Synopsis: A string of burglaries hits close to home for Murtaugh when one occurs in his own neighborhood, and it gets just as personal for Riggs when another break-in ends in a casualty.
The problem Lethal Weapon seems to be having, is that it can’t decide what it wants to be. It tries to be topical, nudging up against topics like systemic racism or suicidal ideation, but then backs off or makes light, rather than follow down the story thread, and bookends such moments with complete slapstick humor, and wildly unnecessary action sequences.
Every suspect must be chased down, tasered, and thrown in cuffs, every door must be broken down, every car must end up on fire, and every criminal must be mocked and manipulated. It’s cool and funny – sort of – but it’s also overplayed, jarring, and frankly, unconstitutional.
After a house in his own neighborhood is robbed, Murtaugh, along with Riggs, takes on the investigation of a series of robberies in empty, high-end houses. It turns out, that a group of parking valets have been passing along the home addresses from the registration of the nice cars they park to thieves for a cut, knowing that the car’s owners must have money, and are currently not home. I know stealing is bad and everything, but I commend them on that setup. Pretty slick.
Things get dicey though, after they try to rob a woman whom they mistakenly believe to be wealthy, because her nice car is borrowed. They also didn’t expect her visiting sister to be at the house, and she is killed, while on the phone with Riggs. Having heard the woman die, and still dealing with his own grief, Riggs takes her death personally, and becomes even more determined to catch the thieves.
They finally do, thanks to some help from a friend of Roger Jr.’s, who turns out of be one of valets who’s been in on the scheme. He never wanted it to go as far as it did though, and Murtaugh is willing to go easy on him, especially after he’s shot for his efforts.
Speaking of Roger Jr., Riggs and Murtaugh get into an argument this week, after RJ is stranded by one of his friends – who he was not supposed to be hanging around – and calls Riggs to pick him up, asking him to keep it a secret from his parents. Riggs appropriately chastises RJ for lying, and tells him to come clean to his parents. He does, but Murtaugh is still furious with Riggs for not telling him first.
Because of this tension, they get sent to Dr. Cahill together for what looks a lot like couples therapy. They glare at each other from both ends of the couch before finally agreeing to bury the hatchet, to the tune of a lot of eye-rolling from Dr. Cahill. This is by far the best scene of the week – I actually laughed out loud. The show could do with much more of this, and a few less excessive tasers.
As I’ve written every week, there is still no overarching plot line to follow, and Riggs’ death wish motif has faltered. Unlike in a film, that’s a hard thread to keep taut episode after episode, and it doesn’t seem to be driving his character the way it was probably meant to.
To finish strong though, this episode introduced us to a delightfully antagonistic and competitive new dynamic between Murtagh’s protege Bailey, and newly-permanent team member Cruz, a former gang member and gang-unit cop.
She’s (rightfully) irked that he was dropped right into a team she spent four years fighting to get on, and he has his own way of doing things. They butt heads, and race to be the first to break leads, and even though it’s not necessarily played for laughs, it’s a delight to watch and I can’t wait to see more of them.