A Problem Like Maria
S3 episode 13 Aired on June 26, 2016

Warning: Contains Spoilers

Motive Case Report: #313

Killer: Neville Montgomery, crooked businessman and Det. Angie Flynn’s white whale

Victim: Maria Snow, former foster child who holds a secret hatred of Montgomery

The Discovery: Maria is found on the roof of a car, having fallen seven stories. Det. Angie Flynn immediately blames herself for putting Maria in harm’s way. Given that Montgomery has been stepping up his threats against Angie, including a Molotov cocktail that blew up her car, Angie thinks Maria had more dirt on Montgomery.

The Investigation: Before Angie can begin, Sgt. Mark Cross sidelines her, claiming he’s worried about her. Cross brings Angie and Det. Oscar Vega in to report directly to Deputy Chief Earl Halford, who later tells Cross to keep an eye on Angie.

The investigation quickly focuses on Maria’s former fiancé and Neville’s son, Robert Montgomery, who had a blow-up with Maria over dinner the night she was killed. Meanwhile, Neville allows his men to plant Maria’s cell phone in Robert’s house, leading to his arrest when it turns up in a search. But Angie and Oscar know Robert is being framed. They play Robert the tape of Neville that Maria gave Angie.

In checking Maria’s phone records, detectives find she met with a prosecutor. She clearly had information she wanted to pass on, but she never got the chance.

Dr. Betty Rogers shows Angie bruises on Maria’s upper arms and theorizes that someone grabbed her and pushed her face-first through the widow. Rogers finds a recently swallowed valet token in Maria’s stomach.

Cross calls someone and tells them about the token and that he can only suppress the report for a few hours. Could he be dirty and working with Montgomery and Halford?

Cross confronts Angie and Oscar as they search Maria’s car at the valet garage. Sgt. Saunders with Internal Investigations is with him – Cross went to him after Montgomery tried to recruit him. Saunders was receptive after Halford ordered the bogus investigation into the division (Angie appreciates the non-apology apology).

Cross lets Oscar and Angie check the car’s GPS before Halford arrives and Cross pretends to be helping him. Halford deletes a stop from the car’s GPS and doesn’t blink when Cross points out he tampered with an investigation.

Moments later, Saunders pulls up and Halford is arrested for obstruction of justice.

In jail, Robert has pieced together that Maria was the mole and his father backed Maria over him. He wants nothing to do with his father.

Oscar follows up the stops in Maria’s GPS and the detectives find that Maria visited a woman named Vera DiCeso in a private medical facility. Vera is in a catatonic state after a failed suicide attempt years ago.

The detectives check in on Vera’s only other regular visitor, a woman named Fran who is paying Vera’s bills. Fran explain she fostered Vera’s daughter Sonya years ago at the same Maria stayed with her. Fran pretends not to know Maria, but when the detectives tell her that Maria is dead she reveals that Maria was really Sonya DiCeso.

Maria took her foster sister’s identity 10 years ago. Her mother Vera worked for Neville 25 years ago.

Background: After Neville makes Maria his vice president, he makes a pass at her but is interrupted by his housekeeper. Maria runs to her car and screams with disgust and rage.

As Maria works for him, she tries to figure out what Halford has on Neville. Neville says Halford overlooked a “youthful indiscretion” of his 25 years ago.

One night, Maria grabs drinks with Halford and drugs him. She searches old case files in his basement until she finds what she is looking for.

The detectives later find that Halford kept evidence from a 25 year old rape case involving Neville. Halford wrote the report like the woman had made the story up. Halford even kept the rape kit, should he ever need to use it against Neville.

Maria found it and had it tested. It proved that Neville had raped her mother, Vera DiCeso – and that she was Sonya.

The Motive: The night of the murder, Neville takes Maria to an old building he wants her to renovate. Halford calls him with the news that Maria is Sonya and Neville turns on her. She tries to fight him off but only manages to swallow the valet token before he throws her out a window.

As the detectives finally arrest Neville, they find glass on his shoes that they expect to match the crime scene. They finally have him, and Maria managed to prove what Neville did to her mother, even if cost her her life.

Partners: Oscar tells Angie that he’s having the mass on his thyroid removed instead of just a biopsy. He postpones it as they close in on Neville, but finally goes through with it. Angie brings Oscar a good luck fish in the hospital and finds him making out with Dr. Rogers in his hospital bed. As the nurses wheel him away for surgery, Angie promises to see him soon.