Clayne Crawford claims “blatant f*cking lies” led to his Lethal Weapon exit, but the hit show must go on, and it did on Tuesday night with the season three premiere. Seann William Scott, who replaced Crawford as Murtaugh’s new partner Wesley Cole, promised that Riggs’ exit would be “really respectful to the character and what he meant to the show.” Here’s how it went down.
The conversion from Riggs to Cole was fairly easy, after Crawford’s character was shot by his half-brother Garrett in the season two finale. The “will he make it?” cliffhanger was quickly resolved: he didn’t. A good portion of the episode, “In the Same Boat,” was spent on Murtaugh mourning Riggs; he’s still struggling with his partner’s death six months after the incident (when he meets Cole).
There was another death in the episode. Murtaugh initially thinks Garrett, who we learn is no longer alive, was murdered and that Riggs’ fatality was part of a conspiracy, but that’s not the case: Garrett killed himself after shooting his half-brother. “I ain’t asking for forgiveness,” Garrett says in a confession video. “I know it’s caused some people pain. I thought you should know the truth.” Murtaugh realizes then he needs to let the case go. “I was just trying to keep the case alive because I was afraid to let him go,” he admits. “It wasn’t a conspiracy, no bigger story. He was just killed by an angry kid with a gun.”
Later in the episode, Cole tells Murtaugh that he can’t ever replace Riggs, “so I won’t even try. But I want to make this work.” Unless William Scott becomes an “emotional terrorist,” it already sounds like it will work better than it did last season.