“I can’t ever replace him, so I won’t even try. But I want to make this work.”
That earnest declaration, made by Los Angeles Police Department rookie Wesley Cole to new partner Roger Murtaugh at the end of Lethal Weapon‘s Season 3 premiere, could just as easily have been uttered by new cast member Seann William Scott.
In the new season, Scott has the unenviable task of filling a void left by former Lethal lead Clayne Crawford, who was fired from the series in May following angry outbursts on set. (Crawford said accounts of his behind-the-scenes behavior are not completely accurate.)
In a moment, we’ll want to know what you thought of Lethal‘s new partnership. But first, a quick recap:
At the start of the episode, Riggs succumbs to a gunshot wound to the chest delivered by his half brother, Garrett. While Murtaugh weeps in the waiting room at the hospital, we travel thousands of miles to Aleppo, Syria, where CIA operative Cole is in the middle of an op that goes very wrong and causes the death of his 9-year-old informant.
Six months later, Roger is convinced that Garrett, who committed suicide shortly after killing Martin, didn’t work alone. He spends all of his waking hours tracking down leads; he hasn’t worked in a while, and he wears the same, ratty sweatpants every day, using a boat stored on his lawn as his office. Though Trish and the kids understand his grief, they’re ready for him to move on with his life.
While Roger is out looking for a car that might be involved in Riggs’ murder, Cole is a uniformed cop handing out parking tickets and minor violations during his first week on the job. But when he notices some men with guns driving into a parking garage, he follows. Turns out, the guys are there to hand off some blueprints to a seriously scary Chechen mercenary, and the whole thing turns into a shootout that ends with a car careening off the roof and landing on the vehicle Roger was looking for.
The next logical step is for both Cole and Murtaugh to commandeer a truck delivering bottles for water coolers, and they make their introductions just before climbing on the truck’s roof during an extended car chase that ends with the bad guys getting away. In the administrative aftermath, Santos informs Murtaugh that his new friend is ex-CIA.
Turns out, Cole has a 12-year-old daughter named Maya living in the area. She’s the product of a fling he had with a Doctors Without Borders M.D. named Natalie when both were in a war zone, and he’s moved close to them in order to build a better relationship with his kid. But Nat is skeptical that he’ll be successful: After all, she notes, chaos tends to follow him.
Speaking of which: Cole and Murtaugh both wind up at the home of the Chechen, who happens to have Riggs’ truck in his driveway and a lot of bomb-making materials inside the house. After a fight, the entire place goes up in flames… and so does Roger’s investigation when Bailey salvages a video from Garrett’s phone, which was in the truck: In a confessional video, Garrett admits that he acted alone in killing his half-brother, and he’s sorry.
There’s some moping on Roger’s part, but eventually he is pulled back into the game after Cole and he realize that the blueprints the Chechen wanted were for a bank — and that the baddie is planning to bomb the subway line directly underneath the facility in order to access its safe. Murtaugh and Cole interrupt Avery at an event celebrating the re-opening of the rail line; after they clear the area, Roger tussles with the Chechen, whom he winds up killing by dumping him onto the electrified tracks.
But Cole can’t defuse the bomb, so the two men put it on a train and decide to drive it to the next stop, which is far under an abandoned rail yard. They jump from the car just as the explosion happens (and, of course, are mostly unscathed). Later, Wesley vows to Natalie that, even if his life is full of chaos, “this time, I’m going to be around to clean up the mess.” She softens a bit, allowing him to drive Maya to an upcoming dental appointment.
Back at the precinct, Dr. Cahill finds Roger cleaning out Riggs’ desk and chatting with an effigy of his late partner. As she listens, Murtaugh cries a little and says he’ll always regret not being there when Riggs was shot, “because I love you.” Then they share some funky spray cheese Rog finds in a drawer.
By the end of the episode, Cole shows up at Roger’s house to thank him for getting him promoted to detective and transferred to Robbery/Homicide, where they’ll be partners.
Now it’s your turn. Grade Lethal Weapon‘s Season 3 premiere, then hit the comments with your thoughts on the new partnership!