LETHAL WEAPON returns with a drama packed episode, “Homebodies.” Lethal Weapon has delivered several great episodes already, but this is the best and with no disrespect to a fantastic show, it could have been a movie. “Homebodies” is packed with thematic material. Riggs and Murtaugh both meet people that “get them.”
Some of the themes explored in “Homebodies” include clinical depression, suicide, social media vs. social contact, legal drugs, and relationships. There’s probably one or two more I missed while being caught up in the story. This week begins with the murder of a popular party promoter. Adam Pressman is shot just outside a silent disco. On one side of the door, Pressman and one other human being, on the other side are hundreds of people all zoned out on drugs and music. The party is still going on when Riggs and Murtaugh arrive on the crime scene.
Trish is all over Murtaugh this week about inviting Riggs over for dinner. Murtaugh can only do so much because Riggs doesn’t return his calls or texts. This is part of tonight’s tragic story. Depression doesn’t just affect the people who have it, it ripples out to the people they touch. One of the struggles with depressed people is awareness of others. At this point, I agree with Murtaugh, there is only so much he can do as the partner.
Enter Koreatown expert Detective Henry Cho and person of interest, Owlsly (Olive.) Riggs and Murtaugh question Jessica, the party’s DJ about Pressman and the drugs he was slinging. Everyone loved Pressman and he got the drugs from a street chemist known as Owlsly. Scorcese confirms the drugs Pressman was selling were completely legal, nothing but a clever mix of natural supplements. Captain Avery assigns a department expert on Koreatown, Henry Cho. Here’s part of the gag for episode; Cho is Murtaugh’s crime fighting soul mate. These two get along, their work and thought processes are in complete harmony. Murtaugh does not experience any of the friction with Cho that he does with Riggs. It’s arguable, Cho is actually better, healthier for Murtaugh’s worn out heart.
Olive turns out to be a reclusive chemist who recently had a fight with Pressman about teaming with a Koreatown criminal element, Kang, for selling her drugs to a larger audience. They convince Olive to go with them to LAPD, maybe she can identify Pressman’s contact. However, the three of them are attacked in a drive-by before they ever get to the mug shots. This doesn’t exactly make the case to Olive, or Riggs, that the outside world is worth walking in daylight.
“Homebodies” gives Olive a powerful character secret and we don’t see it yet. Every now and then, a film does this well. I’m not talking about a plot twist as much as a character revelation. Usually in the third act, once we see it, we want to see the movie again to see if the new information holds up throughout the story. We’ll get to Olive’s secret in a moment, for now it’s enough that Riggs understands, or at least thinks he understands, Olive’s choices. The problem is, Riggs can’t see past his own reflection right now, not even when he makes a great effort.
Murtaugh discusses a permanent change of partner with Captain Avery. While Captain Avery doesn’t deny the request outright, he does explain that he teamed Riggs and Murtaugh for a specific reason. It wasn’t so Riggs could protect Murtaugh from his weak heart, it was so Murtaugh could strengthen Riggs’ broken spirit. Murtaugh was chosen specifically for his strength and courage to help keep Riggs in their world, something Avery claims Murtaugh also did for him.
It turns out reclusive Olive murdered Pressman, not Kang; though Kang did attack Jessica and orchestrate the drive by. Kang gave Pressman a half million dollar advance and he wants the drugs he paid for or his money back. Kang snatches Olive off the street just after she confesses to, and drugs, Riggs. Murtaugh and Cho catch up to Kang in the nick of time, there is a car chase, Kang’s car flips. Kang and his crew are arrested, but Olive walks away from the accident before Murtaugh and Cho get to the car. Riggs catches up to Olive but she’s already given herself a lethal dose of her own meds and won’t survive the hospital ride. Riggs gets it and he doesn’t. Olive hated the world, but she also hated herself. Even if she managed to make the world a better place there was something toxic inside she just couldn’t escape. Riggs is in a whole different place. He misses the world his wife lived in, but he knows some day he’ll be ready for it and he knows he’ll need Murtaugh, Trish, and Dr. Cahill when that time comes.
Lethal Weapon has a deep kit to balance the drama, Murtaugh’s scenes with Cho are funny, but Scorcese comes through with the comic relief (and product placement) as he continues work on his screenplay. Murtaugh’s son, RJ also has a small bit this week anchored in asking a girl to the school dance. He gets turned down when he asks her out in person, but his stock rises for making a more personal choice.
Season 1, Episode 10 (S01E010)
Lethal Weapon airs Wednesdays at 8PM on Fox
Eric lives in a world where the television is great, the smiles are warm, the pizza is hot, the puppies are playful, and the zombies are slow and meander while he reloads.
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Eric Rodriguez | Contributor