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LIE TO ME Season Premiere Review

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LIE TO ME Season Premiere Review

Lie To Me Tim Roth

Photo Credit : FOX

“Lie to Me” is back, and much sooner than anyone anticipated.  The sudden crash and burn of Fox’s new series “Lonestar” meant juggling the schedule and doing it quickly.  “Lie to Me” only weeks ago finished its run of summer episodes, and now it’s being called upon to fill the unexpected scheduling gap early.

   By : SHAWNA BENSON

“Lie to Me” is back, and much sooner than anyone anticipated.  The sudden crash and burn of Fox’s new series “Lonestar” meant juggling the schedule and doing it quickly.  “Lie to Me” only weeks ago finished its run of summer episodes, and now it’s being called upon to fill the unexpected scheduling gap early.

The show pairs well with “House” and the two shows have parallel development stories.  Both series were mid-season replacement shows which premiered after “American Idol.”  Both star well known British actors who play characters who are brilliant, but arrogant.

Tim Roth plays Dr. Cal Lightman, a singular scientist who has the ability to read micro-expressions on people’s faces and detect deception.  Going into the third season, he’s facing a deadline for a book he’s long promised to write (and long ago collected the advance) which details his methods for determining when someone is lying, angry, guilty, happy, or any other imaginable emotion which can be expressed.  His business partner, Dr. Gillian Foster (played by Kelli Williams) freezes their assets, in an attempt to keep Cal focused on keeping the business afloat.  Cal doesn’t appreciate Gillian’s concern, and goes to the bank to try to have their business assets unfrozen.

Lie To Me Tim Roth

Photo Credit : FOX

Thus starts the third season of the show, which of course, wouldn’t kick off fully without Cal finding trouble pretty quickly.  Moments after he goes into the bank, he recognizes that one of the patrons may in fact be looking to rob the place.

With this premiere, there is a sense that the series has finally determined the formula that works for it.  Part of that formula is letting Tim Roth be the center of the show.  In any given episode, I’d imagine he has about 70% of the dialog.  The show also seems to have settled on Cal more or less finding the interesting cases that come his way.  Last season, he had a working relationship with the FBI.  That is now gone, and Cal is more independent than ever, much to the frustration of his partner and employees.

Roth is fascinating as Cal Lightman.  He brings a wealth of intriguing mannerisms and tics to the character.  Cal is half schoolyard bully and half genius savant.  The combination of these traits is always surprising and unlike any other character on television.

The rest of the cast is constantly playing catch up to Roth.  Monica Raymund (as Torres) and Brendan Hines (as Loker) have grown into their roles, but are still given little time to shine, as the narrative revolves around Roth’s Lightman.  Mekhi Phifer, an addition to the cast last season, is missing from the premiere episode, and details are scant as to whether he will return, since Phifer’s Reynolds was Cal’s link to the FBI.  Williams as Gillian has the greatest challenge – holding her own against Roth’s Lightman in his manic tirades; she does well in those moments, but needs to be given more to do outside of her confrontations with Cal.

I look forward to this season of the show, if for no other reason than to figure out why it continues to intrigue me.  There are flying leaps of logic and deduction that would never work on other shows, that somehow manage to feel natural on “Lie to Me.”  It’s a mystery I hope to crack this year.

Lie To Me premieres Monday October 4th, at 9 PM Eastern/Pacific on FOX.

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