Riggs turns up at the parole hearing for childhood friend Jake, tells a lie or two, and manages to get him released. Jake is then collected from prison by a big scary-looking dude, who we will next see when Riggs and Murtaugh are called to the scene of an apparent robbery/homicide: gold bars are missing from a safe, and the big scary etc. is face down on the rug having been shot. Riggs immediately suspects Jake, but to start with at least hides his knowledge of the case from Murtaugh.
Murtaugh and Avery find out about the connection soon enough. But it goes further than just an enduring friendship: Riggs is doing his very best not to arrest Jake, for a specific reason which is known to Avery – who is sympathetic – but not Murtaugh. The answer to that question, when we get it, is a proper WHOA moment: I didn’t see it coming at all, I must admit (unlike the identity of the killer, which is pretty obvious as soon as we see him), and it lends the final third of the episode a real and heavyweight poignancy. Lethal Weapon is generally a light-hearted show for sure; but Riggs is properly damaged, and Clayne Crawford is, as ever, just right in the part.
But there’s even more going on here. Jake’s reasons for wanting to be released include his young son and his babymama Molly, who turns out to be played by Unpopcult favourite Kristen Gutoskie. (Readers who don’t like enthusiastic shipping and the over-use of capitals can skip the next paragraph.)
At which point Unpopcult got VERY excited, for two reasons. Firstly, because Gutoskie was really good as Katie in the actually-not-bad-at-all-and-somewhat-underrated Containment, which we liked a lot, mostly because we were shipping Katie and Jake (Containment version) VERY HARD INDEED, and she TOTALLY BROKE OUR HEARTS when she died before she and Jake could consummate their relationship. (OK, there was the shower curtain thing, which was sexy but doesn’t count.) Sob. #Jatie, we still miss you. And secondly, because although I’ve been not looking for spoilers in any way (ahem), it seems that Molly is going to be a recurring character in Lethal Weapon. And I’m going to infer from Riggs’s diffident enquiry about whether he can, y’know, come over every now and again, and the mention of his first kiss with SOMEONE, that she might well be a romantic interest for him. And since Hilarie Burton isn’t around at the moment, I’d like to make it VERY clear that I am 100% HERE FOR #MIGGS.
Anyway. The whose-joint-is-this? plot in the Murtaugh household is modestly diverting, and – much to my surprise – the sexting-the-wrong-guy misunderstanding between Bailey and Bowman is a little bit more than that, because Michelle Mitchenor and Andrew Creer invest it with just enough subtext. What a great show this is.