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Lethal Weapon 1×03 “Best Buds” Recap

BUDDY TV – Ratings-conscious viewers (which guillotine-wielding broadcasters have forced us to be lest we get too attached to a freshman show) can be rest assured that Lethal Weapon will be providing us with our weekly dose of sexy adrenaline-pumping action, self- and partner-deprecating hilarity, torturous grief, and syrupy sweet romance for the foreseeable future.

 

“Best Buds,” Lethal Weapon’s third outing of the series, delivers lots more of all of the above as the partnership continues to solidify (“He took a cattle prod for me”) and Riggs begins to open up to Dr. Cahill (“I shot my TV!”). This super fun episode is especially intriguing due to the introduction of Murtaugh’s old training officer, Ned Brower. It’s unclear if Brower’s appearance is a one-off, but I vote he should be a regular.

 

You Had Me At $17 Million

 

An armored car carrying $17 million in tax money collected from the booming Californian cannabis trade gets brutally smacked off the road by two masked guys. The driver, Murtaugh’s retired training officer, is knocked senseless and the loot is carried away. Ned Brower, played masterfully by Ted Levine (who will always be Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs to me in the same way Gene Wilder will always be Willy Wonka) does cash pick-ups for Joint Assets Securities Company, the money managers who insure the cannabis trade. Immediately, I have Ned pegged as part of the heist, but I pray hard that Lethal Weapon eschews cliche in favor of something more interesting.

 

What Some Call Illegal, California Calls Tuesday

 

One of the victims of the theft is medicinal cannabis dispensary Budding Blossom (though I didn’t see anyone waving a page from a legitimate Rx pad anywhere). Riggs and Murtaugh visit the home of the Budding Blossom owners, Lonnie and Donny and find themselves in the midst of a group therapy session, er, mid-day pot party. Riggs, having already had a date with Mary Jane that morning (which was when he shot his television screen for displaying two frolicking lovebirds) imagines he sees his deceased wife and follows a dark-haired woman up the stairs while Murtaugh talks to Donnie and Ronnie. By the time they leave the party they are none the wiser, but Riggs has a pretty good buzz going.

 

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Lethal Weapon 1×02 Recap: Smile, Though Your Heart Is Breaking

 

TV LINE – In a recurring bit sprinkled throughout this week’s Lethal Weapon, Murtaugh and Riggs bicker about how best to describe their partnership. Are they surf and turf? Ham and pineapple? Chips and salsa? Tango and Cash? Starsky and Hutch?

 

Likewise, I spend a lot of the hour wondering the best way to describe this odd show to people who haven’t seen it. Action with heart? Comedy with action? Completely unbelievable stunts interspersed among fun-but-forgettable police cases? One man’s desperate cry for help flecked with one-liners and a car chase or two?

 

We’re now two episodes into Fox’s series reboot of the film franchise, and I still don’t know exactly how to answer when people who haven’t watched ask what it’s like. But after the second installment, I do know this: It’s a good thing that Dr. Cahill is bird-dogging the off-kilter detective, because there is a gaping hole of pain hiding underneath that mop of curls, and it’s only a matter of time before that kicky beach nudity and hee-larious drinking at work turn into a real problem for Murtaugh and the department.

 

Let’s review the highlights of “Surf N Turf.”

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Lethal Weapon 1X01 : Did Fox’s Riggs-and-Murtagh Reboot Hit Its Target?

TV LINE – If you’re getting too old for this ish, you probably remember the original Lethal Weapon franchise: a series of buddy-cop films that launched in the late 1980s and capitalized on the chemistry between leads Danny Glover and Mel Gibson.

 

Fox’s TV-series reboot of the movies updates the action but follows the same formula: Its co-stars Damon Wayans (in the Roger Murtagh role) and Clayne Crawford (as Martin Riggs) play off each other incredibly well, injecting a ton of humor into what is, essentially, just another police procedural.

 

In a moment, we’ll want to hear what you think of the pilot. But first, a brief recap:

 

We meet Riggs as he’s chasing some bad guys with a fellow cop in Texas. He’s all cocksure and yeehaw, but he knows what’s important: When his pregnant wife, Miranda, calls to let him know that she’s gone into labor, he quickly pulls over and takes out the bad guys with a shot from very far away in order to meet her at the hospital on time. (We later learn he was a Navy SEAL, but still…)

 

But Miranda is in a terrible car accident on her way to the hospital. Both she and the baby die, leaving Riggs a sobbing wreck who moves to California six months later and spends his days getting blind drunk and considering suicide in a trash-filled trailer by the beach.

 

Meanwhile, 50-year-old Det. Murtagh is preparing for his first day back at the force following his heart attack and subsequent surgery. He’s got three kids, the youngest of which is a baby, and he’s completely healed. Murtagh’s life — aside from circumstances conspiring to thwart him from receiving promised oral sex from his hot lawyer wife (Girlfriends‘ Keesha Sharp) — is pretty good… until he gets to the precinct. His old partner, Brooks (Mad Men‘s Kevin Rahm), is now captain. And his new partner… is Riggs.

 

Murtagh and Riggs meet after the latter waltzes into a hostage situation at a bank, challenges the thieves to kill him in order to get their demands met, shoots all the bad guys, inadvertently sets off the detonator one of the criminals’ bomb vests and then saunters out, snacking on a piece of pizza, just before the blast goes off.

 

The point the Fox drama repeatedly makes is that Riggs just doesn’t want to live anymore now that Miranda is gone; at the end of the hour, he admits to having a death wish but says he can’t do the deed himself “’cause she’d be ashamed of me.” So instead, he places himself — and Murtagh, who chafes at first but eventually comes around — in several death-likely situations, such as a high speed car chase that crosses the path of a grand prix race and another hostage situation in which Riggs is headed for the angels until a quick-thinking Murtagh shoots his partner in the foot, making it possible for him to drop and grab a rifle, offing the bad guy and saving a 12-year-old kid in peril.

 

The case Murtagh and Riggs investigate — a faked suicide to cover a drug plot gone bad — is inconsequential; Jordana Brewster’s brief appearance as a police shrink, as well as the revelation that Miranda’s father is the city attorney smoothing over any fallout from Riggs’ unorthodox approach to police work hints, that the drama plans to mine the younger detective’s widowhood and mine it deep.

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Alabama’s Clayne Crawford stars in new ‘Lethal Weapon’ TV series

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AL.COM – Alabama actor Clayne Crawford — best known for his roles on “24,” “NCIS: New Orleans” and “Rectify” — steps into some mighty big shoes tonight on the premiere episode of the Fox network’s “Lethal Weapon.”

 

The new series — adapted from the iconic movie franchise that starred Mel Gibson and Danny Glover as mismatched LA cops — airs at 7 p.m. Central time on Fox.

 

Crawford, who grew up in the Clay in northeastern Jefferson County and graduated from Hewitt-Trussville High School, stars as Martin Riggs, the role Gibson made famous. Damon Wayans plays his sidekick Roger Murtaugh, who was portrayed by Danny Glover in the “Lethal Weapon” movies.

 

“Redoing something is terrifying as an actor,” Crawford said in an interview with TVGuide.com. “You like to do things that are original and you like to try to put your own spin on it.

 

“What they did was so incredible, and it didn’t leave a lot of meat on the bone. So what we had to do — because of the respect we had for the other projects — [was] separate ourselves as much as possible and try to bring only what we can bring.

 

“I can only bring what Clayne Crawford has inside of him, and Damon Wayans can only do the same. And that’s what we tried to do.”

 

Crawford previously played the stalker Kevin Wade on Season 8 of Fox’s ticking-clock thriller “24,” the shady prison medic Lance on the FX Network’s coal-country crime saga “Justified,” and has had a recurring role as the ne’er-do-well brother of special agent Christopher LaSalle (fellow Alabama actor Lucas Black) on the CBS thriller “NCIS: New Orleans.”

 

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