The Fine Art of “Deception”


A Review of NBC’s “Deception” by Tiffany A. White

Deception is the story of two friends—Vivian Bowers (Bree Williamson), the wealthy socialite who is known for her partying, and Joanna Locasto (Meagan Good), Vivian’s childhood best friend. The only problem is, one must now investigate the murder of the other…

So, who killed Vivian Bowers?

The first hour raced by. I have to say I was impressed with the way the series introduced all of the characters AND hinted as to why each Bowers family member would have had motive to kill Vivian. Well, almost everyone—I’m still not one hundred percent certain as to why daddy would have wanted to harm his daughter, but I was beginning to by the end of the second episode…

Let’s meet the Bowers:

First, we have the patriarch of the family—Robert Bowers, played by Victor Garber from Alias. Robert is the founder and CEO of the family’s pharmaceutical company. He seems to be really torn up about the death of his daughter, more so than the rest of the family anyway. It’s not really until the second episode that we see why he might have had a hand in his daughter’s murder… It had to weigh on him that Vivian was sleeping with the man allegedly ready to share the failed details of his company’s latest drug, right?

Next, we have the step-mother—Sofia, played by Katherine LaNasa from Three Sisters and Judging Amy. Sofia has made it very clear that she’s the one that cleans up the family’s messes. Plus, she knows Vivian’s biggest secret and threatened her stepdaughter when she announced it was time to tell the truth. Just how wicked is this stepmother?

Next, we have the older brother—Edward, played by Tate Donovan from Damages. All fingers point to good ol’ Eddie, especially since he has a temper and was suspected of strangling and killing another girl years earlier. Not only that, but his wife (Samantha, played by Marin Hinkle from Two and a Half Men and Once and Again) has taken their children and left him which seems to just add to his anger issues. Oh, and did I mention Edward’s temper? Yeah… it was worth mentioning again.

Next, we have the other brother—Julian, played by Wes Brown from True Blood and Hart of Dixie. Julian appears to be a lot like Vivian; he loves to party and has a history of drug use. Plus, for whatever reason, Julian is the one who tossed a ring into the river that seems to match the indentations left on Vivian’s head just before her death. But did he kill her? Oh, and Julian is credited with creating the new Bowers’ pharmaceutical drug nearing release—a drug that allegedly caused harm during the testing phase that the family is covering up. So, if his sister was sleeping with the whistleblower, that clearly gives Julian something to lose…

And finally, we have the little sister—Mia, played by Ella Rae Peck from Gossip Girl. There’s more to Mia than meets the eye… the first episode hinted to the fact that she might be Vivian’s daughter, which I thought was great. Then, they confirmed it before the first hour was up, which I thought was a bit fast. However, doesn’t this give Mia motive? She seems to be really upset by the death of her sister… but did she know that her sister was really her mother and had been hiding the truth from her all these years? Hmmm….

Of course, there’s also the people outside the family with motive. Could it be the boyfriend/whistleblower/baby-daddy (Ben, played by Tom Lipinski from Suits)? How about the loyal Bowers’ handyman who will do anything for his employer? Surely this list will grow with each additional episode…

But Deception wouldn’t be a murder mystery without the police investigating the crime. Joanna didn’t go undercover on her own, as much as she wants to know who murdered her best friend, she was sent in by FBI Agent Will Moreno, played by Laz Alonso (Breakout Kings). Many at the FBI and police department are sick and tired of the Bowers family getting away with murder—literally. To what extremes will they go to finally take down the entitled family?

We may be only four episodes in, but Deception has already moved into the ranks as one of my favorite guilty pleasure television programs. It’s been years since I’ve had anything on television as dark and twisted as Twin Peaks. I’m not saying there hasn’t been any good murder mysteries since because anyone who reads my blog knows how I feel about Pretty Little Liars (love it!), but now I can sit back and watch the Bowers family members unravel and reveal more and more about themselves and why they each had motive to kill their beloved Vivian—and this makes me happy. Much like Twin Peaks and Pretty Little Liars, I’m completely hooked on the whodunit element of the series. Who DID kill Vivian Bowers?

Deception does have one downfall as far as I’m concerned though… the series is ending potential story lines and mysteries way too fast. For one, they hinted at Vivian being Mia’s mother… and then they confirmed it. Bam! They introduced a reporter with inside information as a potential informant for Joanna and her undercover investigation… and then killed him. Bam! I mean, c’mon. Slow things down just a bit to add to the intrigue. But so far that’s my only complaint.


Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery “Football Sweetheart” series. She blogs at The Ooo Factor and is available for contact via Twitter at @Tiffany_A_White, Facebook at Tiffany A. White, or by email at tiffany@tiffanyawhite.com.

© 2013 Tiffany A. White. All written content on this page is protected by copyright. If you would like to use any part of this, please contact us at the above links to request permission.

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