Lie to Me
Did you ever wonder what would happen if The Shield's Capt. David Aceveda and Officer Danny Sofer were married? Well, viewers will get to see the actors behind those characters as a longtime couple — as well as some other Shield alums together again — on Lie to Me.
Cast members of The Shield set to reunite on Lie to Me
"It's just a fun alternate universe with all these people you're accustomed to seeing in a certain environment," Shield creator and Lie to Me executive producer Shawn Ryan tells TVGuide.com of the stunt episode (Monday at 9/8c on Fox). "It was different, but I think everyone was just really happy to see one another again. I think it meant more on a personal level even than a professional level. We had a very tight-knit group on that show, so to be able to reunite ... was very nice."
Ryan says he immediately began looking for ways to bring Shield actors to his new show when Season 2 began, but then got greedy. "I started thinking, 'Why am I looking to just get one or two of them if I could maybe get more?'" he says.
A member of his writing staff then crafted a story that could support the extra faces. At the center of the episode are Benito Martinez and Catherine Dent as Charlie and Faye Sheridan, a married couple whose son was murdered 17 years earlier. When the couple joins Lightman (Tim Roth) and Zoe (Jennifer Beals) to witness the execution of murderer (David Marciano), Lightman suddenly suspects they're watching the wrong man die.
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When the Sheridans are targeted again, Lightman turns to the executed man's younger brother (David Rees Snell) and ex-girlfriend (Cathy Cahlin Ryan) for answers. All roads lead to a mysterious photographer (Kenny Johnson), who becomes the key suspect. (All three are also Shield alums.)
"It was fun to find a new chemistry," Martinez says of the experience. "We found a whole new, completely different vocabulary and relationship that was organic to these characters. What was instant was our trust for each other. With Catherine, we knew each other in and out, and that trust was there."
Martinez, who also guest-starred on Ryan's CBS drama The Unit, says he welcomes any opportunity to collaborate with his former boss. "He's one of the good guys," he says. "If Shawn asked me to pull cable on a show, I'd probably do it. He's that kind of guy. ... He has talent, and he cares about taking the journey together, as crazy as it might be. His talent takes you places that are outside the norm, and as an actor, it's fantastic; it's risky."
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Ryan promises that Lie to Me fans won't see the regular characters get short shrift to make room for the guest stars. "We also find out the past of how Zoe and Lightman fell in love and how their daughter Emily came into the world," he says. "There's a lot of juicy stuff."
Ryan, who has stepped down as showrunner for Lie to Me's third season to focus on his new Fox series, Ride-Along, says the episode eschews in-jokes or any winks at his previous creation. He does, however, hope that Shield fans who tune into Lie to Me for the first time stick around.
"We take the show pretty seriously, and we wanted the show to stand on its own for those people who aren't Shield fans," says Ryan, adding that he hopes Lie to Me will continue to thrive after his exit. "I have emeritus status — I'm not completely out of the picture, although I am certainly not responsible for the good work that they'll do this year."