Lie to Me Season 3 Finale, Episode 12 “Killer App”

On this week’s season finale of Lie to Me, entitled “Killer App,” Dr. Lightman helps investigate the murder of one of Dr. Foster’s clients (Claire,) who struck it rich when she helped develop and launch a popular social networking website.

In terms of the scientific aspect, the writers did get a big part of the plot correct. Before Claire’s death, she had asked Dr. Lightman and Dr. Foster to try and figure out whether or not Zack (whom she developed the site with) was planning to push her out of the company.  When they interview him, he says that Claire is “safe,” but with a contemptuous look on his face, which Dr. Lightman correctly identifies as a red flag.

One irritating part happens when Dr. Lightman tries to get some information out of Zach about Claire’s murder. He tells Zach “every genius has his weakness” in order to intimidate him. The expression Zach makes afterwards (a smirk, perhaps) is then followed by flashes of photos with the same expression from the media.

This is a tactic that Lie to Me has employed in previous episodes, though the writers had stopped doing that in the last couple of weeks.  While the meaning of the expression  is a bit more clear here than it was during the other times the show has done this, it still feels like it doesn’t fit.

The plot of “Killer App,” while predictable, wasn’t too terrible. With Facebook such a huge part of our lives these days, it made sense for Lie to Me to come up with a storyline related to social networking. The fact that Dr. Foster has a strong emotional connection to the case also adds an interesting dimension to the plot.

While the episode doesn’t quite live up to what a typical “season finale” should be like (the kind that leaves you begging for the next season,) it wasn’t a bad episode either.

Did you watch Lie to Me this week? What did you think?

6 responses to “Lie to Me Season 3 Finale, Episode 12 “Killer App””

  1. Ian Trudel says:

    When they interview him, he says that Claire is “safe,” but with a contemptuous look on his face, which Dr. Lightman correctly identifies as a red flag.

    Have you noticed that the contempt was only shown during the flashback? That’s right, there is no contempt when he says it during the actual dialogue. The actor instead clenches his jaw, which is a sign of anger.


  2. Heath White says:

    I live in South Africa, so this season has not yet got to us. I’m surprised that you object to the flashing of public faces showing the expression happening in the episode. As a lay person I find that relating to the real world very interesting and enjoyable.

  3. Keith D. says:

    I don’t think it’s so much that they mind them flashing those media photos, it’s that they’re so often not relevant, or the context isn’t comparable to the situation in the show that I suspect makes them “not fit.” In the first season, the media photos were relevant and comparable to the situation in which they were flashed. That made them help the science along a bit. Of course that’s just a guess, I can’t really speak for Humintell or its bloggers, but that’s what my own feeling is.

    Ian, I noticed the missing contempt in the original scene too, and when they flashed back to it, it stood right out to me as a different scene. It would have been nice if they’d been able to match the expressions together from the real scene to the flashback, but I do appreciate that they seem to be taking cues from the fans on the show and using a device like that to sneak a little science back in without shoving it down the throats of those viewers who don’t really care.

    I give them an A for effort, and a C+ for implementation (a C+ instead of a D because at least the flashback was correct, and was a valid red flag, a huge improvement over several episodes earlier in the season).

    I enjoyed the episode as well. One easy thing they could’ve capitalized on but missed out on was Foster’s emotional involvement in the case. It would’ve been an easy way to illustrate how an emotional involvement can easily cloud one’s judgment (even though that’s been covered before). If they could keep things like that consistent from one episode to the next, the audience could learn from one episode to the next and have their little “ah ha” moments while watching. While figuring out who the bad guy is in the first 5 minutes can make the episode a little more predictable, it’s also fun to have that feeling of “Oh hey! What I learned worked! Cool!” But that would be kind of dangerous if they weren’t pretty right on the money with the science– you could get people running around going “You scratched your nose when I asked you that! You’re fired!” So caveats should be first, then hot spots. 🙂

    I wonder if they’ll get another season or not. I hope they do, because I like the concept and I’ve seen a few improvements here and there. They seem to be listening at least partially. It must be a hard show to write well though week after week and still make dramatically interesting.

  4. Ellen Wright says:

    I’m a regular fan of the series-and, yes, I watched it. I got the distinct feeling that the actor playing Zach had problems conveying the correct microexpressions at the exact correct time during the filming. Perhaps it was my imagination, but some previous actors just seemed to do a much better job. He seemed ‘flat’ and unconvincing. Roth was having to ‘carry’ him-and that makes the entire show seem dead. You’ve got to have that “energy”.

    Really good actors-of all stripes-get lost in their roles to the point that you forget their names. Meryl Streep is excellent at doing this-Dustin Hoffman, Anthony Hopkins, Patrick Stewart, Jodi Foster, and others. They are brilliant at the mastery of the microexpression at the proper time and place.

  5. Russ Conte says:

    I did not watch the episode, but I can say that the message boards for the show (at have posts with people gushing “Cal FINALLY said he really loves Gillian”. Evidently that was the point we were all supposed to get in this episode, if I read those comments correctly. Here is a link to those message boards:

    I contrast that with the finale of season one, in which the team was trying to stop a person setting off bombs in DC (it’s titled Sacrifice, the first one was a bus, the second a shopping mall in Virginia, if that triggers a memory), and compare that outstanding writing and acting to “Cal FINALLY said he really loves Gillian”, and it becomes obvious how much the show has changed.

    Russ Conte

  6. Russ Conte says:

    My apologies for being late with this, but I think I actually understand now. The final episode of season 3 was all about “Cal FINALLY said he really loves Gillian.” In other words, Lie to Me is all about this bachelor who goes out on dates with all these women, and the goal is to finally find his one real love.

    ABC’s show titled The Bachelor is actually about a group of people who are lying to each other, and the function of the main character and his support team (especially Chris) is to detect the deception and expose the lies for what they really are.

    So in reality, Lie to Me is actually The Bachelor, and The Bachelor is actually Lie to Me. Who would have thought???!

    Russ Conte

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