[PLEASE NOTE: This recap of Lethal Weapon: Season 3, Episode 2: Need to Know DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS. It is assumed you have already viewed the episode. If you have not, it is recommended you do so. Episode 2: Need to Know can be seen on Fox, On-Demand or via your preferred streaming service.]
We’re not far into Season 3 of Lethal Weapon, but it’s already quite clear that the new season presents a fifty-fifty split among the show’s fanbase. Many have rejected the new season; due to Clayne Crawford’s unceremonious exit, which I suppose is understandable. However, others like myself were pleasantly surprised by last week’s Season 3 Premiere. Between the previous episode and the one which I’m about to recap, I felt the show might have new life. Well, I did until star Damon Wayans dropped a bombshell a few days ago. But more on that later, for now, let’s get into Season 3, Episode 2: Need to Know!
This episode opens with the introduction of a finance executive named Eddie Ross (Matt Kaminsky). He seems to be the kind of guy who only cares about his profession and the money it makes him; you know, a real charmer. Ross is upset to find that a young man in a beat-up car is parked in Ross’ designated parking spot. After yelling at the young driver, Ross proceeds with his workday. One which is cut short when an unseen killer tosses Ross out his office window, to his death.
Early the next morning we find that Wesley Cole (Seann William Scott) is having trouble sleeping; thanks to memories that haunt him concerning Aleppo, Syria. Sleep eludes Cole to the point where he decides to bring breakfast to his estranged wife, Natalie Flynn (Maggie Lawson) and daughter, Maya (Shay Rudolph). However, those plans change when Cole tackles down who he thinks is a burglar trying to break into his wife and daughter’s abode. It turns out that this assumed robber is Andrew (Jonathan Sadowski), who is not a thief, also lives in the house. Not knowing that Cole’s a cop, Andrew has our hero arrested. Such an occurrence puts a real damper on Cole and Roger Murtaugh’s (Damon Wayans) first day together as partners.
Things only get worse when the boys find that the F.B.I. is leading the investigation into Eddie Ross’ murder. The two federal agents in charge of the investigation, Ray (Nick Searcy) and Stan (Russell Wong), believe that Los Serenos, “(L.A.’s) fastest growing Central-American gang,” is responsible because Ross laundered the gang’s money and was about to be brought before a grand jury. The feds are wanting to pen this murder on Darwin Perez (Christian Ochoa). After all, he was previously parked in Ross’ parking spot and was seen fleeing the murder scene. Despite the evidence though, Cole doesn’t buy it.
The LAPD and the feds track Darwin to his sister’s apartment. Of course, with all the artillery these agencies are packing, you would think Darwin was a one-man army. Hoping to avoid a bloodbath, Cole refuses to go in with the rest of team (which includes Murtaugh). Instead, Cole does things Spider-Man style; climbing up to Darwin’s window. Standing on a ledge, Cole convinces Cole to climb out the window. From there, the two men climb back in through a neighboring window and leave the apartment complex. Thus, Darwin is taken safely into custody.
Back in in interrogation, Cole employs his unorthodox style once again and is able to elicit some information. Darwin tells him that Luca “Exit Wound” Chavez (Burton Perez) ordered the hit on Ross. Continuing on, Darwin explains that he had no choice but to cooperate in order to keep his family safe. With this information, Cole quietly goes solo, tracking Chavez down to the back of a restaurant that’s currently closed. Using a popsicle and a butane torch lighter, Cole convinces Chavez that he is burning him. As such, Chavez confesses that Darwin had nothing to do with the murder; but some of Ross’ other clients might have.
About the time that Cole reveals he was only using the torch to create the sound and a popsicle to create the sensation of torture, gunshots riddle into the room. Cole manages to shove Chavez out of the way and wrestle the gunman to the ground. Conveniently, Murtaugh and the federales are also pulling up to the closed restaurant as all this is going down. Just as Chavez frees himself and aims a pistol at Cole, Ray bursts in and guns Chavez down. After a day like that, Murtaugh forgets about the dinner he and his family had planned for Cole. All of whom are dissatisfied to hear that the dinner is canceled, as they had cleared their schedules.
To help Cole understand Murtaugh, Brooks Avery (Kevin Rahm) explains that Murtaugh is about an “All or nothing partnership.” Meanwhile, Murtaugh and Trish (Keesha Sharp) are accepting the fact that they’re still grieving Riggs. As happens, sadness turns to lovemaking as the married couple decides to rekindle their flame. As also tends to happen, they are interrupted- by Cole; who has come to mend the fences with Murtaugh. Cole’s attempt is a bust as he walks in on Trish standing naked in the kitchen, and quickly proceeds to leave as everyone’s embarrassed.
The next morning is understandably awkward as Murtaugh and Cole continue to narrow down Ross’ murder suspects. Surprisingly quickly, the partners determine the most likely suspect to be a gentleman named Enrico. Unfortunately, the boys arrive at Enrico’s only to find that the suspect is dead; having been killed buried in his own wall. Cole deduces that FBI agents Stan and Ray are on the take with Los Serenos. Of course, Cole was given a pretty big clue as he sees the two agents, accompanied by gang members, surrounding Enrico’s former abode. Outnumbered and outgunned, Murtaugh and Cole (literally) surrender by waving a white flag.
In true comic book style, the boys soon find themselves being held hostage in a walk-in freezer. Murtaugh’s left to chill while Cole is taken to be tortured by the dirty feds. As if equipped with utility belts, Murtaugh manages to escape the freezer while Cole turns Ray and Stan against each other. Cole has correctly figured that Stan took all of Enrico’s stashed money; which Stan and Ray were supposed to split. The situation escalates quickly as Cole also escapes his bonds. Ray and Stan attempt to kill our heroes; however, Murtaugh plants a round in Ray’s chest while Cole lands a killing throw of a cleaver at Stan.
With this case concluded, it’s time to rebuild the family. Cole’s invited to a dinner by Natalie with her, Maya, and Andrew. After accepting the invitation, Cole realizes he can’t go to the meal. Thus, Cole finds himself alone in his hotel room again. The lonely silence is broken by a knock at the door. Cole answers it to see Murtaugh and Trish, who have come with dinner. So while it may take Cole some time to rebuild his own familial bonds; he finds himself being welcomed into the Murtaugh family.
I found this episode to be yet another strong one. Yes, the plot was a pretty standard one for a police procedural. But, it was well-executed and entertaining in every respect. Firstly, the two action set pieces (the window climbing and the end fight) are intense and fun to watch. Secondly, and most importantly, the character work in this episode is outstanding.
Murtaugh and Cole continue to build their dynamic; on which thankfully, this episode focuses. Once again, Seann William Scott knocks it out of the park in his role. So much so that I find him to now be the best part of this series. Need to Know was a very entertaining episode. One which this season could easily build something substantial and sustainable off of. That is if it were not for Damon Wayans.
By now, we all know about all of Lethal Weapon’s behind-the-scenes drama. Most notable of which is the fact that Riggs was written out of the show after Clayne Crawford’s dismissal. After which the character and actor were replaced by Scott. Well, now it seems that another actor will need replacing. Late last week, in a video interview with Eurweb.com, Wayans announced that he would be leaving Lethal Weapon. Not at the end of this season, but in the middle of it. Wayans specified saying, I’m going to be quitting the show in December after we finish the initial 13 (episodes).
If you ask me, this is an incredibly unprofessional move on Wayans’ part. From all the research I’ve done, it seems Wayans’ agreeing to continue with this series was contingent on his former co-star, Crawford, being fired. For an actor to have his conditions met only to depart from the job he agreed to do is in incredibly by taste. It’s clear now that this actor has been responsible for the ongoing drama over the making of this show. But maybe it’s for the better as it’s sometimes clear on camera that Wayans does not want to be working.
I sincerely hope that not only Season 3 of Lethal Weapon but the show as a whole can continue successfully. However with Wayans soon to make his exit, an overall will undoubtedly be required. What are your thoughts, readers? Will they recast Murtaugh or just write the character off? Or, will this season even be able to continue? I suppose there’s nothing to do but wait and see.
Episode 3: A Whole Lotto Trouble Airs Tuesday, Oct. 9 at 9:00 PM on Fox.