Lie to Me- Season 2, Episode 12 “Sweet Sixteen”

An intricate storyline to say the least, the 12th episode of Lie to Me begins with a flashback to 2003, where we see a man (Jimmy Doyle) struggle with a taxi cab driver after St. Patrick’s Day celebrations with his wife and daughter. Doyle survives, but his wife and daughter aren’t as lucky.

Back to present day, there is a bombing outside the Lightman Group office, killing a man from the Pentagon who was coming to visit Lightman, and injuring Eli Loker.  An accused terrorist, Jimmy Doyle becomes the number one suspect.

Throughout this episode we see many flashbacks of when Lightman and Foster first meet, when she began interviewing him at the Pentagon. We get a glimpse into their first encounters and see Lightman questioning Foster’s integrity throughout the show.

After finding out that Doyle did not have anything to do with the bombing outside the Lightman Group office, another bombing occurs when Lightman, Foster and Doyle visit a lawyer who allegedly helped frame two kids for the murder of Doyle’s wife and daughter in 2003. After the second bombing, the government (whom Cal suspects are responsible for the cover up of the 2003 murders) responds with a press conference where Lightman calls out Agent Prosser for lying. He invites Prosser back to his lab to interrogate him.

Back at the laboratory, Prosser breaks and admits to the cover-up. He tells Lightman where he could find the real killer. After some more tense moments, Doyle and Lightman confront the killer, Finch. Doyle comes close to killing his wife and daughter’s true killer, but in the end walks away.

In the final scene of this elaborate episode, we see Lightman and Foster back at the office. In a rather uncharacteristic emotional moment, we see Foster open up and tell Lightman that she was protecting him and his family all along.

These new episodes seem as if they are going further away from the science of microexpressions and nonverbal behavior and into the realm of a serious drama show.  Throughout the episode we receive very little reasoning as to how Lightman makes judgments on people’s credibility.

In this episode, we see only a brief, few seconds of where Agent Prosser’s face is compared to other photos of individuals such as Bill Clinton. The only problem with these is that we don’t get an explanation as to why these photos are shown or what they mean.  Hopefully in future episodes, we will get a better sense of the science and a better explanation of how Lightman is so effortlessly able to tell truths from lies. At times it seems almost too good to be true, but of course, it is drama.

To view the complete episode see below:

9 responses to “Lie to Me- Season 2, Episode 12 “Sweet Sixteen””

  1. WC says:

    I liked the fear in the neck of Foster! It looked just like the fear presented in the introduction of the show with the music.

  2. Ian Trudel says:

    The season 2 has more violence and less science. The development of characters are increasingly darker.

    For example, Dr. Foster was a giggly and happy person in the first season. Loker has so much anger now. What’s the odd Loker would be an excellent social psychology researcher and an excellent hacker? It makes no sense.

    In this episode, there is no respect confidentiality nor state secrets. Foster and Lightman worked at the Pentagon but it seems all right that they openly talk about their work back then.

    The season 2 is clearly in a different direction from the season 1. The producers have diluted their own concept! It’s getting a bit boring even with all the blink blink…


  3. lena says:

    look, shows like CSI show standard chemical analysis all the time. they portray them as being extremely accurate and all mighty. as a chemist who happens to know the limitations of chemical analysis i can tell you this is often a gross exaggeration. so i suspect the same thing is happening here. i mean there is the science of micro-expressions, and it is good to some extent, but it surely does not work like magic like in the series. it is tv after all.

  4. WC- Good catch! I didn’t see that…can you post a clip?

    Ian- You’re right. The show is drifting more and more into a drama instead of educating us. But Lena does have a good point in that its tv and the networks will do what they need to do to get audience rating up.

  5. Keith D. says:

    On the one hand, this is upsetting to me because they’re kind of wrecking a great show.

    But on the other hand, as you rack up viewers and show them the science as was done in the first season, you wind up creating a world where the average Joe runs around treating you as if you’re guilty of something they suspect you of because your nose itched at the wrong time. That may also go into their decision to take the show in a different direction.

    I’m upset with the dumbing down of the show, but I can also understand that when you have something with such potentially serious repercussions as this science, it might be more responsible to cater to the ignorance of the audience rather than try to change the world in just 42 minutes a week, 13-26 weeks per year while still trying to turn a profit.

  6. WC says:

    Here is a screen shot of what I was talking about:

    The interaction was between 9 and 10 minutes into the show when they were talking about who was behind the scheme. Later on Lightman also accused her of showing fear.

    As for all the opinions of the show, I can understand the frustration. It would be cool to see more science but there isn’t an infinite amount of research that has been done in this field. That’s why websites like this exist. If anything, the show has made it possible for this website to exist and also create this community.

  7. Ian Trudel says:

    The science and drama/action are not mutually exclusive. There is no reason to exclude the science as the show is doing now. The combination was working before.

    It doesn’t matter whether there is plenty or little research in the field. Many soap operas run on very little concepts: money, love and hate.

    I am expecting a TV show to be a TV show. TV shows mess up sciences quite often. I simply don’t understand why they add other elements while subtracting the science. The drama/action is not especially good either…


  8. Andrew says:

    It does explain in earlier episodes why they show those photos in each episode. For example, when the FBI agent stood there with his hands in front of his crotch, it was explained in and earlier episode in season 1 that people who do that are trying to protect themselves when they are being verbally attacked. However I do agree with you that they oversimplify many elements in the show.

  9. WC: I like your comment “That’s why websites like this exist. If anything, the show has made it possible for this website to exist and also create this community” and agree wholeheartedly. On one hand, Lie to Me has given a voice to the science and world of nonverbal behavior and exposed people to the idea of microexpressions and such. Without the popularity of the show, many people wouldn’t know that science like this even exists. On the other hand, its hard to watch them turn such a unique show into basically another drama. The important thing to understand is that what they show on the show is not 100% accurate and that the writers and producers of the show elaborate and exaggerate a lot of aspects of the science for the sake of drama. It is television and people have to understand to look at it with a critical eye and not take it at such face value.

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