This Lethal Weapon review contains spoilers.
Lethal Weapon Season 2, Episode 19
“The people who you surround yourself with are a reflection of who you are.”
Everyone does crazy things in the name of love, whether that’s sell stolen cocaine, devote police resources to tail your significant other, or give unprompted foot massages. Love’s an extreme emotion that doesn’t care if you’re a criminal or a police officer. This episode of Lethal Weapon gets into the nitty gritty of that idea, which makes it only fitting that the big set piece that the episode revolves around is a wedding. Leo Getz’ wedding, to be exact.
Leo Getz’ wedding is the perfect setting for a crime and the premise understandably injects this episode with an extra boost of energy as Getz’ frantic, non-stop concerns punctuate every move that Riggs and Murtaugh make on this one. Frankly, I would have even been on board if Lethal Weapon had gone full-on Agatha Christie this episode and turned Leo’s wedding into a calculated whodunit murder mystery.
The path that “Leo Getz Hitched” does decide to follow still makes for an entertaining, unpredictable episode, but it would have been nice to see the series change things up a little here and trust the strength of their premise. Maybe if Riggs and Molly ever get married then their wedding can turn into a juicy Christe-esque murder mystery.
Lethal Weapon doesn’t hold back in terms of making sure that Leo’s nuptials are as absurd and memorable as possible. To begin with, somehow Murtaugh winds up front and center for this debacle as Leo’s best man and he doesn’t even have Riggs to be miserable with because he RSVPed with a “firm no.” Furthermore, the guests in attendance all appear to just be clients of Leo’s. Don’t worry though, he’s been sure to secure the best Weird Al cover band that money can buy, so the festivities are off to a bizarre start even before the bride-to-be goes missing.
That’s right, the bride is gone. It might seem a little old hat to do the whole “runaway bride” angle, but Lethal Weapon finds ways to bring life to the old trope. Besides, no other take on this story has had a panicked Leo Getz to answer to either. It doesn’t help the situation that Leo’s fiancée, Nina (Shakira Barrera), seems to have disappeared at a very suspicious time and with a large sum of money.
Murtaugh unfortunately suspects the worst about Nina and what her true intentions are, but the situation gets a whole lot more complicated when a dead hit man turns up in Nina’s home. It also looks like Nina is the murderer, but that she only fought back in order to save her own life (the cause of death is a stiletto to the temple). This poses the larger question of what exactly was Nina involved in behind Leo’s back and are there going to be even more people out there that are trying to murder her.
The LAPD are quick to fall back on Nina’s lengthy criminal record and suspect that she might not be entirely innocent here. Leo unsurprisingly sings Nina’s praises and insists that this couldn’t be anything other than self-defense. The episode creates a genuinely compelling mystery here that’s fun to piece together along with Riggs and Murtaugh. Additionally, as Riggs and Murtaugh figure out more about Nina’s secrets, the episode splits itself up and this divided structure really helps everything flow well. “Leo Getz Hitched” covers a lot at ground, but the episode never feels like it drags.
The search for Nina eventually leads Riggs and Murtaugh to a Russian gym where they meet the aggressive boxer, Victor Ivanov. After a few clumsy attempts at good manners, the scene erupts into a well-choreographed shoot-out that makes some particularly good use out of steam. The best part about this are the contributions that Leo tries to add to the firefight, none of which have any bearing on anyone. A flailing Leo needs to be present in more Lethal Weapon showdowns.
“Leo Getz Hitched” remains unpredictable by bringing Nina into the picture surprisingly early rather than the typical choice to leave her until the final act. Nina is a real firecracker and she and Leo have some wonderful, awkward chemistry with one another. Their relationship even takes on another layer when Leo becomes Nina’s lawyer. The two alternate back and forth between client and attorney to lovers without warning and it’s a smart way to make some of the exposition and drier material pop. This idea culminates in an outrageous scene towards the end where Riggs attempts to get a crucial piece of intel from Nina, all while she and Leo position themselves for sex and race against a pill of Viagra.
Nina puts up a good fight at first and her indignation towards Murtaugh is pretty fantastic, but she eventually reveals that she waits tables for a high stakes poker game. On one occasion she ends up coming into one of the gamblers’ collateral. She plans to sell this collateral—as it’s cocaine—to build her and Leo a nest fund to start their new lives. Looking past all of the egregious felony offenses here, it’s actually touching to see that Nina really does love Leo. As crazy as their dynamic may be, these two have found love and it’s nice to see Getz get some appreciation here rather than Nina turning him into another punchline.
This trail leads Riggs and Murtaugh to Nina’s poker game and it’s at this point that the episode’s storylines dovetail in the very best way. Riggs nearly botches the whole operation when Jake, Molly’s ex, shows up. Admittedly, it’s a rather large coincidence that Molly’s ring would appear at the poker game right after Riggs was talking about it, but the ensuing drama is good enough that disbelief can be suspended easily enough. Murtaugh does the heavy lifting here and he makes sure that the LAPD gets their perp, but the real tension here is in how much Riggs lets his guard down when Jake appears.
On the topic of Jake and his history with Molly, this episode features several down-to-earth moments where Riggs is just able to be happy with Molly again after all of the chaos that’s gone down. It’s really satisfying to see Riggs build such a rapport with Ben. Their scenes together are always so sweet and the opening of the episode masterfully plays with audience expectations and transforms a suspenseful moment into an endearing one. It’s also a delight to see how smoothly this all goes. If anything Riggs is now even more set on commitment and taking things to the next level. It’s all pretty damn sweet.
Naturally, with Riggs’ family life at an all-time high it only makes sense that something would come along to try and ruin all of this. Riggs learns that Molly has been lying to him and having shifty meetings with Jake. It’s tough to watch Molly not be able to be completely honest with Riggs, but she’s certainly earned a few transgressions at this point. Still, it’s a big blow for Riggs. Of course, because this is Riggs, he terribly misreads the scene and he doesn’t exactly handle it in the smoothest of ways.
The blowout that happens between Molly and Riggs over Jake is a tough one because they both have decent arguments here. Riggs should know by now that abusing police privileges to spy on Molly isn’t the right way to solve a problem, but Molly’s situation with Jake is also a lot more complicated than Riggs gives it credit for. As Lethal Weapon’s second season reaches its final few episodes, it’s fairly routine for Riggs to enter a major fight with Molly around this time. What makes this argument different though is just how exhausted the both of them sound. They both know that this fight is stupid and they don’t want to resort to it, but neither of them want to back down on their ideals either.
The Jake material isn’t the strongest storyline that the show’s ever done and it’s timing here in the season doesn’t help either. Jake basically feels like a de facto obstacle between Riggs and Molly to kill time before the show circles back to Riggs’ father. In spite of its hackneyed nature, it is nice to see this hanging piece of Molly and Riggs’ past get put to rest before the end of the season. It’s a painful final act for Riggs and at a bunch of times it seems like he should know better than to make these mistakes, but the show has established at this point that Molly and Ben are a blind spot for him.
The episode gets to conveniently end with Riggs giving Jake a second chance so he can be the better man, but Jake still blows the opportunity. “Leo Getz Hitched” takes all of the testosterone, gambling, and familial elements of the episode and has them come together in one of the finest conclusions that Lethal Weapon has ever pulled off. Riggs settles his fight with Jake in a ball pit of all places. These two duke it out while amped up music blares and children watch amongst costumed mascots. These impressive conclusions are becoming more and more of a trend for the series and it’s encouraging to see the show get even more experimental and over the top with them.
Outside of all of the gambling, extortion, and missing brides, Murtaugh slowly goes insane over his suspicions that Trish is pregnant. It feels pretty obvious from the start that Trish isn’t going to be the one that’s pregnant and that it’s all a misunderstanding. The same can even be said for Murtaugh’s later suspicions that it’s Riana that’s pregnant. It’s all a misunderstanding that simple communication could fix, but the fact that it takes Roger so long to reach this point is what’s so amusing about it. It’s also curious that Avery is the one that gives Murtaugh the pep talk to get him on board with pregnancy, instead of Riggs. In fact, Riggs is left relatively in the dark on the matter
It’s crazy how much “Leo Getz Hitched” gets done and it’s definitely one of the busiest episodes of the season. It’s also incredible to see how subtly the episode’s focus shifts from Leo and Nina to Riggs and Jake, but it’s a direction that works. This is another installment where the comedy is on point, but there’s a bizarre joke where famous character actor and voice talent Phil Lamarr plays a character named Judge Lamarr. It’s one of the stranger, broader jokes that the show has made, but it’s so weird and random that it works. Even more perplexing is the inexplicable, quick cameo from Will Forte as some convict client friend of Leo’s.
While much of this episode is strong, all of the squabbling between Riggs and Jake over Molly feels pretty juvenile (although I suppose that’s its point). Regardless, it still feels clunky to have Jake repeatedly verbalize Riggs’ biggest fears. All of that is already clear without the show getting so blatant about it. “Leo Getz Hitched” is still a big success, but the show should be careful about its more problematic areas. Much like the perfect soufflé, these final episodes of the season need to be handled with a certain degree of delicate care, otherwise the whole conclusion of the season could fall apart.