If you would like to read my review of last week’s episode, click here.
Synopsis: Riggs and Murtaugh investigate a surfer’s death; Murtaugh grows suspicious of Trish’s new friend; Riggs has violent nightmares. (TV Guide)
Writer: Elizabeth Davis Beall
Director: Salli Richardson-Whitfield
Running Time: 44mins
The fun chemistry between Murtaugh and Riggs is still the best part of the series and can often make up for an inferior case of the week. This surprisingly hasn’t happened that much but this was the case here as it seemed like the case this week took a backseat to the various other hijinks and such.
Riggs had been having nightmares of his dead father after reliving his death in the last episode and couldn’t sleep. During a session with Cahill, he wasn’t in the mood to talk and just wanted her to give him drugs to help him sleep but she was hesitant because of his previous addiction problems. Murtaugh was coincidentally not sleeping either, partly because Trish kept getting texts from a man named Scott. He was getting jealous of her relationship with Scott. She wasn’t even upset when he told her that he couldn’t go to her event for the Innocence Project.
In Riggs’ nightmares, he saw a raven and that same raven appeared at the crime scene where they found a dead surfer. At the station, Murtaugh shared his insecurities with Avery. This episode also utilized Bowman and Bailey more than usual thanks to Bowman’s surfing background which left Murtaugh and Riggs as the secondary team. The B team were to look for the leader of a surfer gang called the Shore Boys named Cody Lewis (Zach McGowan) while Murtaugh and Riggs investigated a noise complaint by a man named Tom Noble (Andy Buckley).
There Murtaugh listened while Riggs fooled around with Noble’s complicated coffee machine because he still wasn’t sleeping. They also found video footage of the gang leader roughing up the victim. While waiting for Lewis in a bar, we saw how popular Bowman was with the community. He apparently saved some kids by punching a shark. Once they spotted each other, a chase ensued where Murtaugh and Riggs caught up and Riggs got Lewis but as he did, the same raven appeared.
Lewis denied killing the surfer but Scorsese uncovered some evidence that he was most likely killed by a boat propellor. When Murtaugh went to Trish’s event and also where Noble would be, he learned that the Scott was basketball legend Scottie Pippen who was the keynote speaker. Murtaugh then went crazy and embarrassed himself and Trish in front of him. Meanwhile, Riggs investigated Noble’s property and found a sunken boat full of cocaine with its propellor having a chunk of flesh that matched the victim. While Pippen was giving his speech, Murtaugh made a scene by arresting Noble.
Riggs may have made a mistake since Noble’s boat was reported stolen. Avery wanted Riggs to get some sleep. Trish was upset with Murtaugh for what happened but he got even more jealous when Pippen texted Trish some suggestive emojis which just made her even more upset. Riggs got another nightmare about his father serving him breakfast that really was part of his shot-off face. He shared with Murtaugh that he was having nightmares though he didn’t want to talk about it. They then learned of Noble’s son Austin’s (Steven Cox) legal trouble.
Austin then had an argument with a gang of skinheads who were upset about their cocaine being seized and they took him. Riggs broke into Cahill’s office to find drugs. He offered to talk after he solved the case but she wanted to talk now. While waiting for Austin, Bowman admitted that he punched a dolphin and not a shark. He felt bad about it. Austin’s car then parked nearby but Lewis was driving. He let them know that Austin was hanging out with skinheads and pointed them towards their leader.
When Murtaugh and Riggs went back to Noble, he knew that his son was kidnapped but he didn’t take it seriously. He then got a video that proved that Austin’s kidnapping was very real. They then went to where Austin was being held. Murtaugh pretended to be birdwatching (hence the episode title) to distract the gang members so Riggs could get inside the building. While Murtaugh was taking care of outside, one member took Austin to the basement where the lights were turned off. The gang member was wearing night vision but Riggs was getting glimpses of his father which made it hard for him to focus. Riggs ultimately prevailed.
Back at the station, Austin told the cops that the surfer died from the propellor. Noble wasn’t there for his son but he vowed to be there now. Murtaugh wanted to keep working but Avery wanted him to go home and apologize to Trish. Bailey tried to help Bowman feel better about punching the dolphin.
The episode ended with Riggs having another nightmare about his father where he picked up a gun and almost killed himself. This was enough and decided that it was time to talk about it.
Overall, this was a good episode with a throwaway story that just took a backseat to everything else in the episode. There was some compelling development with Riggs and also Bowman and Bailey as well as fun exchanges between the characters. Even if episodes don’t always hit, they never miss by much.