[PLEASE NOTE: This recap of Lethal Weapon: Season 2, Episode 5: Let It Ride DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS. It is assumed you have already viewed the episode. If you have not, it is recommended you do so. Episode 5: Let It Ride can be seen on Fox On-Demand or via your preferred streaming service.]
To quote the tagline of Lethal Weapon 4 (1998), “The gang’s all here,” and it’s nice to have them back. The episode opens at the horse racing track where Howard Trotter (Craig Ricci Shaynak) is a regular. He seems to be one of those guys who has gone from playing the horses as hobby to being a gambler, living in hope and dying in despair. Of course, with such a lifestyle comes debts, owed to many people. Today though, Howard feels lucky, so he decides to bet big on a horse. Feeling confident of his win, he also decides he’ll take in a meal at the track’s fancy establishment, The Jockey Club.
However, he quickly changes his mind when he sees people whom he’s apparently afraid of, sitting at a table there. Unfortunately for Howard, these men spot him as well. In a panic, Howard turns and leaves the club as quickly as he arrived there, but to no avail. The horse Howard bets on wins. Alas, the gambler doesn’t live long enough to see it, having been given a quick shot in the neck with a lethal solution.
Later that same morning, Riggs (Clayne Crawford) wakes up on the beach. Initially, I, and apparently Riggs himself, thought maybe he had just passed out on the beach, having not made it to his trailer. On the contrary, he finds that his home has been towed. Apparently, Riggs had it unlawfully parked on the public beach for quite awhile. As is his style, Riggs takes this in stride. With a grimace, he finishes his beer and heads for the Murtaugh residence. Before Riggs makes his way into the house, we find Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) and Trish (Keesha Sharp) enjoying an otherwise quiet morning.
Murtaugh is sipping on his coffee and doing yet another draft of his living will. Riggs then comes in, throwing off the couple’s morning routine. Once they find out about his living situation or lack thereof, Trish offers to look into the matter. The help is gladly accepted by the now trailer-less Riggs. However, when his de facto family insist that Riggs stay there, he quickly declines. In addition, Riggs also refuses to let Murtaugh write him into his will. This upsets his partner, but the two get called in before they can argue about it.
Initially, the team finds Howard’s case to be pretty cut and dry. Based on witness accounts and the fact that Howard was very overweight, his death appears to be the result of a stroke. Bailey (Michelle Mitchenor), Bowman (Andrew Creer), and the boys are getting ready to put the seemingly open-close case in the books until the deceased’s representation shows up. Howard’s attorney is none other than Leo Getz (Thomas Lennon), who maintains that his client was murdered. Despite the cops’ appreciation for Leo’s dedication, they find Leo’s assertion ridiculous. That is, until Riggs “Spidey-sense” kicks in. Based on the direction Howard’s body is facing, Riggs feels there is no way Howard was watching the race and dropped dead suddenly of a heart attack. It turns out Leo Getz it right as his client’s autopsy reveals that he was murdered through the means of injecting Warfarin into his system.
You have to give Leo props that he is a dedicated esquire. Such is evident when he holds a memorial for Howard in the bar which his late client patronized and lived above. Riggs and Murtaugh sit quietly in the corner having a whispered debate over the will as Leo drones on. The impromptu memorial can’t be over soon enough as the bar’s keep, and its regulars seem annoyed by it. Upon the memorial’s conclusion, the boys and Leo go upstairs above the bar to investigate Howard’s apartment for further evidence. They have good cause, as the apartment had recently been broken into. Interestingly only one item was stolen, a bat autographed by Sandy Koufax. While looking around, the boys’ argument over the Will heats up again. However, upon Leo’s insistence, our heroes take their debate into the hallway. While our heroes bicker, Leo is attacked inside the apartment and stabs the assailant in self-defense. It turns out that Leo’s would-be assassin had worked as an enforcer for a loan shark named Tony Guzman (Jeremy Luke), to whom Howard owed money.
Before going with Murtaugh to question Guzman, Riggs has his session with Cahill (Jordana Brewster). When talking to Riggs about his current living situation, Cahill reveals that she dug into Riggs’ files. Thus, she found out that he and his dad moved around quite a bit after his mother’s death. Riggs is surprised that she went the extra mile, but not offended. He admits that this is true, flashing back to his childhood we see a memory that haunts our hero. He remembers that in his adolescence, he and his drunken father, Nathan (Rex Linn) were evicted. In response to being evicted, Riggs’ father kicks in the door. Of course, Riggs does not physically express this memory, nor does he tell Cahill about it. Instead, he tells her that his father did the best he could. Thanks to his dad’s efforts, Riggs feels he became the man he is today.
Whatever emotional realization Riggs is going to have, it will have to wait as it’s time to question Guzman. Doing so doesn’t give our heroes much; however, the evidence does. In Guzman’s shop, they find the Sandy Koufax bat and a cache of illegal guns. These findings quickly escalate into a fight. The consequences of which are Murtaugh getting assaulted with a tattoo gun, which results in unwanted ink. However, he ignores this long enough to stop Riggs; who at that point, is whaling on Guzman with the bat. When Murtaugh puts a stop to the proverbial batting cage, Riggs stops and seemingly snaps out of a trance. Guzman is interrogated and found innocent after he tells the boys that he would have no reason to kill Howard. Why would he? After all, Howard had claimed to be in a windfall. Therefore, Guzman wanted Howard alive to get more money.
Refusing the Murtaughs’ invitation for shelter, Riggs spends the night in his truck in the LAPD parking lot. As he lies there, he remembers a time he had to run into the woods and hide in the trunk of junk car to evade his intoxicated father’s wrath. In order to drown his sorrows, Riggs gets drunk. Following that, he literally crashes at The Murtaughs’, backing his truck and trailer over their white picket fence. Riggs wakes up the next morning shocked and sorry for what he did. It’s also evident that he has next to no memory of his transgression. His attempt to apologize to Trish is refused as she’s outraged. While all that is happening, Bailey, Boman, and Leo investigated Howard’s apartment further. In doing so, they find that he has audio recordings of conversations from the jockey club.
Examination of these recordings finds that there is an hour of audio missing from one of Howard’s recordings. When this absent audio is recovered, it’s revealed several men who were at Howard’s memorial were planning to rob the track. Murtaugh heads out to investigate the bar with Riggs. However, he is stopped by Leo. In a moment of empathy that only the character of Leo Getz (but in the films as portrayed by Joe Pesci and here in the series, as played by Thomas Lennon), he tells Murtaugh not to be so mad at Riggs. Leo goes on to say, “He’s in pain, you don’t do what he did to a friend unless you’re in pain.” Murtaugh clearly considers this sentiment.
The duo meets at the bar, both of them with a sense of humor over the situation. Upon investigating the dive bar, the boys find a tunnel leading up to the track. Meanwhile, Leo is being removed from the jockey club by security after trying to spread Howard’s ashes there. He’s put in the custody of a security guard named, Shane (Stephan Goldbach), who also happens to be one of the men who killed Howard. Things aren’t much better for our heroes as their attempt to stop the robbery becomes a firefight. Riggs chases down the bartender, who has two million in tow. At the same time, Murtaugh goes after Shane. As Murtaugh is in pursuit, Shane tells Leo they killed Howard because he threatened to extort them unless he got 10k from their inside job. The pair’s respective pursuits conclude with Riggs taking out the bartender and Murtaugh shooting Shane, thus saving Leo.
At the end of the day, Riggs accepts the Murtaughs’ offer of a temporary home. Before he leaves work, Cahill gives Riggs a travel kit. The kit contains a pillow, blanket, and toothbrush for his new digs. As Riggs thanks Cahill for the gift, she reminds him that people do indeed care about him. Before settling in, Riggs figuratively and literally mends fences with and for the Murtaughs. He reveals to Trish that he never really had a real home.
When Trish hears this, she contends that “Home isn’t a shell you climb into. It’s the people that leave the door open for you, even when you’re at your worst.” Riggs also rectifies the will situation with Murtaugh. Thus, Murtaugh bequeaths his BBQ sauce recipe to his partner. As the episode ends, Riggs finally seems to have a sense of peace. One that stays with him in his trailer, which is parked inside the Murtaugh’s garage.
As I said in the opening of this recap, I’ve missed this show. Thus, I feel that “Let It Ride” was a decent enough episode to come back to the air with. Granted, it was a relatively straightforward procedural in comparison to some of this season’s other episodes. Even so, this installment had plenty of action and humor. It’s my hope in the coming weeks though that the series will provide a little more emotion because episodes that contain such make them feel heftier and more important.
This particular episode felt more like enjoyable junk food as opposed to a satisfying meal. It seems the remaining emotional content of this season will be a result of Riggs coming to terms with him and his father’s relationship. I’m quite okay with this as I want to see it unfold. However, I hope the rest of what we see of that relationship isn’t as by the numbers as what we’ve seen so far. I suppose we will see as the rest of the season unfolds, should the NFL allow it.
Episode 6: “Gold Rush” is scheduled to air Tuesday, November 14 at 8:00 PM.