“Poker Face” is one of the most purely enjoyable new shows of the year, and we’ve got an exclusive clip from Episode 8 (co-written and directed by Natasha Lyonne) to tease Nick Nolte’s guest-starring role.
Created by “Knives Out” and “Glass Onion” mastermind Rian Johnson and starring Lyonne as Charlie, a woman with an uncanny knack for knowing when someone is lying (there’s an ongoing joke about how much the central conceit resembles one of the USA Network’s “Blue Sky” dramas), the series follows in the footsteps of “Columbo” – less whodunnit than whydunit. There are threads of connective tissue between the episodes but each week focuses on a different mystery. And this week’s is a humdinger, so you can imagine how thrilled we are to be debuting an exclusive clip (watch above).
In the episode, “The Orpheus Syndrome,” Lyonne starts working for a reclusive stop-motion animator (Nick Nolte, in a role clearly modeled after legendary effects pioneer Phil Tippett) and gets drawn into a mystery involving a powerful executive (played by Cherry Jones, bearing more than a passing resemblance to Lucasfilm bigwig Kathleen Kennedy).
In the clip above, we see Charlie break down in front of Nolte’s character about her past, including her friend who is murdered in the first episode and who sets Charlie on her odyssey across America.
What makes Lyonne’s performance even more miraculous is the fact that she directed the episode (she also directed many of the best episodes of her Netflix series “Russian Doll,” including the Season 2 finale). Charlies is a complex, layered character and while she puts up a brave face (and effortlessly solves mysteries wherever she goes), the scene shows her vulnerability and the tenderness lying just beneath the surface.
“The Orpheus Syndrome” begins a wonderful trio of episodes that closes out the first season of “Poker Face” (it’s been already been renewed for Season 2), including next week’s episode, once again by Johnson (it’s like his version of “The Hateful Eight” or “The Thing”), and the big finale, directed by “Zola” filmmaker Janicza Bravo and written by Johnson. (We can’t say a peep about that one.)
“Poker Face” streams new episodes on Thursdays on Peacock.