While this week’s episode of Lie to Me was very well done and enjoyable, I have one request: Can Tim Roth not talk with his mouthful again?
Based on "Saved," I am starting a new game: counting the number of times in each episode that Cal Lightman is eating or looking for something to eat (or drink). Kathy J commented last week about how often this occurs, so I made a point of watching for it this week and I completely agree with her that the man must be hypoglycemic.
This week’s episode focused on paramedic Ilene Clarke (very well portrayed by Annabeth Gish) as a possible adrenaline junkie who gets off on saving people so much she was actually causing accidents. Of course, there was more to it than that, as it turned out her mentally handicapped brother was causing the accidents to punish her for their mom dying years before.
To be honest, there was nothing new and different here. In fact there were two regurgitated tropes that I have to point out because they bugged me so badly:1. District Attorney that just wants convictions. They introduced Assistant District Attorney Jill Ottinger, who is a tough-as-nails, don’t-care-about-the truth bad ass who is always grumpy and “just wanted to close cases." First, this is such a tired concept that I am actually more surprised with a movie/TV ADA isn’t portrayed like this.
Second, doesn’t the Lightman Group have enough law-enforcement types that burst into the office looking for Lightman bitching about how he has gone about something? Wasn’t the point of getting rid of the FBI this season to change it up and not use the same tired stereotypes?
2. Remote “Clicker” to change stop lights. First, there isn’t a “remote” clicker to change stop lights. The only push-button to change the lights is a button on a spring-cord inside the traffic signal box that police have access to. You will see this used a lot with concerts and events where they want to control the lights (if not just directing traffic).
What ambulance drivers, firemen, cops, FBI and any other police/state vehicle do have are flashing strobes lights that trip a special photo-sensor calibrated specifically for emergencies.
However, neither of these two items can change the lights in one direction nor change it instantly; it forces the lights to cycle. In the case of the strobe sensor it makes it so that lights in the direction the emergency vehicle is traveling gets a green-light quicker; but both still have to allow for the normal programmed length of time for the cross traffic to get a yellow and red light. What this means is that the entire story premise is built on a horrid Hollywood trope of being able to control the lights to cause accidents. (The Italian Job at least did this more believably).
So now you might be asking, “Jim, why did you give it a 4.3 rating if had huge holes and worn tropes in it?” The answer is easy: Emily Lightman. The interaction between Cal and Emily in this episode made up for any short-comings the main story plot had. It is no secret that I am a huge fan of Emily and that I see her as a force to be contended with. Tonight was no exception, just check out the quotes from this episode to see what I mean.
While we won’t be seeing any more of Emily’s mom Zoe - played by Jennifer Beals new star of The Chicago Code - I really hope that we continue to get more of Hayley McFarland as the show progresses.
The official eating count for this week: four times total, including two different times he was talking while eating. Did you catch them all? Did I miss any?
Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.