Lethal Weapon – Dancing In September
By: Jessica Wolff
At a house party, Danny (Andrew Bongiorno) invites three women into the hot tub, where they pull up Danny’s dead body out of the hot tub and scream. At the Murtaugh house, Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) helps his son, Roger Murtaugh Jr. (Dante Brown) pack for college. As Murtaugh picks up a box, he injures his back and lies on the ground. Trish Murtaugh (Keesha Sharp) goes to help him up, but he pulls her down next to him. They both express their disbelief that their son is grown up and about to go to college.
Maureen Cahill (Jordana Brewster) finds Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford) waiting in her office. He explains that since he is now normal that he doesn’t know what normal people do. Cahill talks to him about it, and she realizes that he wants to try dating tells her that he considered calling Karen Palmer (Hilarie Burton), but he doesn’t know what to say. Riggs mentions that he’s but up since five and admits that he’s had trouble sleeping since Mexico. He asks if he’s too normal now, but she doesn’t agree.
At the crime scene, Sonya Bailey (Michelle Mitchenor) and Scorsese (Johnathan Fernandez) fill Murtaugh in on the details of the case. Riggs tells them he found something, and Murtaugh is surprised to find out that he was the first one there. Riggs presents his theory that a burglary was involved and suggests that they get the DEA involved. Murtaugh questions whether Riggs is on crack, and Riggs tells him that he’s looking at a normal guy. While Murtaugh finds the idea hilarious, Riggs notices that Murtaugh is having back pain. Riggs grabs him and performs what he calls Navy Seal First Aid. Murtaugh is angry and tells him that this isn’t normal. Riggs tells him he should get used to it and it will be like having a new partner.
As Riggs and Murtaugh argue, Brooks Avery (Kevin Rahm) Avery informs them a Deputy Chief is being sent over to observe them. Murataugh asks who the chief is and Gina Santos (Michelle Hurd) says hello to him. As Murtaugh stands in disbelief, Avery welcomes her and introduces Riggs and Murtaugh. Immediately after, Murtaugh tells Riggs that they need to go and forces him out of the room. Outside, Murtaugh declares that he is a dead man and asks Riggs if he felt the tension. Murtaugh tells Riggs that he and Santos used to work together. He explains that after their fingers brushed on a stakeout, he transferred out of the department and believes that Santos was heartbroken. Sonya shows them Danny’s cause of death. They see that Danny’s business partner was suing him and decide to talk to them. Before they leave, Sonya gives them body cameras courtesy of Santos.
Dr. Paulo (Huse Madhavji) tells Riggs and Murtaugh about Danny’s practices as a plastic surgeon. Riggs sees two men walk into an unauthorized area, but Dr. Paulo isn’t suspicious of them. As Riggs and Murtaugh go to investigate, Murtaugh reminds him that they’re wearing body cameras. They find the two men looking at files, and the men run as soon as Riggs talks to them. Riggs and Murtaugh chase after them, disrupting the spa’s patients. One of the men attacks Riggs and breaks his camera, causing Riggs to attack him. Murtaugh struggles with the other man and his gun goes off. Despite Murtaugh claims that he has the situation under control, Riggs rushes to help him. Murtaugh gets the upper hand and he and his attacker land on their backs on the stairs.
While watching the body camera footage, Riggs and Murtaugh attempt to claim that they did everything by the book. Once the tape is paused, Riggs tells Santos that while the camera footage isn’t flattering, they may have uncovered a massive drug ring and suggests they call the DEA. Murtaugh argues with him, but Santos gets their attention and agrees that Riggs should call the DEA. Riggs goes to the DEA and talks to Palmer, who remarks that he was heading south the last time they saw each other. He tells her he took down the Mexican drug cartel, but Palmer informs him that there’s more than one cartel. Riggs reads the file she’s working on and realizes that she has been benched from investigating the cartel. She asks why he’s there and he tells her that he wants the DEA’s cooperation on the case and shows her the body camera footage. Palmer can’t believe he needs her help, but Riggs argues that this case can help get her job back. She thinks it ridiculous and he assesses that he came at a bad time. Once he’s gone, she gets a good look at the man who attacked Riggs and recognizes his face.
Roger Jr. suggests to Murtaugh that he stay at the house and commute, but Murtaugh tells him that college rooming is supposed to be uncomfortable. Roger Jr. suggests that his academic success will be greater in a stable living environment. Murtaugh considers it, but Trish demands he take his stuff back to the truck. Trish can’t believe that Murtaugh was almost convinced, but Murtaugh actually thinks it’s a good idea. She tells him that Roger Jr. needs to leave the nest.
Avery is surprised that Riggs is still at the office, and questions whether he slept. Riggs looks at mug shots and recognizes one of the men from the spa and sees that he is working for the Russian mob. Riggs decides to go back to the spa and Avery invites himself to go with him. As Murtaugh prepares for his massage, he sees Riggs and Avery walk in. They knock on the door and hear gunshots on the other side. Riggs breaks down the door and they find one man jumping out the window while the other is tied to a chair and shot to death. Riggs runs after him, but Palmer jumps out and apprehends him first. Riggs figures that he was right about the man’s drug ties and suggests working as a team. Palmer refuses and drives away as Avery catches up to him. Murtaugh joins them and evades questions about what he’s doing there.
Santos can’t believe that they lost another suspect, but Murtaugh corrects her that they lost the same suspect twice. She is not impressed and asks Murtaugh how he arrived at the spa before Riggs and Avery. Murtaugh tries to create a story, but Riggs tells her the truth. Outside, Murtaugh demands that Riggs ask Palmer to help them but Riggs tells him that she doesn’t work like that. He suggests that they find something that Palmer wants and use it to convince her to cooperate.
Scorsese has no new information from the autopsy, but Riggs gets a call from Palmer. As he answers, he asks if she’s having trouble with the investigation and she tells him that she’s taking a break. They banter back and forth and Palmer reveals that the suspect is working for Christian Orlov. They work out that he was looking for files at the spa because he was looking for a specific patient. Palmer tells him that she’s going to subpoena patient files, and Riggs tells her to take a break as they race to get the files first. Riggs, Murtaugh, and Avery run to Sonya and tell her to quickly look up the patient. As they cheer her on, Sonya is able to narrow the patient to one name, Sara (Brooke Nevin).
At a boat party, Orlov asks Henry (Jason Medwin) where Sara is. When Henry informs him that they lost her, Orlov pulls out a gun and demands he find her. Riggs and Murtaugh ask a Pharmacist (Thomas Isao Morinaka) for information on Sara, but he refuses to break patient confidentiality. Palmer arrives and she and Riggs argue over whom the pharmacist should talk to. Murtaugh gets annoyed and walks away. He recognizes Sara from the spa as she walks it. She denies that she is Sara, but he yells to Riggs and Palmer that Sara is there.
As she is questioned, Sara denies knowing initially that Orlov was running a drug ring. Sara explains how she found out, and Palmer yells at her for her role in the business. Riggs suggests that she be less aggressive, and Sara tells them that she tried to quit when she found out. Orlov paid her a visit and threatened to kill her if she quit. Palmer then criticizes her for using his money for her plastic surgery. Riggs tells her she’s being too hard on her, but Palmer is desperate to catch Orlov. He apologizes for his role in her getting exiled. Riggs tells Sara that she’s free to go, and she’s confused because she thought she was under arrest for killing Danny.
Murtaugh tells Santos about Sara killing Danny when he tried to exploit her. Santos doesn’t seem impressed, and Murtaugh asks why she’s not more excited. She asks if there’s a problem, and he accuses her of targeting him because he rejected her years ago. She is confused, and he recounts the events of their stakeout. Santos advises him to stop talking. Trish sits down with Roger Jr. and shows him her old high school yearbook. She explains that she was also scared to go to college and her father made a deal with her to get her to get out of the car before telling him that college is going to be amazing.
Murtaugh sees Riggs and Palmer put Sara in Palmer’s car. Palmer tells them that she plans to not arrest Sara so that she will work with them to bring down Orlov. She tells them that since Orlov hasn’t seen Sara since her plastic surgery, she will pose as Sara in a sting operation. Palmer and Riggs banter back and forth as she walks to the boat party and he watches with Murtaugh and Avery. Palmer catches sight of Orlov, and he compliments her plastic surgery. She asks to come aboard and Riggs tells her to stay where he can see her. Orlov confronts her about the documents she stole. He tests her, but the real Sara helps her pass the test. Palmer asks for money in exchange for the stolen documents. He tells her to come inside and put on a swimsuit for him, telling her she can’t refuse. Palmer changes into the swimsuit, wrapping the wire into her clothes. She gets Orlov to admit he moves drugs. He has Henry throw the wire aboard and tells her that Henry is going to torture her until she reveals where the documents are.
Riggs, Murtaugh, and Avery see the boat pulling away, and Riggs jumps into the water, swimming after it. Palmer fights off Henry, but another of Orlov’s men tries to put a bag over her head. Riggs climbs aboard and throws a guy overboard and Murtaugh shoots the next guy as Avery drives their boat towards them. As Murtaugh shoots at the driver, Palmer pulls the bag off and kicks Henry in the balls. Riggs makes his way to Palmer, who insists that she had everything under control. Orlov grabs Palmer and threatens to shoot her, but she tells Riggs to shoot him. Riggs hesitates, but tells Palmer to duck as Murtaugh shoots a spear through Orlov.
Santos criticizes Murtaugh, Riggs, and Avery for all of the violations during their operation. Santos replaces Avery’s picture with her own and forces them out of the office. As they leave, Santos’ hand brushes Murtaugh’s and he is in disbelief. Cahill asks Riggs what he’s avoiding at home, and Riggs admits that it’s too quiet there. Cahill tells him that he’s affected by Mexico and that he’s not fooling anybody. Avery calls for volunteers for an armed robbery, and Riggs takes it.
Murtaugh and Trish move Roger Jr. into college, and Trish has a hard time letting go. Roger Jr. hugs her before they leave. Riggs arrives at the convenience store, but is confused that everything is fine. Palmer approaches him, stuffing beers under her coat. Riggs tells her that she could have just called him. She asks where the fun is in that and has him chase her out of the store. They kiss in the alleyway with the stolen beers.