If you would like to read a recap of last week’s episode, click here. I’ve said this many times but this series lives or dies from the relationship between Murtaugh and Riggs. They have fun and they are exciting to watch and the best episodes focus on this but it can’t always be just about them as they have to come up with cases of the week and other subplots along with the serialized story to fill in the rest of a 20+ episode season. It has been great to learn more about Murtaugh and Riggs as the show goes on and the recurring story with the cartel provides ample reason to keep watching. It will be interesting to see how they handle all of this being the midseason finale.
The episode starts off with a pair of women walking into a cowboy bar. Miranda is eating alone on Christmas Eve because she missed her flight home. The bartender is being a little nosy so Riggs gets him to leave her alone. She thanks him. She tells him that it was going to be her first time home for christmas in a long time. That’s why she’s drinking alone. She asks Riggs why he’s drinking alone and he says he’s never been one for excuses. He says he’s not really drinking alone now. They go back to his place and it is very sparse. She says it’s rough around the edges but has potential (but she’s really talking about him). She notices a small Christmas tree he got from work. She decides that maybe it is not such a bad Christmas after all.
Riggs wakes up in his trailer. The same tree is on the counter and he throws it in the garbage. Murtaugh complains about his neighbor Jim’s (Andrew Patrick Ralston) Christmas decorations. He thinks Christmas is not about decorations but rather about family and togetherness. Rj offers to drive Riana in a car he thinks he’s getting but he really isn’t. Murtaugh wants everybody home for some family time whether they liked it or not and he and Trish are taking time off. Murtaugh goes to Jim and complains about the power grid where Jim threatens him with floss.
A doorman dressed as santa is ringing a bell when a woman name Elena (Colby Lemmo) falls on the roof of a car. Murtaugh and Riggs arrive and Riggs complains that the worst part about christmas is everything. Riggs wants the doorman to stop ringing his bell. They are skeptical of it being a suicide. The owner of the car comes out and is worried about his car.
Elena was a nurse with a nice appartment owned by a company. Scorsese was about to make a big speech about what happened but they already figure out she was pushed. The company that owned her appartment was owned by her boyfriend, a cartel associate named Eddie Flores (Raul Casso). Riggs recognized the name. Avery is motivated to get him so Murtaugh no longer has time off.
Sonya found a contact on Elena’s phone named “H”. They also noticed that she was supposed to meet them at a coffee shop. When they get there, they learn that the “H” was a woman named Hannah. She was not surprised by what happened. She was a crime reporter and Elena was her source on a story about Flores. She tells them that Elena wanted to take him out instead of ending their relationship. Hannah was skeptical that the police would be able to do anything. She also tells them that Flores wasn’t really hard to find since he was very public.
Murtaugh and Riggs confront Flores at a club. His girlfriend wanted to leave but he didn’t let her. Flores wasn’t scared of them. He jabbed at Riggs with Miranda, causing him to dangle Flores off a ledge. Murtaugh convinces him to stop since there are people watching. Avery confronts Murtaugh about Riggs and he tells him that Flores said something about his wife. Riggs is looking at old case files. In one of the boxes, he finds an old Christmas sweater that Miranda tricked him into wearing when she brought him to meet her parents.
Ronnie was surprised and impressed that he wore the sweater. He told Miranda that he was a keeper. Riana pleads to go to the party since they won’t notice her gone with Riggs there. Trish confronts Murtaugh on a missing reindeer. He says that Jim has been stealing power for long time. When Murtaugh goes to make a cup of coffee, the power goes out. Riggs give Scorsese an expensive bottle of alcohol as a bribe to look into his wife’s accident report.
Murtaugh comes in complaining about Jim. Scorsese doesn’t tell him about what happened earlier. He tells them that Elena bought security camera. When they go back to Elena’s appartment to get the camera, they notice that the crime scene tape is broken. They find Hannah there, trying to take the camera. She’s not scared of the cartel. Flores calls Riggs. Murtaugh notices that Hannah took the SD card from the camera. Flores continues to taunt Riggs with Miranda. Once Hannah tried to start her car, it explodes.
They later learned that the bomb was detonated from an untraceable burner phone. They also found a damaged SD card but it was password protected. Riggs is frustrated and wants to go after Flores but Murtaugh reminds him that he’s just trying to get in their heads. Scorsese finds nothing in the accident report. Murtaugh needs Riggs to keep it together. Riggs tells him that that’s what he did and to look where it got him.
RJ is getting expensive headphones. The power is fluctuating in the house. Murtaugh talks to Trish about Riggs. She thinks he should be there for him and to imagine what it is like for him now that he’s all alone. Riggs is looking over files in his trailer and gets frustrated. He sees picture of Miranda is reminded of a time he got her a necklace. She got him a positive pregnancy test. Riggs loads a gun and was about to shoot himself before Murtaugh came in. He was there to apologize for earlier. He needed to be more understanding. He asks Riggs if he shot Flores then what was left for him. He says they can find out what happened when they arrest Flores the right way and if he walked afterwards, then Murtaugh will help Riggs find him. He puts the gun down. Riggs says one way or another, it’s him or me.
Avery stays behind with Sonya to avoid his family and look at the SD card video. They see a man throwing Elena off the balcony but they can’t see his face. Riggs knows it’s Flores but they have to see his face. Murtaugh suggests they zoom in on a ball from the Christmas tree and they get his face from a reflection.
They arrest Flores at a bar. One of his henchmen calls someone. Trish gets a mysterious gift. Riggs thanks Murtaugh for helping get Flores the right way. Riggs gets a call from Flores’ uncle. He wants them to exchange Flores for Murtaugh’s family. Murtaugh demands to speak to Trish. They split up with Riggs taking Flores to the airport and Murtaugh taking Flores’ ferrari to save his family. Rj and Riana walk in on Trish and the gunman in the dining room but she convinces them to go to another room.
Riggs brings Flores to the airport while Murtaugh is lurking outside his house. Trish manages to lure the gunman into the garage where Murtaugh takes him out and Trish kicks him while he’s down. Flores taunts Riggs as he’s leaving. Riggs gets a message from Murtaugh saying that his family’s safe so Riggs takes him back and asks him about his wife. He puts a gun to his head and begins to count to three but his uncle orders him killed first.
Riggs asks the uncle about Miranda but he hesitates to answer and eventually tells him that he wasn’t important then and isn’t now. They leave. The gunman is being taken away and Murtaugh assures Trish that they’re safe. She spots the missing reindeer in the garage. RJ notices the ferrari but Murtaugh says it’s not his and that they should appreciate what they have. The Murtaughs have a group hug.
Avery updates Riggs on what happened and invites him over for Christmas but declines. He also asks if he got answers but he says they got him believing in things that don’t exist. Avery said it’s the time for that. The uncle talking to someone on the phone in Spanish about Riggs.
Riggs is looking at some case files when the Murtaughs are knocking at his door. Trish tells him that he’s part of the family and he whispers thank you to Riggs. He plugs in the reindeer on his roof and blows a fuse.
Overall, this was the best episode so far where we got to see how Riggs met Miranda. This explained his love-hate relationship with Christmas and exploring his guilt was compelling. The whole conspiracy angle involving the cartel was compelling to watch and promises to not be over anytime soon. The Murtaugh subplot was exciting too. His vulnerability was his family and seeing him get pushed this was was great. Murtaugh and Riggs’ chemistry and also that with the rest of the cast was on full display and was excellent. I can’t wait for the show to come back.
*Note: These may come later on certain weeks as this show airs on the same day where I attend advanced screenings*