It’s the season finale and also, perhaps, the finale for Lethal Weapon as we’ve come to know it. Murtaugh is being promoted permanently to Captain, and keen to remind everyone of that. Trish is just pleased that he’s getting out of the front line. However, he’s immediately in danger when Riggs’s trailer is riddled with gunfire while he’s visiting.
The understandable working assumption, for what looks like being Riggs and Murtaugh’s last case as partners, is that someone wants Riggs dead. A little brainstorming reveals that the list of people who might be pissed at Riggs isn’t a short one, and the LAPD’s belief is reinforced when the investigation leads them to Grant Davenport (Martin Donovan), a baddie from earlier in the season, whose security is now being provided by Nathan, Riggs’s father.
In fact, though, Murtaugh is the target; it’s connected to Trish’s legal firm, where someone has been laundering money for Nathan’s gang of white supremacists. The stakes get high when Nathan kidnaps Trish and, in response, Riggs abducts Garrett, his half-brother, for the purposes of an exchange.
Unsurprisingly, it all gets very violent. I’m not even sure whether Nathan ends up alive or dead. In general, though, one suspects that the plot for this episode was sketched out in the knowledge that Clayne Crawford might not be returning for a third season, because the writers gave themselves at least two options for a Riggs-free future: he and Molly are planning to move back to Texas; and he’s shot and, apparently, seriously wounded by his half-brother Garrett.
Of course, we now know for sure that Crawford has been cut loose, and that the resulting need for a freewheeling maverick in the show will be addressed by the casting of Seann William Scott. A review of Scott’s recent filmography suggests that his was a career which was going nowhere, so being cast as the lead in an established network drama is a remarkable opportunity for him, even if for many of us it seems improbable that the loss of Crawford’s volatile mix of swagger, vulnerability and charm will be adequately compensated for by the appearance of Stifler out of American Pie. (Once again, I should make clear that I have no view on whether Crawford should have been sacked; I’m interested in what happens onscreen as a result.) I may be doing Scott a disservice, in which case I’ll be back with season 3 reviews. But if my fears turn out to be justified, it’s worth recording that the first two seasons of Lethal Weapon stand proud as an example of what you can do with a network procedural when you do it right.