Lie To Me: Summer Return Review & Discussion

Published 5 years ago by

lie to me2 Lie To Me: Summer Return Review & Discussion

It’s been six months since the last new episode of Lie to Me aired on television. Thankfully, after all that wait, its triumphant return is upon us. Not only that, but since Fox decided to renew the series for one more season, fans won’t have to watch while being depressed that these are the final moments of the brilliant Tim Roth on American television.

Now that it’s summer time, viewers have to decide whether to spend time outside or handle the onslaught of terrible programming thrown together by networks trying to burn through unaired episodes of canceled television series. Luckily, it appears that Fox is actually putting some effort into their summer programming – taking cues from cable television, no doubt.

So, as the other networks are airing their leftovers, settle in as Fox brings out the big guns… starting with Lie to Me.


“Beat The Devil”

Lightman plays a dangerous cat-and-mouse game with a brilliant, charming psychology graduate student whom Lightman identifies as a psychopath. When nobody believes him, Lightman sets out to prove the doubters wrong and catch the psychopath before he kills again. Complicating matters is Lightman’s former mentor, a renowned psychologist who, also fooled by the charismatic young man, is protecting him for personal and professional reasons. Meanwhile, Loker (Brendan Hines) and Torres (Monica Raymund) travel to a small town to look into a UFO sighting.


This past year, Lie to Me has had to play a “wait and see” type game with Fox. While it’s been over six months since the last new episode aired, many battles were being fought behind the scenes. Not only was Lie to Me one of the many “bubble shows” that could’ve either be renewed or canceled (it’s been renewed!), but the writers were also working hard to try and knock out some of the best stories the series has ever seen. Happily, I can say that that they succeeded – and then some.

lie to me return psycho Lie To Me: Summer Return Review & Discussion

Not only is the summer return of Lie to Me one of the best episodes of the entire series, but it could easily hold its own against some of primetime’s heavy hitters – including most of their season finales. Tim Roth’s portrayal of Dr. Lightman, as he deconstructs the smallest human response, has always been on par with Hugh Laurie’s portrayal of Dr. House. Never has that fact been so apparent than in this episode.

In every great story, the protagonist always has an equally worthy antagonist. So far, we’ve seen episode after episode where criminals, as antagonists, come up against Lightman, but since they were always recognized as someone below Lightman’s intelligence or abilities, it was easy to see that he would ultimately come out on top in the end. While I wouldn’t exactly call the young psychopath in this episode Lightman’s nemesis (especially after seeing what happens in the next episode), he does provide the perfect platform for Roth, as Lightman, to shine.

Not only that, but the simple notion of Lightman having to prove himself and his pseudoscience to everyone around him – even those that already know it – allows the writers to make the series more accessible to viewers who may not have watched the show previously. While it’s not a complete introductory course on what Lie to Me is all about, there is enough simplification and analysis of Lightman’s complicated methodology that new viewers will be able to catch on quickly.

lie to me summer premiere ufo Lie To Me: Summer Return Review & Discussion

To be fair, the episode as a whole is somewhat uneven. While we do have Lightman battling a serial killer, the rest of his group is off chasing a mythical UFO. It’s not to say that the UFO storyline is entirely bad (although it’s pushing it), but when matched up with such an interesting and complicated central plot, it’s hard not to get frustrated when the focus shifts off of Lightman’s conflict – especially when it’s a matter of life and death.

Still, Lie to Me is one of my favorite series and they have once again delivered. Hopefully, with Fox bringing the series back next year, we won’t have to deal with a four month break between airings and the writers will have ample time to create a truly worthy adversary for Lightman.

Final Thoughts

The summer return of Lie to Me has been a long time coming. Fortunately the wait was worth it, as the series delivered one of the best episodes to date.

lie to me summer premere Lie To Me: Summer Return Review & Discussion

What do you think of Lie to Me? Is this a series that you enjoy? Will you be tuning in?

Lie to Me returns June 7 on Fox

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  1. Finally! It’s back! I can’t wait to see it. But I’m a little confused. At the top you said that fans won’t have to be depressed about the series ending. Do you mean that this is the last season, or that there will be another season after this?

    • Fan’s won’t have to sad because this is not the end of Lie to Me. It will be back next year.

      • Oh okay sweet! Thanks for clearing that up!

  2. YAY! Can’t wait for this!

  3. I have never seen Lie To Me but I thought this would be a good place to say that I want Tim Roth to do another movie with Tarantino.

    • Definitely please give Lie to Me a screening! You’ll be hooked! :)

      • I do love Tim Roth. Here is what is keeping from watching the show. (And mind you, this is from my limited knowledge of the program, so maybe you’ll be able to clear something up and I’ll want to watch it.”
        I’m not sure if I buy the idea of the science he uses (lie detection). What I’m thinking is, if it was really possible to tell if someone is lying just by by studying their posture/body language/etc, wouldn’t police/government be doing this in interrogations and stuff? Like, if it works, how come nobody uses it in the real world? Should this be a standard procedure?
        Maybe you have to see the show to understand that aspect of it? Is that explained at all?

        • Well, I’ll try my best to sell it to you! :)

          I actually didn’t have any interest in Lie to Me at first (didn’t know who Tim Roth was), but my husband, who’s a Tim fan, wanted to check it, and so we did. I was hooked from the pilot, and it’s only gotten better from there. Season 1 is definitely more science based, explaining the techniques and such, while season 2 so far has been more character and action driven now that the science has been established. It’s a very intelligent show.

          While you might not believe that the science he uses (the study of microexpressions) is real, the fact is, it is! The character of Cal Lightman is actually loosely based on real life scientist/psychologist Dr. Paul Ekman. From Wikipedia: He is “a psychologist who has been a pioneer in the study of emotions and their relation to facial expressions.” So yes, it is a real science and one that has attracted a lot of interest since the inception of the series.

          If you watch the show, you’ll discover it’s not always about lies. Miscroexpressions can reveal fear, anxiety, contempt, happiness, sadness, anger, arousal – a whole range of emotions that we let subconsciously slip.

          As for police/gov’t using the science, they might very well be without public knowledge. Like a polygraph, the information obtained wouldn’t be admissible in court, of course, though.

          I’m far from a salesperson, but I hope I’ve at least piqued your interest in the show. I really hope you’ll give it a chance! Do it for Tim! :) If you decide to give it a go, definitely start from the beginning to get a proper foundation.

          • Thanks! You may not be a salesperson, but maybe you should be! I’m much more interested now! I think when I have the time I will give it a try. The problem is there are so many TV shows I want to give a try haha. But Lie To Me is definitely on my radar now.
            By the way, if you want to see more of Tim Roth, you should watch Reservoir Dogs (he does a great American accent!) and Pulp Fiction. Two of my all-time favorite movies.

            • Oh I’m so glad you’re willing to give it a chance!! :) I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Just FYI, FX will be running a Lie to Me marathon this coming Sunday, the 6th, starting at 1 pm EST to prep everybody for the continuation of season 2 the following night. The first showing is the pilot, if you’re able to catch it/record it. The other 5 eps are a mix from seasons 1 and 2. The second episode airing, “Blinded (1st season),” is by far one of my favorites, as is the 4th episode airing, “Honey” (2nd season). Both intense.

              I’ll definitely try to catch Tim in those movies. I’m not a huge movie person, and I know that’s the medium he’s always done prior to LTM, so I’ve never seen him in anything else. He’s just so entertaining to watch. Great actor! Bit of trivia: Tim was actually asked to do an American accent for LTM but he refused, saying it would’ve been too rigorous trying to get the accent correct on top of learning pages and pages of dialogue. I for one am very glad he kept his British accent for it – can’t resist it!

              • You should definitely watch Pulp Fiction and Reservoir Dogs. They are masterpieces in my opinion. Roth is much more of a main character in Reservoir Dogs, while he is really only in the first and last scenes of Pulp Fiction.
                Just a warning: if you’re not familar with Tarantino (director of both those movies) you should know going in that he is definitely not shy about violence or drug use in his films. If that doesn’t bother you, you should definitely take a look!
                And I have added season one of Lie To Me to my Netflix Instant que, so I can watch them directly from my TV whenever I want. I love Netflix haha. I’ll let you know what I think when I get around to watching the show. It might be a while, but I am certainly interested!

                • That’s so great you Netflix’d the first season! Very cool you can just watch them on your DirecTV! Last night’s new episode was excellent. Definitely getting more action driven and more violent.

                  My husband likes Tarantino, and I tried to watch Pulp one time with him but couldn’t make it through. The drug use did bother me as well as the language, so I really doubt I made it to Tim’s scenes! I honestly don’t remember, but then I wasn’t really familiar with him at the time either. We watched Hulk, and I still didn’t know who he was. I know, awful! I might give Reservoir Dogs a chance since he has a more substantial part (I’ve heard what happens, but he’s just so fun to watch).

                  I hope you enjoy LTM! Very glad to hear you’re giving it a chance. :)

        • Oh and PS: Tim’s character isn’t quite the good guy all the time! He’s got a shady past, which is being revealed a little at a time, and his methods aren’t always the most ethical.

        • Actually, profilers and investigators DO use very similar methods, and Lightman, in fact, based on a real person. Obviously, the show “Hollywoodizes” the process and accuracy, but it is “real”. Watch the show!!! :)

  4. Love your article!!! Thank you for giving insight and praise to such an amazing yet often overlooked and underestimated show! Personally, I think it’s the best on television! :)

  5. I’ve been patiently waiting for L2M’s return and am looking forward to it!

  6. there was hype about the return of the series? THAT is news to me! it just disappeared one day. no mo’. gone.

    then all of a sudden “next week, the return of ‘Lie to Me’” during an episode of House… I said to myself: “myself, it’s coming back? GREAT!”.

    I love this show, it’s very different.

    By the way, the return of “Lie to Me” was delayed a week here… the week after House’s last episode we got a repeat of an older “Lie to Me” (may even have been the first episode, I didn’t take notice when I realized it was a repeat). So they DID lie to me!!!

    Anyway, I enjoyed the episode, flying saucers and all. Although… I’m mildly disappointed the UFO part didn’t go further than it did, but that would probably have been too far. The UFO nut in me would have been stoked, but the pragmatist in me would have thought it was too much.

  7. This was the first time I’d had time on a Monday evening to watch it and while there is value in the program, if someone were to “diagnose me” after 8 seconds of dialogue – wow. I’m not looking for ultra-reality here, but there were some downright insulting moments in last nite’s episode.

    Good News: The student turns out to be a murderer.

    Sadly however, the vast majority of people that showcase many of the tendencies depicted last nite – that couldn’t kill a flower much less a person.

    Also: that Roth’s character conceded that the “reason he lost twice was because he was letting (the killer) see how far he thought he could reel me in.” Oooook. I have people like this in my 9-5er that think they’re better and explain their actions with “reasons” like this as well and they don’t make me feel more endeared, they just piss me off.

    It’s outright drama for drama’s sake, but I DID like the line that I saw developing (even after one episode) of the characters in general.