Tonight’s True Lies is personal for the team at Omega Sector. During a previous operation, they failed to capture a nuclear arms dealer known as the Engineer. Not only that, but a collaborator from MI6 is murdered. When the slippery villain looks to make a sale with South African terrorists, Henry, Helen, and the rest of the group want to take down the Engineer to receive justice for their fallen comrade.
Leads, Steve Howey and Ginger Gonzaga, seem to have an off night on the episode. Helen comes off as very naggy as she complains about the dishwasher trouble and Omega Sectors inability to financially help with repairs. She does have a point since neighbors aren’t going to know they have appliance issues or if they are living above their means if the dishwasher is repaired. Plus, didn’t Helen just get a new job? If you really have to explain it, the new professor position came with a pay raise.
It’s nice that True Lies tries to contrast the Taskers’ civilian and undercover lives by having them pose as a wealthy couple. The comedic twist is that they switch personas with Helen as the entrepreneur and Harry as they eye candy swimsuit model. Although Howey seems stiffer and uncomfortable in the role of ridiculously rich as if he’s bringing that computer salesman energy. Far from the slick, debonair superspy that we know he can be. It doesn’t make their undercover work that believable.
The series also tries to bring more depth to Maria and Luther as well exploring their previous romantic ties and how the latter is becoming nostalgic. Unfortunately, the subplot comes off as more of a filler of time than anything profound or slightly meaningful. You don’t really feel anything towards the former couple either way. You could say indifference is worse than a negative response.
True Lies plays better and becomes more enjoyable if you look at the campy factor, whether it’s purposeful or not. That’s the only way you can believe Helen’s foreign accent is the least bit convincing because it’s so bad. The final scene between the two is so absurd and silly, that it provides a fun moment.
As usual, the strongest part of the episode is the action sequences. Something as simple as ziplining through a window is exciting while the car chases are exhilarating. If True Lies can’t recreate the tension, chemistry, and affection that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jamie Lee Curtis had in the film, it would be better to focus on its strengths such as the camp and action.
“Separate Pairs” is a mixed bag that makes the over-the-top scenes entertaining while the more intimate moments fail to resonate.
New episodes of True Lies air Wednesdays on CBS.
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