Lie to Me Season 3 Episode 2 “The Royal We”
In this week’s episode of “Lie to Me,” Lightman investigates a case involving a beauty pageant contestant accusing another contestant’s father (Mr. Fletcher) of molesting her. As the show progresses, Lightman deduces that the girl (Megan) is not only lying, but taking pleasure in her controlling mother’s pain as she tells her made up story.
Once again, the show does not go into detail in regards to how Lightman is able to deduce that Megan is lying, or that she is a sadistic person. The show also neglects to tell us how Lightman is able to read Megan’s personality so well.
For example, when Lightman first meets Megan, he somehow deduces that she is suicidal. When he asks her about it, he says “You say no, but your face says yes.” How Lightman comes to this conclusion is never explained.
There are parts of the episode where Megan’s expressions and body language are quite clear.
During Lightman and Megan’s first meeting, he notices her hand gesturing towards her shoulder, a clear sign to him that he wants her to ask about it. Lightman then proceeds to ask about the shoulder, and she reveals the large bruise on it. This is what launches the investigation, as Megan makes her accusations.
As the episode continues, Megan’s expressions of enjoyment and contempt (such as when she is being questioned by Foster about the molestation) are very easy to spot.
However, as you can see from the clip, they only zoom in on her expressions a couple of times. Even then, Lightman doesn’t really explain that the tightening of one side of her lip is contemptuous (a universal expression.) Her contempt may be a sign that she feels some sort of moral superiority over Lightman, Foster, and/or her mother.
Furthermore, the fact that Lightman easily lets Mr. Fletcher go after speaking with him is quite unrealistic. There was nothing Mr. Fletcher said that would have disproven Megan’s accusations, yet Lightman let him go. It is implied that Lightman read some sort of expression on Mr. Fletcher’s face, but it is never talked about or explained.
What is also bothersome is the fact that Lightman once again evades law enforcement, as he asks Foster to keep parts of the investigation off the record. While this adds drama to the episode, it is not something that occurs in real life investigations, and it’s a little irritating that Lightman is always shown to disregard the law. This is not something we advocate; our work is meant to aid law enforcement, not go against them.
Overall, the episode is somewhat decent on a dramatic level. However, “Lie to Me” once again somewhat fails in getting to the root of how microexpressions and nonverbal behavior are realistically read.
Did you see the episode? What did you think?