Becker (1998) s01e04 – Tell Me Lies

This episode doesn't have the belly laughs the other ones so far have featured, but it does finally give Terry Farrell something to do. Something to do she can do well, which is constantly lie to Ted Danson and Alex Désert about what's bothering her. It's actually rather impressive they got twenty-five or whatever minutes out of that A plot, especially when the B plot is Hattie Winston setting up a barter sequence to get more medical supplies.

This episode might be the first where they specify the action takes place in the Bronx. Maybe the opening credits give it away, but they're so stylized and the scenery so "New York" generic, it wasn't clear.

There are some good belly laughs, actually, but they're not for Danson and his rants or Farrell and her bullshitting. Désert, Winston, and Shawnee Smith all get some rather good one-liners. Smith's timing is getting a lot better; it was fine before, but she's really getting into the groove. Same with Désert–his scenes are always packed, either by Danson, Farrell, or Danson and Farrell; he's claiming room for himself.

Winston's been great since the pilot, however; she and Danson are the only two rocks in the show.

There's also some good old fashioned nineties sitcom passive misogyny in the episode, which one assumes hit the CBS target demographic of old White people.

Prolific TV actor (and director) Noam Pitlik has a small role as a patient Danson plays chess with. It's very cute and probably the reason there's the C plot, give Pitlik something to do.

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