Review: Lie to Me - Tractor Man
by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 15th 2009 12:45PM
(S02E10) "...everybody does it because it feels all right, and it's more polite, but a lie's still a lie even when it's white..." - Loker
With the fall TV season slowly winding down, it was a pleasant surprise when Fox announced that Lie To Me's fall finale would air practically halfway into December. Now that the episode has come and gone and the TV schedules are becoming more and more barren over the coming weeks, I'm already wishing that Fox would just make up their minds and figure out when the final twelve episodes of the season will start airing. While "Tractor Man" wasn't Cal and the gang's strongest outing, it was still a solid reminder why Lie To Me has become so much more than just another crime procedural.
Focusing on two main plots, "Tractor Man" featured some great performances from Tim Roth, to consummate "that guy!" Miguel Ferrer as the FBI agent in charge, to Deadwood's Sean Bridgers as the would-be tractor terrorist. While the terrorism plot stole most of the hour for it's tense plotting, the real treat took place back at The Lightman Group.
While it was cheesy in some regards (There's a bomb! So let's add to the tension by throwing in a room full of third graders!), the fact that the entire scenario was so un-Lie To Me-like, made it really enjoyable. The third graders, sequestered in the conference room with Loker and their teacher (played by Felicia Day), had no choice but to occupy themselves since their tour got put on hold on account of that bomb scare. Solution? Sing-a-long! Like I said, very different for this show, but that's precisely why it worked.
A few more thoughts --
- Beyond Loker's skills with the guitar, it was nice that the ep featured the characters in situations we're not used to seeing them in -- Cal was out in the field with Ben, and Torres was out in the field by herself. Only Foster was relegated to background player and even that was good since she's usually at the forefront.
- While you would expect it to be easy, Cal was awfully good at manipulating the children -- especially the one boy who overheard the news about the bomb. It'd be great to see an episode in the future where Cal is dealing only with children and for whatever reason, he can't read them.
- It'd be nice to see Miss Angela (I think that was her name...) back again, to see if her newfound respect for Loker actually went anywhere. Knowing Loker, he'll probably screw it up though.
And, because I can't get it out of my head, here's the "White Lies" song, which Felicia Day is trying her darnedest to get uploaded on to iTunes: