Lethal Weapon – Flight Risk
By: Jessica Wolff
On a plane, a flight attendant, Nora (Monica Barbaro) asks Cooper (Adrian Pasdar) to sit down. He turns to the other passengers and announces that he robbing them as he pulls out a gun. The passengers give him their possessions, but one man refuses to give up his briefcase. Cooper points the gun at him and he hands it over. Nora tells him that the police will be waiting when they land, but Cooper straps on a parachute. As he is about to jump, the man lunges at him and they wrestle for the briefcase as they fall out of the plane.
Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford) brings some of his possessions to a pawnshop. The owner looks over the items, impressed by a rifle. Riggs offers to trade a wallet at the front counter for the rifle and the owner agrees. Riggs flashes back to his younger self (Chase Mangum) learning how to fire the rifle with his father, Nathan Riggs (Rex Linn). He believes they shouldn’t be out there while mother is sick, but his father argues that it’s for the best. He avoids Riggs’ questions and instructs him to kill a deer. Riggs misses the deer, and his father remarks that he missed on purpose the first time.
Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) makes breakfast for Riana Murtaugh (Chandler Kinney), but she is more interested in her phone. Murtaugh questions who she is texting, but she tells him that he wouldn’t know them. She asks why he cares so much, and he tells her that he wants to know her. She calls his attempt an ambush, but Murtaugh asks if they are still on for dinner. Riana tells him that she’s going out, but won’t tell him who she’s meeting.
At the crime scene, Riggs think that it’s ridiculous that Murtaugh is so concerned about Riana not talking to him. Murtaugh insists that he’s both her dad and her friend. Murtaugh and Riggs question Nora about the robbery and how Cooper got a gun on board. She explains that there was no security on the private plane. Nora tells them that she had never seen Cooper before, and Murtaugh thanks her for her time. Riggs suggests that the people wouldn’t be robbed if they packed light and Murtaugh retorts that Riggs has more baggage than anyone he’s ever met.
Maureen Cahill (Jordana Brewster) questions why Riggs is getting rid of his stuff, and Riggs argues that he’s simplifying his life. She isn’t convinced that it’s a good idea, and asks what he’s getting rid of. He lists the various things, including the rifle. She asks about the rifle and he tells her that it was his dad’s. Cahill is surprised that he’s getting rid of it and mentions that he never talks about his parents. He makes up a story that Cahill immediately sees through and tells him that the best way to simplify his life is to start with his childhood.
Gina Santos (Michelle Hurd) asks Brooks Avery (Kevin Rahm) how his leadership conference went. Avery thanks her for nominating him, and she tells him that it was a disciplinary action. She warns him if he can’t earn the respect of his detectives, she will replace him. As Avery claims that he is respected, Riggs and Murtaugh come in and tease him. Avery demands that they sit down and shut up. As Santos leaves, Riggs and Murtaugh joke about his attempt to lead. Avery asks what’s new with the case, and Murtaugh tells him the suspect’s name. Avery warns them to be careful after Santos’ warning.
As they stake out Cooper’s motel, they hear a noise and see the door open. Pulling out their guns to investigate, they hear the shower running but find it unoccupied. Riggs notices that the ice bucket is missing and finds it outside. Cooper’s cell phone rings and Murtaugh sees that the call is from Nora. He answers the phone and Nora calls Cooper dad and yells at him for putting her job in jeopardy. Murtaugh answers that it’s no way to talk to her father.
In the interrogation room, Riggs and Murtaugh talk about how she didn’t mention that Cooper was her father and she replies that she didn’t want them to think she was involved. She continues to insist that she wasn’t involved and that she’s trying to distance herself from him. Murtaugh asks when she felt she needed to distance herself from him, and she tells them that her father is a criminal. Riggs asks why she didn’t say anything when he boarded the plane, and she explains that Cooper lied that he was there to make amends with her. She tells them that she may know some of her father’s old associates and blames herself for falling for his lies. Riggs suggests that she help them catch Cooper and she agrees immediately to Murtaugh’s surprise.
At the pier, Murtaugh, Riggs, and Nora meet with Dugan (Peter Holden). He asks Nora what she’s doing with the LAPD, and she explains that they’re trying to find Cooper. Dugan tells them that he hasn’t seen Cooper in years, but Nora sees though his lie. Murtaugh accuses him of being an accessory to the murder, and he admits that he saw him this morning. Riggs asks where he is now, but Dugan swears that he doesn’t know. Dugan tells Nora to go easy on Cooper when they find him, as he is dying. Riggs follows her outside, but she believes that this is yet another lie of Cooper’s and that she knows where he is headed.
As they stakeout Chinatown, Riggs and Nora think it’s weird that Murtaugh bought his sixteen-year-old daughter a giant stuffed panda. Riggs notices a suspicious-looking man who pulls out a gun as Cooper walks out of the restaurant. Riggs jumps out of the car and shoots the shooter. Cooper ducks as Riggs and Murtaugh get into a shootout with another shooter. Riggs shoots the man’s foot from under the car. Both shooters reveal their bulletproof vests and shoot at them as they climb into the back of a van that quickly drives away. Nora gets out of the car and Cooper is surprised to see her as Riggs drags him to the car.
In the interrogation room, Cooper asks to see Nora and Murtaugh tells him that she doesn’t want to talk to him. They ask who tried to kill him and who he’s stolen from, but he makes jokes. Murtaugh tells him that while everyone loves a charming thief, nobody loves a charming murderer. He denies that he’s a murderer, arguing that it was self-defense. After Riggs and Murtaugh joke about his claims, Cooper declares that he’s done talking to them and refuses to talk until he sees Nora.
Zach Bowman (Andrew Creer) corroborates Cooper’s story with evidence from the autopsy. Riggs and Murtaugh question how to make Cooper talk, and Murtaugh suggests convincing Nora to talk to him. Their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of Riana with Sonya Bailey (Michelle Mitchenor). Murtaugh believes that Riana wants to see him but then realizes that her hands are in handcuffs. Riggs excuses himself and Murtaugh demands to know what Riana did. She is annoyed by his questioning of her, and Murtaugh asks Sonya what she did. Sonya tells him that she was arrested at the zoo, and Riana tells him that she was protesting animal cruelty. Murtaugh thinks protesting a zoo is ridiculous and asks whose idea it was. Riana responds that she knows her rights.
Riggs asks Nora further questions about the robbery, but she can’t answer them. He tells her Cooper’s condition, but she refuses to talk to him. She asks if his family is as messed up as hers, and he evades the question by telling her that knowing what Cooper stole would help understand why people are trying to kill him. Nora suggests letting them kill him, as he’s not her father anymore. Riggs suggests that she might not be over him if she can’t be in the same room.
Murtaugh questions Riana in the interrogation room, but she refuses to write the names of the other people involved in the protest. He then asks her who she sits with at lunch, and she questions the relevancy. He continues interrogating her about everyone she interacts with, and she remarks that this is a dream come true for him. He tells her that he wants to know her and questions why her friends don’t come over anymore. After he demands to know, she tells him that he is a hovering parent that makes her friends uncomfortable.
Nora meets with Cooper but is angry to see him. He asks Nora to confirm that he never loads his gun, and she replies that and being a bad parent are his signatures. Riggs continues to question Cooper while he criticizes Nora’s career choice. Riggs asked what he stole from the victim and Cooper admits that he took his briefcase. Riggs asks where the briefcase is and Cooper tells him that it’s in the pond where he landed before collapsing. Nora tells him to stop faking, but he can’t. The Doctor (Sheila Cutchlow) informs Nora that Cooper has a heart condition and that he has six months to live. Murtuagh suggests that she go to him and she hugs him.
Avery and Santos sit Riggs down and question if he robbed a liquor store. He denies it and Santos tells him the robbery was conducted with his rifle. Riggs explains that he sold it, and Santos is horrified that she sold it to a pawnshop. Avery asks for updates on the case, and Riggs explains that they found out that the missing briefcase contained expensive diamonds. As Bowman is about to dive into the lake for the briefcase, a Park Ranger (Lindsey Alley) informs Sonya that security footage shows Cooper leaving the area holding the briefcase.
Murtaugh and Riggs go to confront Cooper, but find his hospital bed empty. Tom Woodcock (Branton Box) approaches Nora, grabs her, and pulls her into a van. Riggs answers the hospital phone and Nora pretends to talk to Cooper as she is held at gunpoint. She tells Riggs that they’ll kill her if he doesn’t bring the briefcase. Riggs promises to bring it and Nora gives him the meeting location.
Riggs and Murtaugh confront Dugan, and he lies that he hasn’t seen Cooper. Riggs tells him that Nora is in danger. Cooper pulls the briefcase out of a dumpster and answers a call from Murtaugh, who explains the situation and warns him that no diamonds are worth running away. Cooper replies that they have the wrong number and hangs up on them.
Murtaugh walks around the park, as Riggs is perched on a tower with a sniper rifle. Despite Riggs’ disbelief, Murtaugh is adamant that Cooper will show up. Riggs spots Avery and Santos walking in the park and questions why they’re there. Cooper arrives, clad in a janitor uniform and Murtaugh is glad to be right. Cooper tells Murtaugh to tell Riggs not to miss and Avery agrees. Avery explains to Santos that he usually gives Riggs and Murtaugh free reign in these situations.
Murtaugh sends Cooper in and they watch as he meets with Woodcock. He demands that Cooper drop the case, and he demands to see Nora. Woodcock tells him to wait, but Cooper tells him that he won’t do things like this. He yells after Cooper and shows him that Nora is in a nearby van. Riggs tells Murtaugh that he doesn’t have clear shot to the van, and Cooper walks back to Woodcock. Cooper demands that they let Nora go, but Woodcock asks for the briefcase. He grabs it and they struggle over it. Riggs asks Avery to tell Santos to move so he can get a clear shot. However, they lose contact with Avery. Riggs tells Murtaugh that this is the only shot before shooting through Santos to take out Woodcock. A shootout beings and Nora uses the commotion to break free and run. Avery arrests Woodcock, and Nora runs to Cooper.
At the hospital, Cooper thanks Riggs for saving Nora’s life and asks to hug her one last time before he is handcuffed to the bed. Cooper apologizes for being a bad father, and she tells him there’s still time. She realizes that he slipped a diamond in her pocket and tells him that she takes it back. Nora hands Riggs the diamond as she walks out. Avery checks on Santos and she is shaken by being shot at. She warns him that giving Riggs and Murtaugh free reign is dangerous and offers to transfer him. He refuses, and she asks why he wants to stay with these lunatics. Avery tells her that they’re his lunatics.
Murtaugh shows Riana the panda that he was going to give her before he realized that she wouldn’t like it. She refuses his offer of dinner and her friends arrive. Riana asks them if they want to stay over and Murtaugh agrees. He moves his stuff, but Riana asks him to leave the panda. Riggs finds his rifle lying on his desk and he flashes back to his father telling him that his mother is dying. He decides to shoot the deer. In the present, Cahill asks what he’s going to do with it, and he mentions that it’s like a boomerang. She asks him to tell her about the gun and he tells her that it was the rifle he learned to shoot with and the rifle that killed his father.