Poker Face’s season finale quietly revealed that Charlie’s lie-detector ability isn’t completely accurate, as one person successfully lied to her. The new Rian Johnson-created series is an on-the-road murder-of-the-week mystery comedy, as it follows Charlie (Natasha Lyonne) on the run from casino owner and mobster Sterling Frost Sr. (Ron Pearlman) and traveling across the U.S. Along her travels, she runs into many different murder cases and feels compelled to solve them due to her strange skill where she can tell whether or not a person is lying in an instant. And up until the last episode, she had never made a single mistake.


Audiences are under the impression that Charlie’s lie-detector gift is totally accurate, as she perfectly calls people out when they’re lying and empathizes with characters when they’re telling the truth. She solves a handful of murder mysteries including two major FBI cases thanks to her gift, and multiple casino owners attempt to work with her to exploit and capitalize on her gift. However, episode 10, “The Hook,” reveals that she missed out on a lie that was told to her, even though the episode doesn’t draw audiences’ attention to it, and it’s the most important lie that was told to Charlie during the whole season of Poker Face.

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Sterling Frost Sr. Successfully Lies To Charlie In Poker Face

Sterling sitting at a poker table in Poker Face

In episode 1, “Dead Man’s Hand,” Sterling Frost Sr. tells Charlie that when he finds her he’ll murder her in the most brutal way possible after she’s responsible for Sterling’s son’s death. That death threat is the very reason Charlie went on the run for 14 months. But it’s revealed in “The Hook” that killing Charlie wasn’t Sterling’s intention whatsoever. Instead, Sterling wanted to work with Charlie and use her lie-detector skill to understand where he stands with the head of the five families of Atlantic City, Beatrix Hasp. After the death threat, Sterling even challenged Charlie when he asked her “Tell me Charlie, am I lying?”

It doesn’t make sense how Charlie’s lie-detector skill failed when she was being told such an important lie, but Sterling might not have been lying. As Charlie was on the run for over a year, Sterling could have changed his mind at some point in that year. But it seems like killing her was never really Sterling’s intention, as he clearly had an affinity for Charlie, and they had such a great rapport that he sentimentally gifts Charlie her old casino name badge. While Poker Face continues Johnson’s hot streak, this could be a plot hole. Either that or Charlie’s skill simply doesn’t work when she enters panic mode.

How Cliff Also Cleverly Fools Charlie In Poker Face

Cliff looks concerned in Poker Face

Cliff is Sterling’s right-hand man who is ordered to hunt down Charlie in Poker Face. Even though he never lied to Charlie, he knew exactly how to avoid unintentionally exposing his plans in “The Hook.” Cliff was the only character who evaded being a suspect and dodged her invasive questions by answering with more questions. Either that or he answered with hard facts that were only slightly related to her questions. For example, when Charlie asked how a glow-in-the-dark poker chip got onto the table, Cliff told her that some casinos use them and why they use them instead of saying something like “I don’t know” and getting busted.

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