God, do I love this show. Motive closed out its excellent third season Sunday night with “A Problem Like Maria,” as Angie got her man in a resolution to a throughline case that spanned the 13 episodes.
We began the season with the death of London Montgomery, and then the murder of her killer, orchestrated by London’s father, Neville (Victor Garber). While she knew it but couldn’t prove it, Angie spent the season surreptitiously working the clues and the case, with an assist early on from Maria Snow (Luisa D’Oliveira), Neville’s communications director and the fiancée of his son, Robert.
Angie got closer than Neville liked and that brought danger her way — first a break-in at her home, and then the firebombing of her car (RIP sweet ride). Then IA got involved, and it looked like Mark was throwing in with Chief Halford (Jeffrey Nordling), who was in Neville’s pocket.
The season finale addressed all of those threads, as Maria was revealed as the victim, and Neville her killer. Over the course of the episode, we learned that Neville and Halford had conspired to conceal the rape of Maria’s mother 25 years earlier — a rape during which she was conceived.
Maria pieces that together by getting Halford drunk enough to pass out so she can search his house. She finds her mother’s case file and rape kit, tests the DNA, and voila. She meets with the DA (Continuum‘s Luvia Petersen) but doesn’t pull the trigger with her evidence. Unfortunately, Halford figures out what she found and tips off Neville, who attacks and kills her.
We find out in the episode that Mark has been working with IA to get Halford — a relief since we last saw him eyeing a very pricey Neville-gifted Rolex (or Piaget?) and then behaving a little bit hinky, bumping Angie off actively pursuing Maria’s death.
In the end, Neville and Halford are arrested, and poor Robert’s going to be left to deal with the news that his father killed his former fiancée who was also his half-sister (not enough hot water and soap in the world for that).
On the homefront, Vega postpones his surgery to wrap the case, and that’s how we end the season, with him being wheeled out of his room as Angie tells him he’s going to be fine. And there’s a cute confirmation that he and Betty are officially a thing — good news after he told her a couple of weeks ago that he made a mistake in backing off from their budding romance, and she told him she’d have to think about resuming it.
We also get a quick glimpse of Cross and Lucas wondering what’s next. Cross says Lucas would do well in IA but he’s reticent about Golden Boy status again. Instead he tells Cross the brass will surely promote him now, but he laughs that off, so I hope that means he stays in the squad next season, since we know he’s not eyeing an administrative future anymore.
I loved this season — every episode was a surprise, which is so great. The writing was sharp, and the casting was fantastic with so many terrific people coming through to play. I liked the balance of personal and business this season as we saw Betty recover from her attack and find a new normal, and retain her personality.
It was fun to have Victor Garber be really atrocious. What a great year for him, between this and The Flash and Legends of Tomorrow.
I like that we did finally get to the heart of Vega’s illness and that he and Betty found each other in a really sweet way. I like that Angie fell back into her rhythms with the team and that she and Cross navigated a working relationship in the aftermath of the second season.
I so wish ABC was giving U.S. audiences the third season. I’m hopeful Reelz (who picked up King, Cracked, and Bomb Girls) or ION (who grabbed The Listener and Flashpoint) will step up — or even Lifetime Movie Network, which just started airing Strange Empire.
We know for sure that there will be a fourth season — for Canada and CTV. So far, no word on a U.S. pickup for season three or four (dammit). You can rewatch season three (and one and two) on Crave and iTunes Canada. The fourth season begins shooting this fall in Vancouver and will air in 2016.
Photos courtesy of CTV