Watch Lie To Me

Tim Roth, most well-known in the United States from the movie "Pulp Fiction," is the star of the Fox series, "Lie to Me." Roth plays Dr. Cal Lightman, the head of The Lightman Group. The Lightman Group is a firm that uses applied psychology, a facial mapping software called the "Facial Action Coding System," the study of micro-expressions and body language to determine whether someone is telling the truth or not.

Dr. Lightman is an expert in interpreting the signs of dishonesty while being a pretty good liar himself. Lightman's got a teenage daughter, Emily, that lives with him part-time at the beginning of the series and full-time with him at the end when his ex-wife moves to another city. His partner at The Lightman Group is Dr. Gillian Foster. There's a great deal of chemistry between Dr. Foster and Dr. Lightman throughout the three seasons.

While it is never fully realized, Lightman shares that he loves Dr. Foster to Emily at the very end of the series. The main premise of the show is that Dr. Lightman, with his team at The Lightman Group, works with various law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, vets political figures and potential spouses, and it is also intimated that he worked with British Intelligence at points in the past.

Dr. Lightman often uses unorthodox methods to throw accomplished liars off their games to get a micro-expression and body language that will allow him to make an accurate read. His interest in the field is somewhat of an obsession. His mother committed suicide when he was younger and the fact that no one saw it coming left him with a desire to try to determine when the signs were given. He is seen intently studying old film footage of his mother at various points in the series.

"Lie to Me" first appeared in January of 2009 as an off-season show for Fox. The first season had 13 episodes, the second had 22 and the third had only 13. The series finale left a number of open ends, but it was wrapped up as well as could be, given the short notice cancellation. The series went from drawing over 12 million viewers during the first episode to less than half that by the airing of the first episode of season three in October 2010.

The network seemed to be in a hurry to air the completed episodes. The second season ended September 13, 2010 and the third season premiere was moved hastily to October 4, 2010. While "Lie to Me" was very well written, the low ratings after the first season can easily be explained by the repetitive cases The Lightman Group took on.

It seemed, at first, that there would be more character development, but it fell to the wayside as the episodes became more and more formulaic and Tim Roth's quirky portrayal of Dr. Cal Lightman could no longer totally carry the show. However, it is still an entertaining watch, even if a person only takes in the first season.

FOX
3 Seasons, 52 Episodes
January 21, 2009
Drama
8.0/10
Cast: Tim Roth
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Lie To Me Full Episode Guide

  • Foster's former patient, one of the founders of a social-networking app, seeks the help of the Lightman Group when she believes she's being pushed out by her partner. When she found dead a short time later, Lightman is determined to expose the truth behind the murder.

  • Lightman investigates the kidnapping of a child. As he digs deeper into the investigation, he discovers that the mother has a few secrets of her own.

  • Lightman is hired to investigate three high school students responsible for a fatal traffic accident, which takes a turn for the better when he finds the heroic paramedic who was first on the scene.

  • Lightman is called to a mental hospital to determine if a patient is being held against his will.

  • Lightman attempts to get a patient released from a mental hospital, in the process he questions his own sanity which forces him to face his own past. Then Lightman is hired by a wealthy woman to look into her new boyfriend's background.

  • The terminally ill owner of a successful chain of restaurants hires Lightman to fulfill his dying wish: track down his daughter's killer. Lightman uncovers the twisted dynamics of a fractured family and discovers who is responsible for the death.

  • Lightman helps a woman with early-onset Alzheimer's to put together the pieces to her fractured memory. In the process, he unearths a secret that could prove deadly in the present.

  • Lightman takes on the leader of a self-help empire to free a wealthy woman who may be under the control of the cult-like leader. When Lightman begins to investigate, things get personal as they start threatening him and his daughter, Emily.

  • Lightman investigates the death of six miners in a coal mine explosion and discovers that foul play may have been involved. In an attempt to uncover the truth, he risks his own life. Meanwhile Foster and Torres work pro bono in an FBI case.

  • While evaluating an art museum staff for security leaks prior to a major exhibition, Lightman meets a beautiful woman who entangles him in a game of cat-and-mouse.

  • Internal Affairs hires the Lightman Group to investigate an incident that involves Det. Wallowski. Lightman is also hired to review police profiling techniques.

  • Lightman defends a wrongly accused man from an increasingly hostile mob. In the process of exonerating him, Lightman uncovers a dark secret that helps a damaged mother and her daughter begin the healing process.

  • In the season premiere, Lightman tries everything to stop a man filled with rage from robbing a bank.

  • When a journalist friend of Cal Lightman is murdered, the investigation tests his relationship with the FBI; Emily's interest in dating makes Cal uncomfortable.

  • A missing woman leads the Lightman group to discover criminal activity in the adult film industry.

  • Foster's boyfriend (Dr. Dave Burns) gets into trouble and the only way Cal can save his life is to reveal the truth.

  • Lightman and his ex-wife, Zoe, witness the execution of a murderer they prosecuted 17 years ago and face the possibility that they sent the wrong man to his death.

  • Lightman finds himself in a complex situation when his gambling problem risks being exposed as one of the fighters from the underground fight club where he gambles is found dead. Meanwhile, Foster's romance with Dr. Burns gets complicated when she uncovers a troubling secret.

  • When a young woman mysteriously dies at a gubernatorial campaign rally in Virginia, The Lightman Group is hired to assess whether the case was a failed assassination attempt or a well-disguised murder plot.

  • Torres is forced to revisit her troubled past when her half-sister is incarcerated in a juvenile corrections facility.

  • Lightman is hired by the D.C. Police to "read" the paralyzed victim of a horrifying shooting in a federal housing project.

  • Torres's half-sister Ava (a resident at a juvenile detention facility) refuses to break the trust of a fellow inmate after the inmate was found killed. However, her refusal may have bad consequences for herself when her own life is put in jeopardy.

  • Lightman is called to testify in the trial of Clara, a sassy young widow accused of murdering her much older billionaire husband.

  • After Lightman's former Pentagon colleague is killed in a car bomb, Lightman and Foster are forced to revisit a series of events from their past, including the therapy sessions that brought them together.

  • Lightman investigates one of his mentor's graduate students, which he is convinced that is a psychopath. Meanwhile, Loker and Torres investigate a UFO sighting.

  • During a political protest an unhappy farmer threatens the U.S. Treasury Department building by parking his tractor full of explosives nearby. Meanwhile, Loker has to bear down with a group of third graders in a field trip stuck in the Lightman Group offices.

  • A finalist of World Series of Poker is gone missing, so Lightman, Foster and Reynolds go to Vegas to investigate his disappearence. Meanwhile, Loker and Torres start bounding.

  • Cal spends the holidays in Afghanistan, assisting in the rescue of two missing soldiers.

  • A troubled teenager believes he was abducted as a baby and turns to the Lightman Group to help him uncover the secrets of his past. Meanwhile, Loker investigates the origin of a deadly stampede that occurred at an electronics megastore the day after Thanksgiving.

  • When a government witness is murdered, the FBI hires The Lightman Group to determine who leaked the witness' whereabouts to the killers and to protect Agent Reynolds, the star witness in the case. When Reynolds refuses to testify in the case, Lightman and Foster learn he is hiding something in his past.

  • A blast from the past pulls Lightman into a dangerous game of cat and mouse testing his loyalty. The Lightman Group look into a death threat from a high school student.

  • Eric Matheson, a man accused of killing is wife, is brought to the Lightman Group for questioning. Matheson goes to the extreme to convince everyone that he is innocent.

  • While in Mexico, Lightman and Emily work on a case involving a missing American woman. Back in the States, Foster looks into tainted blood in D.C. hospitals.

  • The group is called in to help determine a football player's innocence or guilt.

  • A woman with multiple personalities is enlisted by The Lightman Group to investigates a murder case.

  • Tim Roth discusses how his character Dr. Cal Lightman, from Lie to Me, detects deception by studying facial expressions and body language.

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