'Lie to Me' Recap - 'Dirty Royal'
It's the third season of Lie to Me, and there's a lot of warning flags going up even this early into the season that Lightman's getting too big for his britches. Yes, his arrogance is one of the things the audience loves him for, but there is such a thing as too far and he's slowly heading in that direction. It has more to do with the lack of connection he's had with the team so far. They were like an odd little family unit before, and now they seem very spread out. He's fighting with Foster constantly, Torres is usually just around to look confused and wide eyed, and Loker is trying to get a new job far away from him. And Reynolds is gone with no word of where he is or if he's even alive. This disjointment of the team makes it difficult to like the show, because it's always important to care about the characters and want them to beat the bad guys ... together. Hopefully this will change as the season goes on.
So this week Lightman's dirty cop friend Wallowski is in trouble. He's gotten deeper in with her, and there's clearly a great deal of sexual tension with them since most of their scenes he's practically on top of her. Her partner, also dirty (shocker), is in trouble for beating a gang leader almost to death over something. Internal Affairs pushes Foster to push Lightman into helping them, but he's more interested in whether or not his future girlfriend knows about it. Of course she does. Lightman and his bad girls, although he's a tiny bad boy himself, so it almost makes sense. He agrees to get into it to try and help her.
Her partner Farr is protecting a young gang member named Suarez. What the kid has on him is the question of the night. The man Farr beat up, Prince John, is murdered after Wallowski drops him off at home. Naturally everyone thinks she's the murderer and she's going to be sent to jail where she in turn will likely get murdered. Lightman can't have that happen, he hasn't even kissed her yet! He manages to discredit the witness with the help of his team, one of two scenes Loker's in this episode, and then waits with her while the gang attacks them at home. She shoots one of the attackers and the others take him and run. Her partner is incapable of letting that one go, and he turns Suarez in. Suarez is his illegitimate son, and that's why he's been protecting him. It started out little things, but now the kid is getting cocky and murdering people to make way for his own power.
The team knows that Wallowski was aware of this all along and protected her partner, even though she had to look the other way several times and didn't like it. Internal Affairs warns Foster they'll go after Lightman if she doesn't help them nail Wallowski. Lightman helps coach the dirty cop into lying, which infuriates Foster beyond belief, but she protects him anyway and says that the cop isn't lying when she said she didn't know. Lightman says he respects her for not turning on her own partner, but Foster points out he's turning on her. He's being a horrible partner and honestly a horrible leader too, putting all of them at risk for a girl he wants to sleep with. And while he might argue that's not his only reason ... it really seems to be.
Lightman being ambiguous is what is unique about his character, but he's getting into downright unlikable territory lately. Not to mention that the lack of Torres and Loker makes it seem like there are no other characters on the show, and he's been shamefully mean to Foster. If this is an intentional story arc on the part of the writers where eventually Lightman will realize he needs his team and try to make it up to them, that will be great. At the moment though it's hard to tell if this has long lasting plans, or if they're just squandering a good group of actors and leaning heavily on the natural charisma of their lead. Time will tell on that one.
Lie to Me is on FOX Monday nights at 9 PM EST.