Sunday, November 27, 2016

REVIEW: 'Eyewitness' - Lukas Continues to Lie While Providing Helen with New Evidence in 'They Lied'

USA's Eyewitness - Episode 1.07 "They Lied"

As Lukas and Philip finally embrace their secret romance, Helen uncovers new evidence that the cabin shooter is still alive and dangerous. She seeks Kamilah's help protecting Lukas.

Eyewitness has prolonged its main narrative because the characters tell so many lies. The show has found a lot of momentum over the last few episodes because it is forcing Philip and Lukas to come forward with the truth. And yet, the lies still define the story. They keep things intense as the stakes of the story only continue to increase. At times, the show does seem to be aware of this fact. "They Lied" features Kane taking a lie detector test and Philip discussing why people lie so much with Gabe. And yet, those moments only serve to underline how important the lies are in this story. It's just important to keep track of who knows what and when. That's what drives the story and tension forward. Kane trying to kill Lukas while he's at Helen's house is a tense moment to end the episode on. It shows how dangerous he is once again becoming because the truth about him may be exposed. But it also continues to prop up the dangerous consequences from lying all of the time.

Lukas carries the lying burden more than any other character. He's the one always asking others to lie for him to cover up his own secrets. He just wants to forget about what happened that night at the cabin. He wants to lie to the world about his feelings for Philip. He just wants his life to stay the same where he can love Philip while still being a good son and a prospect for a motocross sponsorship. Being there at the cabin ruined his life. Because of what he saw, he has been haunted and incapable of moving forward. He has become a little off-putting and annoying because of his constant fears of what the world will think about him when he is no longer the golden boy. He does get to relax a little bit by the end of "They Lied." He finds peace in coming forward to tell Helen the truth and finally having that confrontation with his father. Plus, he breaks up with Rose in order to be more intimate with Philip. But Lukas is still lying. His motivation is solely to get this entire mess over with. It's good enough for him by the end of this hour. But it's almost disastrous for everyone else as his lies bring the threat from Kane back to this small town.

It's also caught perfunctory to explain how Lukas continues to prop up the theory that Mithat was the killer at the cabin. He has no idea who this guy is. To Lukas, Mithat is simply the leader of a drug cartel who was recently killed. He has no connection to the guy and doesn't know anything about his story. He doesn't know how he truly connects to everything Helen has had to deal with this season. Mithat is just a simple solution to him. He is only reluctantly coming forward to tell Helen that he was there at the cabin during the murders. He did so to keep Philip in town. He didn't want his lies to be the reason Philip left. And yet, he is still lying. He's creating a fantasy world for himself that will close this entire mess. He wants to be done with all of this. But that means he only continues to lie. He may not have been able to identify Kane as the killer. Did he really get a good look at him? Philip was the one who actually recognized him. Does he even know that Lukas told Helen a lie in his statement? That doesn't matter. Because Lukas comes forward, Philip is ready to be with him again. And now, they can just openly be friends once more. That is nice. It's simple when they aren't stressing out about life or death things. But those stakes are still present in their story and their dynamic together. So things will never be okay between them until they both tell the full truth and Kane is facing punishment for what he did.

Helen proves herself to be a capable detective in this regard even though it comes at the expense of everything else. Last week introduced the idea that she can become overly obsessive with her cases. She's searching for more clues even though everything seems to be resolved. Her instincts are right. She shouldn't accept that Mithat is responsible because that's not the truth. It's a story that Kane has fabricated in order to protect himself. He's eying a promotion if Helen isn't able to catch him. He could become even more important in the FBI if Helen doesn't solve this case and expose him for the creep and killer he really is. And yet, she still sees him as an ally right now. She knows that Lukas isn't being completely truthful with her. She presses him for more details. She then starts questioning his story after those details don't start to add up. She thinks it's odd that Lukas didn't mention that Mithat had an accent. Plus, neither she nor Tony are able to find the frying pan that he used to knock the killer out. They may have the gun and Lukas pointing Mithat out as the killer but Helen is still very suspicious. That's the correct impulse to have. It will be such a rewarding moment once she learns that she was right to continue this investigation. But right now, it's doing some serious damage to her family.

Helen has to mend her relationship with Philip here. She didn't believe him last week even though he was telling the truth about Lukas. She thought she caught him in a pattern of lying. That wasn't the case at all. And now, she's able to make it to him by getting him some film to take polaroid pictures. It's just that simple. Things are much harder with Gabe. Like the rest of the world, he believes the case is all wrapped up because Lukas was able to identify the killer. Mithat is dead so there is no reason for Helen to be spending anymore time on this case. The two of them have been so close as a couple this season. But now, the case is driving a wedge between them. They are no longer discussing things with each other. Helen is keeping details of the case from Gabe while he isn't talking with her about letting Philip stay with them permanently. Those are some huge moments. Of course, they aren't able to work things out because Kane shows up to strike again. They only notice it because of a dog. Has Gabe being a veterinarian ever been important before? Has it even been mentioned? Here, it's a way to get this dog to the house so he starts barking when Kane shows up. That's what ultimately saves Lukas. Plus, it confirms to Helen that the killer is still out there and needs to be caught.

"They Lied" works better than the rest of the season up to this point because it feels like the show refocusing back on what's really important. Over time, things have gotten needlessly complicated and bland because of an increased focus on drug drama gone horribly awry. Seriously, the criminal investigations and drug cartels have been so broad and difficult to understand. They just haven't had the same kind of emotional connection that the stories with Helen, Gabe, Philip and Lukas have. It's a big deal that Sita killed herself and Kamilah now has to care for her son. She seeks out Helen for advice on what to do. It's a big deal for her because she's at a crossroads in her life. But her inner turmoil isn't as captivating because the bond between Kamilah and Sita was so flimsy. Similarly, it's a little laughable at just how easy Kane is able to get information about Helen's case. He is able to dispose of the gun right after she got it. Plus, he is able to learn that Lukas is the eyewitness because of Tony. Those are necessary plot complications to keep the drama up. But the show would be wise to continue focusing on the emotional connections between the characters during the final stretch of episodes for the season.

Some more thoughts:
  • "They Lied" was written by Angel Dean Lopez and directed by Rob Lieberman.
  • Helen and Tony are stumped about what happened to the frying pan that Lukas used to knock the killer out. It's not in any of the evidence. It's weird that neither of them think that the killer took it considering he has proven to be quite skilled at arranging crime scenes.
  • Apparently, Kane has been driving around with different items to each of his murders throughout the season. For someone as smart as him, that's a foolish move. It just makes it a bigger deal when he collects all of them up along with the gun and drops it into a river. All it would take is for that bag to resurface to give Helen a damning case against him.
  • Lukas' relationship with Rose has been somewhat important this season. It has been a big deal for him to keep up appearances. But here, he just casually dumps her offscreen. Unsurprisingly, she has the typical reaction of claiming to never like him in the first place. 
  • The dynamic between Lukas and his father has been very inconsistently written. In this episode, one moment his father is ready to hit him for keeping the truth from the police. And then, the next he is presenting Lukas with the easy solution to all of his problems while trying to be a more understanding father. It's all just too weird.
  • Helen and Kamilah's conversation about having a job or family is very odd and awkward. It's all just building up Kamilah's conflict as she doesn't know what to do with Sita's son. But none of it really connects in a thought-provoking or compelling way.
  • It's still surprising that no one has caught Philip and Lukas kissing yet. They really aren't doing that great of a job hiding it anymore.