Lethal Weapon‘s penultimate episode, “A Problem Like Maria,” is a rollercoaster of a ride with a whiplash twist at the end laying the ground for an outstanding finale when we return for “Commencement” next week. Throughout, Riggs and Karen Palmer share a love for firearms and an equal astonishment for each other’s skills. They seem very well suited. Now, can they just survive till the end of the episode?
Lethal Weapon Hits the Ground Running With Sex, Murder, and Offers Too Hard to Refuse
Lethal Weapon stuffs its first five minutes of screen time with more guts than some shows have in their full 44 minutes. Let’s see. First we’ve got a young woman with a baby in a parking lot being stalked by a big beefy guy with tattoos on his face. He tries to capture her, but she ducks between the cars. When the baby cries and he pulls his gun, she whips out her own Sig Sauer and pops a cap in her pursuer’s ginormous gut.
Riggs is finally getting some romance, Trish is fielding alluring job offers, and Murtaugh is actually volunteering to help Riggs go completely rogue in order to protect and serve. Per usual, Riggs delivers some herculean efforts to save a young woman and protect her baby from the cartel. Unfortunately, the young mother makes it exceedingly difficult for her team of protectors to do their jobs. Let’s get to it.
Then we’ve got Riggs in Palmer’s hotel room pulling his boots back on while he smartly banters with her about robbing a bank to afford a mess of breakfast eggs at this spendy hotel. When Palmer’s bat phone rings things get only slightly serious, but then she secures plans with Riggs to repeat last night’s performance at the same-bat-time, same-bat-channel. Things are getting steamy with these two, but he still isn’t ready for an outdoor date.
Damn. Then we’ve got Trish 30,000 feet up in the air being courted by a billionaire who was so upset that she left her former firm that he fired the firm. This man offers her carte blanche to come work for him and it’s clear he’s gotta be some wicked kind of dirty if he’s willing to go this far to secure her as his attorney. For the rest of the episode, we see Trish trying to get Roger to fly to Paris with her in the jet the billionaire left at her disposal for the day. He never does make it, but Trish is understanding and takes their daughter shopping instead.
A Word About Trish’s Boobs
Indeed, Trish Murtaugh is a beautiful woman. And an extraordinarily smart one. Yes, this is a testosteroni television show, but how is it in character for her to wear a low cut lacy tank top baring six inches of cleavage? No female attorney who wants to be taken seriously would ever wear that to a job interview. Certainly not Trish Murtaugh. I’ve said my piece. Let’s move on.
Dead Guy Number Two Is a Swinger
Before the first commercial we cut to an arial view of a bridge from which dangles the grotesquely hooded and bloodied corpse of some beefy guy who you think has got to be the nasty tattooed man chasing the mother and her baby through the grocery store parking lot. But it’s not. It’s a man Riggs saw talking to Palmer outside the hotel that morning. Was he the one who made the call on the bat phone? Apparently so. Dang, that was fast.
Palmer Goes Completely Missing and Riggs Quietly Freaks Out
Right after the dead guy is found, Palmer’s phone is turned off and she’s missing. Riggs and Murtaugh find their way to her safe house despite getting stonewalled every which way by the dicks at the DEA. The safe house is nasty, but Riggs finds her cell phone in the kitchen. On the bathroom Murtaugh finds suspended shackles dripping with a ton of crimson goo which also runs all over the side of the tub. Sh*t just got real.
The Victim Was a Snitch From Inside the Mexican Cartel
The victim is Carlos Gonzales, a DEA informant and foot soldier for the Tito Flores cartel. Who did the killing? The bathtub blood points to Gideon Lyon, a CIA man sent to train the Mexicans to fight the cartels. However, he went rogue and sold himself to Tito Flores and is now the head of Flores cartel security wing. Apparently he’s one of Tito’s most brutal enforcers. (Or does he still work for the CIA? That was a bit confusing.)
Riggs gets radical on DEA Agent Dickhead Chappel who shows up at the precinct to play nice now that it’s clear Palmer is missing. Riggs gets himself kicked off the case by the City Attorney Delgado, his father-in-law, and now the secret is out that Riggs and Delgado are related.
Cahill covertly directs Riggs back to Murtaugh who spills about everything he’s earned about the case so far. He and Riggs bust into a crappy hotel room to find the young mother from the grocery store parking lot. Maria is being protected by … guess who? Right — Palmer. Whew! And the stressful black doom of the previous couple of hours is replaced by (giddy) relief on Riggs’ face. Thank God. I knew there was no way they’d kill her off and put Riggs through that hell all over again, but it was looking seriously dismal there for a while.
If Tito Can’t Have the Baby, Nobody Can
Gideon is trying to retrieve Tito Flore’s son, Maria’s baby. She was Flores’ mistress for four years. She wants out of the life, but Tito wants his kid back or dead. Instead of the DEA arriving at the hotel to take Maria and the baby to safety, Gideon Lyon shows up. Maria and the baby fly out the back window with Murtaugh while Palmer and Riggs shoot the crap out of Gideon’s team. Gideon blows up the hotel just as Palmer and Riggs fly out the back window.
Maria Has a Change of Heart
Back at the Murtaugh home where Palmer and Maria are hiding out, Maria pulls a gun on Palmer and takes off to turn the baby over to Tito so he can live rather than running his whole life or being killed by Tito’s men.
Maria gets to the convention center where she’s supposed to turn the baby over, but Riggs and Murtaugh are also there ready to find and stop her. Riggs figures out that Gideon’s sniper perch is in the rafters and he intends to assassinate Maria immediately after she turns the baby over to his henchman. All kinds of shenanigans ensue including some impossible stunts that involve Gideon’s bullets being stopped by a dangling marquise that Riggs shoots off the ceiling. The stroller carrying the baby rolls unattended across the floor toward the top of a down escalator. Riggs slides across the floor just in time to catch the stroller by the wheel, and of course the baby sleeps through the entire ordeal.
Riggs Get His Man with Help From Palmer
As the dust settles, Riggs spies Gideon escaping and runs after him out into the road where Palmer appears in Murtaugh’s neighbor’s cherry red ’66 Mustang convertible to mow him down. They cuff him and carry him off.
Back at the precinct Avery and Bailey figured out that DEA Agent Dickhead Chappel was the leak feeding information to Tito and Gideon and they cuff the bastard. Once the case is finished, Palmer drives off with Maria, presumable to a safer safe house this time, and Riggs meets with Avery who tells him all is well that ends well.
Then Father-in-law gives Riggs back his badge, clip and gun, and tells him he hopes Riggs does get involved with Palmer because life goes in only one direction. Riggs isn;t sure that he;s ready to care for anyone yet, but he does have a good think about Delgado’s advice and calls Palmer to make an actual sit-down dinner date with the blond gun-slinger.
Palmer’s Research May Put An End to Her Budding Romance
Before meeting Riggs for dinner, Palmer looks through the DEA file on Miranda Riggs. When she shows up at the restaurant where Martin is waiting, she tells him that Miranda was murdered by Delgado and hands over the file. Riggs is visibly shaken. He’s so pissed you can almost hear the train whistles and see the steam flying out of his ears. After delivering the file, Palmer leaves Riggs to himself. The preview for the finale, “Commencement,” shows Rigs confronting Gideon. I can’t wait to see how that plays out . . . and then to find out when the premiere of season two will air.
What will happen to the young relationship between Riggs and Palmer in light of this new information? Why did Gideon target Riggs’ wife? How, if at all, was Miranda of interest to the Tito Flores cartel? Hilarie Burton who portrays Agent Karen Palmer isn’t listed as appearing in the finale, but Jordana Brewster as Dr. Cahill is. What significance, if any, does this hold in regard to Riggs’ love life?