Lethal Weapon – Funny Money
By: Jessica Wolff
In a lab, a man works on making accurate-looking counterfeit money. He packs up a bag with the counterfeit plates and hears someone break into his apartment. Outside, Monroe (Dakota Love) and Nunes (Rio Mangini) film their friend, Ty’s (Nathan Davis Jr.) bike tricks and debate how to split the profits off his success. The man being thrown out the window interrupts their argument, and they notice the cash inside the bag. They see the shooter watching them, grab the money, and ride away as they are being shot at.
Molly Hendricks (Kristen Gutoskie) wakes up to find that Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford) isn’t next to her. Riggs comes home with a new puppy for Ben (Duncan Joiner). Molly isn’t happy with the gift, but Riggs tells her that Ben saw the puppy a couple of days ago. She concedes that the dog is cute, and Ben is thrilled upon seeing the dog. He asks if they can keep him, and Molly reluctantly agrees.
Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) calls Trish Murtaugh (Keesha Sharp) and tells her that he’s visiting Roger Murtaugh, Jr. (Dante Brown) at college. His roommate, Floyd (Tre Hall), answers the door and Murtaugh has to remind him that he’s Roger Jr.’s father. He tells Murtaugh that Roger Jr. isn’t there, and laughs at the possibility of Roger Jr. being in class, telling him that he’s probably at the movies.
At the crime scene, Zach Bowman (Andrew Creer) gives Riggs and Murtaugh details of the murder. Murtaugh notices three bicycle tracks leaving the crime scene and Riggs notices the money near the body as well as on the window the victim was thrown from. As they investigate, Murtaugh calculates how much money he is losing from Roger Jr. skipping classes and Riggs finds printouts of the counterfeit bills.
Murtaugh tells Brooks Avery (Kevin Rahm) his theory about the case, but Peterson (Ernie Hudson) tells him that he’s wrong. Avery introduces Peterson as a renowned, close to retirement secret service agent, but Murtaugh isn’t impressed. Peterson fascinates the rest of the department, but Murtaugh’s annoyance grows. When Peterson presents his theory about the case, Murtaugh angrily points out that it’s the same as his earlier theory.
Riggs talks to Maureen Cahill (Jordana Brewster) about what to name the puppy, but she wants to talk about his phone call from Nathan Riggs (Rex Linn). He insists that the call is old news, but Cahill points out that he’s increased his efforts to parent Ben since. She asks why he called, and Riggs tells her that Nathan wants to see him. He tells her he hung up, and she agrees that it is good to stay estranged from him. Riggs declares that he’s fixed, but Cahill warns him that the call may affect his life. However, he insists that everything is fine and that the secret to parenting is to do the opposite of what Nathan did.
Peterson, Murtaugh, and Riggs investigate a lead of counterfeit money used at a hotel. While Peterson calls it a lucky break, Murtaugh argues that his alerts got them the lead. Murtaugh tells Peterson to wait in the lobby and they go up to the room, where Monroe and Nunes are partying. Riggs shuts off the music, and Nunes accuses the Room Service Server (Mitch Miller) of abducting them and Monroe insists that they don’t speak English. Riggs questions where their friend is, and sees Ty ride past the room. The chase goes through the hotel lobby to the train station, where Riggs follows him onto a train. Riggs steps off the train believing that Ty is back on the platform, but the train pulls away with Ty holding up Riggs’ wallet.
Murtaugh questions Monroe about the murder, but her answers are unhelpful. He asks why they were in that alley, and she explains that they were filming tricks. Murtaugh asks for the footage, but Monroe tells him that it’s in the cloud. He insists that he understands what that means, but clearly doesn’t. Riggs questions Nunes about Ty, but he refuses to betray his friend. Handing him bills of money, Riggs gets him to talk about Ty, including his time in numerous group homes and his whereabouts.
As they watch the cloud footage, Murtaugh and Peterson see that the victim was arguing with a woman, Nina (Ali Stroker) in a van before his murder, and Murtaugh suggests that she is involved. Ty unlocks the door to an abandoned bus, but finds Riggs waiting for him. He gives him food and asks him questions about his plans for the money. He admits that he loves Santa Monica beach and Riggs offers him his sandwich in exchange for his wallet and the cash.
Murtaugh continues to be annoyed by Peterson as they go to Nina’s place, where they discover that she’s in a wheelchair. He asks Nina if she killed the victim, but she insists that there’s no wheelchair accessible way to the floor where he was shot. Peterson tells her about the video, but she insists that she wouldn’t kill the best partner she ever had. They ask why the victim would want to quit, and she tells him that he was scared Paul Mason (Nelson Lee) offering to buy the counterfeit money plates. She declares that he was killed for protecting her plates and that they’ll find the murderer with them.
As Ty hands Riggs his wallet back, Riggs notices two masked men approach the bus. He tells Ty to get down and shoots at them as they open fire. Riggs hits one of them and they drive away before he can stop them. As he checks on Ty, Riggs finds that he’s escaped through the bottom of the bus. Murtaugh details to Avery all of the measures they are using to find Ty, but Riggs believes from personal experience that they won’t find him. Riggs gets a call that the puppy has gone missing and goes to help Molly and Ben look for him, promising Ben that he’ll find him. Molly believes that he can’t make that promise, and asks him what’s going on. Riggs insists that everything’s fine and leaves with Ben to search.
Roger, Jr. finds Murtaugh and Trish waiting for him, and asks about the party Trish texted him about. Murtaugh asks him about his classes, and he lies that they’re going great. However, Murtaugh tells him that he called his professor, who told him that Roger, Jr. dropped all of his classes, and demands to know what he’s doing. Trish tries to calm the discussion, but gets just as furious when Roger, Jr. tells them that he’s dropping out of college. They get into an argument, and Roger, Jr. declares they don’t listen to him and storms off.
Bowman shows Avery Riggs’ strange credit card purchases, including a bus ticket to Albuquerque, and Avery advises him to call Riggs. At the bus station, a Grandpa (Michael Alaimo) tells Riggs and Murtaugh that a kid offered to buy his ticket, posing as Riggs. Ty arrives at the Santa Monica beach, but Riggs is already there. Riggs gives him a soda and they watch the sunset together. Murtaugh and Trish discuss their failure as parents for Roger, Jr. dropping out of college, each suggesting the other is more to blame for refusing to hold him accountable for his responsibilities. They agree that they both contributed, and Trish suggests they come up with a plan to help him.
Back at the station, Riggs assures Ty that he is safe from the gunmen. Ty asks what’s next for him, resistant to the idea of going back to another group home. Riggs tells him that he spent a lot of time without family himself, but that Ty will eventually find a good life. Peterson says goodbye to Murtaugh, and tells him that he should retire like him. Murtaugh walks away and asks where Riggs is, and Ty hears Bowman tell Murtaugh that Riggs has a family emergency and leaves.
Outside, Riggs calls Molly, who tells him that the puppy was found dead. Riggs apologizes for not being there, and she tells him that he would have to lie to Ben as well. She explains that she told Ben the puppy was hit by a car, but in reality an unknown assailant snapped his neck. Bowman interrupts the call to tell Riggs that Ty ran off. Ty breaks into Peterson’s car in the parking lot, and climbs into the trunk as Peterson returns to the car.
Peterson drives to meet Mason and Peterson criticizes the two gunmen for their poor job. Mason demands the counterfeit plates, and Ty climbs out of the trunk with the plates. Peterson finds the plates missing from his trunk and spots Ty walking away. Ty hides from Mason and his men, while Riggs and Murtaugh go to meet Peterson. He tells them that Ty pointed a gun at him and stole his phone. Riggs notices Mason and his men, and walks away from the conversation.
As Riggs looks for Ty, Murtaugh calls Peterson, proving his lie when the phone rings. Murtaugh points his gun at Peterson, while Riggs chases Ty after he sees one of Mason’s men chase after him. Peterson tries to negotiate with Murtaugh, but Murtaugh takes out the gunman sneaking up on him. Riggs shoots the gunman chasing Ty, and calls out to Ty. He accuses Riggs of lying, as Mason shoots at them. Ty runs away as Riggs takes care of Mason.
Riggs follows Ty onto the train tracks, and Ty accuses Riggs of lying that he doesn’t have any family. Riggs explains that Molly and Ben aren’t his real family, but that he keeps trying to find family to call his own. Riggs tells him to come towards him as a train approaches and convinces him to trust him. They run into an opening off the tracks as the train passes through.
Ty expresses his hesitation to go home with Nunes’ family, but Riggs tells him that friends are much better than family as he gets to pick them. Cahill tries to get Riggs to admit that this was his idea, but Riggs denies it. He finds a package on his desk and opens it to reveal the dead puppy’s collar inside. Trish and Murtaugh go over their proposed plan to Roger, Jr., which involves him moving home, getting a part time job, and going to community college. They find Roger, Jr. on the other side of the door and he suggests the exact same plan as theirs. Trish and Murtaugh are shocked and proud of his decision, restoring faith in their parenting abilities.
Riggs checks on Molly, and tells her that he has to go out of town. He apologizes, and she realizes that he’s talking about more than the puppy. Riggs confesses that he shouldn’t have brought her into his mess, but she assures him that she wants to be there. He continues to be distant, and says that he can’t protect her anymore. Riggs travels to Texas and visits Nathan in prison. They say hello to each other, and Riggs pulls out the dog collar. Nathan reminds him that he told him he wanted to see him, and Riggs states he got the message. Nathan tells Riggs that they have a lot to catch up on, but Riggs tells him he only came to tell him that he’s going to kill him when he gets out of prison.