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Mending Fences in Eyewitness “They Lied” + Jennifer Coté Commentary 

I told you that would be a good one, right? Well, minus Kane’s little visit to the Caldwell/Torrance/Shea homestead at the end there.

Even though we didn’t get a full-on apology for all of the shit-tastic things that Lukas has done, he did at least say he was sorry for what he said. I think we could go for a while on the things he owes Philip an apology for, but it’s a step in the best direction.

Also in the pro column, he as much as admits that he loves Philip in a fantastic scene that I had to rewatch a couple of times because my initial viewing was sort of overtaken by my preoccupation with how affectionately handsy they were with each other. I LOVED that.

And again, we get to watch Tyler Young do that fantastic thing with his eyes and his face where Philip realizes with a sense of amazement that somebody cares about him and is saying it out loud.

Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/USA Network
Photo Credit: Ben Mark Holzberg/USA Network

Massive love, too, for the scenes with Gabe and Philip when Gabe is working really hard to dial back from the precipice he put their relationship on, and that Philip is receptive to staying–maybe for them as much as Lukas.

While Gabe is really struggling to regain the bond he formed with Philip,  his connection to Helen is starting to fray. Until now, he’s not had to face this version of his wife–pulled away from him and their attempt a family because of the pull of her job–until now.

Photo Credit: USA Network
Photo Credit: USA Network

And Helen knows she’s making unwise, or difficult choices, but she talks to Kami about it instead of Gabe, when Gabe is the one who needs to hear from her that it’s not an easy decision when she takes that phone call, or turns him away at lunch.

“They said we could have it all.”

“Yeah, well, they lied.”

Back to Philip and Lukas, I enjoyed that we got the boys just being with each other. When they go the waterhole and Philip balks because he doesn’t swim, Lukas just sits down beside him and they talk to each other. I also adore the scene in the barn loft at the end when Lukas tells Philip he’s broken up with Rose, and Philip doesn’t quite buy it.

“Why would I lie?”

“Because that’s all you do.”

“I lie to everyone else, not to you.”

And then they just cuddle up and listen to a playlist that Philip has put together for them. Unafraid, maybe in love, and for a moment, happy.

Photo Credit: USA Network
Photo Credit: USA Network

When I spoke with Jennifer Coté, she said tonight’s episode was intended as a honeymoon of sorts for the boys. “We kept looking at the [story]boards, and we wanted the boys to have little honeymoon periods. That’s what we came to call them. I feel like [in] episode 3, they have a honeymoon a bit. They have some intense moments but they have their escape to New York,” she explains.

“After 5 and 6, those boys need a honeymoon like crazy. They go on such a roller coaster together. We knew that we wanted to give them a break from fear at certain points. What they’re taking a break from changes a bit [over the season]. In 3, they’re still really afraid of Kane and they take a break from the psychological fear they have about their identity.”

“In 7, they have a break from all kinds of fear. It’s a honeymoon. I feel like a lot of people will be going into the episode wondering whether they can find forgiveness within each other because they’ve put each other through the wringer.”

Photo Credit: Chris Jon
Photo Credit: Chris Jon

Tonight’s episode was also full of the types of scenes Coté loves to have a hand in. “I always gravitate toward love stories. Anytime there’s a scene that’s all about love and relationships or a soapy element, that’s something I can sink my teeth into…the dynamics between Lukas and Philip or Gabe and Helen, when it’s a relationship conflict. Or Sita and Kamilah, their love story…they’re two sisters who are so torn,” she says.

“I gravitate toward thriller as well [but] this show sings when you step away from thriller and let the moment breathe. Not just shock after shock after shock. That’s something that I learned from this process. Adi [Hasak] was adamant about giving characters a lot of breathing room to have their character moments and not just have thriller moments.”

While we’re still waiting for the ratings to catch up to the social media, Coté has been thrilled with the fan response. “I feel like the whole cast has this magical quality with each other and we all had this feeling that people were going to discover the show and respond to their chemistry, whether it’s Helen and Gabe or Kane and Helen or the two boys, which the young audience certainly has responded to,” she shares.

“The extent to which fans have devoted themselves to the show and carry on insanely detailed conversations about the meaning behind the scenes, I don’t think anyone could have expected that. That’s surprising. It’s amazing to me that it’s cool to be a fan.”

Eyewitness airs Sundays at 10/9c on USA.

[Updated: The series ran one season and every episode is on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and You Tube in the US.]

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