Lethal Weapon: The Murtaugh File – Dr. Cahill (Review)

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Lethal Weapon “The Murtaugh File” had very little to do with Roger Murtaugh, although peripherally it did take a close look as his family. (It also relied upon the older more stable partner to take the “kill” shot later on.) This episode was all about Dr. Cahill, and it included her relationship with Riggs.

The show starts out with a motorcyclist being knocked off a cliff by a pickup truck. Roger and Trish learn that Riana has been lying to them and Riggs feels like Cahill is not listening to him.

As he talks to the doctor, she ends the session and puts his file back. Martin notices that there is a file with Roger’s name on it. Thus begins his interest in just why his partner was seeing the precinct shrink.  While this runs along side the primary storyline, the main plot deals with Cahill and a stalker who is “protecting” her.

With so much focus on Cahill, we learn a lot more about her character, thought process and her fearlessness in dealing with the criminal element. An outside psychiatrist is called in to go through her files and we also learn who she likes and dislikes, in terms of peers.

The motorcyclist who is murdered at the start of the show is Cahill’s boyfriend. His assailant’s vehicle, the murder weapon, is caught on a GoPro type camera on Sean’s helmet. The clues lead Roger and Martin to find out that Cahill has a stalker.

Suspects range from Brad, the doctor’s ex who refuses to sign over their house, to Dr. Levinson. As they work their way through the list, Cahill actually invites Martin on a date as bait.

Rigg’s plays along and they get a hit. One person who is not a suspect is Bailey’s new assistant Officer Montero. The young uniform cop turns out to be the man behind the murder of Sean and later the near death of Brad and he shoots Levinson in the back.

Montero also sets Levinson up as the killer by planting the doctor’s DNA on an envelope.  Along the way, Roger and Trish go through a struggle with Riana when they learn that she has not only been lying but also has a fake ID.

It turns out that their daughter is working as a club DJ and she needs the card to get into the gig.

Rigg’s learns that Roger hesitated to shoot a bad guy who had his then partner Avery held hostage. The incident “bled” over into his off duty relationship with Trish and he had to see Cahill to work things out.

By the end of the episode Cahill’s stalker is taken out by Roger, with a sniper rifle, and Riggs threatens to throw himself off the building if Cahill does not continue their sessions.

This was a brilliant episode. It featured an excellent Riggs moment when he saves Cahill’s ex-husband from being run over by a large truck. (Martin slides toward the prone man and the approaching vehicle and shoots the truck in the radiator.)

Most importantly, the episode managed to breath even more life into the “office shrink” making the character an even fuller three dimensional person and not the cardboard comic cutout that features in the films.

Letting Jordana Brewster and Clayne Crawford dance together, metaphorically, brought so much more to their professional relationship and friendship.

Next week sees the introduction of Matthew Miller‘s version of Leo Getz.  The teaser shows a much taller Getz but it looks like the show’s creator has pulled out all the stops, just as he has with the rest of the cast. 

Lethal Weapon airs Wednesdays on FOX.

Cast:

Guest starring Johnny Sneed as Dr. Ronald Levinson, Adam Kaufman as Brad, Matthew Alan as Officer Montero and Lane Carlson as Sean Hawkins.

Secrets and Lies: Season Two Juliette Lewis is Back

ABC has kindly put up the season two premiere of Secrets and Lies and while Ryan Phillippe has not returned Juliette Lewis is back as the dour and focussed Detective Andrea Cornell

JULIETTE LEWIS

One of the bonuses of writing about television and the entertainment industry, is getting to screen upcoming new shows and “new seasons” of existing ones.  ABC has kindly put  up the season two premiere of Secrets and Lies and while Ryan Phillippe has not returned Juliette Lewis is back as the dour and focussed Detective Andrea Cornell. Having not seen season one of this clever crime drama, Phillippe was not particularly missed and his character would seem very out of place in this story of murder, “secrets and lies,” with its new victim and storyline.

Michael Ealy, a firm favorite who played the “cyborg” Dorian on the very short-lived Fox science fiction cop show  Almost Human,  stars alongside  Lost star Terry O’Quinn and the eternally youthful and talented Jordana Brewster.  This season appears to be all about the family Warner and the murder of Kate (Brewster). 

MICHAEL EALY
Michael Ealy

Ealy is son Eric, who has just taken over his father John’s (O’Quinn) business and whose wife Kate (Brewster) takes a high dive off the company building’s roof on the day. Mekia Cox  and Charlie Barnett round out the Warner clan as siblings Amanda and Patrick respectively.

At the start of the episode Kate is propelled off  the twelve story building’s roof and when Det. Cornell arrives, Eric is cradling his dead wife’s body and contaminating the crime scene. The no-nonsense detective is not happy and makes no secret of the fact.  She immediately gets the grieving husband away from his dead wife and starts the investigation.

As the episode progresses, more secrets are laid bare. Things are revealed about the victim and not all of the surprises come from the police investigations.  Eric learns that his wife had a number of things that she kept hidden. As the Detective begins the groundwork to find Kate Warner’s murderer, her widower has flashbacks and memories that are very painful.

TERRY O'QUINN
Terry O’Quinn

In terms of popularity contests, Lewis’ homicide detective may actually be more unpleasant than David Tennant‘s American version of the homicide investigator “Emmett Carver” in the Yankee remake of the superior ITV crime drama Broadchurch, titled Gracepoint. (It should be pointed out that the Scottish version of Tennant’s character, Alec Hardy, was dour, but for some reason this cop was nowhere near as “nasty” as his American counterpart…perhaps it was the accent?)

Lewis comes across as an investigator who has a tendency to leave compassion at home as she zeroes in on asking questions and looking for clues. Her questioning borders on aggressive rather than inquisitive or assertive and the detective’s demeanor is just “this side” of unpleasant.  The power of the actress’s performance is such that one senses immediately that this how the cop handles homicides. It is not personal, but harshly impersonal.

Not having watched the first season, it is not clear whether this is Detective Cornell’s Modus Operandi, but is would seem to be as there is no indication that the investigator is anything other than a focussed professional.  Earlier in the episode, Cornell  tells a uniform cop that if he has issues controlling a crime scene that he should, perhaps, change jobs.  This detective wants the job done correctly above all else.

From the outset Cornell appears to believe that the grieving widower is the one responsible for Kate Warner’s death and the show’s synopsis makes it sound like Ealy’s character, Eric, will be battling to prove his innocence.

JORDANA BREWSTER
Jordana Brewster

Secrets and Lies is listed as a “crime drama” but is also also part mystery. The “reveals” in the premiere episode alone equals a lot of mystery as each memory of Eric’s shows something else not previously known.  ABC have not given a proper “air date” for season two, but season one began in March 2014 so 2015 may be in March as well.  Regardless of when the 2016 second season starts, the wait will be worth it. Keep your eyes peeled for this one.

MTV Movie Awards Paying Tribute to Late Paul Walker

MTV Movie Awards Paying Tribute to Late Paul Walker

With Paul Walker’s film Brick Mansions opening nationwide on Friday, April 25 the timing is perfect for the MTV Movie Awards to pay tribute to the late actor. The president of MTV, Stephen Friedman, has said that Walker was a “role” model for the MTV audience. The 40 year-old actor struck a chord in the current generation of viewers and his too-early death last year became a media circus of fan grief and wild conspiracy theories about the star’s death.