LETHAL WEAPON meets the Legal Weapon when Riggs and Murtaugh investigate a case of “Brotherly Love.” Riggs has a scare when his wedding ring falls off and slides down the drain. He panics and fishes it out of his garbage disposal, but gets cut in the process. Murtaugh starts having intense chest pains, but tells his family it’s only heartburn from his new meatless diet. Murtaugh and Trish disagree about getting RJ his first car. Murtaugh wants a character building clunker, but Trish wants something newer with modern safety features. The streets Los Angeles are no place to build character, get the hybrid.
The case this week begins with an attempted robbery. The perp breaks into a police impound lot to steal a car and opens fire on the security guard when discovered. No one dies but Riggs and Murtaugh find $2million worth of narcotics hidden in the door-frames. The Lethal Weapon chase happens when the perp returns disguised as a tow truck driver and hooks the car up. Riggs and Murtaugh pursue the tow truck; eventually the evidence car breaks free but Murtaugh starts having intense chest pains again. Riggs drops pursuit and takes him to the hospital, where the doctor suggests Murtaugh rest and keep his stress low, at least until the results of his tests are ready.
Captain Avery knows they aren’t being honest with him about why they dropped pursuit, but they do get a hit off some blood they found at the impound lot. Riggs tells Murtaugh to check in the evidence while he goes to an appointment with Dr. Cahill. It’s a lie, Riggs is just concerned about Murtaugh, but Roger wants to keep his health issues private. He’s afraid of backlash from others at the department. Dr. Cahill pointed out that Riggs isn’t just struggling with the loss of his wife, but the potential loss of his new partner.
This is obvious to Riggs on both counts. He understands he needs to move on from Miranda, but isn’t ready. Protecting Murtaugh is a different story, he’s cautious but not lazy. Making Murtuagh slow down is a bigger trick. While Riggs understands keeping the secret from the people at the department, he knows keeping the secret from Trish is a big mistake, but he’s about to make another one.
Riggs follows up on a lead to an ex-con named Dino Brand. He shows up at the fry joint where Dino works and searches Dino’s locker without a warrant. Dino catches Riggs and pulls a gun on him. Riggs tells Dino he’s really a cop, but he doesn’t have a badge on him to prove it. Lucky for him, Murtaugh figured out he was chasing down leads solo. Murtaugh arrives in time to make the arrest.
They question Dino about the car heist and the drugs, but he doesn’t say anything until his lawyer arrives. Trish blows in ready to destroy Dino’s arrest. Trish has known the man since he was fifteen and mentored him to get his life back on track. She doesn’t think Dino committed the crime and knows his arrest won’t stand up to scrutiny. Murtaugh warns the other detectives on the case to be careful about how they handle Trish’s client. Riggs is the first to face her at the arraignment.
Trish pushes Riggs to explain why Murtaugh arrived late for the arrest and Riggs eventually tells the truth. He was worried because of his partner’s medical condition. Trish is shocked, it’s not the answer she was looking for. Dino goes free, meanwhile Bailey and Cruz interview Dino’s nasty little brother, Jerry. You can see where this is going. Jerry spits on Cruz and Scorsese analyzes the saliva, it’s a direct match to the blood from the impound lot.
The villain side of this story is simple. Dino’s former drug dealer boss, Angelo, hired his brother to do some low-level tasks for him. On one run, Jerry stopped for pizza and left the car in a red zone; it got towed. The car with $2million in drugs was stashed in the doors. Angelo is holding Jerry hostage and Dino responsible for the loss; he wants the money or the drugs.
Riggs figures out Dino actually was innocent, but they need Trish to convince him to cooperate with them to bring Jerry in peacefully. Dino agrees, though he trusts Trish more than the guys. Murtaugh forges Avery’s signature on a transfer of evidence order for the drugs and Riggs plays along as Dino’s prisoner when they make the trade.
Angelo is happy to get his drugs, but makes his hench push Riggs’ car into the ocean. Dino opens fire to protect him and Jerry while Murtaugh comes in guns blazing. Riggs is cuffed to the steering wheel, all part of the plan, but he drops the key when his car gets bumped. Eventually, he falls into the water, still cuffed to the wheel. Riggs manages to break free, but he loses his wedding ring for good.
Captain Avery is happy they busted Angelo and reassures Murtaugh everyone respects him. His test results show a healthy heart but faulty pace-maker. He needs a simple surgery to replace his current equipment. This was one of the last of the original series order, I’m excited about the last five of the season which were added after the debut.
Season 1, Episode 12 (S01E012)
Lethal Weapon airs Wednesdays at 8PM on Fox
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Eric Rodriguez | Contributor