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Lethal Weapon - In the Same Boat - Advanced Review





Lethal Weapon premieres on Tuesday, Sept. 25 on FOX at 9/8 C.



Rocked by scandal last year, Lethal Weapon returns without beloved character Riggs. Tensions are still high in the fandom, which makes this premiere perhaps even more important to the show’s future than its pilot. If you have already made up your mind about this season, there is nothing I can say to change it. However, if you, like me, approach this new season with caution but hope, there is both good and bad news.



The Good:



1. The New Guy: I have to admit. When I heard they were casting Seann William Scott, I was less than impressed. I saw him as a dumb comedy frat boy actor, which wouldn’t fit into a show whose characters get more depth than your typical crime procedural. Instead, he rose to the challenge. A good part of the new character, Cole, is straight up spy thriller action hero. He can kick butt better than most but has an aversion to guns and uses them as a last resort. On his last mission, something went wrong and he switched to police work because of it. He also has a daughter and ex with whom he is trying to reconnect.

2. Cole Isn’t Riggs: The show’s writers are smart enough to know that Cole can never replace Riggs. They straight up add that to the dialogue at the end of the episode. Yes, there are similarities and yes, they both take dumb risks. Still, they do it for very different reasons. Cole is not suicidal. You won’t see him walking on the ledge of the roof just for fun. His crazy lies more in a desire to get things done in the most efficient way possible, often putting options on the table that most people wouldn’t even consider. It comes from his spy background where they don’t have to follow the same rules that cops do. Think of him more as Ethan Hunt from Mission Impossible in his choices than Riggs.

3. Fight Scenes: A big kudos to the stunt coordinator on Lethal Weapon. One of the biggest improvements that I noticed in this premiere was how awesome the fight scenes were. They are more intricate and well-paced.



The Bad:



1. 6 Months Later: By far the worst decision of the premiere was to rush to the time jump. By doing so, they rushed the impact of Riggs’ death. Instead of watching other characters react to the news, they have all been dealing with it for 6 months. The only two who have real scenes of grief are Roger and Cahill. That won’t be enough closure for many who are already unsure about this season. I understand that the show wants to move on, but even reaction shots from other characters would have been helpful for grieving fans wanting closure.

2. The Conspiracy Theory: While this plays a large part of the first half of the premiere, it never really seems to go anywhere. I’m not sure if this will be the overarching story for the season or if it is done already. Was it just a way for Roger to grieve or is it something that will help fans find closure in subsequent episodes? The premiere seems to support both theories.



My Advice: 



The best way to enjoy this premiere is to think of it as a brand-new fall TV show. If you judge the premiere on its own merits, it is a fun way to spend 42 minutes. Cole is an intriguing character and there is action, humor, and camaraderie that make the episode fly by. If though, you focus on the real-life drama, then some of the more poignant scenes will be hard to take. I miss Riggs. I will always miss Riggs. But as a show making a new start, this premiere was still entertaining.



Grade: B

Episode Awards:

Best Reason to Watch - it’s fast paced and high adventure
Reason You Will Watch - to see how the new guy plays out
Best Cameo - Riggs’ truck
Best Tough Love - Trish
Best Addition - Cole / Nat
Best Emotional Scene - Cahill and Roger talk about Riggs
Worst Luck - Avery’s political career gets derailed
Worst Plan - 6 month time jump
Worst Disguise - Roger calling as the Mayor so Trish doesn’t know it’s him
Least Needed - the meter maid conversation
Weirdest Lucky Charm - gum
Dumbest Criminals - the rock, paper, scissors duo
The “Welcome Back” Award - Maggie Lawson from Psych



Quotes:

“I can’t ever replace him so I won’t even try, but I want to make this work.”
“Because I love you.”
“I’m living proof that with hard work, dreams do come true.”
“Oh, I’m sorry. Is your father’s grief getting in the way of your social life?”
“Sir, there’s a lot of homeless shelters in the area.”
“Sometimes chaos is what is required.”
“We love you and don’t care about your cholesterol.”
“We were just chatting and...uh, we’re not going to do the big bag of socks deal today.”
“You want to help your daughter? Make this world a safer place for her, but those wounds you have, we can’t help you heal them.”
“You’re a nut job, Murtaugh.” “Well I’m off the clock but I’d support that diagnosis.”



Lethal Weapon premieres on Tuesday, Sept. 25 on FOX at 9/8 C.






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