Lethal Weapon: ‘The Seal is Broken’ Review
Riggs hits a new low.
Warning: Yes, this is a spoiler review. I thought you knew.
The 13th episode of Lethal Weapon had Riggs riding another emotional roller costar as he was hit hard with the one year anniversary of Miranda’s death. He officially hit rock bottom in this emotional, yet often hilarious episode.
Before I get to Riggs and Murtaugh, let me talk briefly about the case. I always find it funny how some of the cases in this police procedural feel like small potatoes in comparison to the what’s happening to our characters. Most of the time, each case is only there to give Riggs and Murtaugh something to do, while somehow having a parallel relating to something personal in one of our characters’ lives, usually Riggs. This case was no exception. The case itself was kind of trippy. It sort of had a tone similar to the film Se7en, except it was much more tame, obviously. It was about the violent consequences from making immoral decisions. Especially if some vengeance seeking creep is listening to recordings from a church confessional, and decides to punish those who confessed their dirty deeds to the priest. The killer’s motives made this case quite interesting. Even though the plot didn’t call for an action packed hour, it didn’t stop Riggs and Murtaugh from falling off two buildings. Both moments were incredibly hilarious.
The parallel of the case relating to Riggs was, while the victims had made some really bad decisions, Riggs made a soul crushing one on the anniversary of his wife’s death. It’s no surprise Riggs’ drinking problem was going to get him in some kind of dilemma. It’s just really sad his excessive drinking led him to sleeping with some random girl he barely met at a bar on the actual anniversary date of his wife’s death. It’s understandable he wouldn’t attend the prayer service Miranda’s family had planned, but if only he had stayed away from the bar. Banging some random stranger is not the way I pictured his first attempt to move on. Obviously, it was a mistake, but it’s one he can’t take back. Although it sucks the actual act happened, I was relieved it didn’t turn out to be a fake out with him just imagining he had sex with this girl, meeting up with her later, and having her confirm nothing actually happened. No, it happened. It’s something he has to live with. It hurt my heart to hear him say he cheated on his wife. In actuality, he didn’t cheat. Miranda has passed away. But his remorse is not uncommon. Many grieving people consider themselves still married long after their spouses have died.
Riggs’ behavior is not shocking. He has had nothing but a hard time dealing with the death of his wife. Those who have dealt with the death of someone close know the first anniversary is beyond devastating. Getting blackout drunk is probably the least Riggs could have done to damage himself. He could have just as well put that revolver to his head again and pulled the trigger. Hooking up with a lady bartender instead is obviously less drastic. Fortunately, he finally made the conscious decision to stop drinking, which is quite a breakthrough. Dr. Cahill would be proud. I don’t agree with his decision to walk away from Miranda’s family, though I do understand it. It’s obviously too hard for him to be around them (or people in general), but it’s a sad decision to see him make considering how much his father-in-law Ronnie cares for him. It’s always great to see Tony Plana appear on the show, but he gave a damn good performance as he tried to reason with Riggs. I truly hope after enough time has passed, Riggs will check in with his father-in-law. I mean, Ronnie is the reason why Riggs still has a job after all.
Murtaugh’s story was minimal in comparison to Riggs, but there was further development in the way that he truly does care what happens to his partner. When he covered for Riggs when Ronnie came looking for him – Remember, Ronnie is the city attorney, but the department is not aware he’s Riggs’ father-in-law – of course he was covering for his partner, but Murtaugh seemingly grew more concerned for Riggs as a friend. Once he and Trish saw how out of control Riggs’ drinking and behavior was getting, Murtaugh knew he had to look out for his partner on a deeper level. We’ve already seen plenty of moments of genuine friendship between these two characters, but how sweet Murtaugh finally called Riggs his friend when they were both investigating the confessional booth. But of course in predictable but hilarious fashion, Riggs didn’t hear that, having left the booth to continue investigating. Very funny scene. And yes, I really loved that Murtaugh insisted Riggs sleep on the couch after having drank too much.
Normally, each episode blends the comedy and drama very well, but this one seemed to excel in that department. Of course all the performances were great, and the dialogue was sharp as always. RJ’s dilemma towards going to college or doing environmental work with his cute, new girlfriend who eventually dumped him was silly, but opened the door for some funny family moments in the Murtaugh household. Riggs taking Cahill’s $10 for lunch was funny as well. The biggest development in the series may have taken place with ‘The Seal is Broken’. With Riggs hitting his lowest point with alcohol, and finally doing away with it, it might be possible his road to healing may have gotten smoother. We might actually see him find true happiness by the end of the season, while still maintaining his love for Miranda.