Season 1 Episode 10: Better Half

Generating Signs of Fear

Lightman tells the boy he will be eaten up by a wolf to increase the boy’s fear of being caught if he was indeed lying. It didn’t generate any signs of fear or lying — so it did work. But many laymen and professionals would judge that Lightman went too far. My evaluation is that he is on the edge of acceptable practice, which is where Lightman usually likes to be.


Garcia, the TV host, angrily says, “You’re damn right I feel contempt.” Very often one emotion calls forth another emotion. Lightman’s question “Why did you feel contempt” activated Garcia’s anger that Ambrose didn’t show gratitude for the loan, but thought he was being squeezed to return the money. And then Ambrose’s son’s claim that he saw Garcia leave the house after the fire has made Garcia a suspect. Proof that ‘no good deed goes unpunished!’. The contempt was a covering emotion, which Garcia did feel. He was probably also the using contempt to cover the intense anger beneath it that he didn’t want to reveal.


If Frank Ambrose had shown surprise as Lightman claimed, it would indeed show he didn’t know about his wife’s affair. Unfortunately, the actor showed perplexed disbelief, not surprise. In surprise the brows are raised not lowered, and the jaw drops open, with widened eyes. Perplexed disbelief, which he does show, also suggests he didn’t know about the affair.

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Lie to Me Scene from Season One

Season 1

Season Two Scene from Lie to Me TV Show

Season 2

Scene from Lie to Me Season Three

Season 3