If you would like to read a recap of the last episode, click here. The midseason finale ended with a bang and was the best episode of the series so far. This created some big shoes for the winter premiere to fill. Most networks do this now but having a great episode followed by a long layoff almost always hurts the momentum of the series coming back. While the previous episode ended on an emotional high and the series can’t be like that all the time, the next one was due to bring things down a notch.
The episode starts off with some sort of EDM party where drugs are being handed out. The dealer, a man named Adam Pressman (Will Brandt), is being followed by some Korean gangsters. Once Pressman reaches outside, he is then shot and killed.
Riggs has been missing for a little while and Trish thinks this worrying is consuming Murtaugh. RJ is having girl problems because no one has asked him out to the dance. Murtaugh complains about the current generation and how they text each other instead of asking each other in person. Murtaugh is called on a case. He argues this with Riggs but he isn’t paying attention. Murtaugh asks Riggs what he did last weekend and he isn’t sharing. He doesn’t commit to going to Murtaugh’s for dinner.
At the scene, follows blood trail into a hall full of seemingly mindless, dancing zombies. They are all listening to music from noise-cancelling headphones. Riggs picks up a pair and joins in. The DJ claims that there is nothing illegal going on and the drugs that were being handed out are legal stimulants. Riggs thinks that this is his kind of party.
They both question the DJ who didn’t see anything and claims that Owlsly behind the drugs is named Owlsly and that they are missing. She claims that Owlsly is super underground where Riggs subtly jabbed at Murtaugh, claiming it as a great place to be. At the morgue, Scorsese is amazed at the work behind the drugs and took some during testing. Everything about them was legal. He finds an address for Owlsly.
Riggs chats with Cahill. He tells her that Roger is worried about how he spends his weekends but other than that, everything is good. He is also eating her salad. She is worried that his isolation may be caused by clinical depression.
Riggs and Murtaugh go to Owlsly’s address. A woman (Lyndon Smith) answers the door and claims to not know an Owlsly but a picture of an owl on the wall leads them to believe otherwise. She admits to being Owlsly and lets them in. She’s been isolated in the same loft for three years and has everything she would ever need. Riggs takes a few more subtle jabs at Murtaugh.
She says she had disagreement with Pressman and that he was threatened by a Korean gang. They attempt to bring her to station when a car drives by and opens fire on them. Owlsly is scared away and runs back to her loft. At the station, Avery briefs them on the sensitive nature of Koreatown and brings in some help in a detective named Cho (Chin Han). Murtaugh and Riggs are worried that this may ruin their dynamic but when Cho offers Korean barbecue hotspots, they quickly change their minds.
Cho has lead from a source in a club and also complements Murtaugh’s hat. Riggs doesn’t notice and wants them to split up and Cho agrees. Riggs brings photos to Owlsly. She is not worried about her life. Bad things seem to keep happening to her but helping find who killed Pressman may help her feel better. She identifies a man named Kang (Jack Yang) from the photo lineup.
Murtaugh and Cho are a restaurant and getting along. Cho talks to his contact who was a server. She spots Kang at the bar. Cho wants to wait for backup. Murtagh mentions that Riggs would not have done that. Riggs arrives and doesn’t want to wait. A shootout ensues and Kang gets away.
Murtaugh complains to Avery about Riggs’ behavior and he tells him that he chose him to be with Riggs. Cahill bumps into Riggs and doesn’t want him to burn his only bridge with the outside world being Murtaugh. Riggs shows up at Murtaugh’s for dinner. Trish introduces him to one of her friends named Kate (Jocelin Donahue). They have an awkward dinner conversation where Kate appears to be into Riggs’ isolation, leading to some more subtle jabbing and ending with a full-on argument. Murtaugh lets it slip that the dinner was to set-up Riggs, making him upset and leaving.
Sonya and Cho get information on a threat to Owlsly and the DJ and Murtaugh and Riggs go after them. Owlsly’s loft is trashed. Murtaugh and Cho find the DJ beaten up at the party. Riggs finds Owlsly in a hiding spot under the floor. Owlsly doesn’t know what they were looking for in her loft. The DJ was beat up by two men who wanted money. The DJ secretly knew Owlsly. Owlsly had a crush on Pressman and wanted to make a life for them. They hug and Riggs starts to drift away. She drugged him and he stumbles while she tries to escape.
Riggs stumbles outside and walks around Koreatown. He sees Owlsly being put into car and begins to ride the roof. Cho empathizes with Murtaugh’s situation. They notice Riggs on the roof driving by. In the other car, Owlsly gives the gangsters money but it is not enough for them. Riggs gets into the car with the others and they follow them. Riggs wants to get out and start shooting but is stopped by the closed windows. Cho takes the wheel, allowing Murtaugh to start shooting which causes the other car to flip. They get to Kang but Owlsly stumbles away. She took drugs to kill herself. She apologizes to the world and Riggs consoles her until she finally passes away.
Cho and Murtaugh are having lunch. Cho offers himself as a new partner but Murtaugh is committed to Riggs for better or worse. He says that Riggs is lucky to have him but Murtaugh believes that Riggs doesn’t see that. Cahill meets with Riggs at the morgue. He promises to her that he will not kill himself.
Riggs comes back to Murtaugh’s. Trish apologizes for pushing him but Riggs tells her that he’s going to need the push. He gives them a bottle of apology wine then leaves. RJ now has a date to the dance because a few girls were impressed that he asked them out in person. Riggs goes to one of the headphone parties and just sits there.
Overall, this was a cooling down episode, treading familiar ground with Riggs and his social problems while also giving him a new sad case to empathize with but was still fun to watch with the third wheel in Cho, contrasting the dynamic between Murtaugh and Riggs. They are great together but it’s also fun to see them sometimes bounce off of other characters.
*Note: These may come later on certain weeks as this show airs on the same day where I attend advanced screenings*