Lie to Me Season 3 Episode 4 “Double Blind”
In this week’s episode of Lie to Me, entitled “Double Blind,” two thieves (disguised as cops) rob an art gallery. They are shot by the security guard; one dies immediately, the other is rushed to the hospital. The curator (Sydney) had previously hired The Lightman Group and microexpression expert Cal Lightman, to screen all of his employees. Sydney knows that one of his employees tipped off the robbers in regards to where he was keeping the pieces for the next exhibit, and blames natural Ria Torres (who had screened the employees previously) for not seeing that someone on his staff was untrustworthy.
At the hospital, Dr. Lightman hits on an attractive woman, Naomi (guest star Tricia Helfer of Battlestar Gallactica,) who is sitting in the waiting room. At first, he believes that another man in the waiting room (whom she claims to be her ex-boyfriend, Jack) is going to hurt her, and tells Naomi to call him if Jack gives her trouble again. However, as the story unfolds, Dr. Lightman learns that Naomi was involved with the art gallery heist, and that she had been deceiving him all along.
It seems that Lie to Me is continuing to become more and more like a traditional crime show. As we have stated in the past, the writers of the series have been neglecting the science of emotion recognition all together. Even worse, without any explanations of the science behind his conclusions, Dr. Lightman comes off more like a psychic than a scientist.
In this clip, Dr. Lightman says that Naomi was relieved that he sat next to her in the waiting room, and a flashback of her facial expression at that moment comes up on the screen. However, there isn’t really anything significant about her face at that moment. She is smiling, but that smile could have meant multiple things.
Dr. Lightman also deduces that she did something that made Jack want to hurt her because he saw fear on her face. Remember, fear is characterized by brows drawn up and together simultaneously, eyes wide with a lot of white above the eyes and lips stretched horizontally.
It is also here that Lightman makes a crucial mistake of any person studying microexpressions and nonverbal behavior by jumping to a conclusion as to why that person felt a certain way.
It is also important to note that the feeling of relief is not a universal facial expression of emotion. There is absolutely no scientific evidence backing up Lightman’s statement when he recognizes Naomi’s relief.
Just like the previous episode, photos from the media are flashed after a character (this time, Naomi) makes a certain gesture or expression. Once again, the flashing of the photos seems rather random, and it isn’t till the end of the episode that we understand why Naomi was gesturing that way.
From a dramatic point of view, the episode wasn’t too bad. It was interesting to see Dr. Lightman admit that Naomi had really deceived him, though the writers seem to go back and forth on whether or not he knew she was untrustworthy all along.
Did you watch Lie to Me this week? What did you think? You can watch the full episode here.