Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lie To Me - Recap & Review - Moral Waiver

Lie To Me
Moral Waiver

Original Air Date: Jan 28, 2009

JD - TwoCents Reviewer

This week on Lie To Me, we find out that Lightman and Torres are like Oil and Vinegar (Vinaigrette, anyone?), that Lightman has a thing for military men, and that eggs are not just for breakfast anymore.

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1 comment:

  1. This week on Lie To Me, we find out that Lightman and Torres are like Oil and Vinegar (Vinaigrette, anyone?), that Lightman has a thing for military men, and that eggs are not just for breakfast anymore.

    When we join the Lightman Group this episode, Lightman is cutting open a Styrofoam box, which is steaming with dry ice. Oh, the Lightman as mad scientist bit begins, does it? At first glance, he appears to only need the crazy hair and funny goggles. Loker promptly informs him that Homeland Security is visiting to get Lightman's assessment on a new hand-held lie detector device. Lightman is unimpressed already, and before he heads in to meet with Homeland Security, he pulls a giant egg from the box and carries it with him. I was sort of hoping for plutonium, but I suppose that would be a bit of a radical break from the format so early in the series run.

    Lightman promptly hands the egg over to one of the men waiting for him and explains, when asked, that it is a lie detector. Apparently, the South Africans used to use them when people were on trial. If the person on trial broke the egg while holding it, they were found guilty.

    The guy from homeland security scoffs at the idea, but Lightman takes the opportunity to promptly prove him wrong, demonstrating that the lie detector they brought is no more reliable than the egg (and in the process, ticking the guy holding the egg off so much that he breaks it. Score one for Lightman. Or, actually, score about a half a dozen by the time this scene is over.) We get a nice little heap of facts thrown at us for a moment--how many muscles in the human face, how many expressions they can produce, etc--and then we're off to the real part of the episode.

    This little information dump is brought to you by the 'We're A New Show And Are Still Teaching You How To Watch Us Foundation'. Not that it doesn't play a very minor role in the episode later, but I expect snippets of this nature will get fewer and fewer as the show grows. At least I hope so. It's interesting, but once we move past this, the show can focus more on the actual plot.

    When we get to the "real" part of the episode, Lightman is training himself on microexpression recognition, trying to see what he can recognize at the tiniest fraction of a second, when Foster comes in. They have a new case involving the military, and Foster wants Lightman to take Torres with him. But, uh-oh; Lightman doesn't really want to take her. He seems to have something against this natural ability stuff. Yeah, she's good, but she doesn't know her science. Foster insists she needs to gain experience, though, and Foster won't be coming with him this time because she'll be going with Loker to a basketball game! Kind of.

    Cue Torres' entrance, on Lightman's request (or so she was told), and he runs her through a few rounds of facial recognition. She nails all of them, and Lightman finally concedes and takes her with him.

    They head off to the military base where their case is taking place. A female officer has charged her superior with rape, and Lightman almost backs out of the case when he finds out the people in command won't take the officer off duty until the case is resolved. I liked the little glimpse into his morals here. The grumpy guys has some, at least.

    They eventually get a chance to interview both parties involved, and then we have a problem. After a mute act with the woman and some not-so-subtle advances on the man by Lightman (HEE!), Lightman says the woman is lying and the man isn't. Torres? Isn't quite sold on that idea.

    Meanwhile, Foster and Loker are off investigating charges of basketball bribery, and discover, after some digging, that the subject of their case, a young man all set to go professional, is angry about his future professional basketball career. They just have to figure out why.

    I found the military case in this episode a little predictable. I had a feeling what her motivations were as soon as Lightman said she was lying. I guess I am glad that they didn't have the reasoning turn out to be something petty, though, so I am pleased with the resolution there. The bribery case was fine, though I'm dubious about the last scene on the basketball court between Foster and the young man. Do they really do that often, or are the writers and producers still trying to beat into our heads that Foster is a 'good girl'? Okay, we get it. She's an optimist with a good heart. Now let's stop being so obvious about it. We don't need flashing neon signs to see that.

    You know, I'm starting to wonder here. This is the second episode out of two where I've felt I could absolutely get away with skimming the cases in my recaps without it being detrimental to my review. Upon further inspection, I think the cases and the show's format are a little formulaic. They're not bad, it's just that one can only see so many crime dramas before all of them but the cream of the crop start to blend together. I think the only reason I'm still interested, quite honestly, is because of Lightman and Torres. I really hope their evolving relationship is enough to keep me coming back, because otherwise, I might have been gone by now, just based on the cases themselves.

    I'm still really liking where this show is going with them. Now we see where the set up of their conflicting opinions in the pilot was going, and Torres brings an interesting conflict into the show. Science or natural ability? There are certainly advantages and disadvantages to both sides, and in Lightman's case, he doesn't seem able to see the advantages that Torres brings to the table. Roth and Raymund play off each other brilliantly, and after reading up on the show and finding that this is Raymund's first big acting gig, I'm really impressed with her ability to hold her own against Roth. I sincerely hope, too, that what Torres says she saw on Lightman's face at the end of the episode gets explored, and doesn't become a casualty of the Beginning of Series Scramble. What do you guys think is buried under that thick skull of Lightman's? Any ideas?

    The two case per show quota worked this week, pacing-wise, and while we're still getting little heaps of information dumped on us from time to time, the show seems to be starting to settle into a rhythm. It's not an overly original rhythm, but it's fine. Let's just hope the characters stay interesting, and the cases get moreso.

    The science itself is interesting, though. I have found myself, since the two episodes we've seen, watching people a little more closely. Did their eyes crinkle when they smiled at me? What did that "hand shrug" mean? It's quite possible this show might not be good for my sanity if it starts creeping into my brain and crawling around my head! Is it just me?

    So what did you guys think? Give me your two cents!


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