Lethal Weapon: Better Living Through Chemistry recap

Photo: Erik Voake/FOX, Lethal Weapon via Fox Flash
Photo: Erik Voake/FOX, Lethal Weapon via Fox Flash /
Lethal Weapon
Photo: Erik Voake/FOX, Lethal Weapon via Fox Flash /

Dr. Cahill plays an important role in Lethal Weapon, as she keeps Riggs’ anger and depression under control. Her former clients can also cause problems.

Every once in a while Lethal Weapon has a side story that involves one of the supporting characters like Dr. Maureen Cahill (Jordana Brewster). In this episode, the question as to whether or not Dr. Cahill is competent comes into question.

There’s also a good bit about the competency of Martin Riggs (Clayne Crawford). His recent outburst involves a hangover cure being spit onto a yuppie douchebag’s car. Turns out the guy is Deputy Mayor of Los Angeles, which won’t sit well with anyone in the precinct.

Riggs still has a long way to go.

After Riggs goes HAM gets called crazy and loser by the Deputy Mayor, he channels his best Fried Green Tomatoes Kathy Bates and starts in on a game of bumper cars. Naturally, this doesn’t sit well with Cpt. Avery (Kevin Rahm), who feels nauseous after watching the cellphone video. His phone has been ringing all morning, but Riggs dismisses it as a fender-bender.

Chief Gina Santos (Michelle Hurd) is not pleased. In fact, she chews into Avery’s rear enough he looks lighter by the end of the episode. The rest of the crew sits around and watches the one-way discussion. Bowman (Andrew Creer) is apparently a mouth-reader, and translates for Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) and Bailey (Michelle Mitchenor). Gina wants to put someone older with Riggs to slow him down.

Ultimately, Gina gives Maureen an affidavit: Sign it and Riggs stays on, don’t sign it and Riggs is gone. Maureen’s credibility and career are tied to her decision.

Dr. Cahill’s other clients emerge.

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A former Cahill clients named Stanley is in isolation because of a suicide attempt. When she arrives to see him, Stanley is steaming. He takes Cahill captive and escapes the facility. By the time the entire crew – even Scorsese (Johnathan Fernandez) – finds Cahill locked in a trunk, Stanley is flattened under a cardboard box with a single gunshot to the dome.

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One of the lighter moments of the episode occurs as Riggs and Murtaugh are consoling Cahill. The clash between partners is never more apparent than when Murtaugh serves soothing tea, and Riggs offers whiskey. Once the tea is offered to Riggs, he retorts “I’m gonna karate chop you in the throat.”

Investigation reveals Stanley only had one visitor before his death, a stereotypical movie biker named Carl Edwards.

Riggs & Murtaugh search for Carl Edwards at a biker bar, and meet obvious resistance. Every biker in the bar follows a Spartacus shtick saying, “I’m Carl Edwards.”  The inevitable bar fight ensues. Riggs dispatches a biker’s old lady via headbutt, making blood gush almost as much as when Ryan Phillipe gloriously busted Sarah Silverman’s face wide open in Way of the Gun.

Suspect number two, coooommee on doooowwwn!

Lethal Weapon
Photo: Michael Desmond/FOX, Lethal Weapon via Fox Flash /

During Carl’s interrogation he steers the detectives in a new direction. Carl was a contestant on The Price is Right when the crime was committed. The pair did a job together, but Stanley used another fencer when he went to the loony bin. Carl was left with a jet-ski he couldn’t drive or pay taxes on.

The second fencer is a guy named Jose, who happens to be another Cahill patient. She calls Jose and he agrees to meet in 30 minutes. Jose quickly makes Riggs and Murtaugh at the meetup, consequently runs, climbs a construction site, and does some random parkour. Riggs follows, and the pair end up on the edge of an iron support beam. It’s all very reminiscent of cinema Riggs who is all too willing to take the dive with a suicidal jumper. Then again, it’s not dissimilar from television Riggs.

Unlike the crazy person in the movie, Carl Edwards fatally crashes into the ground below.

Cahill gets affirmation.

Lethal Weapon
Photo: Michael Desmond/FOX, Lethal Weapon via Fox Flash /

Later, Cahill invites Riggs into her office for whiskey. She thinks she failed all her clients. Riggs lets her know Scorese’s analysis showed no trace of anti-psychotic meds in either patient, which she finds odd. Cahill is really down on her abilities as a shrink. In fact, she mistakenly believes she has made Riggs worse.

Cahill wakes up to a hangover, Riggs, and the lingering question about her patients’ meds. Riggs wonders what the street value of the meds might be, and the motive becomes clear. It turns out the doctor of the two deceased patients was using ibuprofen instead of their prescriptions (switch it for Motrin and he could have been an Army doctor). Doc’s side business is raking in $1M a year.

In order to uncover the mystery, the team decides to get a crazy person on the inside. Who better than Riggs? Riggs infiltrates the asylum, finds the illegal pill switcheroo system, and gets thrown in a straight jacket for his efforts. As all villains do, the doctor admits to his plan just before dosing Riggs with some powerful sedative. Watchful parents Cahill and Murtaugh storm the facility and roll straight over the measly speed-bump the doctor and his two goons put up, making it just in time with a shot of adrenaline to counteract the potentially fatal (?) sedative.


During their drunken session, Riggs tries to console Cahill, but she isn’t convinced. Riggs’ death wish and anger is too apparent, reinforced by his recent high-rise antics.

This causes Riggs to open up a bit. He relays that anger has always been there, ever since his mother passed. It’s like a fire inside him. What he doesn’t reveal is that cancer and chemo was eating his mother down to the bone, and she committed suicide rather than suffer through a subsequent round of ineffective chemo.

Surprisingly, his father was very sympathetic and understanding. He struggled throughout the day with a way to tell his son. Young Martin heard of his mother’s love, struggle, and pride moments before the thunder of a gunshot overshadowed everything else.

Lethal Weapon
Photo: Michael Desmond/FOX, Lethal Weapon via Fox Flash /

Cahill believes in Riggs (proven via signature), and tells Gina he is not a danger to others. There is a cute story arc involving staged punches, however, that make both women think otherwise. Ultimately Cahill vouching for Riggs sets up what many fans want to see: A Riggs & Cahill relationship.  

At the end of the episode Riggs calls Cahill from the edge of a skyscraper like he’s Spider-Man. He tells her she’s the only thing that keeps him from dropping into the abyss. Our collective hearts flutter at the what-if possibility.

RJ is depressed, and another therapist is introduced.

Lethal Weapon
Photo: Erik Voake/FOX, Lethal Weapon via Fox Flash /

The side story for the episode revolves around RJ. He floats in a pool, alone, quiet. It’s been a few weeks since he dropped out from college, and all he seems to do is float in the pool. He only takes breaks to eat cereal. Sleep and bathroom visits are assumed. Roger and Trish (Keesha Sharp) are concerned, and want him to visit a shrink.

At the therapist’s office, RJ appears to have a good session. When he’s finished, however, Roger and Trish get a go. The therapist mentions RJ is upset because his they are disappointed he dropped out. Roger tries to deny it, but RJ overheard him tell a neighbor the reason RJ was home was because of a rare tropical disease. To deflect blame, Roger dimes Trish out like Sloth to Mama Fratelli, and says Trish dropped RJ on his head as a baby.

Next: Will Riggs find love?

The encapsulation of this Lethal Weapon episode is a father-son moment about what ails RJ. He believes his father is without worry, and is ultimately relieved when he realizes it’s shared. It seems that nobody on the show is without worry, and maybe there’s hope things can only improve from here. At the very least, Riggs and Cahill seems closer to a possibility.

Lethal Weapon airs Monday nights on Fox.