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Lethal Weapon - Better Living Through Chemistry - Review: 'Anger Management'


On this week's Lethal Weapon Riggs showed some old tendencies, Murtaugh worried about RJ and Cahill felt like she wasn't helping any of her patients. Let's Discuss!

We start the episode with Trish and Murtaugh watching RJ float through life (no seriously, he was floating in the pool all day). This is what I feared when he dropped out of college, that he wouldn't have a solid purpose and just wander through his days with no direction. Trish being the proactive mother she is decides that it is time to send RJ to therapy to see what is going on with him, to which Roger is not a fan. I think it is smart of Trish to try and find out what deeper issue led to RJ not wanting to be at college anymore and I am a fan of this idea.

Onto a character that definitely needs to keep up with therapy, Martin Riggs. We see a flashback to a young Martin walking in on something horrible involving his mother and he is jarred awake by this is in his airstream. We have seen this so many times from Riggs whether it be flashbacks of his life with Miranda or more recently bad memories involving his father and every time it happens, you know that Riggs is going to have an interesting day ahead! Well his day starts off in the most Riggs-like way possible and is a catalyst for trouble for everyone in his orbit. How you ask? Well when Riggs is gargling his favorite hangover cure (beer and tomato juice) he uses a very fancy car with a very angry man as his spittoon. When the man confronts Riggs he proceeds to scratch and hit the expensive car with his beat up pickup further enraging the man, whom we'll soon find out is going to be a headache for Avery and bring back a character from the beginning of the season that I personally was not a fan of.

Back at the station, Avery is in his office with Riggs watching a video of Riggs' eventful morning and informing our favorite unhinged detective that the man he got into with is none other than the Deputy Mayor! Avery is now being bombarded with calls about his problem child and Riggs doesn't seem to see the problem. This event also brings back Gina Santos who is chomping at the bit to pounce on a Riggs problem. I feel bad for Avery in times like these because he is very much a team boss rather than a 'yes man' boss, which means he cares about the people he supervises and less about impressing the higher ups and kissing their butts so when something like this happens, he is always the one having to smooth it over. Gina also uses this situation to make Cahill's day more difficult as well.

Speaking of Cahill, she is more involved in the plot this week and thank goodness because I love the character! She is visiting a patient at the State Hospital named Stanley because of a suicide attempt. This is surprising to Cahill because this patient has been stable and has not had this type of attempt before. She gets in to see him and he requests a hug, to which she obliges. He proceeds to kidnap her as a way to escape the hospital and here comes our case of the week!

Cahill is found pretty quickly and is rightfully mad at Stanley, but it doesn't matter because once she is freed from the trunk he put her in, she sees Stanley with a gunshot to the head. Riggs and Murtaugh are on the hunt to find answers and Riggs wants to know if he seems less angry to Murtaugh.... to which Rog gives him an answer he didn't want, NO! He tries to prove he is getting better by taking a more zen approach when they zero in on their lead, a man named Carl Edwards who used to do B & Es with Stanley. After an annoying game played by patrons at a dive bar where all of them are named Carl Edwards, a fight ensues involving Riggs and Murtaugh (So much for being Zen). After the row, the REAL Carl shows up and tells the detectives he has the alibi of being on The Price is Right. Apparently Carl had visited Stanley in the hospital about their last job together and found out he was using a new fence named Jose Sparza, who is also a patient of Cahill's and Stanley's old roommate at the hospital. After they track Jose down, he takes off and is cornered on a steam beam by Riggs. When Jose pulls a knife on Riggs, he falls off the beam and down several stories to his death. Once his autopsy is done, it appears that neither Stanley or Jose had any medications in their systems which is odd because they should have been taking them for their mental illness.

Cahill has had such a bad day that she is pulling a Riggs and drowning that sorrow in alcohol. I really feel bad for her here because being a therapist cannot be easy and when two of your patients end up dead and the other is caught on tape having an outburst, you must feel like you're not getting through to them. To top it off, Gina has asked Cahill to sign an affidavit say Riggs is fit to work and if he is involved in another incident, she is responsible. So as Cahill numbs her unpleasant day, Riggs comes in to check on her and she laments that she doesn't help anyone. In a moment of clarity we hear Riggs tell he that he knows he is angry and some of it may have started when he found his mom but it is white hot and seems to want to jump out of him. This would have been a wonderful breakthrough for his therapist to hear, but she has fallen asleep and didn't catch any of that revelation. I am just glad Riggs dropped his guard for a moment and admitted that he always has anger bubbling just below the surface and sometimes it comes out in the worst ways.

The next morning the investigation takes them to the doctor at the facility. What is at first a routine questioning to get other leads becomes their bird in a hand. Dr. Samuels who is charge of the patients has been giving the patients placebos and diverting their meds to make some cash off of selling them on the streets. That is why Stanley and Jose had no medications in their systems and were on edge and suffering. Now as a nurse, I know that narcotics are sold all the time on the streets but SSRIs and drugs like lithium are not something I hear about being sold illegally, so I had to suspend disbelief for this plot point. To prove their suspicion, they must get inside and catch the bad doc in the act, so who better than to be committed than Riggs. After a hilarious set up of Riggs losing it and punching Murtaugh (it was supposed to be Avery but he ducked), Cahill signs the form and Riggs is in.

Once in, Riggs finds what he needs but is confronted by Dr. Samuels who puts Riggs in a straight jacket and throws him in a padded room. This scene could be all to real for Riggs in the future if he doesn't get a hold of this recent spiral and Cahill says as much when she and Murtaugh are waiting outside the facility. Dr. Samuels sees he needs to cover his tracks and injects Riggs with some sort of sedative that makes him relive the entire sequence we saw at the top of the episode and it is yet another reminder as to why Martin Riggs is so horribly damaged. As Cahill and Murtaugh rush in, Riggs is in and out and we see what memory has been haunting him. He is back in Texas as a boy and has just finished up hunting with his father, who admits to young Martin that he has been distracting him all day because his mother has decided not to continue with chemo and is tired of being in pain. Little Riggs doesn't want to accept this and runs into the house where his mom is just in time to see her commit suicide with a gun. It is moments like this where I feel bad for being annoyed with Riggs for acting out after one of his night terrors, but at the same time he must confront these demons if he is ever going to truly live. In an awesome moment his father's voice is replaced by Murtaugh's telling him he's going to be alright and Cahill brings him back with a shot of adrenaline. Riggs sits up and makes a joke, showing his wall is back up and firmly in place.

As we close, RJ sees the therapist and she asks to speak to Trish and Roger. She tells them that RJ is fine but that he feels the disappointment from his parents, especially Roger. Murtaugh tries to deflect that it all on Trish but he knows that isn't true and RJ makes that point even clearer when he tells his father that everything just seems easy for him and he doesn't seem to have a care in the world. I was kind of puzzled at this because when we met Roger he had just had a heart attack and a lot of that was due to stress. So I wonder if they shielded RJ from that or was he just too much into his teen life to really get the magnitude of what happened to his dad? Roger tells Trish that now he is definitely worried about their son. Once again, I think we are heading towards RJ enrolling in the police academy by season's end so we will have to see if my theory is correct. Finally, Cahill signs the affidavit and tells Gina that she believes in Riggs. She's taking a big leap of faith because once again Riggs blows off their session and when she calls him, he is sitting on the beam Jose took dive off of and drinking beer.

So what did you think? Is Riggs headed for further disaster or was this a turning point? And how to Trish and Roger solve the RJ problem?


 
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