BUDDY TV – Well folks, Lethal Weapon has done it again with “Spilt Milk,” the show’s fifth freshman installment. While the guffaws continue, the relationship between Murtaugh and Riggs deepens as we delve into the details revealing the breadth and intensity of Riggs’ military experience. This episode gives us Riggs at his most sane yet. For Murtaugh’s part, he faces the possibility that he’s just not as sharp as he used to be before the heart surgery.
With every episode of Lethal Weapon I’m loving it more and more. The humor remains fresh and entertaining without overkill. Murtaugh deals with some aging issues which ring true to life. And Riggs, while funny and daring and revealing (but not too quickly), continues to demonstrate that his “madness” is not so much calculated but mindful. At the same time, Murtaugh’s character is charming while Riggs is hot. A very good combination for primetime viewers starving for quality and engaging programming. Well done.
The Deranged Vet Asks, ‘Got Milk?’
All he really wanted was a job and a glass of milk. Chad Jackson, a veteran Navy Seal and sniper trashes and rips off a jewelry store after his application for a security guard position is rejected. However, it seems like the heist might have been the guy’s plan from the beginning, but he’s not concerned that his victims have seen his face and it just feels spontaneous. Throughout Jackson remains cool-headed and fearless. As we move forward, we find that there was always only one mission, and only Riggs and Murtaugh can help Jackson achieve it.
When talking to Dr. Cox, the therapist at the veteran’s hospital where Jackson was being cared for, we learn that the only help Jackson was getting was some pills and group therapy.
Cox explains that most vets come back damaged and there’s really no cure for that. Riggs can relate, you can see it in his eyes, and Murtaugh knows it. Riggs almost pukes just looking at Cox’s face.
Jackson is a Hugely Dissatisfied Pharmacy Customer
Riggs’ pent up energy is put to use when he learns Jackson has trashed a pharmacy. The clerk had been unable to identify the manufacturers of the suspicious drug, so Jackson disarmed the store’s security guard and took over the place.
Riggs’ pent up energy is put to use when he learns that Jackson has trashed a pharmacy. The clerk had been unable to identify the manufacturers of the suspicious drug, so Jackso disarmed the store’s security guard and took over the place. He’d gone there to find out what the name was of a funky yellow triangle-shaped pill he and his buddies had been put on by Cox. Apparently this pill was still in clinical trials and that’s why the pharmacist couldn’t help.
On the scene, Riggs goes into the darkened pharmacy without a flack jacket and finds Jackson drinking milk again (It turns out craving milk is another side effect of the drug). They recognize each other as fellow Seals and swap some respect until a noise spooks Jackson and he makes a mad dash for the stairs. Riggs follows in hot pursuit with Murtaugh on his heels. Jackson jumps off the ledge of the roof onto a moving truck and then leaps into the bushes only to spring back up and salute Riggs. Murtaugh, of course is flabbergasted, and Riggs realizes this is a man who is crazier than he is.
Cocktail Hour With Doctor Cahill Leads to a Motive
At the precinct, Doc Cahill and Riggs have a meaty discussion about Jackson and his fellow vets at the clinic. There’s some impressive sharing going on on Riggs part. He’s studied the cases of Jackson’s vet friends, many who appear to be adrenaline junkies just like Jackson. Several have even died doing dangerous things. Riggs realizes that the vets were missing the voice of reason in the back of their brains which would keep them aware when they were doing something crazy. This is when he begins to suspect even Jackson’s erratic behavior might be a side effect of the pharmaceuticals. The drugs made them fearless to do the things that eventually got them killed.
The pharmaceutical company takes no responsibility for Jackson’s behavior and remain tight lipped about the side effects of their trial drug, though they do admit that Cox was the prescriber. Cox, however, is now dead. Did Jackson do it? Who would blame him?
Cox was shot point blank in the back of the head. Riggs insists Jackson couldn’t have done it because he’s a trained sniper. Snipers live by a code that precludes cowardly killings like this one.
Avery and Murtaugh Screw Up Big Time
Now that there’s actually been a murder, boss Avery wants to go public. Riggs says no way, Jose, because it would just send a highly trained killer into stealth mode and they would never find him. Avery asks Murtaugh to weigh in and here’s where Riggs’ partner makes a huge effing mistake and agrees with the publicity. Now, Riggs has been spot on about everything in this case, yet Murtaugh sides with Avery and tells Riggs he’s too close to the case? What the …? Major partner faux pas, buddy.
Jackson Goes Into Stealth Mode and Murtaugh Tries to Blow Himself Up
On a tip about some guy littering with milk cartons, Murtaugh and Riggs head out into the desert where the litter bug was spotted. They stop in their tracks when Riggs spies signs of a kill zone — foot prints, detritus, cloth tied to a branch — alerting him that Jackson is perched, camouflaged, and watching.
Riggs holsters his firearm and begins talking loudly about the experience of being on watch. The mind-numbing quiet. The sounds and scents of nothing but nature and your own sweat. The cramped spaces. Finally Jackson calls out and proclaims his innocence. The two chat intelligently while Murtaugh tries to come at he guy from the other side. Jackson again mentions that he can’t come in until he’s completed his mission, but turns down Riggs’ offer to finish the mission together. Meanwhile, Murtaugh has walked right into a trip wire set to trigger an IED. Riggs saves him by running and tackling him as the bomb explodes behind them as Jackson escapes.
Unfortunately, refusing to get backup when they found Jackson in the park pisses off Avery who yanks Riggs from the case. (This makes no sense at all since Riggs is the only one making any real progress on the case.) Riggs isn’t overreacting about anything, as Murtaugh and Avery suggest. He’s making more sense than he ever has.
Murtaugh and Riggs Dive Off a High Rise
When the team learns that Jackson had bought enough C4 to bring down a whole building, Riggs knows it’s the pharmaceutical company he’s after.
At the drug company, people are running crazy while Jackson stands in the lobby strapped with enough C4 to send his testicles to Tibet and his fingernails to Fiji in the same moment.
Riggs and Murtaugh try to evacuate the two leaders of the company but Jackson appears and is ready to finally put an end to the drugs and the people who killed his military brothers. Riggs and Murtaugh both put away their guns as Riggs sweet talks Jackson into letting him help put those drug people away for the rest of their lives.
Riggs knows exactly what to say to this fellow soldier and the guy finally breaks down and stops the clock on his C4 vest. Then, holy crap, the pharmaceutical company guy shoots Jackson, turning the bomb back on. Smooth move, Exlax. Now what? Throw the vest out the window? How about they strap it to the drug guy and throw them both out the window?
Then — coolest scene in the episode — Murtaugh, thinking about his fear that he’s lost his edge, comes up with a brilliant yet death-defying way to get rid of the bomb. At T minus seven seconds Murtaugh shoots the window and runs toward it with the bomb, telling Riggs to shoot the bomb mid air. Flying out of the window, Murtaugh throws the C4 into the air as Riggs flies out right behind him and shoots the bomb out of the sky. The two, thankfully, land in the corporate pool. Now, that save was just impossible, but this is Hollywood, so we’ll let it slide. Et voila, Murtaugh has his mojo back.
In the final scene, Riggs and Murtaugh have a chat on the rooftop of their building. These two really are making strides. Riggs is starting to accept the human connections he’s forming and Murtaugh is learning how to listen to his partner so that he’s comfortable sharing. All in all, “Spilt Milk” is an excellent ride.