A “Lethal Weapon” series really shouldn’t have worked — yet somehow the FOX series has become a success, and a delight, in its freshman run. Going on the Riggs (Clayne Crawford)/Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) crime-fighting ride-along has been as fun as it is dramatic.
In Wednesday’s (March 15) finale, the series takes an unexpected turn, driving the the story into some very intense territory — revealing Miranda’s killer in the process.
In retrospect, “Lethal Weapon” has been building to this moment all season long: “Commencement” finds Martin Riggs going rogue once more, and taking Gideon (Matt Passmore) prisoner for an impromptu torture session. It doesn’t exactly hit Jack Bauer (Kiefer Sutherland) levels of jugular-biting violence, but watching Riggs fall back into old behaviors makes way for a darkness to which the series has been alluding to for some time.
We finally get a sliver of truth behind Miranda’s (Floriana Lima) death: Tito Flores’ (Danny Mora) cartel was absolutely behind the crash that killed Riggs’ wife and unborn son. As tragic as that realization is, things only get more jaw-dropping as the big reveal hits: Gideon may have been involved in the hit — but it’s Miranda’s own father Ronnie Delgado (Tony Plana) who’s the real guilty party.
We did not see this coming! In the world of formulaic police procedurals, “Lethal Weapon” has officially graduated to a whole new level. As unpredictable as this twist is, we’re soon following Martin Riggs off the grid altogether, heading to Mexico to face the cartel head on. And if you think Roger Murtaugh was on the sidelines the whole time, you’d be drastically mistaken.
It didn’t take long for Murtaugh to see through Martin’s lies. The men eventually joined forces to head down this dark road together: Covering up Gideon’s escape, then both captured and tortured as Delgado’s involvement really began to sink in.
Think about this for a second: L.A.’s District Attorney initially pulled the strings to put Martin Riggs on the LAPD team. Without him, Riggs and Murtaugh would have never met. Yet, on top of that… If we look back, there’s Delgado checking in from time to time, constantly pulling strings to keep Riggs on the straight and narrow. The revelation of his involvement with the cartel — and his involvement in the death of his daughter and unborn grandson — only opens things up further.
You could say Ronnie Delgado wanted to be caught: Why else would he put Riggs on the police force in the city he works in, to begin with? Further: Without Delgado’s influence, Riggs would’ve never put his attention on Tito Flores. Pulling strings until the very end, Ronnie’s secret will most certainly be the catalyst that leads Martin Riggs to take down his wife’s killer. And even if he’s out to spend the rest of his life in jail, at least justice will eventually be served — for the daughter and grandson he lost.
And that brings us back to Riggs: Going off the radar is one thing, but heading into the belly of the beast shows his vengeful focus coming back to the forefront. He’s out to take Tito Flores down, without any care whether he leaves Juarez alive. And with the episode’s final image of Roger getting on that long road to hell — to join his partner in the fight — it feels like things are about to take an intriguingly cinematic shift in the ongoing “Lethal Weapon” story.
Will Riggs take down Tito? That obviously has to happen — and so it’s not so much a question of when, but how?
“Lethal Weapon” Season 2 will return in the fall to FOX.