I did not enjoy the second season of Lethal Weapon as much as I did the first. There were some outstanding episodes in this season, but the season was just not as satisfying as the first season for a few reasons. By the time the season finale rolled around, I was ready for the show to end.
Having just finished the season finale of the show, the ending did not have the emotional impact that it should have – and this is from a show that consistently – in the first season – moved between comedy, drama and pulling of heart strings.
I figured that the killing off Martin Riggs at the end of the season would have had a larger impact, but it didn’t. I think the problem was that while Riggs had a character arc from start to finish, this second season really did not much for the arc.
This season focused heavily on Nathan Riggs, Martin Riggs' abusive father. By doing this and spending episode after episode focused on that dark and destructive figure took away from what made the first season of the show so enjoyable: Fun. Nathan Riggs sucked the fun out of every episode, turned it from a pulpy fun show about two polar opposite cops finding a common ground into a dark show dealing with an evil dad. The dark pushed the light away.
By the time the twenty second episode rolled around with Riggs killing his father and closing up that storyline, I had disconnected myself from the character of Martin Riggs. And because of that, when Riggs was killed by his half-brother, I didn’t really care much.
The First Half
The first half of the season was entertaining. For the most part, it continued on with the formula that the first season setup. But, the season started to wander and the quality of the episodes started to waver. There were times when I wondered if there was going to be anything more substantial – and eventually, I wished that the show would ditch the Nathan Riggs storyline and return back to being a week-by-week police procedural with two bantering partners.
The (Missing) Supporting Cast
I did like the increased screen time for Leo Getz, but I did not like the decrease in screen time for the Murtaughs – especially the fantastic Keesha Sharp as Trish. I liked the addition of Bowman to the team, he was a funny character and deserved more screen time and character development.
There was a decrease in screen time for great supporting characters like Bailey, Captain Avery, Cahill and Scorsese. Some of them disappearing for multiple episodes. When they did show up did again, they did nothing more than look stuff up on computers or ask simple questions.
And while I liked Molly, that storyline and her relationship with Riggs never felt genuine. Having Karen Palmer disappear early in the season also hurt.
At this point, if the show wrapped up – and the season finale could served very well as a series finale – I wouldn’t mind.
I can the show-runners continuing on with the show in the next season with Murtaugh as the captain. The setting up Bailey and Bowman as the main detectives on the show. I wouldn’t mind watching if this happened because I think the Bailey and Bowman characters are fun to watch and have that same sort of chemistry that Roger and Martin had. If they moved the show back to being a lighter affair focused more on the work of the detectives, it could work out well.
This sophomore season was not great and was a marked decline in quality for the show. It does make me sad because I have come to really like the supporting characters – even more than the main characters – and would love to have seen the show change focus and incorporate these supporting characters more into the episodes.
In the end, the second season of Lethal Weapon just was no fun to watch anymore. It was one of my favorite new shows of the 2016 season because it was so fun to watch. Not so much this season.