Poker Face

10 Worst Episodes of Poker Face

Poker Face is a mystery-of-the-week series available on Peacock that follows Charlie Cale, who has an extraordinary ability to determine when someone is lying. The show first aired in 2023 and has one season. With a plethora of interesting characters and strange crimes, Poker Face has earned a huge fan-base. But, which episodes are the worst? In this article, we rank the worst episodes of Poker Face, according to viewers.

Poker Face has had some amazing episodes that have kept viewers on the edge of their seats. But, there have been some episodes that have been rated poorly by viewers. While the show remains highly entertaining and engaging, some episodes are considered to be the worst of the entire series.

In this article, we rank the worst episodes of Poker Face. We consider the viewers’ ratings and reviews, and we also look at the plot, character development and overall impact each episode had. We’ve gone through all the episodes and have compiled a list of the worst episodes of Poker Face.

Written by Sophie and last updated on mar 16, 2023.

PS: The following content contains spoilers!

PPS: I will admit that parts of this page was written with the help of AI - it makes my work so much easier to not start from a blank page!

Poker Face - S1E9

#10 - Escape from Shit Mountain (Season 1 - Episode 9)

In this episode of Poker Face, Charlie finds herself stranded in a motel during a blizzard. As the tension between her questionable companions mounts, Charlie must decipher the clues to survive the night. This episode was an intense stuck-in-a-cabin movie that deviated from the format established in the opening episodes. Despite some lingering plot holes and unanswered questions, viewers found it to be a thrilling and entertaining hour. This was the best episode of the series so far, well crafted and executed. It left viewers wanting more episodes of this caliber.

The episode was rated 7.98 from 462 votes.

Poker Face - S1E10

#9 - The Hook (Season 1 - Episode 10)


Charlie faces her greatest challenge yet when she is caught in the crossfire of a deadly power play that puts her in the sights of two ruthless crime syndicates and the FBI.

The episode was rated 7.90 from 384 votes.

Poker Face - S1E5

#8 - Time of the Monkey (Season 1 - Episode 5)

Charlie has to solve the mystery of her new senior home friends involvement in the death of their former paramour Ben. She discovers that they are former counter-revolutionaries and that they are more than willing to take extreme measures to teach people a lesson. Ben had betrayed them to the police, leading to one of them taking a shotty load to the spinal column. To make the situation right, Ben shows up at the senior home to tell them what happened. Charlie helps apprehend the two villains and Luca, an FBI agent, is impressed with her sleuthing skills. This episode was highly praised for its guest cast and slight variation on the usual Poker Face story arc. It was hilariously funny and showed Charlie's determination to seek justice.

The episode was rated 7.75 from 681 votes.

Poker Face - S1E2

#7 - The Night Shift (Season 1 - Episode 2)


This episode of Poker Face, The Night Shift, focuses on Charlie's attempts to clear the name of a trucker framed for murder in a desolate New Mexico. The first twenty minutes of the show is particularly well-crafted and set up, with special kudos going to Colton Ryan's portrayal of Jed, a seemingly low IQ'd creepy future serial killer, and Hong Chau's Marge, who provides Charlie with a few life-saving tips. The show does a strong job of contrasting Damian's positive attitude and willingness to make the most of his circumstances with Jed's entitlement and self-aggrandizing view of the world. This leads to a riveting confrontation between the two which culminates in Jed murdering Damian when he wins the lottery.

The interactions between Charlie and Marge are also noteworthy, with the two having an instant rapport and chemistry that helps to explain why Charlie sticks her neck out for her newfound friend. The mystery elements in the second half of the show are enjoyable, as Charlie pieces together the clues to expose the real perpetrator. The show also does a good job of exploring the theme of luck being a scapegoat for one's own failures, which Jed falls prey to. The performances are also strong, with Natasha Lyonne providing an eccentric edge to Charlie and Colton Ryan making Jed both creepy and menacing, while also showing his sadder side. Other nice grace notes, including Sara throwing Cliff off Charlie's trail, make this episode an enjoyable watch.

The episode was rated 7.71 from 917 votes.

Poker Face - S1E1

#6 - Dead Man's Hand (Season 1 - Episode 1)

In the premiere episode of the show Poker Face, Dead Man's Hand, a close friend of the protagonist, Charlie Cale, meets an untimely end and Charlie is determined to unravel the mysterious events, putting her own life in danger. With a star studded guest cast and some snappy writing, this show is worthy of comparisons to Knives Out, Columbo, and Love Boat. The show is powered by the performance of Natasha Lyonne, who plays Charlie as a human lie detector, able to read people through tics and tells. Charlie opens a can of worms when she begins to investigate her friend's death, leading to a mob boss hell bent on her destruction, sending Charlie on the run.

Benjamin Bratt and Adrian Brody provide appropriate menace as the villains, and Lyonne's performance brings a humane, hardscrabble, and eccentric individual with an extraordinary gift to life. The plot is strong and packs in a lot of fun with Charlie's gift for detecting lies and her gradual unraveling of the mystery surrounding her friend's death. There is also some good thematic and character work, such as Adrien Brody's character Sterling, who is given the job as a make-right from a father who considers him a fuck-up and whom he wants to prove wrong. The story also has some resonance with Charlie's own journey, seeing problems in the world but not doing anything about them, until Natalie, her friend, took a stand upon witnessing an injustice and lost her life for it.

The episode was rated 7.70 from 1099 votes.

Poker Face - S1E8

#5 - The Orpheus Syndrome (Season 1 - Episode 8)


The episode of Poker Face titled "The Orpheus Syndrome" had a great cast with Nick Nolte, Tim Russ, and Luis Guzman. The story centered around a special effects artist, Laura, who was trying to find closure from the guilt of a fatal on-set accident. Charlie, the protagonist of the show, was tasked with unraveling the new deadly plot that was revealed.

The character of Laura was especially interesting and was reminiscent of Kathleen Kennedy. The show's director, Natasha, did a fantastic job in setting up the suspense and the audience was kept guessing until the end. Laura's mask of deception slowly began to unravel and her subconscious cracked under the strain, leading to her inevitable fate. This episode did a great job of showing how justice is sometimes served in a poetic and fitting way.

The episode was rated 7.64 from 497 votes.

Poker Face - S1E3

#4 - The Stall (Season 1 - Episode 3)

In this episode of Poker Face, Charlie takes a job at a family-run Texas BBQ joint and must use her perception skills to uncover the truth behind a shocking death. The episode is full of interesting characters, such as Taffy, George and Mandy, who all play a key role in the caper. The plot is a bit stock as crime drama plots go, but it is elevated by creative and poetic logistics, such as Taffy locking his brother’s door from the outside using his trademark dental floss. The highlight of the episode is Charlie's interactions with the "fascist dog" and her ability to tell where the wood lodged in the dog’s skull came from. The composer for this one deserves an award, as the score expertly conveys what Charlie is thinking and detecting. At the end of the episode, Charlie takes George's lesson on "the stall" in a different metaphorical direction, using Austin’s voice-changing abilities to set up a ploy that helps her get justice for George. With its interesting characters, creative logistics, and clever resolution, "The Stall" is an enjoyable installment of the show.

The episode was rated 7.63 from 792 votes.

Poker Face - S1E4

#3 - Rest in Metal (Season 1 - Episode 4)


The episode follows Charlie on tour with the has-been metal band Doxxxology, where she suspects foul play when one of the musicians winds up dead. Though Rian Johnson and Christine Boylan didn't need to include the Mountain Goats frontman in a prominent role to make the episode work, his performance and the strong character work definitely added to the show's overall appeal. Though Charlie's bullshit detection skills aren't necessarily the cinch of the story, her empathy towards other lost souls, her friendship with Gavin, and her poetic Keyser Soze moment when she is able to trace the lyrics of Ruby's new hit, allow her to piece the clues together and get to the bottom of the case. Despite the strong character work and the clever touches, this episode was the weakest of the series so far. The setup of the band drama took up too much time, and the amp situation left some plot holes. Though Chloe Sevigny did a great job as Ruby Ruin, it would have been cool to see an actual one-hit wonder in the role. In the end, this was a sound mystery that was enhanced by the little touches and poetic comeuppance.

The episode was rated 7.61 from 745 votes.

Poker Face - S1E7

#2 - The Future of the Sport (Season 1 - Episode 7)

In the episode of "Poker Face" titled "The Future of the Sport," Charlie finds herself involved in a feud between an aging race car driver and a young upstart. The audience is first made to sympathize with Kyle Owens, the old man trying to make his father proud before he retires. However, the sympathy shifts to Davis, the young upstart, when it is discovered that he is the son of a genuinely kind and decent person. The episode takes yet another turn when it is revealed that Davis has sabotaged Kyle's car and put his daughter in the driver's seat. This makes Kyle sympathetic again, as he is devastated by his own actions leading to his daughter's accident. Charlie eventually brings Davis down by giving him the yips, and the episode ends with karmic retribution for Davis.

The episode is full of clever twists and turns, with the switching of sympathies and Charlie's unique way of bringing down the baddie. It also includes a great deal of humor, with Natasha Lyonne's lines about the glory of "Deliverance" being particularly amusing. The clues that Charlie follows to solve the case are all fair play, and the chase scene between Charlie and Davis is intense and suspenseful. All in all, this episode is a great example of the amazing show that "Poker Face" is, with so much going on that would have even the most clever person in awe.

The episode was rated 7.37 from 563 votes.

Poker Face - S1E6

#1 - Exit Stage Death (Season 1 - Episode 6)


In the episode "Exit Stage Death" of the show "Poker Face", Charlie's waitress job at a dinner theater is interrupted by a tragic death on stage during a performance. When Charlie starts to investigate, she discovers deadly motivations come to light. Tim Meadows and Ellen Barkin were perfect in their roles and the twist that Kathleen and Michael were actually working together to try and eliminate Ava was a great surprise. It was good mystery craftsmanship, keeping the audience guessing and coming up with surprises so that savvy mystery watchers still have to stay on their toes.

The show pokes fun at regional theater and the little bits from tech rehearsals to backstage drama to equally admiring and skeptical members of the crew are well-observed. Charlie gets involved in these cases because she ends up gravitating towards good people and wants to exonerate or absolve them of the crime. Ellen Barkin's performance was especially noteworthy and her scenes with Lyonne kept the audience laughing. The best part of the episode were the performances of Kathleen and Michael when they realize they've been made and there's nothing left to do, they give the performances of a lifetime. It sends a twisty, deadly, funny episode on a well-earned note of beauty and melancholy.

The episode was rated 7.25 from 636 votes.

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