Man, Ashton Holmes must be really bitter about being killed off Nikita, because now he's turned the tables and knocking people off himself on the third-season (series?) finale of Lie To Me. Okay, I'm kidding about that first part, but he certainly plays bad so very well. In fact, he's made Gillian cry. You do not make Gillian Foster cry.
Two days earlier, Cal is busy annoying the daylights out of Zach Morstein (Holmes), who's one of the young wunderkinds behind a social networking program called SeekOut. He's there to tell Zach that he knows all about his evil plan, thanks to Zach's friend Claire (Alexandra Lydon, who'll always be Jane Saunders on 24 to me), who's asked for her former therapist Gillian's help to find out if he's trying to steal the company out from under her. Cal believes that Claire is hiding something herself, but he's also busy messing with the head of a potential new hire named Key (Michael B. Jordan), by sending him to follow (you had to know this was coming) Emily's boyfriend Liam. Yet before he can probe what's up with Claire, Gillian finds her dying in her apartment, which is why she's crying. This makes Cal go into a completely other gear. When things are personal for Gillian, they're personal for him. He sets out on a mission to hold Zach responsible for everything he's done.
As anyone who even half watches this show knows, once Cal Lightman has something in his grasp, he's like a dog with a bone. He's willing to do anything and everything he has to, including working with Zach's other spurned friend Kyle, utilizing the help of Detective Wallowski (Monique Curnen), and practically stalking Zach along the way. It's almost evilly delightful to see him and Gillian turn the screws, making the young geniuses flail and snarl at them and at each other. What's happened and why is almost secondary to watching everyone's actions and reactions. When Cal gets the piece of incriminating evidence he needs against Kyle, you almost want to say "Gotcha."
"Killer App" is another of those Lie To Me episodes that's not really a whodunit. It's clear from the opening minutes that Zach is our bad guy to be hated and brought down, even if we don't have all the pieces to prove that. That's not the point. The point is in hating him so much that we enjoy seeing him get what he deserves. Ashton Holmes is a great fit in the "ruthless bastard" mold, looking disaffected while spitting venom, doing the job of making us want to smack him every time he starts talking. His attitude is a perfect counterpoint to Lightman's own moments of ego, and it's fun to see them lock horns throughout the episode. The real pleasant surprise for me, however, is that Gillian's personal connection to the plot allows for Kelli Williams to once again show what she is capable of. Watching this, I'm wondering why she's been the right hand woman in so many series (this, The Practice, Medical Investigation) but never gotten to lead one of her own. I think she could certainly do so.
Speaking of Gillian, the writers of Lie To Me, perhaps sensing this could be their last ep, also decide to go for broke and have Cal admit to Emily that he is in love with her. I'm not necessarily what you would call a "shipper," but even I agree that it's a smart move; the show's been teasing that subplot for a long time, and it's good that it's not going to drag that out for as long as it can manage (unlike, say, Bones). Particularly with Jennifer Beals (the former Mrs. Lightman) now on The Chicago Code and therefore presumably out of the picture on this show awhile, this is the right move at the right time.
If this does turn out to be the series finale of Lie To Me, it's a heck of a way to go out. If it's not, then the show's certainly kicked in the door to what's going to be an interesting season four, if only because Cal just dropped a pretty big bombshell, and it seems like Key might be joining the team. Whatever it turns out to be, "Killer App" is an outstanding episode for the season, and for the show.
For more Lie To Me, check out the show category at my blog, DigitalAirwaves.net.