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October 8, 2015

Review: Lie to Me - Tractor Man

by Jonathan Toomey, posted Dec 15th 2009 12:45PM
Lightman (Tim Roth, L) and Agent Reynolds (Mekhi Phifer, R) take charge when a disgruntled farmer tries to attack Washington, D.C. in the LIE TO ME episode 'Tractor Man.'
(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:

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I'm so thankful that Tim Roth agreed to do this show, as it would be nothing without him. I admire Roth for putting his ego aside - he's a fairly prolific movie actor - to star in a mid-season replacement TV show. It's become a great show and that's all due to Tim Roth. Nobody else could play Cal Lightman and make it work.

December 16 2009 at 2:54 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I would love to see Felicia Day as a recurring character on the show, even if only for a few episodes. Email askfox@fox.com to get the song on iTunes.

December 15 2009 at 2:28 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

A good enough episode while we wait to this year to be over. What am I thinking....I LOVED it!! Well at least I loved Felicia Day.
I have such a crush on her it's ridiculous....

December 15 2009 at 2:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Here, Here! Ditto. Very well written and I agree completely. Especially on Fox making up when LTM can get a time slot in the spring...LATE spring and 12 episodes to go...going into summer doens't seem like a good idea!!! Less wait for fall IF it gets a season 3 ( which it BETTER ) but longer winter Hiatus!!!! Mid March would be an excellent spring date! ;) There are plenty of us "lietomeaholics" who would really like this show back on sooner rather than later. Sorry to anyone who isn't a fan of the show. This is just imo, of course! :)

December 15 2009 at 12:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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