Since when do we watch “Lethal Weapon” and we’re more surprised by the antics of Roger Murtaugh than Martin Riggs?
Do you ever watch an episode of TV and come out of it swearing it was longer than 45 minutes? That’s how the latest episode of “Lethal Weapon” felt to me. There was SO much going on! Riggs and Murtaugh each had their own plotlines happening, mostly separate from each other. We got to spend a little time with Trish away from her husband and even Avery had the chance to enjoy the spotlight!
IMDB Episode Summary After the city’s gun buy-back program is robbed, the team is on a hunt for those responsible. Meanwhile, Murtaugh walks on thin ice with Trish, Riggs finds an unlikely friend in Ruthie, and Captain Avery is reunited with a college “frenemy” who has key information about the case.
One of the interesting things this season of “Lethal Weapon” is doing is frequently having Riggs and Murtaugh have separate plotlines. Yes, the separate threads are interwoven very well. Yes, the two men do still impact each other despite not sharing as many scenes. However, it is interesting how the past few episodes (“An Inconvenient Ruth” and “Ruthless” especially) have had the partners tangling with other people. In some ways, (in the case of Riggs) it’s actually a great opportunity to see a character grow. In other ways, (in the case of Murtaugh) it’s been a chance to see Roger make an idiot of himself.
Roger Murtaugh, You Are NOT the Captain of Your Ship!
Now, I keep most of my episode reviews neutral, but this is one episode where I can’t keep my personal opinions to myself. The Murtaugh marriage is a beautiful one, but both Roger and Trish are royally screwing it up. Roger is staying true to the same crisis he had in the movies. He hates being old and more than that, he hates having to admit it. The problem lies in how hard he’s fighting to prove he’s young. He’s doing it at the expense of his marriage. He’s doing it in ways that risk his life, that risk the husband of Trish, that risk the father of his children. It would be one thing if he was doing this to save people as a police officer. He isn’t. He’s doing it for himself and that’s selfish.
In “Ruthless,” we saw the Murtaugh family take the issue of Roger being reckless and turn it into something else. It turned into a petty fight. Roger slept on the couch and Trish slept in bed. They were barely speaking. Roger reads “The Art of War” for advice and walks around telling people he is the master of his ship! Roger flirts with a girl who likes his motorcycle. When she asks him for his number, he tells her it’s 911! Roger even parks his bike in the driveway. Trish “accidentally” crashes into the motorcycle, totaling it, but blames the accident on the “DARK!” Afterward, Roger says to his wife “YOUR insurance rates are going to go up!” She replies “I CAN afford it!”
My complaint about all of this is how petty it seems. It doesn’t seem like the way these two mature adults would handle themselves or each other. Roger staging risky acts to prove to himself he’s still young and wild? That works! But Roger alienating his wife, thinking that just waiting her out will change her mind? No. Just . . . no.
Trish tries to make amends between her and Roger by having an apology dinner. It backfires when Roger reveals that he bought a car. Life then does a strange flip-flop. While Riggs has many times been taken care of by the Murtaugh family, this time it is Roger knocking on Martin’s front door.
While I might not be a big fan of how this fight is going between Roger and Trish, I’ll be the first to admit I’m thrilled to see what terrible roommates Roger and Martin make!
The Cuteness that Was Rugs (Ruth and Riggs)
Am I only one becoming a huge fan of Rugs? (Ruth and Riggs?) Who didn’t enjoy themselves as they watched these two adorably damaged people play mahjong in Rigg’s trailer? It was so easy to imagine the two becoming fast friends, filling their days with spray cheese, cheating at mahjong, and unending sarcasm. All it took was 60 seconds of Ruth yelling at her phone for that dream to evaporate. “I’ll be taillights by sunset” might be a kickass line by Ruth. It also looks like it might be an accurate one.
Fast-forward later in the day and viewers discover that Ruth has a son. Riggs hunts down that son and finds out Ruth owes 1,800 in unpaid parking tickets. Riggs gets Ruth’s RV towed in the hopes it makes her stay. In a moment of anger, Ruth tells Riggs that she isn’t here to save him. “I didn’t ask you to,” he tells her, to which she responds, “Good, because some people are beyond saving.”
In the end, Ruth still leaves. She tells Riggs she isn’t the type to settle down. Riggs thinks that’s what they have in common. Ruth tells him that he’s afraid. “Afraid of what?” He asks her. “Afraid of putting down roots?” “No,” she tells him. “Afraid that you already have.”
I know I’m not the only fan crossing their fingers that this isn’t the last we’ve seen of Ruth! She was a positive influence on Martin Riggs and he needs as many of those in his life as he can. Ruth had a different impact on him than Roger or Trish does. Why? Roger and Trish have a great deal of loyalty to each other. Ruth had loyalty to no one. If she had stayed, if her RV had stayed next to Martin’s, Ruth would never have had to leave Martin because someone else needed her. (Just my opinion, here)
It Didn’t Matter that the Gun Was Empty! That Wasn’t the Point!While Riggs and Murtaugh spent much of this episode caught up separate relationship problems, they did come together for the case-de-jour! Missing weapons, undercover agents, partners shooting each other in the back, the background for this episode was full and busy as usual. While the case might not have been that unique, it was exciting to see a bit more of Avery’s backstory via agent Charlie Blum. I know I’m not the only fan that enjoyed seeing the two men bond over dysfunctional employees! Blum almost won when his lunatic, Agent Booker, took Roger hostage and almost got Roger killed with a plummeting elevator. When Riggs go racing to save Roger, Blum asks Avery “who’s that?” and Avery responds with “my lunatic.”
Riggs really wins the “biggest lunatic” award in the big fight out at the end of the episode. He ends up on his knees with Roger’s gun aimed at his head. It’s totally in-character for Riggs to tell his partner to shoot him. Martin Riggs has often been a crazy person hunting down suicide. What seemed a bit underplayed was the fact that ROGER FIRED HIS GUN! Sure, Roger backed up his decision by saying he “could tell by the weight whether or not the gun was loaded.” Yeah, that excuse didn’t fly with Martin Riggs either. As he was testing Roger’s so-called ability to “sense a gun’s weight,” Riggs’ brain was likely repeating the words Ruth had said to him about some people who couldn’t be saved.
I hope this scene gets returned to in future episodes. There is more vulnerability and risk here to be explored.
Where do you know that face? Wallace Langham is Charlie Blum!
When he isn’t competing with Avery on which of them has the more dysfunctional detective, Wallace Langham keeps plenty busy on other TV shows! He had the chance to get his weird on with the “Outer Limits,” “Twilight Zone,” and even “Scream Queens!” Langham played an animated character in a show called “Mission Hill” about the misadventures of a group of roommates. Wallace Langham isn’t new to TV shows where the main cast all carries badges! He’s been in episodes of “Rosewood,” “CSI,” “Law and Order,” “Manhunt: Unabomber,” and “Criminal Minds.” Langham has played alongside big names such as Johnny Depp with the SCI-FI movie “Transcendence.” Langham’s next project will be the film, “The Darkest Minds.” In it, Langham will appear alongside Mandy Moore (Rebecca from “This Is Us”) in a post-apocalyptic movie with superpowered teens. In addition, Langham will also be in the 2018 movie “My Dinner with Herve.” The drama will be stuffed full of celebrity names such as Jamie Dornan, (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) Mireille Enos, (“The Killing” and “World War Z”) and Peter Dinklage. (“Game of Thrones,” the X-Men Reboots, and “Avengers: Infinity War.”)
Stay cool boys! We’ll see the readers’ next week!
Best Line of the Episode?
Bowman: Can you imagine getting to the point where you’d shoot your own partner in the back?
Riggs and Murtaugh in unison: YES!