Lie to Me: Season 3, Episode 13

Killer App (31 Jan. 2011)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 236 users  
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Dr. Foster works for a co-creator of a social network application who suspects one of her partners is trying to oust her. However, the client soon turns up dead, and Lightman tries to prove that her partner is responsible.

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Title: Killer App (31 Jan 2011)

Killer App (31 Jan 2011) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Zach
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Key
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Kyle
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Claire
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Liam (as Brandon W. Jones)
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Margot
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Storyline

Foster's former patient, one of the founders of a social-networking app, comes to the Lightman Group when she thinks she's being squeezed out by her partner. When she turns up dead a short time later, Lightman fights against the prevailing evidence to expose the truth behind the murder. Written by Fox Publicity

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31 January 2011 (USA)  »

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16:9 HD
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Goofs

During Zach's second interrogation, Lightman claims Einstein "couldn't do maths." In fact, Einstein excelled at mathematics and laughed at the idea of being labeled a poor mathematician, "Before I was fifteen I had mastered differential and integral calculus." See more »

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Brand New Day
Written by: Ryan Star and Max Collins
Performed by: Ryan Star
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User Reviews

Season 3: The writing gets poorer and Roth becomes a pastiche of himself
18 March 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The first season of this show was a solid start; it set out its stall, delivered on the formula that target audience came for and appeared to have lots of potential for getting stronger and doing more. The second season therefore was a real disappointment because it did nothing of the sort and resorted to the kind of desperate plot devices that shows which have been on for 6 seasons might use to make things happen. So my hopes were not high for the third season but as part of honouring my girlfriend's choice of what to watch I watched it anyway.

True to the direction the show has taken since the start, we continue downwards in terms of quality. The writing is probably the biggest problem the show has and it is a problem that is as evident in the total plotting as it is in the detail. In terms of plots the best we get are "OK" cases of the week affairs – but this is the best we get. Sadly too many of them are yet again shoe-horned in by some sort of personal involvement – so for example a woman that Lightman's daughter hits with her car turns out to have knowledge of a serial killer, which of course he uncovers. This episode was followed by another where his daughter has a friend whose father is in a mental hospital and perhaps something shady is going on. So these lazy devices bother me, but this season the "events" make them worse.

This season we have Lightman doing things out of character with the original concept, things that make no sense and are unnecessary. So it isn't enough for him to discover the truth about a mine accident – he has to be in the mine with an elaborate and potentially fatal ruse in play; nor is it enough for him to be investigating a mental hospital, he has to actually be a patient in there too, nor enough for him to investigate a nurse who might be causing accidents – he then has to be in one of those accidents himself – and so on and so on. We also have him pulling guns or broken bottles on people, smashing car windows, threatening people – none of which works, doesn't fit his character and doesn't play well within the show. The writing also brings in characters and then forgets them immediately; the new recruits (whether the deaf woman or the guy off the streets) just seem to come and go without comment and attempts at character development are patched and never committed to – again giving them the feeling of being half ideas badly done (which is mostly what they are).

So the writing is generally poor and worse than season 2. Season 2 however had the saving grace of Tim Roth being good – sadly season 3 does not have that because he is terrible here. I think the problem is that the makers know that his character is the only strength the show has and, rather than build around that strength, they totally focus on it – exaggerating it, overdoing it and killing the golden goose. It is partly the material though because the writers really push his character and Roth stops being able to act a character and is left with a caricature of Lightman. So the cockney swagger is turned up to 11, the eccentric mannerisms are turned up to 11, the accent is turned up to 11 and the whole thing is a laughable parody of itself. It is a shame because his performance is only really notable for how ridiculous it is. The support cast are sporadically given more to do with spurts of "development" but none of it is consistent and little of it makes sense so they tend to just "deliver" the lines rather than develop their character – Hines is the best example of this but Williams and Raymund suffer to. As with season 2 (where we had a mini-Shield reunion) this season has a The Wire reunion with 3 actors from that show in one episode (and several others in other episodes) and there are plenty of faces you will recognise with a loud "oh yeah" when you look up where you know them from. Most of them are good in terms of doing their bit for a week and in a way they have an easier job than the regulars because poor development is not an issue for them.

At time of writing I'm not sure whether a fourth season will be made or not, but Fox (mercifully) cancelled their order for the second half of this season. Perhaps if they are short of shows for next year they will use Lie to Me to fill the gap (like what happened with the last season of Homicide: Life on the Street) but on the basis of seasons 2 and 3, this would be the only reason to bring it back, because quality wise this is now just a mess and there doesn't appear to be anyone involved who can turn it round. The writing gets worse by the episode and, because of this, the potential and the strengths in the concept, budget and actors are either wasted or ruined. It says something when most episodes I was more interested in where I know the guest cast from than I was in the actual plot and that the main enjoyment I got from the season was regularly laughing at how OTT and ridiculous Roth's performance had suddenly become.

Lie to Me is in a crowded field of "quirky experts solving a case per week in their own unique fashion" TV shows; it cannot afford to be as weak as it is and, as a viewer, I have so many other similar (but better) shows in the genre that there are increasingly few reasons to watch this one over the others.


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