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August 29, 2015

Review: Lie to Me - Honey

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Oct 20th 2009 12:30PM

A man (guest star Garret Dillahunt, L) suspected of killing his wife arrives at the Lightman Group and takes drastic measures to prove his innocence to Lightman (Tim Roth, R) in the LIE TO ME episode 'Honey.'
(S02E04) "If we don't do exactly what this guys says, he will kill Cal." - Foster

Looks like it didn't take long for Cal's decision to buy out Zoe to catch up to The Lightman Group. Cash poor, Cal has been relegated to handling simple, pedestrian cases that do nothing more than bring in a paycheck. As the episode opened, there was obviously the possibility that Cal was actually at that singles mixer for himself, but it became clear pretty quickly what he was up to once he started grilling that blonde about marital fidelity.

Lightman looked embarrassed that he had to be doing it, but it did lead to a very heated discussion between him and Gillian. It would have been nice to see them argue a bit more about where their income will come from, but then a case that guaranteed to not pay anything wandered in the front door. Good thing, too, because it turned out to be arguably Lie to Me's strongest episode to date.

Maybe it was because Cal had no choice but to figure out the truth or maybe it was because of the ubiquitous Garret Dillahunt's (seriously, is there a show he hasn't been on?) fantastic guest turn, but "Honey" was just chock full of the types of moments that have made past eps of Lie to Me better than they should have been.

Cal fighting for his own life while drawing comparisons to his own failed marriage brought a much deeper, and in some ways psychological, tension to his stand-off with Eric. The two of them played cat and mouse perfectly, even if it felt like cat and cat at times because Cal understood so much about Eric.

It worked especially well as an ensemble plot as well. It featured Mekhi Phifer's Ben Reynolds more than we've seen him all season, and even got Loker involved more than the norm when he impersonated the man Eric accused of killing his wife. The one thing it didn't explore further was Ria's guilt. It was largely her fault because she left her SUV unlocked, and even though we got an acknowledgment that she felt responsible, there was no resolution to that.

A few more thoughts on "Honey" --

  • I know this has happened before, and I can't recall exactly when, but Cal has a tendency to not lie when it has the potential to end a situation earlier. He could have made this a much shorter ordeal if he had told Eric that his wife's ex-boss was lying -- but he didn't. Confidence, cockiness, or both?
  • How funny was it when he started bullshitting with the single women at the mixer? Who thinks of a furrier as a profession?
  • I'm glad one of the employees that got to leave disobeyed Reynolds and called the cops. It would have been wildly unrealistic for everyone to keep quiet on the outside.
  • As has been hinted at for some time, rather than spend time with a stranger (Miss "Warm Honey" from the mixer) or even with with ex-wife and daughter, Cal preferred to see Foster at the end of the day. The sexual tension between the two of them is plenty real, but it's hard to say if it can go anywhere and really mean something given the confines and premise of this show. Overall though, it was a wonderful scene to end the hour.

Next week is the much buzzed about episode featuring Jericho's Lennie James and, according to Shawn Ryan, Tim Roth had a lot of fun with this one. It's called "Grievous Bodily Harm" but I'm sure it'll be much lighter than the title indicates given all the guaranteed British slang.

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

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I am now convinced Garrett Dillahunt is one of the best actors around and I don't understand why he is not a bigger star. He must need a new agent.

October 22 2009 at 9:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was glad that they didn't have the two completely unrelated A and B stories that tend to partition the cast, like practically every other episode of the show. It really does work better when they're all working on the same case, otherwise it feels like they have to dilute everything down a tad in order to have time to service two whole separate plots.

October 20 2009 at 5:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Hey its Frank McCall/Travis Walcott/Roman

October 20 2009 at 3:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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