I'm torn on the season finale of Lie to Me.
For the most part, we've seen some amazingly written episodes this summer. Conversely, we've also suffered through some rushed and fractured episodes. I'd classify "Black and White" as a mixture of both.
There were so many confusing steps in this week's story that I'm still confused over many parts of it. I think the only way to be fair on the review is to actually break down some of the points.
We started by suddenly learning of a friend of Lightman's named Julie. We later discovered that Julie wanted to be more than just pals with the doctor. Sadly, she is killed. Gillian pointed out that she (and all of us) has never heard of Julie but that Lightman is clearly grieving over. I guess we were supposed to ride along with Cal on the sadness express about his friend. Unfortunately, we only saw her alive for about two minutes, which gives us no connection to her.However, it was not a surprise that Lightman picked up her crusade against a crooked councilman name Anslinger because she apparently died trying to get evidence that would show he had paid someone to kill a retail developer named Cook. As always, Lightman was akin a dog with a new bone and would not let go of it.
Anslinger is an ex-cop who is a councilman and possibly the next mayor of Baltimore. He invites Lightman to use all his skills to see if he is hiding anything. Evidently, Lightman doesn’t find anything as he sent Ria to get Julie’s files from the paper she worked on. However it was Eli who brought the files back for some reason. I could not understand why there was some sort of unrelated, unspoken, and undefined weirdness with Ria over the files, or was it suppose to be weirdness of Eli. It was never made clear.
Meanwhile, Bernard is on the war path with Lightman’s whole operation. Additionally it has been expressed in previous episodes that Lightman likes to get under Bernard’s skin and give the man back some grief. This is always fun to watch. Roth does this so well.
On the flipside, Lightman has never seemed to care if the FBI is around or not, so why would Reynolds follow him to some unknown destination? Especially since it only resulted in him being shot? On top of that, he was wearing a wire to try and get Bernard to back off of Lightman. How was wearing a wire going to convince Bernard? It just doesn’t connect other than it will be part of why the FBI goes away.
Back to our main story: after a very rushed confrontation setup by Lightman and Gillian between Cook and Anslinger, (again, for no reason I could figure out), Lightman laid it out for Cook. It was like a bad case of Clue, seeing Cal pull the answer from nowhere that Cook had been setting up Anslinger this whole time. To add madness to the confusion, the only piece of evidence Lightman had to prove his theory was a DUI that Anslinger had given Cook years before.
Incredibly enough, this DUI photocopy was enough that Cook admitted he had committed Julie's murder and tried to frame Anslinger about it was because Anslinger had stolen a girl from him the night he got the DUI. Wait... what? Cook is a millionaire and Anslinger is a Councilman and all of this is over a girl that neither of them even knows anymore. Really?
The only redeeming quality of the episode was Emily. It was great to see that Emily is living up to being 17 and scaring her dad to death over the topic of sex. This portion of the episode was like the calm center in a hurricane of deception, intrigue, and confusion.
Lie to Me returns on November 10 with new episodes that I can only hope are more straightforward in their storytelling. Return to TV Fanatic then for more in-depth reviews of Cal and company.
Jim G. is a TV Fanatic Staff Writer. Follow him on Twitter.