MOTIVE: Kristin Lehman Talks Season 2 Changes and Character Challenges (2014)


Coming off a successful first season, MOTIVE returns with Season 2 on a high note. The police drama returns to the world of Detectives Angie Flynn (Kristin Lehman) and her partner Detective Vega (Louis Ferreira) as they piece together the mysteries of why people kill in order to track down murderers. Anyone can be pushed to the brink given the right circumstances and it only takes a very slight push to compel them to actually take a life when pushed too far. So they to capturing killers is figuring out what was that one thing that pushed them over the edge.

In an exclusive interview, star Kristin Lehman talked about the addition of Warren Christie as an ex-flame of Angie’s and how that effects all the characters as the careful balance of their police precinct shifts. She also previewed what kinds of challenges face Angie both personally and professionally throughout the second season.

From the looks of it, you all are having a lot more full this season.
KRISTIN: (Laughs) We’re really lucky. We all get along. We all enjoy working together, and that might be just a byproduct of us being mature now.

So what’s going on with Detective Angie Flynn in Season 2? Is she going to be having some drama or is life a little easier and she’s coasting this season?
KRISTIN: She’s not really coasting. We changed a few things in the show that really affect the pace. We added a whole other act and we added a lot of professional and personal tension in the workplace. So we don’t go home as much with Manny (Cameron Bright). Manny’s is now in college. He’s off taking care of himself and Angie, of course, as a workaholic, dives into her work. With her child gone, that’s where she feels strong and ironically enough, that’s where tension builds — particularly with the addition of a new character. Actually, we have two new characters this season. One being is Mark Cross (Warren Christie), who is Angie’s acting sergeant and her first partner coming out of the police academy and also a former lover. She suddenly has a former lover with whom she had an acrimonious ending with become her acting boss. So we see their struggles working together and then we reveal why the struggle might be in terms of their past and mistakes and how that leads to on the job tension.

How does Angie’s current partner Detective Vega take it?
KRISTIN: The thing is as we talked with the writers all along, if you want to shake up Flynn and Vega’s belief in each other, it needs to be earned. When you do a job and your life is on the life and you depend on that person, it takes a lot to really shake that. So Vega is seeing a whole other side to Angie, but he doesn’t make any snap decisions. That I think lends itself to a nice slow boil for the whole season.

What would you say is the best part to that Flynn/Vega partnership that seemed so rock-solid in the first season?
KRISTIN: What I think is the best part is, just like Louis and my working relationship, is we are very available to each other. So in the moment, if we’re going to try to create something or if we’re going to let go, we just naturally are there for each other in a way where we don’t have to be self-conscious. If you’re going to go out on a limb, it is always such a confidence builder to have someone who believes in you, and that’s the thing that’s just so unshakeable between these two people. It’s not clouded by things like moments or clouded by things like superiority or competition. It’s really genuine and I think that’s something so beautiful to explore outside of romance because it is also rare in procedural television to not have a relationship that isn’t determined by romance. It’s great to see that they know that its the healthiest relationship in their life.

When does Mark Cross, Warren Christie’s character, join the show?
KRISTIN: He’s right there in the first episode and right away he upsets things. Warren is such a dashing guy and he’s just so good — and who doesn’t like looking at him all day? (Laughs) So Mark is revealed right away. As Angie explores the case that revolves around our guest stars David Alpay and Amanda Crew, he tries to get in touch with her and when she returns to the office, she is faced with him immediately. It’s kind of great.

With Roger Cross still on the show, how does his character fit into this new kind of team dynamic?
KRISTIN: Roger’s character Boyd has now been promoted. He’s the senior superintendent. What is really great is because he stayed on show — thank god, because he’s such a marvelous guy to begin with and such a good actor — he kind of becomes Angie’s sounding-board. That is I think another important aspect to this season because Angie has to struggle with decisions she has made in the past that are effecting the decisions she makes in the present and he really helps guide her in a way. So that’s really crucial. And he’s directly responsible for promoting her former lover and partner. So while Boyd is like her sound-board and kindly uncle, he’s also responsible for this. It was a nice bit of tension that we got to play.

It sounds like office-politics is going to play a bigger role this season.
KRISTIN: That’s the thing. The pace is so fast that we’re often in the office and the beauty of Angie not going home so much is that we have a place where we can do both things. We can tell both stories.

Since the show is MOTIVE and it’s all about the crimes, what kinds of crimes will be encountered this season?
KRISTIN: It really runs the gamut and the writers have really done a great job of keeping things spontaneous and sexy — and yet still the thing that they do so well is you are challenged in your moral belief how murder is wrong and someone who committed it is wrong. One of my absolute favorite episodes — and I love the first episode “Raw Deal” — but our second episode “The Made Me a Criminal” involves the question of what a mother would do to protect her child. That one was extremely powerful and guest stars Jennifer Beals. In our first episode, there’s a really wonderful young family facing life a new engaged couple, and we find out that the protagonist David Alpay’s character is in fact linked to his fiancé’s past in ways that she doesn’t know. So the depth of betrayal really causes the audience to really question what’s going on and if they were in that situation, which is just so complicated, “what would I do?” It’s kind of heart-breaking. There’s children involved and there’s always romance and it is a situation where the significant other is jeopardized. That kind of thing is always amazing. It’s really good. Every episode is excellent. There’s another one that involves brothers and sisters and what they do to protect each other. So they really cover the gamut.

What would you say the one word that best describes where Angie is this season?
KRISTIN: I would say “flappable.” Whereas in the first season I would have said “unflappable,” this season I would say she’s “flappable.” She’s not quite as rock-solid as we have seen her before. But the way she covers that is she tries to appear as rock-solid as possible. The whole season is whether or not she’s able to maintain that as she cannot rely on her usual coping mechanisms and she’s really turning to her job to assert her way in the world. She’s really shaken with the storyline that we follow as our B-storyline — which is the backstory between Mark Cross and Angie. Then of course we have another new character Wendy Sung, who is played by Valerie Tian, and she is really excellent. So everybody is experiencing a bit of a shake-up in the office this season.

So this season is about the characters finding their footing again in an environment that they thought they knew already.
KRISTIN: Absolutely, and the one they turn to in order to make themselves feel powerful and in fact it is not as reliable.

To see how Angie’s world is put on edge and how she copes with the changes around her, be sure to tune in for the Season 2 premiere of MOTIVE on Wednesday, May 21st at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.

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