The first season of FOX’s “Lethal Weapon” is on the books, and it made quite a statement as it came to a close: In the final moments of “Commencement” it was revealed that Riggs (Clayne Crawford) had gone to Mexico to hunt down his wife’s killer. Unwilling to let him do it alone, Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) soon followed, leaving us wondering what the heck Season 2 would even look like.
Unfortunately, “Lethal Weapon’s” showruner Matt Miller is holding his cards close to his vest when it comes to that particular mystery. “I have no idea what Season 2 really is — but I know how Season 2 is going to end,” he previously told Screener.
The one tidbit he did let slip was about switching things up in the second season, when it comes to Riggs and Murtaugh. He explains, “[I] think since Season 1 was designed so much around Murtaugh pulling Riggs out of the abyss, in Season 2 we’re going to reverse those roles a little bit. It’s going to be on Riggs to pull Murtaugh out.”
While it’ll be nice to see the roles swapped, it still has us trying to figure out where this will all take place. Is “Lethal Weapon” heading to Mexico for a full season? Most likely not — but that shouldn’t stop the series from spending a good amount of time there.
The first season was set entirely in Los Angeles, putting Riggs and Murtaugh in a familiar element, which often put them a few moves ahead of whoever they were trying to take down. Dropping them in Mexico, where they have zero jurisdiction, would place them in very different circumstances.
In LA, they’re in the kind of relatively controlled environment where Murtaugh thrives — but going on a rogue mission to another country? Firmly Riggs territory. And that’s exactly how “Lethal Weapon” should be telling this story.
Throughout the first 18 episodes, Murtaugh essentially played viewer proxy, watching Riggs plunge deeper and deeper into alcoholism, depression and suicidal thoughts. He watched his partner put both of their lives on the line repeatedly — and at the end of the day, Murtaugh goes home to his comfortable family life, where the big problems are that his wife’s enjoying her unemployment and his son had a girl up in his room.
In the end, that was the dividing line between these two cops. No matter how much Roger may think he understands his partner, there’s still a major disconnect.
Heading to Mexico in Season 2 allows them to bridge that gap. Now he’ll be in Riggs’ world, and the only person he can count on is his unstable partner. While that’s a scary situation to find himself in, it’s also one that should — in theory — help Murtaugh truly understand the man he trusts with his life on the job every single day.
That said, it should also work in the reverse. If Season 2 truly finds Riggs pulling Murtaugh “from the abyss,” that means he’s going to see the depths his partner plunges to, and the necessity of removing him from that situation. Perhaps that will hold up a mirror to his own actions, helping him realize the destructive path he’s on.
While we don’t expect Riggs to ever lose his dangerous ways or completely get over his dead wife, seeing him sitting alone in his trailer with a bottle of booze in one hand and a gun pointed at his head in the other is tough to watch. A little reflection can go a long way — and while his sessions with Dr. Cahill (Jordana Brewster) help, he’s still nowhere near sane.
Regardless of how it ends up playing out, one thing is for sure: “Lethal Weapon” nailed its Season 1 finale — and set the table for an incredible, and very different, adventure when it returns in the fall.