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Review: Motive scores stellar guest stars

I feel like guest casting is a science. Score the right person in a role and you get gold. Nab the wrong person and it can ruin a storyline or episode. Motive has always been great at finding the right people to come and play; last season’s standouts for me were Brooke Nevin (Cracked) and Jason Dohring (Veronica Mars) both playing against type. This season Motive has been firing on all cylinders and Sunday’s newest episode was no exception.

“Oblivion” featured two veteran actors portraying characters opposite from what we’ve traditionally seen from them to great effect. Stephen Lobo, who often plays jerks—most recently as Kellog on Continuum—was the good guy this time around. His Isaac was fiancé/developer Isaac, who had his life turned upside down when Robin dumped him and disappeared. By the time Angie and Vega showed up at his office Isaac was beside himself with grief, wondering what had happened to the woman he’d loved so much. Shockingly, Isaac had nothing to do with the murder of Jeff Armstrong, a city planner who stood in the way of Isaac’s next project getting off the ground.

Instead, it was Robin herself who murdered Jeff by swapping out his scuba tank of oxygen for one filled with nitrous oxide. Former Gilmore Girls lead Alexis Bledel was simply stunning as Robin. She was cold and calculated in her dispatching of Jeff and at first I’d assumed she’d done it—and made like she’d been murdered to throw off the police—because she was so devoted to Isaac that she’d do anything for him.

But in a great twist, Robin and Jeff had once been together and a car accident had killed their unborn baby and rendered Robin sterile. Furious that he had moved on with his life—and that he was in the way of Isaac’s project going forward—she killed him. I was totally sympathetic to Robin and her feelings, and understood her rage at Jeff’s insensitive comment that she move on. It was easy for him to say—he had a baby on the way with his new gal pal while Robin could never conceive—and for once I cheered for Motive‘s murderer of the week.

Well done, Motive, well done.

Notes and quotes

  • “I keep expecting original recipe Cross.”
  • I like Vega’s new glasses. And though he passed the shooting test, I worry he’s got an eye issue that may jeopardize his career or put someone in danger.
  • The slamming of that door into Angie’s desk cracks me up every time.
  • “Helping a murderer. That’s love.” — Vega
  • This Montgomery fellow seems like a bad dude.

Motive airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.

Greg David
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Greg David

Prior to becoming a television critic and partner at TV, Eh?, Greg David was a critic for TV Guide Canada, the country's most trusted source for TV news. He has interviewed television actors, actresses and behind-the-scenes folks from countless programs. Survivor winners, Donald Trump, Jerry Bruckheimer ... he has interviewed (literally) hundreds of TV people over the course of his career. He is a past member of the Television Critics Association.
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One thought on “Review: Motive scores stellar guest stars”

  1. I’ve never watched an episode of Motive. Procedurals are just not my thing. However, I was a huge Gilmore Girls fan and I may have to watch this episode because of Alexis Bledel.

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