LETHAL WEAPON Review: “Spilt Milk”


LETHAL WEAPON proves it can take on serious material while keeping its sense of humor in “Spilt Milk.” We say things like “the story has needs” all the time, usually to defend some trope which might be insulting to someone. Sometimes a character needs a treacherous wife, an angry husband or deadbeat dad, or an ethically challenged lawyer to reflect some thematic argument relevant to the story. I know Serbians that are fine, decent, people. I’ve met all kinds Germans, many compassionate. I’ve served alongside brave Iraqi’s and courageous Kurds and I remember when Chechens were considered freedom fighters. Hollywood loves to pound on the crazy vet. Why not, I can’t think of a group with fewer numbers in the industry, they’re easy targets.

Lethal Weapon is built on the relationship between an aging police detective and his suicidal partner. Riggs is suicidal because he lost his wife and child, crazy because of his Navy SEAL training. The guy has issues and one way to tell his story is mirror characters. Show the audience what Riggs might be like without love in his life, with no proper support system. It’s a valid choice and they offered a decent story to go with it. This week’s prime suspect is Chad Jackson. He’s an unhinged former Navy SEAL vet, a lot like Riggs.

LETHAL WEAPON: Pictured L-R: Damon Wayans and Clayne Crawford in the "Spilt Milk" episode of LETHAL WEAPON airing Wednesday, Oct. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Darren Michaels/FOX

Jackson goes crazy when he gets the “you’re over qualified” brush off at a interview, and he smashes the place. They give the case to Riggs and Murtaugh because Riggs may have some helpful insight into the mind of a crazy vet. Murtaugh checks in with Jackson’s VA counselor, Dr. Cox, who boasts about his regular treatment of anger therapy and meds. Meanwhile, Jackson terrorizes a supermarket pharmacy looking for a prescription refill. The pharmacist has never seen the pills Jackson needs to replace. When Riggs and Murtaugh catch up to him, Jackson is taking a time out, drinking some milk. He tells Riggs he’ll be happy to turn himself in after he completes his mission. Jackson fires at Cruz when he gets too close and escapes Riggs by leaping off the roof to a moving truck, then to the street below. Riggs and Murtaugh both consider Jackson’s crazy flight. Riggs looks at it from the perspective of fear. Fear management is part of the SEAL lifestyle. Riggs thinks Jackson is just turning off his fear switch altogether.

Murtaugh is dealing with a much more devastating notion. What if he isn’t capable of facing the modern criminal who can just leap off the roof of a building and take off down the street? Murtaugh has something neither Riggs nor Jackson have; he has Trish to offer a logical argument. Smart people don’t jump off buildings. Thank God for Trish. Trish is breaking in a new work assistant, Desmond. He’s way above average good looking and Murtaugh is shocked when he drops in on her at work. It’s part of his old guy worries, maybe Trish would be tempted by her new tasty dish? Again, Trish has to set him straight.

LETHAL WEAPON: Pictured L-R: Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans in the "Spilt Milk" episode of LETHAL WEAPON airing Wednesday, Oct. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Darren Michaels/FOX

Riggs and Murtaugh follow the pills angle which leads to Patricia Swinton at Gaius Pharmaceuticals, a proper harder-to-defend corporate baddie. She’s a cold executive with an explosive secret. Patricia sends them back to talk with Dr. Cox, but he’s already in the morgue and Jackson’s figure prints are all over the crime.

Riggs and Murtaugh track Jackson to Griffith Park. He’s waiting for Riggs from a hide with his sniper rifle, like a good crazy vet, and has the area wired with explosives which almost kill Murtaugh. Jackson left his resume at one crime scene, waited for the police to arrive at the second crime scene, but decided to execute the lazy Dr. Cox in private. Riggs doesn’t buy it, but Captain Avery removes him from the case for being too close to Jackson’s type. Det. Cruz consults an old buddy and finds out Jackson has enough C-4 to level a building.

Riggs figures Jackson is going to blow up Gaius Pharmaceuticals. Murtaugh joins him at the building when Jackson arrives wearing a vest full of explosives. Jackson lets as many people escape from the building as possible, he only means to kill Patricia. Right. The sniper’s back up weapon is an explosive vest. Riggs tries to reason with Jackson but Patricia’s hench shoots him and sets off the explosive’s timer. They have less than a minute, nowhere near enough time to hand the explosive device to the bomb squad.

LETHAL WEAPON: Pictured L-R: Clayne Crawford and Damon Wayans in the "Spilt Milk" episode of LETHAL WEAPON airing Wednesday, Oct. 19 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. ©2016 Fox Broadcasting Co. CR: Darren Michaels/FOX

This week’s explosive moment is brought to you by Trish and Roger Murtaugh. Murtaugh remembers Trish’s words, “smart people don’t jump off buildings.” He takes the vest, fires through the window and jumps out throwing the vest away like a target. Riggs follows him out the window and shoots at the vest until it explodes. They Lethal Weapon fall a spectacular distance into the corporate pool below.

Murtaugh has plenty left in the tank to fight crime. Beating his daughter at basketball is a different story. Riggs visits Jackson in the hospital and recommends he spend some time talking with Dr. Cahill. He dodged the murder charge but he’s still headed to jail where he belongs.

“Spilt Milk” ends on a high note with Riggs and Murtaugh sharing a beer on the rooftop. is safe for another week and they learned a little about themselves; win-win.

Season 1, Episode 5 (S01E05)
Lethal Weapon airs Wednesdays at 8PM on Fox

Read all of our reviews of Lethal Weapon here.
Read our reviews of more of your favorite shows here.

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.
Follow Eric on Twitter: @Etom2012
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