Lethal Weapon’s Season 2 Finale Will Change The Series As We Know It

by Ben Martin

[PLEASE NOTE: This recap of Lethal Weapon: Season 2, Episode 22: One Day More DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS. It is assumed you have already viewed the episode. If you have not, it is recommended you do so. Episode 22: One Day More can be seen on Fox On-Demand or via your preferred streaming service.]

It’s been a winding and mostly entertaining road that brought us to the Season 2 Finale of Lethal Weapon. For a show that I didn’t initially feel had any long-stay potential, this series has proven me wrong. Throughout the past two seasons, this show has managed to take a property that was and characters that belonged previously to a film franchise and make the whole concept it’s own. All the while displaying its strengths and at times, exposing its weaknesses. Alas, the show has had quite a slew of behind-the-scenes drama; which I’m sure you’ve no doubt read about. Drama and contention, which bled through into the series itself. But, more on that outcome later. For now, let’s get into Episode 22: One Day More!

As with the previous episode, the Season Finale of Lethal Weapon: Season 2 opens with Riggs (Clayne Crawford) having another nightmare. This time though our hero isn’t tormented by memories of his father’s abuse. Instead, Riggs finds himself standing by his late wife, Miranda’s grave. Soon, the spirit of Miranda (Floriana Lima) is beckoning her husband to join her in the after-life. Finally, our hero does what he’s wanted to for so long. Putting a revolver to his temple, he pulls the trigger! The gun fires, there’s a flash of white light, and Riggs wakes with a start in Molly’s house. Once Riggs makes his way down to the kitchen, Molly (Kristen Gutoskie) greets him enthusiastically. She tells him that she just inherited a small family cabin by a river, back in Texas.

A little later that morning, we see that Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) is preparing for his last day as a detective before becoming police captain. Of course, he has yet to tell his partner about to impending transition in rank. Thus, Murtaugh heads out to Riggs’ trailer to do just that. Much to Murtaugh’s surprise, his partner already knows about the promotion. While Riggs is happy for Murtaugh, he doesn’t seem to think much will change between them. As such, he refuses the scrapbook which Murtaugh tries to gift to him. According to Murtaugh, the book is “A history of us,” (he and Riggs.) Being quite the unsentimental type, Riggs still refuses the book and tells Murtaugh that if he would like a gift, he can have the grenade Riggs keeps in a coffee can. Such a precious moment is soon interrupted when a small crew of machine-gun toting bikers roll up and spray Riggs’ trailer with bullets. Our heroes survive without a scratch. Back at the station, the entire department is trying to determine who’s responsible for what appears to be an assassination attempt on Riggs. Suddenly, Molly storms into the station, having seen her beau’s trailer. Molly reveals that she’d come by the trailer to talk to Riggs about something. That being that she wants Riggs to move back to Texas with she and Ben. Surprisingly, Riggs asks, “Can I think about it?”

Soon enough, the ever-resourceful Bailey (Michelle Mitchenor) finds that one of the bikes is registered to a corporation. One which is owned by Grant Davenport (Martin Donovan), whom you may remember as the antagonist from this season’s earlier Christmas episode, 2.10: Wreck the Halls. Upon encountering the heroic duo, Davenport calls for security, which is headed up by none other than the recently paroled Nathan Riggs (Rex Linn). There is immediate tension between the father and son; which escalates when Davenport says, “He was just asking about your bike.” As you might expect, Nathan insists that he had nothing to do with the hit on Riggs. Instead, Nathan says, “It wasn’t me I wasn’t tryin’ to kill ya’. I was coming to your trailer to talk to you. Your little brother’s (Garrett) in county lock-up.” Reverting to his impulsive ways, Riggs pulls his side-arm and puts it to his father’s jaw.

Thankfully, Murtaugh manages to diffuse the family tension. However, before putting his pistol away, Riggs tells his dad, “When I take your ass down, you’ll be wearin’ a toe-tag.” Later that night, while Riggs is in a therapy session with Cahill (Jordana Brewster) who’s telling him that he must forgive himself for not standing up to his father as a kid; his father is trying to get bail money from Davenport. Nathan overheard a conversation between Davenport and his lawyer and now knows that said legal counsel has access to copious amounts of money. No doubt, certainly enough to make bail. Driving home his point, Nathan hits Davenport in the back with a nine-iron and insists on an introduction to his lawyer.

About the same time, our hero finds out that the bike’s tires don’t match those of his father’s. Instead, the tires are on a stolen bike, which is currently at a bar downtown. Riggs goes off to investigate the bike on his own. To get the attention of the bar patrons, Riggs drives into the bar on what he thinks is the stolen bike; demanding to know who attempted to assassinate him. Nearby, he hears another bike peel off. Thus, a bike chase ensues and eventually when stops when Riggs jumps off his bike to avoid hitting a semi-truck. The criminal he’s chasing, however, doesn’t see the truck and is thrown off his crotch rocket by it. Severely injured, the biker tells Riggs that he wasn’t the target…Murtaugh was. It just so happens that Murtaugh is walking into his dark, empty house alone when Riggs calls him, just in the nick of time. Murtaugh spots a hitman hiding in a corner and takes him out.

Shortly after finding out about all this, Trish (Keesha Sharp) calls him from work, where she’s burning the midnight oil. Mrs. Murtaugh says she’s coming home, which Murtaugh’s relieved to hear of course. Alas, as she’s leaving, she overhears Nathan and the lawyer talking. Nathan isn’t happy as the lawyer reveals that he doesn’t have access to the accounts, “Only Trish Murtaugh does,” the esquire tells Nathan. Upon hearing this Nathan shoots the lawyer in the head and Trish runs for it; dropping her purse and phone in the process. Conveniently, it’s at the time when back at the station, Bailey finds phone records indicating incoming calls from Trish’s law firm. Murtaugh and Riggs immediately go to the firm to check on Trish. There, they discover everything; including the video Trish recorded of Nathan murdering the lawyer.

 

Up in the LA hills, Nathan is forcing Trish to transfer the funds, at gunpoint. She finally does and is about to be killed when Nathan’s phone rings. It’s Riggs, telling him that he and Murtaugh have Garett (Peter Coventry Smith). To get his son back, Nathan must give Trish back to the duo. Thus, the parties meet early the next morning, on the beach near Riggs’ bullet-riddled trailer. Before anything goes down, Nathan reminds Riggs that if he comes after them, he can find Molly and Ben at any time. The exchange of hostages is tense but goes smoothly. Such peace is short-lived as a chopper lands to pick up Nathan, Garrett, and their goons. Knowing that they have no intention of leaving loose ends, Riggs tells Murtaugh, “GET TRISH OUT OF HERE!” Then, heads for the chopper, to settle this family feud once-and-for-all.

What follows is an all-out beach brawl with father and son attempting to beat each other to death while the youngest of the family, Garrett, runs for the hills. After getting his wife to safety, Murtaugh returns to help Riggs. In doing so, he takes out the other goons by using the grenade mentioned earlier to blow them up. As a result, Riggs’ trailer is also destroyed. Meanwhile, back down on the beach, The Riggs’ father-son fight is still going on. Our hero has suffered a stab wound, and it looks as if Nathan may escape, leaving his son to die. However, our protagonist gets the upper-hand, when he grabs a rock and hits his dad in the head with it, killing him; ending their toxic familial relationship for good.

The following day, Riggs goes back to Cahill’s office to thank her for all she’s done. He then asks if they could do remote therapy from Texas. Being the good doctor she is, Cahill gladly agrees to retain Riggs as a patient. He then heads over to see the Murtaughs, only to walk right into a surprise, goodbye party. Before sneaking out of the party, Trish thanks for everything. As he heads for his truck, Murtaugh comes after Riggs to see him off. This scene may epitomize the whole series as Riggs tells Murtaugh, “Thanks for saving my life.” To which his partner responds by shrugging and saying, “You’ve done it for me a thousand times.” Riggs then takes a beat and retorts, “That’s not what I meant.” And with that, Riggs drives off.

However, before leaving LA, Riggs makes one last stop. He pays a visit to his wife; putting fresh flowers on Miranda’s grave. Riggs tells her that he’s moving on, but that she’ll always be with him and he will always love her. For the first time since before Miranda’s death, it seems that Martin Riggs is at complete peace. As such, he’s also uncharacteristically unarmed. Therefore, there’s not much he can do when Garett approaches, out of nowhere and pointing a gun at him. Riggs is shocked as Garett fires one bullet into our hero’s chest and flees. Sinking to the ground, beside his late wife’s headstone, we’re left to wonder will Riggs survive? With this cliffhanger, Season 2 and the TV series that is Lethal Weapon as we know it ends.

For a season that has been a mixed bag of late, I must say that the finale in review brings it all. As with the best episodes of Lethal Weapon, One Day More contains everything needed to make it one of the series best. There’s of course, action and comedy; both of which are very strong. More importantly, though, this episode is focused on characters and their relationships. Those relationships and the dramatic issues within them are what truly make this episode one of the series best. Since this episode is, so character focused, I should say that the entire cast knocks it out of the park with their performances. Particularly those of series leads Wayans and Crawford.

Moreover, this season finale seems to wrap-up the current iteration of the series. On a related note, this episode also pays homage to the Lethal Weapon (1987) and Lethal Weapon 2 (1988). The only thing that I can really ding this episode on is the fact that unlike most of this series, which can be casually watched, “One Day More” requires that you’ve seen your fair-share of episodes. For that is the only way that the emotional character arcs presented here will resonate. All-in-all, I found Season 2 of Lethal Weapon to be decent, as a whole. Going a step further, I think this series is still the most watchable of its ilk. That, of course, being a police procedural of sorts.

Now, I would be remiss if I wrapped-up this recap without addressing the elephant in the room. As you probably, know by now, those on-set tensions that have plagued this show have finally boiled over, and the outcome of such an occurrence was twofold. Depending on how you look at it, there’s good news and bad news in regards to Lethal Weapon’s continuation. The good news is that the series has been picked up for a Third Season. However, the bad news is that Clayne Crawford has been fired from the series. According to all reports, Crawford had been reprimanded for unprofessional behavior twice (once in each season) during his tenure on the set. Such behavior allegedly includes creating a hostile and unsafe work environment.

As you might imagine, when tension builds like that, a powder keg develops. Well, that proverbial powder keg eventually blew when co-lead Damon Wayans was nicked by a piece of flying shrapnel during the production of an episode directed by Crawford. While Crawford did apologize to Wayans, that didn’t seem to be good enough. Due to all these incidents, Warner Bros. TV, who are the rights holders to the property, chose to move forward with the show, sans Crawford.  As I’m not a gossip columnist, I’m not about to stir the pudding when it comes to these issues. I wasn’t on the set, so it just wouldn’t be proper to do so.

However, I will say that I think that more than one actor was unprofessional. Following the firing of his co-star, Damon Wayans set to social media, saying things about Crawford that struck me as very unprofessional. Therefore, I can only imagine that the two co-stars working relationship got to the point of no longer being able to function. No matter where the majority of the fault does or does not lie with, that’s clear.

Shortly after dropping that bombshell, Warner Bros. TV and Fox announced that Seann William Scott (American Pie, Super Troopers 2) would be replacing Crawford in Season 3. Mind you; the actor will not be playing Riggs. Instead, he’ll be playing someone related to Riggs. Many are speculating that Scott’s character will be another one of Riggs’ brothers or a cousin; however, nothing has been confirmed at this point.

Lethal Weapon is a top-performer for both the TV network and the production company. Therefore, from a business standpoint, it makes sense that those entities want to continue the series. Unfortunately, though, the show’s fans haven’t been receptive to this development, at large. But who knows, maybe those folks will change their tune once the new season hits the air. I am willing to give it a chance, but I must say that I don’t have much hope for it. At the risk of sounding reductive, Lethal Weapon on film and TV works because of the characters of Riggs and Murtaugh. In my humble estimation, if you remove half of that duo; it’s not really Lethal Weapon anymore. Nevertheless, I wish all parties involved (and no longer involved) with the series the best of luck!

LETHAL WEAPON: SEASON 3 WILL PREMIERE ON FOX THIS FALL!

Ben Martin

Ben Martin is a life-long movie & TV lover. In his teens, he decided he wanted to do more than just watch the things he enjoyed. So Ben decided to start writing his opinions on TV & movies a well. Mr. Martin also writes screenplays, short stories and opinion columns.

%d bloggers like this: