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A patsy, a Femme Fatale & a Hustler Walk into a bar: Motive “Pushover” Review

By on June 1, 2013
(ABC/Carole Segal)


By Catherine Cabanela

Motive’s third episode, ‘Pushover’, provides an ominous portrayal of what could happen when a patsy, a femme fatale, and a hustler walk into a bar, er, I mean, a diner.  Ben Crewson, a despondent port authority customs agent, gets duped by Leanne, a raven-haired, emerald-eyed  diner waitress, and her limo-driving lover, Scott Hayward, into confiscating $2 million and 3 lbs of black market anabolic steroids from an unscrupulous lawyer’s mule during a customs strip search known as a ‘peel.’ Yeah, I’ll let you think about that for a moment …

Scott (Greyston Holt of Alcatraz, Durham County) surreptitiously uncovers a thriving drug smuggling operation run by his regular Tuesday limo fare, attorney Randy Sprague (Vincent Gale of Bates Motel, Blackstone) as Sprague picks up the booty-transporting mule arriving on the weekly Mexico to Alaska cruise. Leanne (Katharine Isabelle of Being Human, Eve of Destruction), the doe-eyed sultry waitress at the port diner, recognizing the need for a patsy to do the dirty work, seduces Crewson (Scott Michael Campbell, list of credits below) and tells him she loves him while covertly manipulating him into designing a plan for stealing the contraband so they can run away together and open a flower shop.

Cinematographically, this episode was a delight. It could have been called ‘Motive: Starring Kristin Lehman’s Dimples—facetiousness unintended. Resplendent with close-ups, this episode brings the gold: that intimacy that engages viewers and eventually compels them to invest in the characters. I actually caught myself in a smiling sigh as the subtleties of Flynn’s personality began to reveal themselves. Through her complimentary banter with Vega (Louis Ferreira), her understated aesthetic as she interacts with and observes of all the players, and her innate understanding of the underpinnings archetypical humanity she appears as a woman who understands that sometimes good people do unforgivable things when they are in great pain. For example, as she concludes her interview with Crewson, she compassionately and respectfully observes, “Only betrayal like that could make someone do what you did.” Her tone suggests that though he is certainly responsible, she didn’t blame him for his actions. Wow.

Flynn and Vega—what’s going on with these two? They are like an old couple who still enjoys being married. At least forty percent of their communication is delivered in the form of glances, grimaces, shrugs accompanied by frowns, and raised eyebrows. We’re not talking eye-sex here. They simply know each other that well. Will something romantic ever develop between them? Who knows? It’s apparent that Vega doesn’t want for female company to share his bed, but what about Flynn? I guess we’ll have to tune-in next week to find out.

Scott foolishly appears in Leanne’s stead at the agreed-upon getaway spot and derisively reveals to Crewson how thoroughly he’s been taken for a ride—but not a limo ride. Scott, who never thought about the fact that Crewson might have a gun (Duh, implied), gets shot dead while trying to detain Crewson. Angered by the betrayal, Crewson sets Leanne up to get caught with the steroids and takes off with the money. Flynn and Vega find him, of course, and take him in. The rest is history.

This episode was cleverly directed by none other than Charles Martin Smith, the director at the helm of “Welcome to the Hellmouth”, the maiden episode responsible for launching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Another generation of viewers might recognize Smith for his roles in American Graffiti, The Buddy Holly Story, and The Untouchables.


Where have I seen that guy, he looks terribly familiar!

Over the last 20+ years, Scott Michael Campbell, this Motive episodes killer, Ben Crewson, has played minor roles over 85 of the most successful television series produced since1991. From Hell on Wheels (2013) all the way back to Sisters (1991), this guy has had no extra room on his dance card! Credits include Major Crimes, Bones, Dexter, Castle, Drop Dead Diva, Supernatural, Southland, Private Practice—now let me catch my breath!—Grey’s Anatomy, Criminal Minds, Burn Notice, 24, NCIS, Crossing Jordan, Chicago Hope—Need I go on? He’s also had recurring roles in The Event, CSI, House and ER. His longest gig was the 20 episode gig playing Father Eric in Nothing Sacred. That’s why you recognize Scott Michael Campbell.

In next week’s episode, ‘Against All Odds’, a grocery store clerk in the middle of a nasty divorce breaks into a home and kills a high-powered lawyer. For al intents, it looks like a regular B&E, but nothing of value was taken. So – what was the motive? You’ll have to tune in THURSDAY, JUNE 6 (9:00-10:01 p.m., ET) on ABC to find out!