Crime happens… even in Sherman Oaks.
Warning: Spoilers are in this week’s review… like every week’s review.
Fresh off the announcement that FOX has ordered additional episodes for Lethal Weapon’s first season (making it a full 18 episode season) comes its fourth episode titled “There Goes the Neighborhood”. Apologies for the fact that this review is a whole day late. Sadly, that’s how it’s going to be from here on out due to the fact that Lethal Weapon airs at the same time as Arrow. Hope you’ll continue to read these reviews, even if they are a day passed its air date.
This week’s case had somewhat of a personal connection with Roger Murtaugh. Him and Riggs were investigating an organized home invasion crew that targeted its victims based off the fancy cars they drove. They were taking addresses from a valet parking crew at a high class establishment. A teenage boy named Marcus, a boyhood friend of Roger’s son, turned out to be a member of the valet crew and had ties with the thieves.
It’s really become clear by now that this version of Lethal Weapon is not all action and no substance. Thus far, the action has been pretty light with each passing episode. This allows more time and dialogue with Riggs and Murtaugh. This episode challenged the boundaries of their partnership when Roger Jr. called Riggs for help after getting stranded in a bad neighborhood as a result of hanging out with Marcus, instead of calling his dad so he wouldn’t get in as much trouble. Murtaugh, I think, overreacted by slugging Riggs in the face in front of everybody at the precinct. Although I do think it was over dramatic, this bit of friction between the two added for a surprisingly good amount of light drama and seriousness to what has thus far been tongue-in-cheek banter between Rog and Martin. Obviously, the two are back on good terms thanks to a hilarious scene with them having a therapy session with Maureen, but I would like to see this notion of Roger not trusting Riggs with his family explored. Riggs is still a wild card after all.
The case itself was interesting enough. It digged into the theme that crime, or “bad things”, can happen anywhere, even in high class neighborhoods. Although, the connection Marcus had with the crew and Roger’s son was really quite convenient (chuckles). There really wasn’t a central villain, but rather everybody in the whole crew seemed dangerous. Yes, the inner city basketball coach was in charge of the crew, but sadly, he wasn’t developed enough for me to see him as a central villain. Which sucks since they made it seem like whoever was running the scam was dangerous. Dangerous enough to make a gigantic muscle bound black man who calls himself “Black Hulk” lie to the cops to protect his boss.
Speaking of Black Hulk, Riggs and Murtaugh’s attempt to arrest him while he was naked in a gym shower as easily the funniest and most intense scene of the episode. Rog and Martin’s slip-n-slide wrestling match with the musclehead had me rolling.
As I predicted from episode three, Cruz was transferred over to Riggs and Murtaugh’s division, which means he’ll become a series regular in no time. Yay? Richard Cabral, who plays Cruz, so far has not been a very good actor in the show. Dear goodness, let him improve on his line delivery and tone. Detective Bailey had more screen time this time around, basically butting heads with Cruz for some damned reason. I guess I missed something because I’m not sure why that happened. Maybe because of his old gang tats?
Rigg’s grief was almost completely ignored in this episode, which was a very nice change of pace. Even though I have stated that I would like for Riggs’ sorrows to be explored for a while, they don’t need to be so deep all the time. Like with real life when getting over the death of a loved one, some days are easier than others. Riggs had some of the funniest moments. Scenes with him washing his clothes with a bar of soap and a sprinkler at the beach, getting caught by Maureen who had just caught some waves, as well as him trying to feed the Maurtaughs’ baby, were comedy gold. Overall, this episode had a lot of funny moments that added to the already brisk pace.
What am I starting to truly admire about this show is its continued success distancing itself from the movies that came before it. The Lethal Weapon TV series has so much going for it right now. It’s already claimed its own identity. Even though it hasn’t yet digged deep into its characters yet, or had a game changing episode that has given the series a required viewing stamp, this episode proved things are headed in the right direction. Riggs and Murtaugh had a quick spat, and I’m sure more will follow, but it seems we can always count on them to, obviously solve the case, but always keeping us interested in their chemistry.