This Monday at 9/8c, when Lie To Me‘s Season 3 finale targets the creator of a Facebook-like website, the way the hour ends will have fans not merely “Like”-ing the Fox drama, but downright loving it. Hopefully, the episode will amass enough Friends to earn a pickup for the fall.
“What you see in this episode is a different window into who Lightman is,” showrunner Alex Cary tells TVLine. “You see a very changed man at the end of the episode.”
Check out this exclusive clip from the episode, in which Nikita alum Ashton Holmes makes like (a perhaps murderous) Mark Zuckerberg, then read on for our full Q&A with Cary and fellow executive producer David Graziano. They reflect on the season gone by, assess the recent ratings bump, and come clean on the bloody scary promo that’s been airing.
TVLINE | When I spoke to Tim Roth at the start of this season, he said Lie To Me was finally the show it always wanted to be. Do you feel you fulfilled that promise?
CARY: Yeah, Tim feels we really kicked up a notch. He’s a happy camper, I think. He’s very keen that it comes back [in the fall].
TVLINE | In your minds, what distinguishes Lie To Me from other procedurals?
GRAZIANO: To me, it’s the only show on television where the audience can learn the ability of the crime solver. The audience feels like on some level they might absorb the skill that Lightman has and be able to use it in their daily life, on their boss or wife or whomever.
CARY: What also makes this different is there’s a very strong father-daughter relationship, and that has only grown. It has become a signature of the show, and that gives it a heart without being sappy or sentimental.
TVLINE | What are your favorite episodes from Season 3? I imagine “Veronica” (guest-starring Annette O’Toole) has to be up there.
CARY: I’m glad you said “Veronica,” because that could have gone either way. We took a risk with that, and I agree – it was one of the best.
GRAZIANO: When Alex and I watched it, we were touched by it. There’s something special about [O'Toole's character] and Lightman’s interactions with her.
CARY: My favorite episodes were “Dirty Loyal” and “Funhouse” – though I’m pretty sure David’s answer will be different.
GRAZIANO: I would say “Dirty Loyal,” too, but I also like the [season premiere] a great deal. And the Tricia Helfer episode was cool and sexy, and she was so good in it.
CARY: But the story you were really proud of, David, is the Annabeth Gish one.
GRAZIANO: The concept of the hero complex in “Saved,” that whole relationship with her and her damaged brother, exemplifies to me what is good about this show. With fair regularity I can predict where other procedurals are going, but when I [caught up on the first seasons of] Lie To Me, I remember not having a clue.
CARY: The same goes for this last episode, “Killer App.” It feels very familiar, but then goes in a different direction.
TVLINE | Like, for example, Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars) before him, Ashton Holmes plays a great, super-savvy adversary of Lightman’s.
CARY: Yeah. I don’t think it’s any secret that David and I have been looking quite closely at how some Columbo episodes are structured, and the English version of Cracker.
GRAZIANO: What they all have in common is they have working class protagonist who like to subvert powerful people who have done wrong — whether its an intellectual or a captain of industry.
TVLINE | You got a nice ratings bump this past week – best numbers in well over a year. If you match or improve on that with the finale, do you think it’ll give Fox a lot to think about come renewal time?
GRAZIANO: It’s like oxygen to us.
CARY: Fox has been very clear with us – they know what the show is, they know what it can do. [The ratings bump] shows that people will come watch the show.
TVLINE | Does it nag at a producer to hear, “It’s either Lie To Me or Fringe” that Fox will renew. Or, “It’s Lie To Me or Human Target“?
GRAZIANO: You can’t look over your shoulder like that. You can only keep your head down and do the work.
CARY: We work on a great show, and we’ve learned how to run a show. If this one doesn’t go [on], we’ll do something else which will be as good if not better. We are living the dream here.
TVLINE | The promo for the finale shows Gillian walking around covered in blood. Anything you’d like to say about that?
GRAZIANO: Yes – it’s the blood of someone she cares about very deeply.
CARY: Here’s the thing: This episode goes right to the heart and Lightman and Foster. We make it absolutely clear the emotional involvement between these two and how strong that bond is. That’s what the episode is about.
GRAZIANO: It’s a love story, basically… that involves blood.
TVLINE | Well, let’s just hope viewers won’t be left waiting too long to see what happens from there.
CARY: No, we’re very happy with it. We think it will make the fans only more hungry for a Season 4.
How does it all sound, Lie To Me fans? Are you hungry for Monday’s season finale? (I know precisely how it ends, and it’s gonna have many of you talking….)