Lethal Weapon continues to amuse and also takes a moment to show Riggs’ deep seated grief. So far every episode allows the audience to get that painful lump in the throat as Martin struggles to deal with the death of his wife. This is quite an accomplishment as the show is good fun over all with a lot of laughs throughout.
Director Steve Boyum (former stuntman/stunt coordinator who worked on Lethal Weapon 2) does a brilliant job on this episode. Everything clicked perfectly, there was only one small mistake. The phone, on Roger’s and Trish’s date. Murtaugh walks off and the cell phone is still on his napkin on the table. When the camera moves back to Trish, the phone has magically disappeared.
It is a forgivable mistake. This episode of Lethal Weapon felt so good that it dimmed the halcyon days of the big screen original. Show creator Matthew Miller deciding to make Miranda, Rigg’s dead wife, have a voice in the series was the right move to make.
The constant reappearance of her in flashbacks serves to remind the viewer of just how keen and recent Martin’s loss is. It allows us to really connect with this wisecracking and depressed cop.
“Best Buds” is all about the legalized marijuana market leading to an armed car robbery staged by the cartels who are losing a fortune in profits. Ted Levine, fresh off of Ray Donovan (where he played Little Bill Primm) is Ned Brower, an old mentor of Murtaugh’s who has fallen on hard times.
Ned’s wife has died and he is working as an armored truck driver picking up the pot proceeds from legal businesses. His vehicle is hit by a garbage truck and is then driven off by the robbers.
There was a lot more humor in this episode. All the better to offset Rigg’s pathos and the more serious nature of Brower’s situation. At the crime scene the two detectives engage in what can only be described as an Abbott and Costello type routine.
Martin shows up and Roger tells him off for being there. They then get into an argument about where “there” is. “There is here,” says Riggs. It is a very funny scene and these types of moments make this small screen buddy story cook on all burners.
The partners investigate Lonnie and Donnie the two big wigs who want their money back. A pot party is going on at their palatial mansion and Martin partakes.
In fact Riggs partakes at the start of the episode. He is smoking some weed when he shoots out the television. (There was a dating advert on the telly.)
Clayne Crawford has made Riggs his own. This grief stricken cop suffers though his melancholia differently that the big screen original. It is much easier to see how Murtaugh and his family can relate to and “adopt” this guy. In the films Martin was too over the top with his actions.
It is not all about the bonding of these two cops though. Before the end of “Best Buds” there are two decapitations, a pretty decent car (armored truck) chase and a brief shootout. Riggs shows that he is a damned good cop and that he really cares for his in-laws.
There is also a connection between Martin and the police shrink. Jordana Brewster continues to make her psychiatrist a real character who is smart and insightful. It is not difficult to see why Riggs begins to open up to this woman.
Roger and his wife are brilliant together and both Sharp and Wayans have a chemistry that works on all levels.
Lethal Weapon continues to be the best escapist television on offer on a Wednesday night. FOX have struck gold with this series and unless something drastic happens this one is a winner.
The series airs Wednesdays on FOX. Tune in for action, drama and a few laughs.
- Clayne Crawford – Martin Riggs
- Damon Wayans – Roger Murtaugh
- Jordana Brewster – Maureen Cahill
- Keisha Sharp – Trish Murtaugh
- Floriana Lima – Miranda Riggs
Guest starring Ted Levine as Ned Brower