First Impressions


Aired on: ABC

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                Okay, so it's spring.  That means it's season finale time and what does that mean for television fans?  This is the time of the year when their favorite shows complete their seasons and new shows that otherwise might never be seen get some play time.  This is the time of the year when television networks are hoping they might snag a viewer or two who hasn't got a plan to go out every night during the nice weather.  ABC Network's latest submission for the Thursday, 9pm EST time slot (formerly owned by Grey's Anatomy): Motive.

                Taking place in Vancouver, Canada, the series follows Homicide Detective Angie Flynn (Kristin Lehman), a single mother with a feisty attitude, a love for cars and a knack for finding killers.  In the premiere episode, Creeping Tom, Detective Flynn is called to the crime scene of a murdered karaoke-singing science teacher (former New Kid on the Block Joey McIntyre).  Covered in blood and the only one home when the murder took place, Glen Martin's wife, Linda (Sahuna Johannessen) seems the most likely suspect.  But Detective Flynn doesn't think she did it, much to the chagrin of her cynical partner Detective Oscar Vega (Louis Ferreira).

                The fact of the matter is, we (the viewers) know it wasn't the wife.  That's because Motive is more about the why than the who.  Originally a Canadian television series that found its way to the US, Motive first tells the viewers the identities of the victim and the murderer.  That way, we can focus on the actual motive for the murder.  In this case, the actual murderer is a high school student named Tom (Tyler Johnston), the least likely of suspects.  Tom is one of those "invisible" kids in high school.  Playing bass drum in the high school marching band, he's the kind of kid that tries to lay low despite the fact that other kids find him an easy target for bullying.

                But Tom was not in any of Mr. Martin's classes.  Tom doesn't really know Linda Martin.  There really isn't any readily apparent motive for the murder.  So why did Tom kill Glen Martin?  That is what we have to figure out as Detectives Flynn and Vega, rookie Detective Brian Lucas (Brandon Penny), Staff Sergeant Boyd Bloom (Roger Cross) and Medical Examiner Betty Rogers (Lauren Holly) uncover clues that will help them solve the murder.

                Now, Motive is not one of those action-packed wowsers of a crime drama.  In fact, this show could probably slip right under every cop show fan's radar, but I decided to check it out on the off chance that it might be worth my while.  I have to didn't suck.  I thought it might, but found out differently.  I actually enjoyed the characters and the situations they found themselves in.  I liked the plot twist.  But there's something missing in this show...I can't quite put my finger on it.  The show itself isn't bad and the acting is good, yet I don't see myself watching this show on a regular basis. 

                It's a hit in Canada, garnering a second season there.  Perhaps Motive will find another niche here in the states.  For me, Motive will be one of those shows that I might watch if I had nothing else to do and felt like just staring at the television for some moderately good entertainment.  Not a great show, but one featuring an interesting concept. 


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