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August 30, 2014

Review: Lie to Me - Fold Equity

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 1st 2009 2:29PM
Lightman (Tim Roth) goes to Las Vegas to help locate a missing finalist in the World Series of Poker in the LIE TO ME episode 'Fold Equity,'
(S02E09) "She's the female equivalent of roulette and you like the view." - Foster

There's always a potential for screw-ups when networks start airing episodes out of the producers intended order (see NBC and their goofs with Detective Crosetti's death in season three of Homicide), but Lie to Me seems to have avoided that sort of miscalculation despite FOX's shuffling of the season order. That is, until "Fold Equity" aired last night. Originally set to air during Fox's Simpsons week (catch the Sideshow Bob reference?), "Fold Equity" didn't drop the ball on anything as major as a character's death, but more than once during the hour it felt as though we were taking some giant steps backward.

Take Foster and Cal. After the events in last week's episode, "Secret Santa," it became semi-clear that their flirtations had reached a new level and it even suggested that Gillian was acting as a sort of proxy mother for Emily. There was a definitive familial bond between the three of them, despite the fact that Cal and Gillian aren't an item.

However, all that was thrown out the window last night. Cal was back to his old tricks and as Poppy Wells (The Unit's Abby Brammell), one of the competitors in the World Series of Poker proved, women like her bring out the worst in Cal. He slept with her! The entire situation just completely negated any forward progress we had seen with Cal and Gillian.

Having said that, this show is serialized only on the most minimal of levels, so an infraction this minor is easily forgiven. It was just awkward to swallow given what we've seen. I could make a similar argument about Loker and Torres being left alone again back at the office, but I'll hold off because there really was a lot to love about this episode.

Getting Cal Lightman in Vegas is something we've all been waiting for and it didn't disappoint. While his case uncovering the whereabouts of a missing poker player was intriguing, Cal's extracurriculars were the real entertainment. Shawn Ryan and Co. could have easily written in a scene or two where Cal sits down at a Hold 'Em table and rapes each player for every chip they have, but instead we saw a much more evolved Lightman with no plans to use his gift. He instead wanted to truly gamble -- by doing nothing but bet "00" on roulette every time, the one game he has no way of reading.

A few more thoughts on "Fold Equity" --

  • While watching, I was reminded of how much I missed the beyond cheesy, but very enjoyable, Tilt on ESPN.
  • What did everyone think about the Loker/Torres flirtation at the end? Honestly, I hope that it doesn't go anywhere, but based on Torres lying to Eli, it looks like it's headed in that direction. She was jealous. If this ends up being the only byproduct of the two of them consistently being left at the office while everyone else is out in the field, I'll be disappointed. There are far more creative ways to handle this pairing other than just having them hook up.
  • We knew Ben had a drug problem in his past (even though it was to maintain a cover) and now it looks like the guy is gambling addict, too. He was dying to get to the tables. That can't be a good thing, but I doubt this will turn into an issue. Just an observation.

Lie to Me
returns on 12/14 with one more new episode in 2009, but in case you haven't heard, Fox did pick the show up for a full 22 episode season. However, the network has yet to announce when it will return in 2010.

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

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Aquarius121

Why are people always so against characters 'hooking up?' I mean, I can see where it might get redundant, but come on! It's good old fashioned drama. But I do agree that I hope the writers hold out on Loker/Torres only because it needs some more tension and flirty scenes. Stretch it out and make it last, then either at the season finale or series finale put the nail in the coffin...so to speak ;)

December 12 2009 at 12:42 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
bree

No, they didn't show what the ball dropped on xnifex.
I think the thing b/w Torres and Loker is awesome, although I agree that there are more interesting ways to go with that, I also think it's believable - two young single people working together all the time in tense situations... they gotta get it out of the way. Whether they do hook up or don't, I hope the writers keep it moving.

and finally thanks to this blog I'm not so confused about Cal hookin up in front of Gillian - I didn't realize the episodes were being aired out of order.. Why are they doing that, I know they cut the season down but why not keep the episode order?

December 09 2009 at 5:21 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
BCMarie

Was that Fisher Stevens as one of the poker players? If so, he has really aged in the past five years going by the various guest appearances on other shows.

December 02 2009 at 12:28 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
xnifex

Just to be sure, it didn't show what the Roulette roll landed on, did it?

Oh yeah, & Torres getting close to Loker was just f'n hott! She is definitely in to him. I guess all that "flirting" he did at first finally got to her.

December 01 2009 at 10:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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