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October 10, 2015

Lie to Me: Control Factor

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Oct 13th 2009 11:56AM

While on vacation in Mexico with his daughter Emily (Hayley McFarland, R), Lightman (Tim Roth, C) is drawn into a local missing-persons case in the LIE TO ME episode 'Control Factor.'
(S02E03) "So you're setting me up on a blind date with a potential murderer?" - Torres

When I first heard about Lightman's Mexican holiday via Shawn Ryan's Twitter account, I had pretty high hopes for it because as he suggested, it should be a "fun one." I assumed it would just be Cal and Emily having a grand ol' time, making fun of cabana boys when they lied about being out of pineapple juice or dark rum. There was some of that, but Cal, who always needs something to do, ending up getting embroiled in a fairly interesting case. The problem? The case that Gillian and the rest of the team got caught up in was far more intriguing and Cal wasn't there to take part of in any of it. Well... sort of.

As the title of the episode indicates, Lightman is a bit of a control freak and it came as no surprise that he was able to tap into the office's security cameras from his laptop. He might not have been physically there, but Cal was still in charge as we saw when he spied on Loker and texted him to give Gillian that blue folder. He essentially cracked that one guy just by staring at 30 seconds of camera footage.

Not exactly the most relaxing way to spend a vacation, but then again, neither is getting involved in a missing persons case. While there were some highlights - seeing Emily play good cop to Lightman's bad cop was very fun to watch - it overall fell flat for me. Bringing in Torres didn't really help and the surprise twist (the missing woman was involved with a scam artist running an embryo bank) wasn't exactly earth-shattering either.

However, back in DC, things heated up with the tainted blood case. The introduction of Jack Rader (Marc Blucas), one of Lightman's previous employees, opens up all sorts of questions and I really wish we could have seen the two of them interact. Why'd he leave? Was he that promising of a protegé that having his own rival shop is justified? He came across as pretty cocky and I'm betting Cal had pretty much the same reaction to his media whoring ways as Gillian did. Though, in Rader's defense, he did give Foster credit in that interview and it'd be great to see them explore some of that obvious sexual tension given Cal's dislike for Jack.

A few more thoughts on "Control Factor" --

  • When Cal filled out that bogus online dating profile for Torres, ahem, "Hot Lola," how funny were her interests? Gymnastics, role playing, and dirty limericks.
  • I was a little bothered by the fact that no one seemed to have faith in Gillian's abilities without Cal by her side, Cal included. The CDC brought in Rader. Even Loker questioned whether or not she was in over her head. Thus far, she's continually proven she's capable and it seems like all the doubt was simply manufactured to service this one episode.
  • I was really excited when Mekhi Phifer was added to the full cast between seasons, but thus far he's been sorely underused. Ben wasn't even in last week's episode and he felt like another guest star in this one.

My biggest complaint? Cal and Emily ended the episode talking about yoga. It would have been quite funny to see Cal go through that - all the bending and stretching. That scene alone would have made his Mexican vacation more memorable.

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

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Donna D

Was the daughter of the missing woman in "Control Factor" Mary Matilyn's daughter in real life?

November 02 2009 at 2:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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