Image Credit: Adam Rose/FoxI don’t watch Fox’s Lie to Me regularly, but I tuned in for last night’s spring premiere because of two words: Jason Dohring. Veronica Mars fans know what I’m talking about. Dohring played Logan Echolls, Veronica’s on- and off-again boyfriend on the cult series for three years. But before he was The Love Interest, Logan was the obligatory psychotic jackass. A troubled son of movie star parents who drank a lot (mom Lisa Rinna) and beat him (dad Harry Hamlin!). Pretty early on, Dohring’s performance and his prickly relationship with Veronica were stealing the show out from every other guy on the series. Joss Whedon even put him on his list of Top 25 TV Characters.
So it’s safe to say I was looking forward to his guest spot on Lie to Me, where his character, charming psychology grad student Martin Walker, was sort of like Logan Echolls if he’d gone down a very dark and twisted path. Martin proved to be a worthy foe to human lie detector Lightman (Tim Roth), even besting him during a class demonstration. Lightman saw revulsion in Martin’s face when he described a picture of a pretty girl and arousal at the sight of a tied up man, causing Lightman to wrongly label both lies. It wasn’t that Martin was just good — he was a psychopath and a killer, Lightman determined. And he was right. Martin likes to woo pretty girls before waterboarding them! After a tense game of one-upmanship — Martin charmed Lightman’s clueless coworker before revealing who he was; Lightman got into Martin’s home by telling his mom he was up for an award — it was revealed that Martin had witnessed his sister’s death as a young boy. He watched her drown and didn’t try to save her. “I wanted her bike,” he declared simply.
I used the following C-words on Twitter to describe Dohring’s performance: Calm, collected, charismatic, confident, creepy. So why doesn’t this boy have a regular TV gig? When Veronica Mars ended in 2007, I’m sure I was not alone in thinking that good things were in store for Dohring, a fan and critical favorite. Yes, you can currently catch him in reruns of Moonlight on the CW, but after two Washington-set pilots that didn’t make it, it’s time that he got something as meaty as his Lie to Me guest spot on a weekly basis. I’m thinking another troubled bad boy, because he’s just so darn good at those.
PopWatchers, did you watch Lie to Me last night? What did you think of Dohring’s performance? And what kind of TV show would you like to see him in?