Motive Case Report #301
Warning: Recap Contains Spoilers!
The Victim: London Montgomery, a young and beautiful socialite, who is about to celebrate her first birthday after leaving rehab. To the great shock of her family, she plans to throw a charity party in an attempt to show off her reformed ways.
The Killer: Derek Caster, who works as a “fixer” for the wealthy Montgomery family and who definitely has a creepy Patrick Bateman vibe to him.
The Crime Discovery: London’s body is found dumped at a Montgomery Enterprises construction site. Given London’s history with drug addiction, Det. Brian Lucas immediately assumes that she died from an overdose, and that it would be a simple case. Dr. Rogers, the medical examiner, provides evidence that rules out an overdose, which meant that they need a very thorough investigation from the Homicide department.
The Investigation: When last we saw Det. Angie Flynn at the end of season two, she was telling Det. Oscar Vega that she didn’t think she could work in Homicide anymore. This case picks up six months later, and Angie has a new job in the police department’s recruiting department. When Vega gets to the scene of the crime, he notices that his own father’s phone number is in London Montgomery’s cell phone history, so he feels that he needs to take a step back from the case due to the obvious conflict of interest. Without Vega working the case, it’s imperative to recruit Angie back into the game, and after some prodding from the boss, Angie returns to her first case in six months.
The Other Players: Dale Barbizan, a young lawyer who is first shown getting threatened by Derek Caster, the killer, at the very top of the episode. Dale wants to take down Neville Montgomery, London’s dad, and to do this, she had to get close to someone on the inside.
The Backstory: London Montgomery has a long history of feeling like she’s letting her father, the rich and powerful Neville Montgomery down. This feeling of shame and embarrassment leads her to form a special bond with her Narcotics Anonymous sponsor, Franco Vega, who she considers her second dad. London calls Franco right before she dies so that he can talk her down from using drugs, and she tells him that she feels “used” by somebody, though she doesn’t reveal who it is.
With the heat off Franco Vega, Angie needs to focus her energies on new suspects, which lead her to Dale Barbizan, an attorney working on a case who could bring down Montgomery Enterprises. To have a shot at winning, Dale needs to get close to the family to get some damaging inside information. Sensing London’s vulnerability, she moves in for the kill.
A newly sober London falls in love with Dale, and is quick to model her reformed life around Dale’s seemingly good influence. For the first time ever, London is prioritizing doing good in the world. Not realizing that she’s being used, London gives Dale exactly what she needs: an inside document that could be catastrophic for her family’s company. When London finally confesses her love, expecting Dale to feel the same, Dale ends things, saying she couldn’t get involved with a defendant’s daughter. The now clear-headed London rightly accused Dale of leading her on and manipulating her to get something that would destroy her father and his business.
The Murder: London, her heart broken by Dale, realizes that she has sold out her father’s company, and feels her world collapse around her. She calls Derek, thinking that he might come to her rescue again, bringing drugs to help her forget her pain. In the car, Derek pours London a toxic substance disguised as cocaine, and as soon as she takes it, she knows that something is seriously wrong. “I don’t need you anymore,” Derek tells her, as he dumps London’s body at her family’s construction site.
The Motive: Angie realizes that the murder is personally motivated for Derek, who always loved London. This is not another assignment killing for him. After London leaves rehab, she tells Derek that she never loved him but kept him around because she needed him for drugs. Now, that she’s no longer using, she has no place for him in her life. This destroys Derek, who decides to kill her when she calls him to score.
The Final Moments: Angie decides to head out and grab some drinks with her old team, giving us hope that her time away from Homicide is coming to an end. Derek tries to work out a plea agreement, but is ultimately stabbed in prison.