Friday marks the start of a new season of Motive, USA's thrilling new mystery about two homicide detectives tracking down some of the most cunning and elusive murderers. If you don't have time to binge-watch the first two seasons, here's everything you need to know to jump into this week's premiere.
It's a “Whydunnit."
Within the first few minutes of each episode of Motive, you’ll learn who the victim is -- and who the killer is. For the rest of the episode, you’ll see the detectives follow clues to piece together the case, along with flashback scenes of both the victim and the killer so you can get a richer understanding of what actually happened. Knowing who committed the crime allows you to focus on why the crime was committed, and trust us, figuring out the motive makes watching this crime show a unique experience. It is very, very possible to be shocked at the outcome of each Motive episode even if you know who did the crime.
There's a Case of the Week.
Each episode features one crime that is ultimately solved before the end of the episode. While there are overarching themes that lead detectives Angie Flynn and Oscar Vega face over the course of a season, those themes are more about their personal lives. You’ll be able to dive right in and quickly learn about the recurring characters and what makes them tick. And since watching people solve crimes really shows you how someone thinks, this just might be one of the very best ways to learn about someone. But if you want some background on the show’s two main detectives, we don’t blame you…
Det. Angie Flynn Has a Unique Skill Set.
Motive’s detective work is shown largely through Angie’s eyes. People may write her off initially for her unorthodox ways, but time and time again, Angie proves that she is an unrivaled detective. She knows how to read people and can instantly spot when someone is lying, which is a skill she has mostly picked up from being a single mom from the wrong side of the tracks. Angie is one of the most authentic characters on TV, and she’s exciting to watch because she acts quickly on her instincts. She doesn’t always follow procedure or stick to the rules, which makes for some very compelling detective work. But to be successful, she needs a stabilizing force, which is found in her partner, Oscar Vega.
Det. Oscar Vega Is Her Partner in Crime-Solving.
Vega is basically the yin to Angie’s yang, or, as Angie often puts it, Vega is the pain in her backside. He is more quiet and reflective than Angie is, which is exactly the type of person she needs to share her ideas with. Vega grew up incredibly wealthy, and after attending Harvard Divinity School, he chose to work as a detective instead of joining the priesthood because he felt this path would allow for him to have the most impact to effect social change. Vega is a stabilizing force for Angie -- he lets her go off on wild hunches, but knows how to bring her back to reality. His calming presence is helpful in tense situations, and helps Angie get to the real answer.
The Killers Are... Relateable?
Hear us out. If you’re looking for over-the-top psychotic serial killers, you won’t really find too many in Motive. You will find average people committing crimes that feel as if they can happen in your neighborhood. And that’s the point! Motive explores all the big themes -- greed, envy, lust, revenge, and so on -- that can lead someone to commit such an awful crime.
Who Will Love Motive?
Anyone. Seriously. If you love crime or mystery shows, uncovering the motive each week will excite you. If you can spend hours on end watching police procedurals, Motive will fit right into your routine. If Netflix keeps recommending shows for you with “strong female leads” then you’ll really love watching Angie Flynn solve crimes like a boss lady. If you’re addicted to following high-profile murder cases in the news, then you’ll feel right at home watching Motive. Or if you’re a film buff who loves Hitchcock, then you’ll appreciate the suspenseful storytelling that starts with knowing something major that the detectives don’t.
Where Did We Last Leave Off?
Season three picks up after a thrilling episode that brought back a 10-year-old case Angie and her sergeant Mark Cross were involved in. It also brought a ton of old painful memories back to the surface. The episode left off with Angie telling Vega that she doesn't think she can move forward any longer. Will Angie want to remain working as a homicide detective? What will this mean for Angie and Vega’s dynamic? Find out in Motive’s season three premiere Friday night, and check back for weekly case report recaps for the entire third season.
If you have time to watch season two, you can see every episode here. In fact, we wholeheartedly support a binge-viewing session before Friday. But you just might get addicted. Don’t say we didn’t warn you!