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October 4, 2015

Review: Lie to Me - Grievous Bodily Harm

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Oct 27th 2009 11:37AM
An old friend (guest star Lennie James, R) involves Lightman (Tim Roth, L) in a dangerous deal in the LIE TO ME episode 'Grievous Bodily Harm.'
(S02E05) "It's always the popular ones who think they can get away with murder." - Loker

Easily the best episode of Lie to Me to date, I have to wonder -- I can't be the only out there who's just dying to know more about Cal's past, right? Lennie James guest-starred as Terry Marsh, one of Cal's old crime pals and his arrival created so many questions that have just pushed aside anything else going on at The Lightman Group. Unless Gillian or Loker turn out to be serial killers from past lives, nothing else really matters right now besides Cal's history.

That's saying a lot, if you think about it, because the case that Loker, Torres, and Gillian handled by themselves was really very interesting. Finding out that the gym teacher condoned the hazing that was taking place was predictable, yes, but it still worked well since Loker found so much in common with Stacy, the student who was at the brunt of the class' ridicule.

My only complaint? She still made a "I'm gonna kill you all and blow up the school" video, yet by the end of the hour, that seemed set aside since everyone felt so bad for her. Sad story? Certainly, but we were left with the impression that her actions were going to be unpunished, despite the circumstances, and that didn't seem right.

Anyway, Cal and Terry were the real story here. Not only did Roth and James play off each other very well, but the muted contempt that each man had for the other left me wanting much more of the story. They used to run scams with each other. Terry went to jail for Cal for a few years. Terry's family took Cal in. All little details, but we need bigger picture here. With Shawn Ryan running the show now, it'd be great if we got a flashback episode showing Cal's origins and how The Lightman Group was founded -- similar to the season two ep of The Shield, "Co-Pilot."

A few more thoughts:
  • Terry made one very good point -- if Cal knew that he was lying, even before the poker game, then why did he bother helping him? Because they're "best mates?" Because of loyalty or because Cal owed him? There's still more to this. Is it possible that Terry actually has something on Cal?
  • Gillian misread Stacy's suicidal intent as homicidal intent and that's not the first time that Gillian has misread someone. If it happens again, something bad really needs to happen or what's the point?
  • I did have a little trouble buying into the FBI sting at the end. Fine, Cal knew that the bodyguard was an undercover agent but beyond that everything seemed way too rehearsed. How did Cal know to take a dive when he was shot with the blanks? Had Reynolds been in contact with the undercover guy? Lot of holes...

If we do see Terry again, it likely won't be for a while, but the episode did leave us with a bigger issue for now -- Cal doesn't trust his team. Same as my argument with Foster, this isn't the first time Cal has done this and once again, he skated by. If he's going to keep going rogue, something bad needs to happen. Not necessarily to Cal, but just in general. He can't always win for this plot device to keep working.

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

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I assumed that Reynolds talked to the undercover guy when he went to go see about the tail, and that's exactly why Cal pointed out the tail is because he already knew this guy was undercover and would be able to coordinate with Reynolds. That is why he's the one that Reynolds "shot" because they planned for both of them to have blanks to keep his cover and keep Cal safe. Cal and the agent obviously didn't get a chance to make a plan, but when Cal saw him point his gun at him, he just played along. He's a smart guy. :)

October 27 2009 at 5:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

cal actually explained why he went along with terry even though he knew what the score was. when foster confronted him at the end about him not trusting them and he told her that he took a stint in prison for him. i don't know what the exact verbiage was, but it was essentially 'don't ask me to choose you over him, be cause after that, he'll win every time.'

October 27 2009 at 5:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

In my opinion, you don't really need to punish someone who has suffered a suicide attempt when all she did was send a video and didn't really plan on causing any mass casualties.

I'm usually really on top of things, but I definitely had trouble with the plot points surrounding Cal/Terry at the end. It seemed a little muddy and I had to rewind a couple times to catch it what exactly was happening. Even now I couldn't explain the sequence of events leading up to the sting. Anyone else agree, or was it super clear what was happening to everyone else?

October 27 2009 at 2:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This makes me wonder...are we supposed to infer that Gillian's not such a great psychologist (psychiatrist? I don't know which) or that she's simply been distracted by all the personal problems she's been having? In either case, it'd definitely be worth exploring further.

October 27 2009 at 12:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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