Ever since Psych on TNT, other networks have tried to create similar shows. The premise is the same. A sort of super-detective being able to glean information from suspects thanks to micro-expressions and details that aren’t apparent to everyone else. In the case of Psych, it’s mostly comedy. In the case of The Mentalist, it’s mostly serious. Lie to Me stars Tim Roth as Dr. Cal Lightman, head of the Lightman Group, who questions suspects, for different government agencies, to decide whether they are telling the truth.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
Lightman is opening up a case. It’s been frozen. It has an ostrich egg in it. There are guys from DHS who want Lightman’s opinion on their new portable lie detector. He brings it into the room. Lightman has a hottie ask the questions again. The polygraph doesn’t work since it can’t detect which emotions the subjects are experiencing. Any increase in emotional response makes the polygraph think it’s a lie, even if it isn’t.
Lightman is going to Fort Meade with Torres. A marine says that she was raped by her superior officer. They want to know if the marine is telling the truth. Lightman hears her testimony. Torres is questions the Staff Sergeant. Lightman comes onto the soldier to see if he bites. He would have reacted differently if he was a rapist. The woman was lying. She made two mouth shrugs during her testimony. They find that there was an anonymous complaint against Scott. He apparently entered the women’s barracks.
Lightman questions Lake’s platoonmates. He puts them in a room with the video of Lake’s testimony playing. Scott has got a criminal record. He was arrested for possession, arson, assault and battery. Foster says that it’s the arson conviction significant in their case. The platoonmates had a lot to say about Lake’s testimony. They know that the rape never happened because they didn’t exhibit any reflectors. Lightman questions Lake again. Lake says that her platoonmates had nothing to do with it. It was her idea. Scott didn’t rape her. She says that she was doing the right thing, she was trying to protect her platoon.
Foster is investigating a college basketball player named Earl White. He’s been accused of taking bribes to lose a game. Foster talks with Taft, the guy who is accused of giving the money. Later, they review the tape. Taft lied when he denied giving White’s money. White isn’t living the high life. He takes the bus and takes care of his younger brother. Foster finds that Earl is secretly angry when asked about his NBA career. They find signs of pain in his face while he is playing. They confront him. He says that he’s got some form of arthritis. He accepted the money because it was the only payday that he was going to get.
Lightman finds that Lake’s platoonmates are secretly disgusted by Scott. They think that someone else was raped, who didn’t want to come forward. They find a soldier who went AWOL. They find her at her relatives’ place. Metz says that Scott raped her in Afghanistan. He raped her for months. When Metz doesn’t want to come back with them, Lightman has her arrested. In jail, she’s afraid of not being believed.
Torres and Lightman arrive back at Fort Meade. Scott says that he was Metz’s boyfriend. He will plead guilty to fraternization. He shows them photos of him being with her. Foster says that it’s called command rape, when a superior officer asks sex from a junior officer. They trap him into revealing what he was doing. Lightman gave Metz Valium to pass the polygraph at the army.
Foster convinces Lightman to put their fee into a trust for White. He took the bribe so his scholarship was revoked and he was suspended.
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