LETHAL WEAPON digs into its pool of movie characters for “As Good As it Getz.” This was one of the more fun, less dramatic episodes. It paired characters from the Lethal world, like Leo Getz (Thomas Lennon), with characters from the new series, namely Karen Palmer. I’m a big Thomas Lennon fan and I love the show, but his Leo is going to be a slow burn. To their credit, Lethal Weapon has gone a different route from the inimitable Pesci performance. They kept the heart, bravery, and Leo’s annoying mouth, but they also added a few layers. Lennon’s Leo leans much more towards a Saul Goodman type.
This week begins with Leo and his client, Flaco, at a small donut shop. Leo is there to represent Flaco in a protection deal with the DEA. Agent Zigman doesn’t offer much in the way perks but Leo wants to put the deal to bed. He goes to the restroom for a quick break and hears an attack on his client in the donut shop; both Flaco and Agent Zigman are dead. Leo sneaks away unseen.
The case is all about why Flaco was murdered. DEA Agent Karen Palmer returns to the show to add chemistry to the Riggs story. She knows Flaco was supposed to have intel on a Flores cartel money launderer known as “The Architect.” Everyone is happy to see her again, but Riggs with his anemic EQ doesn’t know how to deal with his feelings. She knows Flaco sought the counsel of Leo Getz, a local ambulance chaser.
Riggs and Murtaugh catch up with Leo at the hospital where he trolls for new clients. Leo is always trying to better his position, it’s where he starts. At first he plays it cool, he tells them nothing. Riggs had promised Palmer to bring Leo in when they found him. Instead, Riggs and Murtaugh use him as bait. They let Leo walk and follow him in hopes the Flores Cartel will ooze from the shadows and take a shot at him. Leo stops at a Taco truck and tells the cook, Pablo, he needs to get word to the Flores Cartel about Flaco. Karen Palmer followed Riggs and Murtaugh and approaches Leo in the open. Pablo makes a call and a few seconds later the same hit team from the donut shop arrives on their motorcycles and shoot the place up.
Leo agrees to police protection now, but he doesn’t have much to offer. He doesn’t know who the architect is, but he does know some secret information about Pablo, the cook from the Taco truck. Pablo doesn’t know who “The Architect” is either but he does know Flaco wasn’t the target. Flores is upset his people missed Palmer. Riggs calls and warns Palmer just before cartel hitmen open fire on her. Murtaugh catches one of the baddies and Palmer catches a few bullets in her vest. Riggs is clearly concerned she may have been harmed.
This time, they have Ramon, one of the shooters, in custody. Again, Ramon doesn’t know who “The Architect” is, but he does know the Cartel was in a hurry to kill Palmer. The night before the Flaco hit, Palmer was investigating firms that may have been laundering money for the cartel. Riggs helps her narrow it down to three, and Murtaugh recognizes Leo’s phone number in one of the files. The firm is Weyburn Advisors and the man most likely dealing with the cartel is Stafford White.
Most of this episode is about introducing Leo and fanning the chemistry between Riggs and Palmer. Riggs is sober the entire time and taking a break from his grief to struggle with the awkward effect of his crush on Palmer. Murtaugh doesn’t have more than a supporting role this week, but Trish has a nice little arc. Trish is heading to work to meet with the senior partners at her firm about being promoted to full partner at the beginning of “As Good As it Getz.” She quits when they tell her how much they love her, but give the position to someone else. She feels empowered by the move, but Murtaugh is shocked. He doesn’t know how they’re going to get by on his salary and wants to know if she left on terms that would allow her to get her position back. Trish was hoping he’d be more supportive, but he is a worrier. Leo tells Murtaugh how brave it was for Trish to stand up to them that way and reminds him, Trish can always find clients, but their firm will probably never find someone like her again. Murtaugh apologizes to Trish, he knows everything will turn out.
Stafford White isn’t so lucky. He’s dead by the time Riggs and Murtaugh arrive at his office which leads to the Lethal Weapon sequence of the night. Two fake DEA Agents drug Palmer and whisk her away in an ambulance. Leo witnesses the whole thing and follows in his convertible. He calls Riggs and Murtaugh for back-up.
The ambulance stops at an abandoned motel on the outskirts of town. They tell Leo to hang back, but he gets out of his car to get a closer look. Cartel gunman spot Leo and open fire. Riggs and Murtaugh arrive the same time as a cartel helicopter. Riggs rolls out of the moving car to save Palmer while Murtaugh mows down a gunman to save Leo. Baddies load Palmer onto the chopper but Riggs grabs hold of the landing skid. There is a short fight and a shootout, Palmer kicks a hench out the window and helps Riggs climb aboard, but he shoots the pilot. The chopper banks over the motel, Riggs and Palmer jump, smash threw the rotting roof and land safely on one of the nasty beds.
Riggs and Palmer share a kiss before she heads off to her next case. Murtaugh and Trish take a walk and he promises not to worry until he sees a bus go by; Leo has added Trish to his ads. This is a surprise, it’s obvious he didn’t discuss it with Trish but it would make things more interesting on her end of the story.
Season 1, Episode 15 (S01E015)
Lethal Weapon airs Wednesdays at 8PM on Fox
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Eric Rodriguez | Contributor