Lethal Weapon – An Inconvenient Ruth
By: Jessica Wolff
At a jewelry store, Ruthie (Swoosie Kurtz) samples the food laid out and comments about it to a couple, Herb (Robert Riechel, Jr.) and Ali (Bre Blair). As she pours the extra food into her purse, masked robbers burst into the store and shoot warning shots. As they rob the store, one of the robbers points their gun at the couple. Ruthie shoots him in the arm and he runs out of the store before being hit by a truck.
Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) pushes Harper on a park swing, and Derek (Aaron O’Connell) assumes that Murtaugh is Harper’s grandfather. Trish Murtaugh (Keesha Sharp) returns and laughs when Murtaugh tells her what happened. Furious, Murtaugh takes Harper to the jungle gym and insists on going down the slide with her. However, he gets stuck and Derek promises to get him out.
Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford) lines up whiskey bottles on his truck and shoots them. He then visits Maureen Cahill (Jordana Brewster) and asks her to slap him. Cahill asks why and Riggs explains that he feels his reflexes are off. She slaps him and Riggs thanks her, explaining that he missed one of the whiskey bottles during target practice. Cahill is horrified by his methods, and questions if he feels off because he’s not drinking. Riggs interprets the question to mean that the whiskey is the secret to his success despite Cahill’s attempts to clarify.
Riggs arrives at the crime scene, and Murtaugh interprets his good mood to mean that the therapy group he recommended worked. However, Riggs replies that he quit the group and Murtaugh tells him he’s incapable of following the rules. Riggs counters that he doesn’t follow stupid rules and makes fun of Murtaugh for getting stuck on the slide.
Zach Bowman (Andrew Creer) tells them about the victim and Riggs tries to leave after Bowman tells them that the victim is also their bad guy. Bernard Scorsese (Johnathan Fernandez) complains that the case is too simple and Bowman tells them about Ruthie’s shooting of the victim. After Riggs and Murtaugh trade jabs, Riggs questions Ruthie. She is sarcastic during the questioning and Riggs goes into her RV, her home to get her registration to answer his questions. Ruthie complains about the unlawful search and a passing car knocks the open door off.
At the station, Ruthie shows Riggs the invoice for the damages to her vehicle, and he realizes she is charging him for all of the vehicle’s problems. He tells her he will only pay for the door, but Ruthie insists she’s not leaving until he pays for all of it. Bowman shows Riggs security footage of the robber running to his car, and Ruthie tells them that she wrote down the license plate earlier. She refuses to hand over the paper until Riggs agrees to pay the full cost for her vehicle, and Riggs labels it extortion. He agrees, and she ups the price to include a hotel room. Riggs refuses and she attempts to eat the paper. He agrees to one night and she hands it over.
Riggs complains to Murtaugh about Ruthie, and Murtaugh asks why he didn’t refuse her demands. He responds that he tried, but that he’s lost his edge since he quit drinking. Murtaugh tells him he doesn’t need booze to be crazy, and Riggs reminds him about the slide. He declares they’re both off their game, and Murtaugh is offended he’s lumping them together.
They spot the vehicle and the robber drops a bag into the trunk of a car that pulls up. After ordering the robber to put his hands on the vehicle, Riggs arrests him. The other car backs up, but Murtaugh jumps on top and holds on as the car drives away. Riggs has trouble starting his car and calls 911 as Murtaugh holds on as the car drives through the streets. The police arrive and stop the car as Riggs catches up to them. They go to arrest the driver and find that it is driving itself.
Riggs and Murtaugh question the robber, Beck (Derek Chariton), and Riggs suggests they could be dealing with a Knight Rider situation. Beck has no idea what Knight Rider is, and they are offended. Murtaugh demands to know whom he’s working for and flips out when Beck insists that he doesn’t know anything. Riggs calms him down and takes over. Beck explains that he was hired and paid on the dark web and has no information about the buyer. Murtaugh asks Brooks Avery (Kevin Rahm) to explain the dark web to him, and can’t believe that he’s never heard of it before. Bowman tells them that the vehicle is registered to Herb and Murtaugh recognizes him from the jewelry store.
Riggs visits Ruthie and finds that she’s taking advantage of all of the hotels amenities. He refuses to pay for the extra costs, but she tells him to relax. Riggs gets her attention and asks if she noticed anything unusual about Herb and Ali. She makes an observation about them, and explains that she reads people. Ruthie assesses that he’s struggling to stay sober, and Riggs admits he’s been sober for ten days. He insists that he’s fine, but she counters that he’s not. She continues to assess him, and he tries to walk away from the conversation. Ruthie advises that systems work until they don’t, and Riggs walks out.
Scorsese shows Bowman footage that Murtaugh is demanding he cut together of Murtaugh riding on top of the car. Murtaugh is frustrated that there is no good footage, and Bowman shows them that Herb went AWOL. They see that he dumped Ali’s life insurance policy, and speculate that the robbery was a cover to kill her. Bowman reports that Herb’s account paid another potential killer, and Murtaugh compliments him.
Riggs and Murtaugh approach Ali, but she doesn’t know what they’re talking about. They see a red light on Ali’s chest, and tackle her to the ground before Murtaugh notices that it’s only a kid pointing a laser at them from a passing car. Seeing a bomb taped under Ali’s car, Murtaugh warns her and throws the bomb into a nearby dumpster before it explodes.
Riggs promises Ali they’ll find Herb, and she admits that she didn’t know about the life insurance policy. Ali’s attorney, Greg Antonetti (Chris McGarry) arrives, and Murtaugh asks him where Herb is. After Ali tells him about the murder attempt, Antonetti tells them about his condo and Avery promises to put Ali in protective custody.
Riggs goes to the hotel to find that Ruthie is refusing to leave after being evicted for skinny-dipping in the pool. He asks for the security to step out and tells her she needs to leave, but she attempts to guilt-trip him. Murtaugh complains that Derek isn’t as cool as him as he watches him dunk a ball inside a bounce house. Trish tells him she’s not comfortable with his risk-taking, but Murtaugh argues that it proves he’s not old. Trish tries to stop Murtaugh, but he goes into the bounce house and breaks it in his attempt to dunk. Derek pulls the kids out the deflated house, and the other parents glare at Murtaugh.
Riggs brings Ruthie to his trailer and she comments on the bottles inside. He insists that she threw off his system, and she reminds him she warned him. They discuss their methods, and she warns him that his pain will eventually catch up to him. Riggs goes outside to sleep and Ruthie gives him the bottles to take with him. The next morning, Riggs finds a full bottle of whiskey in a nearby trashcan after he breaks his bottles and is tempted by it. He sees Ruthie glaring at him and tries to rationalize having one drink. She continues to glare and he throws the bottle away, warning her that inability to do his job will be her fault.
Murtaugh rants about Derek, insisting he had the situation under control. Trish yells at him, and tells him that this is the wrong way to deal with feeling old. She warns him that someone will get hurt if he continues taking risks, but he argues that he’s not doing anything different than Riggs. Trish replies that Riggs doesn’t have a family to rely on him, and that she doesn’t want pride to take Murtaugh away from his family.
Bowman tells Riggs that he did something bad, and explains that he explored the dark web, hiring someone to hack into Herb’s car recordings. Bowman plays a recording from Herb’s car of him being kidnapped. They realize that someone is attempting to kidnap both Herb and Ali. Anotonetti visits Ali at the hotel but McTeer (Matthew Jayson Cwern) shoots him and the security guard. Riggs and Murtaugh arrive at the hotel to find they are too late. Murtaugh assures Riggs it’s not his fault, but Riggs grabs a drink from the hotel minibar and walks out.
The bottle tempts Riggs as Bowman tells him they located Herb’s car. At a cabin, McTeer pours gasoline around a bound and gagged Herb. He hears Riggs and Murtaugh’s arrival, and Murtaugh tells a boy looking for his cat, Buzz (Aiden Berryman) to leave the area when they step out of the car. They hear Ali’s screams and enter the house, but find it deserted. As they investigate, Murtaugh finds the cat while Riggs finds Ali bound and gagged to a chair. Riggs questions how she was able to call for help and Ali claims the gag slipped.
Riggs asks who tied her up, and informs her of Herb’s kidnapping when she tells him Herb did it. He comments that the bruises are a nice touch, and asks for her motivation. Brick (Winston James Francis) attacks him and Riggs struggles while Murtaugh shoots at McTeer. Ali picks up a gun but hits Brick instead of Riggs while Murtaugh shoots McTeer. Riggs realizes his gun is missing and picks up a hunting rifle, stepping outside as Ali shoots at him.
Murtaugh realizes the house is filled with gas and finds Herb before pulling him outside. He unties Herb as Riggs focuses and successfully hits Ali. Buzz asks about his cat, and Murtaugh stops him from going into the house. Murtaugh goes inside to look for the cat, and finds him as he sees McTeer sit up and light his lighter. Murtaugh jumps out the window with the cat as the house explodes and is thrilled that Buzz filmed his exploits.
At the hospital, Murtaugh recounts the rescue for his visitors. Trish arrives and is not thrilled about Murtaugh’s risk-taking. He tells her he’s fine, and she tells him he can find his way home before throwing a bag of clothes at him. Ruthie gives Riggs the final invoice for her vehicle, and compliments his new rifle. Riggs tells her that he got his edge back without drinking, but she laughs at the idea he’s fixed. She tells him that he’ll never be free until he lets go of all of his pain. Riggs argues, but she tells him that she hopes he is free one day.
Murtaugh approaches Trish, and she comments on his lack of apology flowers. He tells her that this is the first time in a while he’s felt alive, and he doesn’t need to apologize. Trish yells at him for risking his life, and he asks if she wants him to get a desk job. She replies that the problem is him, not the job and tells him how shaken she was when she got the call he was in the hospital. Trish explains how worried she was and makes him promise that the reckless behavior will end. He refuses and Trish tells him to sleep on the couch, arguing that she should start practicing living without him now.
Murtaugh sleeps on his couch, while Riggs decides to go skinny-dipping in the ocean. He sees that Ruthie is watching him, and yells at her for showing up unannounced. She tells him that she’s parking her vehicle next to his, and ignores his protests. He goes back to his trailer when she offers to join him.