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October 4, 2015

Review: Lie to Me - Secret Santa

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Nov 24th 2009 2:31PM
During the holiday season, Lightman (Tim Roth, L) travels to Afghanistan to help rescue two captured Marines in the LIE TO ME episode 'Secret Santa.'
(S02E08) "You believe in Santa Claus?" - Lightman

Ho Ho Ho... you're going to Afghanistan. Not exactly a Christmas present to be happy about. Having said that, Cal must surely be happy about what he accomplished in last night's episode of Lie to Me.

Sent to a US Marines outpost in the middle of the desert near Kabul, Cal was tasked with uncovering the truth about a deep-cover US operative who got left for dead and had to join to Taliban to survive. Cal was able to get plenty of info from his subject about two missing Marines but we ended up learning far more about Dr. Lightman as a result of his methods.

We may not be getting that Lightman origins episode I've been hoping for, but this was at least another step in the right direction. Specialist Glenn Welsh (or Khalid, as his Taliban buddies had renamed him) refused to give up any truths until Cal spilled some of his own.

It led to some interesting revelations about Cal's stint with MI-6 intelligence in Bosnia. He did some things he wasn't proud of -- that much was apparent -- but Welsh wasn't able to get much more out of him beyond that. Again, I've said it before, but all these snippets of Cal's past (this new info; his history with Terry) just leaves me wanting even more back story.

The overall set-up of the episode worked well with Cal beamed into the office via satellite and the rest of the team working together. It was a nice change of pace after weeks of Torres and Loker being paired off.

One of the more interesting aspects was having Emily around the office planning a Christmas party. Cal lied to her and said he was going to Florida and when she realized where he really was, it led to some great scenes with Hayley McFarland. It's easy to imagine that these types of situations are what created a rift between Cal and his ex-wife Zoe (Jennifer Beals) and it'd be nice if that's explored with Cal and Emily. He can keep lying to his daughter but will she continue to forgive him?

A few more thoughts on "Secret Santa" --

  • Cal and Gillian seem to be getting even closer, don't they? Hugging, half-kisses, more touchy-feely, more pet names. It definitely seems to be heading somewhere.
  • The only part of the episode that didn't really work for me was Cal breaking Glenn so quickly. He went from being completely mute about his true identity to sacrificing his own life to save the Marine contingent in the bunker. His transformation just seemed very abrupt.
  • Same goes for Ed, the Pentagon Ghost. When Cal went to tell Glenn's parents what really happened to their son, Ed's gruff exterior cracked awfully quickly when Cal laid on the guilt trip.

Minor gripes, I know, but all in all it was a good episode with a happy ending. Seeing as how it was the Christmas episode, you can't really fault the show for an outcome neatly wrapped up with a bow.

[Check out full episodes and clips of Lie to Me at SlashControl.]

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Lie to me is the best series on TV the 2nd season has developed the characters well!

December 01 2009 at 4:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Lie to Me is horrible. My wife watches it, so I sometimes find myself sitting through it (like this week). Ugh! It's hard to imagine a worse show. Poor Tim Roth. He's a good actor. It must kill him to be attached to this steaming pile.

November 25 2009 at 9:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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