'Lie to Me': Police, terror cells, and a touch of '24'
This week's "Lie to Me" seemed to take a page from the "24" playbook (minus the torture), with cops as suspects, FBI agents, CIA informers, and a rumored terrorist plot. But it all started like a good, old-fashioned crime procedural.
Some muscle relaxers will make the spoilers seem more convincing...
Two D.C. cops, working undercover, end up chasing a drug dealer through two buildings and onto a rooftop, where they find a different young man, Andre Ricks. As he takes his hand out of his pocket, one cop, Adam Duke, thinks Andre's got a gun, so he shoots twice, and Andre falls from the roof to the ground several stories below. Cal's summoned by the mayor's office as protesters rail against police violence. Cal can tell that Duke is telling the truth, but the other cop, Eric Katanski, seems agitated, highly emotional, and possibly suffering from PTSD.
But Cal and Gillian can't tell -- so they check out tapes of Duke and Katanski interrogating suspects. Meanwhile, Andre's in the hospital with two gunshot wounds and a broken back, and his father maintains that he's never held a gun -- a claim undercut by his younger son, who explains that Andre got a gun because he's been getting jumped by gangs. Then Cal's hauled off to FBI headquarters, where he learns that Katanski's been working undercover because they suspect the police department has been infiltrated by a small number of individuals linked to al Qaeda and planning an attack. They think Duke's one of the sleepers. And while the agents refuse to tell Cal any details, Katanski insists the shoot was good -- and he's lying.
Cal and Gillian disagree about whether to take the story seriously -- Gillian wants to stop pushing, because if an attack is being planned, she doesn't want to be in the middle of it. "National security is their favorite boogeyman," Can sniffs, not buying it. He's convinced that you can't take the government at their word, and that Andre needs to be protected. Back at the office, Ria has a photo, supplied by the police, of Andre robbing a store. But it's been photoshopped to set him up.
And now things get fun. Cal goes to see his source at the CIA -- his very own Deep Throat!! (but not a garage freak) -- to try to suss out the truth of the story. And his CIA source confirms that it's real -- there's a threat, and Cal should stay far away from this one. Back at the hospital, Andre swears that even though he did own a gun, all he had on him that night was a cell phone and cigarettes. Eventually, they realize that Duke's not the sleeper, and they bring in Karanski for questioning.
Karanski's furious when Cal alleges that he's the kind of spy that spreads bad information. It turns out that Karanski's on a vendetta -- his daughter was killed under mysterious friendly fire circumstances while serving in Iraq, and the government lied about what she was doing and how she died. He wants to get back at the people who he thinks killed his daughter -- and he told the FBI about four more alleged sleepers. The plot here feels really murky to me, but in the end, Andre's going to recover and Karanski's arrested.
Not only is this solved, but we more or less get closure on two other major ongoing storylines. First, Cal and Gillian announce to their employees that the firm is being sued by the banker whose daughter ran a ponzi scheme with their investors' money, because of the way the deal with the SEC blew up. Lawyers will be coming to question everyone, so cooperate, they say. Eli snags Ria and gives her a little pep talk -- complete with muscle relaxers -- about how to lie to the lawyers. She's rightfully angry, doubly so when Eli tries to feed her a line about how if he's found out it could reflect badly on Lightman, and she tells him to stuff it. We also learn that Ria's started dating the cute Secret Service agent from the Korean wedding (Sean Patrick Thomas), who's appalled that her colleague would drag her into this mess.
As Ria sits down to give her deposition, learning that it won't be under oath and knowing that Lightman will surely see her tape, it occurs to me that it would be just like Cal to set up the whole scheme just to smoke out who was responsible for the deal blowing up. Which of course is exactly right -- or at least partly. After Eli's testy deposition and a good talking to from the Secret Service agent, Eli confesses to Cal that he was the one who blew up the deal with the SEC. Cal knew, of course, and says he set all of this up to test Ria, to see if she'd be loyal. She passed with flying colors, but Eli's behavior was inexcusable. And while he's not being fired, if he wants to stay on he'll do it as an unpaid intern. Ouch.
We also get to the bottom of the situation with Gillian and her husband, Alec. Cal confronts Alec on the street with a blonde woman, who he later spots in the office talking to Gillian. Turns out that the woman, Christine, is Alec's sponsor -- he used to have a cocaine problem, and he recently started using again (Isn't your sponsor supposed to be the same gender as you, or have I seen too many movies that talk about this?). She figures out that Cal thought Alec was having an affair, and he confesses he was worried she would get hurt. "You were protecting me?" she asks, looking genuinely touched. Then she essentially tells Cal to back off, that it's best for both of them if they respect the line about personal lives that they've drawn. It feels like an anticlimactic resolution to me, but as always, the bond between Cal and Gillian is touching and feels real.
What did you think? Did the FBI/terrorist plot lie story make sense to you? Do you think Eli's punishment was appropriate? Do you believe the story about Alec?