Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Lie to Me - "Beyond Belief"

by Jonathan Bredemeyer

... without much excitement...


We begin in an assembly in what appears to be 'mega-church' or massively popular self-help conference of some sort. At the same time as a motivational speech by the presenter, a mother seems to be in the process of attempting suicide and makes a last call to her daughter. The speaker says "The goal is transcendence. Believe and be free," as the woman appears to have successfully completed the attempt.

The woman's daughter shows up at Lightman's office begging to hire them to go after Jim Stafford (the speaker). She says she received a call from her mom from Stafford's office and that she was taken to the hospital believing to have attempted suicide, but was immediately released and was sequestered by Stafford. Lightman promptly claims he'll go after him and runs out. "You had him at suicide" Foster tells the girl (obviously).

Loker and Torres show up at the woman's doctor's car to harass him a bit about the suicide case. They grill him on why the woman was allowed to leave so soon after a suicide attempt (the standard required hospital stay is 3 days?). Torres lays one question after the doctor gives an excuse... "Would that appropriate care be 'scientific repatterning?,' the name of Stafford's new religion.

Lightman and Foster crash Stafford's rehearsal and go straight for him. Stafford is extremely cool and offers to let them see the woman (Carol) to verify her health. After a few questions, Lightman pegs her as under duress and basically a captive.

Back at the bat-cave, Foster doubts Lightman's conviction to what he saw. He catches Loker and Torres 'going for coffee' and turns them around to dig up dirt on Stafford. Foster goes after them and demands they leave for coffee after they say it's fine to stay in.

Lightman heads home to find his daughter with a new guy. Lightman asks him to leave in not so many words... He accuses Emily of getting a large boyfriend to mess with him. He develops the nickname of 'Willie' before heading out.

Loker and Torres are still digging into Stafford and find an ex-member of his religion. They try to contact her...

Foster and Lightman head back to Stafford's to talk to Carol again. She claims she was unclear before, but Lightman pegs it as shame and runs off into the building for a tour. Stafford follows him and Lightman questions him as he roams the very lavish office. Lightman accuses him of holding back angry expressions and accuses him of misdeeds. Stafford turns the questioning onto Lightman and accuses him of being a bully. Meanwhile, Foster tries to interview Carol but has a tail named Jill. She questions her anyway about the suicide, and forces her to say her daughter's name. Foster seems to have figured out the way they 'brainwashed' her.

Lightman finds a list of 'The Seven Transitions" on a wall:
1. Recognize/Accept spiritual dissonance.
2. Re-align our environment.
3. Breakdown problem - "Negative Patterning."
4. Become nothing. Embrace the void.
5. Substitute solution- Negate the void. "Positive Re-Patterning"
6. Release of Negative Pattering. Fire/Pain of release.
7. Self-deliver and re-environmentalize self recreation and freedom. Share new knowledge with others.

Lightman questions a nearby 'initiate' and he says he's in the fourth transition. Stafford comes in and begins what appears to be a 'group session' of sorts. Carol starts on her issues with transition 6. Lightman tries to 'wake her up' and Stafford interrupts. Lightman bugs out with one last shot at breaking Stafford's hold.

At home, Lightman finds a flyer for 'Living the Positive Life' on his counter. He yells for Emily and questions her about it. She has no knowledge of it and claims she's been home with the doors locked... So they head to the office. He tells Emily to cancel her date with Willie to proof his book instead (claiming he never understood semi-colons). Foster comes in and he drags her away to talk about the flyer that Stafford snuck into his house.

Foster and Lightman interview the former SRP member, Jane, in the "Lightbox." Lightman calls most of what she's saying lies and he breaks her into telling the truth... a bit too easily. She claims she knew Stafford from the beginning of the 'cult.' She tells the story of how Stafford grabbed control of the 'group' and killed others in the process. (They flash Palin as an example of shame...) Foster determines Stafford's a narcissist and wants to use that: "I call him a narcissist, and you make this about you?" Lightman: "I want a big, wanky picture of myself to put up in my office." Foster and Lightman crash Stafford's session and search the crowd for Carol. They don't find her and note Stafford keeps on going with no worry...

They directly confront Stafford after the talk about Carol's whereabouts. Lightman tells him he can't see any lies OR any truth on Stafford's face. They do peg him about knowing something about Danielle. Foster and Lightman bring Danielle in for questioning, and find out Stafford had sex with her nearly every day for a year. She admits she came to the Lightman Group for herself as much as her mom for them to go after Stafford. Torres interrupts to show Lightman why they couldn't read him. Lightman immediately concludes he's had subcutaneous muscle damage on his face and thinks he's beat Torres to all her news. She reveals a picture of him before as Carl Weatherly of a former life with a wife and kid.

Lightman heads back to one of Stafford's 'shows' and interrupts in front of the entire crowd. He introduces Stafford's wife and daughter than he abandoned 14 years ago... and then cheers mockingly as everyone murmurs in disbelief. Lightman continues his introductions and Stafford calls for a break. Lightman, Foster and the 'family' head backstage where Stafford apologizes. Stafford breaks away, but his wife chases him down and lays a pretty good guilt trip on him for abandoning his daughter. Stafford tells Lightman that "I'll take care of my family and you take care of your family."

Lightman heads back to the office to find Emily, who's in the 'Lightbox' with Loker listening to one of Stafford's talks. Lightman confines them to his office, and heads home. He finds one of Stafford's men out front. He breaks the window with a tire iron and runs him off carrying a threat for Stafford.

Stafford shows up at his storage facility to find it's been cleaned out. Lightman drives up soon after, and begins to heckle him. He tells him the cop took all the items inside. "We'll call this the eighth transition: to jail." The cops show up to arrest Stafford, and Lightman heads home.

Liam and Emily are at home again at the kitchen table. Lightman casually has a seat and tries to strike up a conversation. Emily threatens him with semicolons as a topic, which Lightman lofts at Liam... who smashes an explanation. Lightman then uses one, and heads to make tea.

Back at the office, Loker and Torres are apparently returning with coffee and talking about Stafford's 'transitions' program. Torres compares him to Lightman... who's following them. Lightman steals Loker's coffee. Foster is talking to Danielle about how awful Stafford was and encouraging her with kind words to recover. In his office, Lightman is sitting with Carol when Foster and Danielle walk in and the Lie team leaves them alone...

Interesting episode... but only Lightman's one-liners made this episode mildly interesting despite a great premise...
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