Lethal Weapon Recap Season 1 Episode 2

Lethal Weapon Recap: Smile, Though Your Heart Is Breaking

Need to catch up? Check out last week’s Lethal Weapon recap here.

In a recurring bit sprinkled throughout this week’s Lethal Weapon, Murtaugh and Riggs bicker about how best to describe their partnership. Are they surf and turf? Ham and pineapple? Chips and salsa? Tango and Cash? Starsky and Hutch?

Likewise, I spend a lot of the hour wondering the best way to describe this odd show to people who haven’t seen it. Action with heart? Comedy with action? Completely unbelievable stunts interspersed among fun-but-forgettable police cases? One man’s desperate cry for help flecked with one-liners and a car chase or two?

We’re now two episodes into Fox’s series reboot of the film franchise, and I still don’t know exactly how to answer when people who haven’t watched ask what it’s like. But after the second installment, I do know this: It’s a good thing that Dr. Cahill is bird-dogging the off-kilter detective, because there is a gaping hole of pain hiding underneath that mop of curls, and it’s only a matter of time before that kicky beach nudity and hee-larious drinking at work turn into a real problem for Murtaugh and the department.

Let’s review the highlights of “Surf N Turf.”

GUNNING FOR HER | I’ve decided that because the cases of the week merely provide a backdrop for Murtaugh and Riggs to riff off each other, they’re going to get short shrift in these recaps. So, briefly: The guys have had three weeks off after the events of the pilot, and when they come back to work, Capt. Avery sends them to investigate a noise complaint… which just happens to put them at a house party that turns into a murder scene.

A guy (played by Jason Derulo) dies, but he’s not the target: Instead, a cocktail waitress who’s knocked up with an arms dealer’s baby is. There’s an absolutely ridiculous stunt in which Riggs — in order to save the woman in question from a sniper’s bullet — tackles her, throwing both of them off the roof of a building and through the (closed) window of another apartment across the way.

Lethal Weapon Recap Season 1 Episode 2The guys eventually learn that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agent who’s been assigned to work with them on the case is actually the arms dealer who got the cocktail waitress pregnant. And of course he abducts her from the safehouse, leading to a situation in which Riggs and Murtaugh must rescue her from a fireworks factory. (But don’t think I didn’t laugh when the captain saw the impromptu Fourth of July celebration from his office and wondered aloud where his troublesome twosome was.)

Also, look at the agent (played by Life Unexpected‘s Kristoffer Polaha, pictured at right). I ask you: Is this the hair of an honest man?

WORLD OF HURT | Elsewhere in the episode, Riggs is on his way over to the Murtaugh family home for dinner when he gets a call from his realtor in Texas: She’s found a buyer for his home. The news — and his instructions to her to “Sell it” — send him into a dark place where he blows off dinner and picks a fight at a biker bar. The next day, his face looks like a side of slowly thawing beef, and Riggs is irked that his partner couldn’t even be bothered to show up for rib night.

Through the course of the episode, Cahill repeatedly tells everyone — including Riggs himself — that the transplanted detective “is in pain” and is masking emotional discomfort with the physical kind. And that’s very clear as he dines (on a make-up dinner date) with Roger, Trish and the kids: Murtaugh’s careless line about how Riggs would make a terrible father cuts too close, and now that Rog knows that Miranda was pregnant at the time of her death, he at least has the good grace to feel bad about the stupid slip.

“I can’t fix you… I just want to help take away some of your pain,” Cahill later says to Riggs, and if that doesn’t sound like the kind of thing a woman on a show like this whispers to a wounded bird of a man on a show like this just before they slip into bed, then I don’t know what does. (For the record, that doesn’t happen… in this episode, at least.) “Sorry doc,” Riggs says. “Pain’s all I got.”

‘MAKE SURE HE COMES HOME TO ME” | Meanwhile, Trish makes it clear that she likes her husband’s new partner — which is a relief, because the dinner scenes have brought me great joy, and I would be totally OK with one per episode — but she makes him promise that “he comes home to me” every night. “Yes, ma’am,” Riggs replies… then proceeds to get Murtaugh very smashed and into a bar fight of his own. When Trish catches them drunkenly eating ribs out of the kitchen in the wee hours of the morning, she basically puts her hands on her hips and says, “You scamps.” Yeah, Lethal Weapon asks us to accept a lot, but at least at this point, I’m happy to swallow it down like Roger’s famous ribs.

Also, has someone started a Twitter account for Riggs’ hair yet? Because if not, get on that, Internet!

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!

Comments are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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31 Comments
  1. I really love this show. Definitely feeling Riggs’s heartbreak. Gah.

  2. i am absolutely loving this show
    it’s better than i ever hoped & i had high expectations for it
    i just hope the viewers & cancel happy fox love it as much

  3. PatriciaLee says:

    I’m looking forward to the episode and reading your article, but your second paragraph caught my eye…good writing there. ‘Midnight Run’ and ’48 Hours’ going after bad guys, together?

  4. Daniel says:

    I wasn’t feeling the pilot epsiode but the 2nd epsiode was better. It seemed so forced. It’s like the actors are finding their flow. Now. I may give it a full season watch.

  5. Wendy says:

    Still really liking this adaption. And while I know a lot from the series will be different from the films, please – for all that is holy – do not let Cahill’s little “take away your pain” deal be the prelude for Riggs and the shrink as, even if he will stop being a patient, seems sort of icky to me, for one, and for another, I see no “there” there with these two. Avoid this cliché! Otherwise, the show continues to entertain me.

  6. Kro says:

    I loved the movies.

    I wanted to hate this show.

    I freakin’ love this show.

    • Ames says:

      This is me! I had no plans to check out this TV show because I honestly couldn’t handle them ruining such a great movie series. Yet, I’ve absolutely been sucked in to the show. I love it!

  7. Eric says:

    Too good to hate, try as I might. Hope Fox finds a permanent spot in its schedule and picks up the back order, I’m in for the long haul.

  8. KLS says:

    Damon Wayohs as the straight guy seems off to me. I missed the pilot. Turned it on tonight because of decent reviews, but it didn’t grab me. Clayne Crawford seems to be a good match for Riggs and is the best one here. Still not sure about this show.

  9. Martin’s “Leonard Hofstadter” hair is driving me crazy

  10. KayCeeCee says:

    I like Trish. I like Trish and Roger’s relationship. I like Trish and Martin’s budding friendship. Lethal Weapon and This is Us are my two most favorite new shows this year!

  11. Mark says:

    Wonderful second episode. I’m officially hooked on this show.

  12. Second show was good as well. No real laugh outbursts, but I found myself grinning on occasion. It’s a keeper for me.

    • ameraleigh says:

      I laughed out loud a few times, I love this show and I hope it gets picked up for a full season. It’s the first show in a couple of years that I’ve been this excited about and it’s only two episodes in.

  13. Penny says:

    I am absolutely loving this show! I normally watch Blindspot and decided I wanted to watch this one more (live) and am glad I did! The relationship between Riggs and Murtaugh is great! Damon and Clayne work really well off each other. You almost have to watch it a second time to pick up on all the one liners you missed the first time. Hoping Fox keeps this one around! And I was laughing out loud at their boss asking where they were during the fireworks!

  14. John NYC says:

    The total board might get old as a gag but for the moment it’s hilarious.

    • Katherine215 says:

      I LOVED the total board. And Avery seeing the fireworks and knowing it was them. This show is funnier than I expected, even having seen the movies.

  15. Rachel says:

    I really had no intention of watching this show but it’s my favorite new one this season. The relationships forming between all of the characters are gold. I love it!

  16. Cynthia says:

    My favorite show so far this season!!

  17. Katherine215 says:

    Never thought my two favorite new shows would be on Fox but I’m loving LW (and Pitch is the other favorite). I laugh more watching this than I do during the Good Place, which I’m trying hard to like but not succeeding so far. The only thing that’s irritating me is Riggs’s hair – I don’t normally mind long hair but it’s sort of all over the place and not in a good way.

  18. Mara says:

    Loved the movies, was very skeptical about the show at first but am now totally hooked! It’s really fun and I hope it’s around for a long time. Love Trish too and that she has a significant role!

  19. shar says:

    I am really enjoying this show. I always enjoyed the Lethal Weapon movies. I didn’t think anyone could do a remake of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, but this new guy doing Martin Riggs, is really good.

  20. Well, he was a revelation on Rectify, and now he is showing a true talent for comedy–where has Clayne Crawford been all my life? He is great, and this show has so much chemistry between the partners, and Kevin Rahn (Sp?) is perfectly cast/written as their exasperated boss.

  21. LKE says:

    Anyone else catch that it was two different beaches for the opening sequence. One was Torrance Beach – not sure about the other beach?

  22. Shara says:

    Love it! Hope the network will keep it around for a while.

  23. Jada says:

    I kind of hope some of the villains from the movies start showing up… Clayne Crawford vs Wah Sing Ku, Mr. Joshua, or the South Africans? Shut up and take my money!

  24. Betty L. Woodside says:

    This show will get stronger with age. Right now, too much icing and not enough cake. I hope they don’t cancel. I love the combination/antics of the two main characters. Give it a chance. The pilot was excellent.