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TV Recap: Motive, Series Premiere

justin matchick looks at the new ABC crime drama …


Ah yes, it’s that time of year again. The weather’s getting warmer, your allergies are in full swing, and you’re slowly being eaten alive by mosquitos and deafened by cicadas. Your favorite shows have had their big finales and gone off air; some for just the summer, some for the rest of time. And now it’s time for the summer television season to begin. We all know nothing says summer TV like a good old Canadian police procedural imported from our neighbors up north. Like Rookie Blue and Flashpoint before it, Motive is a crime-drama that television executives thought highly enough of to begin broadcasting it here in the US.

Motive follows the day to day crime proceedings of Detective Angela Flynn (Kristin Lehman) and her partner Detective Oscar Vega (Louis Ferreira). Unlike most other crime dramas, Motive lets you know right from the start who the killer is and who their victim will be. But this doesn’t exactly ruin the experience of watching the case unfold and how the detective wind up finding out what the viewers already know. The real treat is finding out what the exact motive behind the murder is. The link between the murderer and victim is not exactly immediately obvious, and it does wind up being incredibly interesting to find out exactly why they wanted this person dead.

Tonight’s episode revolved around victim Tiffany Greenwood, babysitter for her eventual killer, former prosecutor and current mayoral candidate David Jacobs. There was a constant use of flashback throughout the episode, slowly revealing fragments of the build-up to Tiffany’s murder and the reasoning behind it. The payoff is slightly unexpected, with the obvious politician-younger woman affair reveal turned on its head. Despite our knowledge of who will eventually be brought to justice for her murder, it’s still intensely satisfying to see the killer caught.

Lehman and Ferreira are naturals in their roles, fulfilling the headstrong lead detective and gruff side kick roles respectively. They have excellent rapport with one another, to the point that the investigative portions of the show simply just are not as fun when they aren’t paired up. Roger Cross as Staff Sergeant Boyd Bloom and Brendan Penny as rookie Detective Brian Lucas fill out the rest of the investigative team. They don’t show up nearly as often as I wish they would, both being excellent sources of comic relief. Together, these four make one of the better investigative teams on television, mixing clever detective work with cunning wit and teamwork.

There is definitely a unique quality to Motive thanks to its structure of showing us the murderer and victim within the first minute of the episode and letting the blanks get filled in along the way. It proves to be far more interesting of a police procedural than any I’ve seen in the past few years on that alone. Thanks to that and its well-rounded cast I’d say it’s the perfect show for any crime fan to watch over the summer until all the regular shows come back. Since the first season of the show ended just last week in Canada, all of the episodes are currently available in some for online. However, I recommend catching the show on schedule as it airs on ABC to allow for a more fulfilling and longer lasting viewing experience.


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