A man who makes violating personal space a way of life surrounded by people who want to be like him brings out the 10 best episodes of "Lie to Me." A look at situations both fantastical and right next door that combines technology with inherent observational talents give this show a bright beacon in a bland ocean. In this world there must be plain episodes in order to support the ones that shine bright like these:

  1. "Beat the Devil" Lightman squares off against a college student played by Jason Dohring who fools Lightman's tests and triggers his radar. Dohring chews the scenery here and Tim Roth matches him as he bristles with the obsessive need to beat this young psychopath. Don't forget the UFO sighting either thus making this a favorite "Lie to Me" story.

  2. "The Royal We" Beauty pageants will always be horrifying but child abuse adds to the horror in "The Royal We." An intimate study of living a life both through others and because of others makes this a great drama. Lightman's protection of the true antagonist leads him down a dark path.

  3. "Do No Harm" Lightman interviewing children and adults is fascinating as he uses intimacy and physical space to keep people off balance. This episode of "Lie to Me" showcases Lightman's frenetic movements and rapid fire dialogue making this episode one to watch. "Lie to Me" parses the difference between truth and justice.

  4. "The Core of It" Hollywood can't seem to let go of dissociative identity disorders, but in "The Core of It," having to read physical responses from different personalities presents a fascinating challenge. Finding a singular truth in a room full on mirrors makes this episode special. Truth or truths, singular or plural, Lightman and company are in the thick of it.

  5. "Grievous Bodily Harm" Lightman is put where fans of "Lie to Me" would want him to be: in the thick of a poker game. Violence as emotional bullying plays out in a school subplot and where better to have it examined than by a show based on human observation. The show ends with Lightman finding a tense peace with his past.

  6. "Black and White" The father/daughter dynamic of Cal and Emily Lightman is played perfectly in "Black and White." Emily proves to be her father's match in some ways which hint toward future conflicts. One of the group falls and the tension becomes a frayed wire as Cal struggles to hold on to his group.

  7. "Saved" The title and the subject give a large "Lie to Me" nod to the defunct series "Saved" but with a twist. An EMT causes accidents in order to further her addiction to saving lives and Lightman looks to ferret her out. The big draw here is how the dynamic between Emily and Cal keeps growing with larger amounts of give and take. The human side to a machine-like dedication to finding the truth keeps Lightman from being a caricature in the "Lie to Me" universe.

  8. "Funhouse" Roth's portrayal of Lightman's confident arrogance as he squares off against a doctor's arrogant confidence  in a fight for a man's life is brilliant. Seeing Cal deal with a hallucination of his mother feels real. After seeing "Funhouse" you probably won't touch muffins for quite some time.

  9. "Life is Priceless" Lightman has to find the truth about an accident by interviewing the people close to his target rather than his usual modus operandi. Finding truth without the actual source is a nice twist on the formula. Love is a side story but engaging as who hasn't had their own insecurities about a lover.

  10. "Black Friday" Mob mentality and shopping bring us "Black Friday." Conflict grows between Loker and Lightman and pressure builds in this "Lie to Me" episode. Lightman still manages to prove he's steps ahead but the battle is well worth the viewing. In the end, truth costs but who pays and who profits?