Post Mortems
Lethal Weapon Season 2 Spoilers Mexico

Lethal Weapon EP Talks Riggs' Murder Revelation, Murtaugh as Lifeline

Warning: This post contains spoilers from Lethal Weapon‘s Season 1 finale.

Lethal Weapon‘s Martin Riggs is the fun kind of crazy… until he’s the scarily obsessed kind of crazy, a point quickly reached in the Fox series’ season finale on Wednesday.

A quick recap: Working off what Agent Palmer divulged at the end of last week’s episode, Riggs followed through on his desire to make Gideon pay for Miranda’s not-accidental death. That involved staging his own unsanctioned extraction of the prisoner, as well as some off-book torture, before Murtaugh figured out why his partner was acting so oddly. After realizing exactly how many lines his partner had crossed, the older cop requested that Capt. Avery pair him with another partner.

Gideon eventually got squished by a Los Angeles subway train, but that was nothing compared to the hour’s major takeaway: Ronnie, Riggs’ former father-in-law, was wrapped up in Tito Flores’ drug operation (!) and was complicit in Miranda’s death (!!). And he would’ve been happy to let Gideon and his guys kill Riggs and Murtaugh, except they escaped — in time for Murtaugh to attend RJ’s high school graduation — and Ronnie ended the episode getting hauled away for his crimes.

But uncovering his former father-in-law’s betrayal and watching Gideon die wasn’t enough for Riggs, who fled to Mexico to take on the drug cartel responsible for Miranda’s death himself. Of course, Murtaugh soon followed, because #besties.

Read on as series creator Matt Miller unpacks the high-stress finale (“tonally, this one is as tense an episode as we’ve done”) and gives us a little hint about what’s to come in the already-renewed Season 2.

TVLINE | At the beginning of the season, Riggs comes out and says he has a death wish, but that seemed to lighten as the episodes rolled out. Then, boom, the events of the finale happen. When did you know you wanted to go this dark and deep with Riggs?
At the very beginning of this season, I knew that this was going to be the end of the season — not necessarily knowing all the different plot moves… I knew the big moves. We knew that Riggs was going to find out about Miranda’s death and it was this sort of mythology that we were playing from Season 1.

Lethal Weapon Season 2 Spoilers The idea was to tell the Miranda story in Season 1 and come to some degree of wrapping it up by the end so that we could reboot the series in Season 2 with a different season-long arc. And the idea of a guy who started off our season and our series as being suicidal and gazing into the abyss was how we wanted to launch Rigg’s character, which spoke a little bit more to the first Lethal Weapon movie, which was a little darker.

But you don’t want your guy to exist in that state throughout the course of the season. So, the idea was to always have peaks and valleys with Riggs’ character where he would have moments where he feels like he’s moving on as a person. But we never want him to get too comfortable. So, every time that happens, we pull the rug out from under him.

TVLINE | Traditional TV wisdom says that a dark arc like that often ends with the character in a better place. But Riggs doesn’t seem much better off at the end of the season than he was in the beginning.
No, he’s possibly worse! [Laughs] The idea was to drag him through the mud. I don’t know, I think that you kind of let the characters dictate the story, and it felt like to have some sort of sweet ending where the sun sets and we feel like all is right in the world, just didn’t feel like where we wanted.

We want to really launch this kind of intrigue at the end of Season 1 and build up some of the mystery going into season two. [Also], really this is a show, to a certain extent, like a romance and a romantic comedy, but it’s about two guys: Riggs and Murtaugh.

TVLINE | Which brings me to Murtaugh’s evolution. In the beginning, he seemed to go along with Riggs grudgingly. But he’s fully in by the end of this episode. Are they at a new place in their relationship next season?
I think so, yeah. What’s happened through the course of the season is a lot of Murtaugh feeling like he can’t work with this guy and — I think this works for both the characters and the actors in particular —  they have such great chemistry that you know they’re always going to kind of stay together.

For Riggs, he’s always going to push Murtaugh. Murtaugh started off the season as a guy who’s afraid to live, a little bit. He just suffered a triple bypass. And through the course of the season with Riggs, he feels most alive… It took a guy like Riggs to reawaken him to life. But then in the finale, Riggs does some things that make it impossible for Murtaugh to ever work with him.

He crossed a line that Murtaugh didn’t even think he could cross. It’s more than just being scared, jumping off a building and things like that. He genuinely crossed an ethical line that Murtaugh doesn’t think he can ever recover from, but ultimately, by the end of the season, Murtaugh gets to a place where he realizes: He’s never going to let this guy drown. His line, where Murtaugh tells him that your wife’s dead and you said you aren’t going to kill yourself, but you’re drowning? Murtaugh realizes that he’s the guy. He’s the only thing that stands between Riggs and death and drowning, and he’s never going to let him drown.

What did you think of “Commencement”? Grade the finale via the poll below, then go to the comments to back up your pick!

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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61 Comments
  1. Diane says:

    I love this show! The leads are perfect, supporting actors are great too. Stunts and production values are also top notch. I feel like I’m watching the LW movies.

  2. Annie says:

    Love everything about this program.love the actors,the chemistry between the two main characters,just wonderful.

  3. Jason says:

    The path for Riggs wasn’t easy in the movies and shouldn’t be here either. He had to nearly die at the end of Lethal Weapon 2, before he could put the past to rest. They can certainly spend at least a couple of seasons on that particular arc, before letting him move on.

    • justsomeguy says:

      I get the feeling that Season 2 is going to be exactly that. They can go a couple of different ways at this point, imo. One, an epic showdown to open the season in which the repercussions of the finale and the season 2 opener are played out over the entire second season, or two, an epic showdown that is then concluded in the season 2 finale or at a later date, and the main tentpoles of the season is the chase for Flores. I think they’re picking door #1 though since they’re talking about a kind of reboot for the show.

      I agree with him though. This story of suicidal Riggs pinning for his dead wife isn’t a sustainable story because they are telling the same story over and over. That doesn’t usually land all that well with the fans, but, Riggs and Murtaugh are such great characters, and the writing has been strong enough that I think they could tell that story and people would buy-in on it. The key is that the show remembers what it is: a sometimes tragic and brutally honest look at grief and humanity, wrapped up in a bromance comedy.

  4. Shanon says:

    Omg love this show I’m hooked

  5. A. D. says:

    Amazing Show…Hope Hilarie Burton is back as a regular next year!

  6. drmsjenkins says:

    My wife and I saw too many cherished shows (e.g., CASTLE, Rozoli & Isles, Rosewood, Bones) cancelled. We started viewing Lethal Weapon with the very first episode, and we rate it as one of the best police drama airing today. It shows pathos, ethos, wit and wisdom. As stated by others, the stars are outstanding and the supporting cast enrich each episode. We are pleased that the series is renewed, and we look forward to Season 2.

  7. Larc says:

    Fantastic season finish to the best crime series on TV.

  8. LW Fan says:

    Love watching Lethal Weapon. A bit disappointed in how Gideon died though and not being able to confirm his death. Is he really dead? Expected Riggs to shoot him in self defense.

    Looking forward to Season 2.

  9. Jamie says:

    Love pretty much everything about this show. This was an awesome finale. Loved the ending…and that version of ‘Stand By Me’ playing. Hands down, one of the best new shows of the season. So happy it’s renewed!

  10. Katherine215 says:

    I loved the movies and didn’t think the show could ever top them. But Clayne Crawford’s Riggs has completely changed my mind. My heart breaks for him, even when he’s happy(ish). They have done such a great job writing his unbearable pain and grief. Murtaugh is great too but Riggs has really made the show for me.

    • MLO says:

      For me, the movies are tainted by Mel Gibson’s deplorable behavior in recent years. I have no desire to watch anything he’s in – I just don’t want to look at him.

      • Katherine215 says:

        Same here; I haven’t watched them since his bad behavior became public. The movies themselves still hold a strong place in my heart though, even after years of not watching, and I at first wasn’t sure I’d watch the show because of it. But then I realized Mel Gibson had already ruined them so it couldn’t get any worse and I dove into the show. Really glad I did!

  11. tjchurch2001 says:

    I liked that Murtaugh told Riggs about asking for a new partner so they could maybe discuss that when they were both tied-up.

    On the other hand, the way they asked Ronnie’s daughter if Riggs would go to see his partner, I thought they would take him to see Riggs tied-up in an adjacent room (as they hinted at in Robin Williams’ episode of “SVU”, & have done in so many shows), not have them both that way… Especially not if they were the type of guys to torture Riggs by doing something to Murtaugh as they did.

    Lastly, all the discussion here about things happening as the season went, & “didn’t feel like where we wanted”, etc. backs up what I felt as Murtaugh drove off at the end: He asked for a new partner, so he gets one from Avery while knowing where Riggs is doing, where, & why. (Maybe he goes off the reservation to find/help/save Riggs later in Season 2.)

  12. Paula Stiles says:

    I really enjoy the banter between the two leads. Lots and lots of buddy chemistry there. And both Mrs. Murtaugh and the late Mrs. Riggs are fun to watch. I do think, though, that they need to wrap up the Fridged Wife storyline sooner than later. It’s not a long-lived storyline and Riggs has other things to be traumatized about. It’s not as though he’s suddenly going to be okay once he finds out the whole truth and makes all the appropriate parties pay.

    Also, did Gideon actually die? I get that showing someone hit by a train is too intense for 8pm (unless you’re Supernatural), but it seemed a bit unclear what happened, what with no body on the tracks and Riggs getting back on the platform as if by magic.

    • tjchurch2001 says:

      THANK YOU A TON for asking the question I now believe I forgot to ask in my first comment!!! I watched the subway go by (reminded me of opening scenes in that DMX-Jet Li movie), & we saw Riggs after (I actually thought maybe he’d jumped on the passing train, & Murtaugh would wonder where he went into Season 2), but we never actually saw a body, or even a drop of blood (as we did when Riggs fought his garbage disposal, etc.), so it left me guessing some other question I thought might be solved in a future season.

  13. kevin says:

    when is season 2 gonna AIR…, any dates????

  14. Lynnee says:

    Love this show!!! Thank You for bringing us Matt Passmore !!! Thank You for Season 2

  15. Penny says:

    A fantastic end to a wild and fun first season! Definitely the surprise hit of the season, this show. And for Ronnie to not think twice about letting Gideon take Riggs, cold. Such a plot twist considering it really felt like Ronnie cared for Riggs throughout the season as a son, when he was really just covering his tracks. Excited for season 2!

  16. Rachel says:

    This show shouldn’t make me cry but it does…and I like it :)

  17. MLO says:

    I’m surprised by how much I like this show. But seriously, next year, they need to give Clayne Crawford’s hair its own credit on the show.

  18. Jax&Juice's Girl says:

    LOVE IT!!!! LOVE the show and the movies S2 is def. going to be like LW2.

  19. I honestly thought I was going to hate this show. I’m so happy to be wrong. This was one of my favorite new shows this year. I can’t wait for season 2.

  20. Tanya Haywood says:

    Best tv show EVER!!!! Can’t for it to come back on.

  21. Candee says:

    I did not realize it was the finale until the end. So much happened! I cannot wait for season 2.

  22. Crystal says:

    Awesome show. Edge of your seat action mixed with great humor. Hope the show lasts

  23. Lora L Judd says:

    I just love the program, and the actors. Wasn’t sure at first being I have seen all the Lethal Weapons movies. But these two are great toghether. Looking for for another season

  24. Rico Iglesias says:

    I LOVE this modernized adaptation of this show from the movie. Great casting, great chemistry (Roger and Trish = Relationship goals), and great production. I feel this season finale had some nice, subtle homages to the original film: Riggs’s suicidal scene, Gideon mirroring Joshua (Gary Busey’s character), and the electrocution torture scene (with a twist). Cannot wait for Season 2!

  25. Linda says:

    I never saw the guy that plays Riggs in anything before, but after watching him every week in this role, he takes over the whole show each and every week. Love this show.

    • Saragee says:

      For those who have never seen Clayne Crawford before, watch him on the series Rectify. He is one of the leads and is a totally different character. Once you see him in that you will see what a truly great actor he is.

  26. Mitzi Morrisy says:

    Finale was extraordinary. The entire cast is perfect. One of the best shows on TV. Clayne and Damon are awesome.

    • tjchurch2001 says:

      Clayne is awesome (one of the reasons I confused him for Depp during early viewings), but Damon is surrounded by Avery, Clayne, & his HUGE faux family to cover the fact he hasn’t even been good for years!

      Looking for the episode where Roger is kidnapped solo & intentionally?! Guarantee perp is into self-inflicted pain!

  27. Tom says:

    About time this show got some coverage on this site

  28. Sandra Davis says:

    we love the tv series Lethal Weapon. we think it is a hit!!! So glad it’s renewed for a second season.

  29. Linda says:

    I hated that his father in law turned out to be a very bad guy. His only family is now are the Murtaugh’s.

  30. doreen says:

    Anyone else think that Rosie is Riggs daughter? Father in law is a bad guy..very bad guy.

  31. joan says:

    the attraction of this series is primarily about the relationship between the two men. the repartee between these two are crucial to the success of the story. so far, so good; keep it going. the captain is well played as well as a long suffering boss who recognizes the value of the two. in addition, the family scene is compelling, although perhaps overdone with the wife and the husband; a little too gushy at times. the kids are a definite plus and their roles, i think, could be extended.

  32. Kelly Gentle says:

    I’m in United Kingdom and we’ve just started season 1 and I’m loving it to the point where I watch the repeat the day after. I would highly recommend it

  33. . Julie says:

    From the beginning, this show has been a nail biter. Awesome!!!!!

  34. Elizabeth Johnigan says:

    I love it…One of my favorite tv shows😍😍😍😍

  35. Elizabeth Johnigan says:

    I love it….It’s one of my favorite tv shows😍😍😍😍

  36. Dave says:

    Definitely a unicorn. Today’s tv is more often than not,very disappointing, but Lethal weapon is incredibly well scripted and cast. A TV program of this caliber has the potential for absolute greatness. Let’s hope the studio executives let the people responsible for Lethal Weapons’ production keep on keeping on.

  37. Rita says:

    I loved the movie and I really love this show. I think Riggs and Murtaugh compliment each other. I also really love Riggs hair and him period. He’s just so sexy when he combs his hair out his face with his hand.

  38. Sherri Wallace says:

    This was an awesome finally!!! I hope they show it again before the new season! Perfectly matched cast! Love the show!

  39. Irene says:

    I enjoy this series.well written directed and acted. Touches on so many different kind of emotions.I enjoyed it and cant wait for season2