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For those who haven’t heard the news, this was the beginning of the end as far as this series was concerned. This series lives or dies on the dynamic between Murtaugh and Riggs but with the firing of co-lead Clayne Crawford, that dynamic is no more. Despite all the drama behind the scenes, this season was still an enjoyable one.
While this season lacked much of an overarching story much like the cartel was last season, relying more on Riggs’ backstory for several episodes, it still featured several entertaining and action-packed episodes. Of course some were better than others but regardless of the quality of the episode, the chemistry between Murtaugh and Riggs and the rest of the cast was always there (although all the allegations against Crawford put this relationship in a new light).
The season also saw Murtaugh and Riggs take much different paths with Murtaugh taking a step back from the job while Riggs looked to settle down with someone. Murtaugh saw his kids get older while he found himself promoted to Captain by season’s end, replacing Avery who was getting ready to run for public office. Meanwhile, once his relationship with Agent Palmer failed, Riggs looked to one of his childhood friends, a single mother named Molly Hendricks (Kristen Gutoskie).
Molly was just one part of Riggs’ unfortunate backstory told through a series of flashbacks where we saw a younger Riggs (Chase Mangum) living with his abusive, alcoholic father Nathan (Rex Linn). While insightful regarding Riggs, they did not go anywhere for the most part and were occasionally distracting. Murtaugh and Riggs’ stories treaded familiar ground for the most part, however, there was more from Cahill and Bailey which was nice to see. Ultimately, the biggest thing we learned this season was that Scorsese’s real name was Bernard.
Of course Riggs’ backstory was going to figure in somehow but once it did, the payoff was a little disappointing considering all the buildup. This was primarily because the payoff came much too late in the season. Presumed dead, Nathan was very much alive and he and Riggs’ unresolved issues held Riggs back, especially with Molly (although he still had to move on from Miranda). The season did not go far enough with this as whatever the case of the week often came before the character development that made the first season so great.
Though Nathan spent most of the season in prison, he was inevitably going to be let out and was just in time for the reveal that Riggs had a brother. However just like Nathan, that reveal didn’t amount to much with Nathan going out with a whimper. Other than Nathan Riggs, the next closest big bad was the Aryan Fraternity who was vaguely connected to him. Introduced in another excellent Christmas episode, they had quite the impact but it was disappointing to not see them again until the season finale.
Speaking of the season finale, it was the climax of everything that happened this season, focusing on Riggs’ twisted family dynamic. Because of its rushed nature, it wasn’t nearly as impactful as it could have been. The result of it was a cliffhanger ending to the season where Riggs got shot. Knowing what we know now, his fate is pretty obvious now despite its open-ended nature. Either way, it will still be interesting to see where this will go next season.
The acting was good throughout with Wayans and Crawford being the standouts. Wayans and Crawford were solid once again as Murtaugh and Riggs. Wayans’ Murtaugh has mostly been the comic relief and/or straight man to Crawford’s Riggs but this season allowed him to do a little more with his character, however, he was still overshadowed by Riggs (although that may change). Crawford’s Riggs continued the craziness that he started in season 1 while also going deeper on an emotional level. Despite being compelling to watch, the season could have found a better balance between both versions. However, knowing what we now know (allegedly) about Crawford, Wayans’ performance stands out even more. He and Crawford’s chemistry carried the season through good times and bad.
Overall, this was a decent season with plenty of action but not as many compelling character moments. There were some entertaining episodes for the most part, however, this season felt too procedural with mostly took focus away from the characters themselves. Despite this, the great chemistry between Murtaugh and Riggs as well as the rest of the cast was still there. Clayne Crawford’s Riggs was the best part of the first two seasons so it will be sad to see him go and it will be interesting to see how the series will continue without him. This series still has a lot more stories to tell but with Crawford gone, it’s going to have a hard time keeping its audience, myself included.