good about using the lie detection stuff as a tool to develop cases, rather than having the whole show rely on it.

No matter how factually guilty Roman Polanski is, he got SCREWED by a crazy, lying fame-seeking judge and even the prosecutor admitted that the judge was wrong and that he doesn't blame Polanski for fleeing. The young 'victim' was not harmed, did not grow up to be mentally screwed needing all sorts of therapy, and she holds no grudge against Polanski. I knew nothing about the Roman Polanski case as it was before my time, but check out the great documentary made about it, I think it was called "Roman Polanski - Wanted and Desired" (something like that) and was on HBO about a year or so ago. To not dismiss the charges against Polanski at this point is a travesty of justice. And I don't give a crap about Polanski - I have no interest in anything other than justice being done.

October 06 2009 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to bruce's comment
Elanor Samuels

You have GOT to be kidding me!! You see nothing wrong with Roman Polanski drugging a 13 year old child and then having sex with her against her will? Unbelievable.

October 07 2009 at 5:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

V-good ep - I even like it more than the season premiere last week. I particular enjoy watching what pictures are going to go up on just before the commercial breaks. And I did smile when I saw Roman Polanski's picture go up. If nothing else - this show is incredibly timely.

October 06 2009 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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