Lie To Me: The Complete Final Season Review

What a terrible shame this fantastic and highly enjoyable series was cancelled by Fox! Watching the final season again I am even more amazed than I was when I first watched it that this is the end. This has been one of the most entertaining, clever and funny series to come out of the US in recent years and the third and final season of 13 episodes still packs a punch.

Tim Roth returns as Dr. Cal Lightman, world renowned human lie detector and deception expert along with his support team of partner Dr. Gillian Foster, lead researcher Eli Loker and protégé Ria Torres. Roth has always been the star of this show and in weaker moments clearly carries the momentum forward all by himself (of which there are few here). It is our fascination with his character and his clear charisma which keeps us hooked every time. His characterisation is just as strong in this final series, swaggering (physically and mentally) through every episode with a humour and intensity which blows apart all competition. I can only compare him to Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House (House) for being able to carry off what, in lesser hands, could end up being a caricature or object of fun but instead becomes an intoxicating portrayal of amazing intelligence and skill tempered with obvious wit and strength.

By the third season Roth has really got into his somewhat bow-legged stride as liars worst enemy Lightman, backed up by a strong supporting cast and some really interesting storylines. ‘Double Take’ about a museum hiest and ‘Veronica’ are particularly strong episodes and all the way through the season we continue to follow his complex relationships with Dr. Foster, Detective Wallowski (his love interest and police colleague) and his daughter, which is particularly touching and true to life. The other ongoing theme is his stress on delivering his new book to his publisher (who are threatening to sue due to the delay) and the ways he manages to avoid fulfilling this obligation whenever he can!

The only criticism I would have of this third and final season would be the unexplained marginalisation of lead researcher Loker (while Torres has an expanded role) and the lack of final resolution to his personal relationship issues with Dr. Gillian Foster. This storyline in particular could easily have been continued much further and leaves me with the feeling that the writers were fully expecting a fourth season.

The only extras on the DVD release are 5 deleted scenes and In Character with Tim Roth. This is an interesting interview with illustrative clips and an insight from Roth into how he views the role as an actor. Coming in at around 5 minutes though, it could have been longer! The deleted scenes are mostly peripheral and it is clear why they are not included in the episodes. The extras could have been much better – I would have liked to have seen a documentary, some commentary or even a gag reel to make it worth it.

Overall, it is a fantastic season and a final outing to be proud of. It is well worth buying this to complete a collection, it is just a shame the adventure was over so soon.

Claire Hyypiä

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