LETHAL WEAPON returns with another great episode about “Ties That Bind.” Lethal Weapon does so many things right it’s difficult to catch them all. It makes sense, it delivers, it entertains. It’s built on great moments. “Ties That Bind” starts with a grisly murder. A young woman, Nina Clauson, runs down a dark street, bare feet and barely clothed. A bright red Ferarri F355 chases her and ends up smashing her into a tree. It’s nasty and probably serves a number of metaphors. An elite machine runs down the innocent or powerless. Sometimes you chase a dream and sometimes the dream chases you. Just living in Los Angeles is a blood sport. This is the kind of crime Lethal Weapon does well, shattered lives.
Riggs and Murtaugh’s first lead ties the car to a dealership. The overly tanned sales rep doesn’t want to give out customer information about the sale of the car but Riggs frightens it out of the salesman while Murtaugh obtains the same information with steady finesse. The car was sold to Dylan Ashworth, the playboy son of an elite California Royalty. Their family has buildings, streets, and a town named after them. Captain Avery tells them to be very careful about building their case but agrees no one is above the law.
Riggs and Murtaugh visit Dylan the day of one of his big parties. It’s the kind of thing that has something for everyone. While it is at Dylan’s mansion, it’s a D-bag named Julian that puts them together. Henry gets pulled in for possession because he tries to snort coke right in front of Murtaugh while Riggs is off chasing a woman he recognizes from his past, Miranda’s roommate, Rachel. Henry is the piece of crap you might expect from a bored indulgent spirit and his stern father makes no excuses for his behavior, but they don’t have enough to hold him.
Riggs and Murtaugh turn their attention to Julian. Julian has a whole creepy wish fulfillment business. He’s like Santa Clause for people who want taboo entertainment. Riggs follows, harasses and slightly abuses Julian. He sneaks a peek at a little black book Julian keeps on him with all his dirty little connections. They need to take a longer look at that book.
Riggs and Murtaugh have their own little personal battles to deal with. Riggs lives on a public beach and constantly has to deal with a noisy public. A trio of young men park their camper between Riggs’ place and the water. Their presence drives him crazy and he tries to run them off by being a bad neighbor. At first, it seems like Riggs is being unreasonable about this, and he is. But his motivation is anchored in loss. This spot, desecrated by the constant flow of visitors, was Miranda’s spot. He’s defending that memory, defending something she loved from a world that wants to block it out. It’s good story. Roger has one too.
Riana’s private pics accidently load onto the family TV’s screensaver. Murtaugh almost has a heart attack when Jr. outs it came from a text she sent to her boyfriend, Chauncey, “C-Dog.” C-Dog is a minor league pickpocket with no respect for women. For thematic purposes, he’s an earlier, less polished version of Julian. Murtaugh tells him to forget about Riana but Riggs has something useful in mind for C-Dog. They send him into one of Julian’s parties to pick his pocket, get the appointment book for them.
Danny Glover was great as Roger Murtaugh but Wayans really takes the character to the next level. We see the gravity of parenthood on him. He’s a good cop, but he’s a great father and sometimes those two roles might conflict with themselves. He’s also fortunate to have an intelligent partner, Trish, to support his effort, but also keep it focused. I don’t know what a two-parent home is like, but they make a great case for one.
Meanwhile, Riggs asks Rachel to help decipher the code names Julian uses in his nasty black book. She only knows two, the name he used for her and the name for Dylan Ashworth. She was with him the whole night Nina was run down by the Ferarri. His car but not his crime. Bailey, Scorsese, and Captain Avery help figure out some of the others. Dylan’s father, Henry, becomes the prime suspect, and Rachel is his next appointment.
By the time Riggs and Murtaugh arrive, Rachel is fighting off Henry in the playroom. Murtaugh arrests Julian while Rachel escapes, running down the street, Henry chasing in a large SUV. Rachel can’t outrun the auto any better than Nina could, but Nina didn’t have Riggs looking out for her. Riggs chases Henry and opens fire on his SUV which explodes and flies clear over Rachel. It’s our Lethal Weapon moment of the night. They owe it, we want it. The car explodes with Henry in it, torched by his own sins… or something like that.
Season 1, Episode 6 (S01E06)
Lethal Weapon airs Wednesdays at 8PM on Fox
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Eric Rodriguez | Contributor