Everything about Motive, eh?

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.

Tonight: Motive, Masterchef Canada, Heartland

Motive, CTV – “Oblivion”
When Robin Gould (Alexis Bledel, GILMORE GIRLS), an ambitious architect, goes missing, Detectives Brian Lucas (Brendan Penny), Angie Flynn (Kristin Lehman), and Oscar Vega (Louis Ferreira) find evidence that her case may be tied to a seemingly unrelated murder. Vision troubles prompt Vega to turn to Dr. Rogers (Lauren Holly) for advice as his weapons recertification test looms.

Masterchef Canada, CTV – “One Potato, Two Potato”
The home cooks’ second Team Challenge takes place on the University of Guelph campus, home to the school’s ground-breaking food research department which has developed numerous food products, including the Yukon Gold potato. After being divided into teams, the home cooks test their culinary and entrepreneurial skills by creating crowd-pleasing poutine dishes to sell to hundreds of hungry students. Back in the MASTERCHEF CANADA kitchen, the members of the losing team must master a difficult stuffed pasta dish or face elimination.

Heartland, CBC – “All I Need Is You”
Lou spearheads preparations for the big day while Amy throws herself into gentling a rescue horse in order to avoid all the craziness.

Review: The relationship’s the thing on Motive

Taking nothing away from what makes Motive such a compelling show—the crime and the guest stars—but so far it’s been the Season 3 relationship twist that has been entertaining me the most.

Heck yes I was thrilled to see Ally Sheedy and Bonnie Somerville in “Calling the Shots,” battling toe-to-toe over money invested in a Ponzi scheme that led to murder. Did I have a crush on both at points in my life? Why yes I did. (I still miss Somerville’s Kitchen Confidential.) Having Sheedy play Stephanie Carson, an uptight mom who viewed the death of Somerville’s Erica Gray as not only dispatching a rat but also helping further her own daughter’s chances at scoring a gymnastics scholarship? Immensely entertaining.

But it was the relationship between Angie, Lucas, Vega and Betty that had me grinning with pleasure the most. And why not, thanks to back-and-forth conversations like the following?

“The proof is in the pudding,” Vega opined to Angie upon learning a prison inmate was killed over the creamy dessert.

“The plot thickens,” Angie shot right back.

And later, during the murder investigation and subsequent clearing of a virgin who Erica had given the bum’s rush to meet with Stephanie: “Are you ready for this? They had rhubarb pie and watched Doctor Who,” Vega exclaimed to his partner. It’s exactly that witty dialogue that sets Motive apart from other shows in the genre and keeps me tuning in.

The cherry on top of this Sunday night confection is Lucas. It’s only taken the rookie detective six months to go from babbling young cop to confident crime-solver—four solves in four cases—something that has put Angie on her heels. She’s used to being the lead and not having to clear anything with Lucas. But now she has to, and it’s definitely going to be a learning curve. I hope her education continues so that we get more awkward morgue scenes between the four like we did this week.

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

Tonight: Juno Awards, Heartland, Motive

2015 Juno Awards, CTV
From Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre, The 2015 Juno Awards celebrates the best in Canadian music, honouring the artistic and technical achievements of artists and bands nationwide. Hosted by Jacob Hoggard, lead singer of the JUNO Award-winning band Hedley and featuring performances by 2015 Canadian Music Hall of Fame Inductee Alanis Morissette, Arkells, deadmau5, Hedley, Kiesza, Lights, MAGIC!, Sam Roberts Band, Shawn Mendes, and The Weeknd.

Heartland, CBC – “Faking It”
The family strives to support a devastated Georgie when Lou and Peter are forced to tell her distressing news.

Motive, CTV – “Calling The Shots”
Detectives Brian Lucas (Brendan Penny), Angie Flynn (Kristin Lehman), and Oscar Vega (Louis Ferreira) investigate the homicide of a high-end call girl, and their shocking discovery about the victim’s double life complicates the investigation. Meanwhile, Angie adjusts to playing a supporting role to Lucas, who is the primary investigator, and finds herself distracted when new details of the Montgomery case emerge. Ally Sheedy guest stars.

Ratings: Masterchef Canada, Motive

From a media release:

Sunday Sizzles on CTV as MASTERCHEF CANADA Has Season-High Overnight Audience of 1.4 Million Viewers

  • CTV’s hit original drama MOTIVE returns with 1 million viewers, ranking as the #1 non-sports program in its timeslot with total viewers and in the key A18-49 demo
  • MASTERCHEF CANADA returns Sunday, March 22 on CTV
  • New episodes of MOTIVE continue next Sunday at 10 p.m. ET on CTV

CTV was firing on all four burners Sunday night as MASTERCHEF CANADA kicked off the evening with a season-high overnight audience of 1.4 million viewers, preliminary overnight data from Numeris (BBM Canada) confirms. Sunday also saw the return of CTV’s hit original drama MOTIVE, which premiered to 1 million viewers growing its lead-in of SECRETS AND LIES (926,000 viewers) by 8%, to battle it out to become the #1 entertainment program in its 10 p.m. timeslot with total viewers and A18-49.

MASTERCHEF CANADA kicked off a strong Sunday for CTV, with the network leading Global from 7-11 p.m. by 47% with total viewers and 81% among A25-54, and with more than double the audience among A18-34 and A18-49. CTV delivered the Top 4 conventional programs with A18-49 with MASTERCHEF CANADA, ONCE UPON A TIME, MOTIVE, and SECRETS AND LIES.

A closer look at Numeris (BBM Canada) preliminary data for Sunday:

  • Once again winning its 7 p.m. timeslot, MASTERCHEF CANADA was up 23% among total viewers from last week’s episode.
  • Building upon its lead-in, the Season 3 premiere of MOTIVE (1 million) on CTV led the simulcast of BATTLE CREEK (837,000, Global/CBS) at 10 p.m. by 19% with total viewers, 10% with A18-34, and 4% with A18-49. Last night’s season premiere was also up 8% with total viewers over its Season 2 premiere just over a year ago.

In the next new episode of MASTERCHEF CANADA (returning in two weeks on Sunday, March 22 at 7 p.m./8 p.m. CT), the home cooks’ second Team Challenge takes place on the University of Guelph campus, home to the school’s ground-breaking food research department which has developed numerous food products, including the Yukon Gold potato. After being divided into teams, the home cooks test their culinary and entrepreneurial skills by creating crowd-pleasing poutine dishes to sell to hundreds of hungry students. Back in the MASTERCHEF CANADA kitchen, the members of the losing team must master a difficult stuffed pasta dish or face elimination.

In next week’s episode of MOTIVE, “Calling The Shots” (Sunday, March 15 at 10 p.m. ET on CTV), Detectives Brian Lucas (Brendan Penny), Angie Flynn (Kristin Lehman) and Oscar Vega (Louis Ferreira) investigate the homicide of a high-end call girl, and their shocking discovery about the victim’s double life complicates the investigation. Meanwhile, Angie adjusts to playing a supporting role to Lucas, who is the primary investigator, and finds herself distracted when new details of the Montgomery case emerge. Ally Sheedy guest stars.