MOTIVE – Season 1 Episode 12 – SPOILERS
The legal concept of “reasonable doubt” and scientific research just don’t get along. To the scientist, all doubt is reasonable. Corporations hire unscrupulous experts to make whatever vanishingly small probability of doubt exists about their liability sound reasonable to a jury. Dr. Hilary Burns (Anna Galvin) is one such professional witness, and becomes the intended victim of Sonia Brauer (Carly Pope). Brauer concocts a plan to poison the woman whose testimony saved the corporation that, through pollution of the environment, caused her mother’s death. In a nicely filmed scene, we get to watch Sonia, in preparation for the crime, change clothes in a bathroom stall, illustrating her change from perky real estate agent to killer.
Alas, through a series of improbable events, Dr. Burns fails to drink from either her poisoned OJ or her poisoned coffee, but her visiting secret lover Brendan Kendall (Mathew MacCaul) does sip the cyanide-laced juice and dies moments later in his own hotel room. This is just the sort of improbability that an expert witness would argue in court to generate reasonable doubt among jurors considering corporate liability. (It is strange that Dr. Burns drank neither of the poisoned liquids. Perhaps she caught a whiff of almonds and used the opportunity to dispose of Kendall.) Katherine Collins, MOTIVE’s executive story editor, gets credit for this excellent bit of writing. She also wrote another excellent MOTIVE episode, Public Enemy.
Left unresolved at episode’s end is Brauer’s accomplice (played by Ross Noble), who is still determined to kill Dr. Burns and is not yet known to the police.
Tian will also be Emily in the film WORDS AND PICTURES, which also stars Janet Kidder, who was Melinda in MOTIVE episode 6. Warren Christie will star in THE COLOR OF RAIN, a film due out next year that also has in its cast Seth Isaac Johnson, who was Phillip Harper in MOTIVE Episode 7.
Carly Pope will be Faye Gardner in the soon-to-be-released film THE LAST LONELY PLACE, which is supported by the Humphrey Bogart Estate, and is about a Los Angeles cabbie who picks up a fleeing investment banker and his mistress.