‘Lethal Weapon’ Recap: Agent Palmer Works with the Boys to Bring Down a Money-Laundering Cartel

'Lethal Weapon' Recap: Agent Palmer Works with the Boys to Bring Down a Money-Laundering Cartel
'Lethal Weapon' Recap: Agent Palmer Works with the Boys to Bring Down a Money-Laundering Cartel

One thing’s for sure, Lethal Weapon may play fast and loose with the questionable physics of their crazy chase scenes and heroic macho gymnastics, but their timing with Riggs’ coming back to life couldn’t be more perfect. In “As Good As It Getz,” DEA Agent Karen Palmer (Hilarie Burton) whom we first met in “Fashion Police,” returns to work a case with Murtaugh and Riggs. In the previous episode we saw Riggs relating to Dr. Cahill like a man does to a woman. Now, nothing will happen there, but it’s an excellent segue into the reappearance of Palmer who looks like a very good candidate for some steamy couch time with our charismatic cowboy.

Attorney Leo Getz, originally played by Joe Pesci in the movie franchise, is thrown in the mix when he’s caught in the wrong place at the wrong time with the absolute wrongest people. He’s an awkward character who comes off more clumsy than slimy, but I couldn’t help enjoying his kooky presence.
Pop, Doesn’t Go the Weasel
A DEA agent meeting with Flaco Ruiz and his really, really crappy lawyer, Leo Getz (Thomas Lennon, Reno 911), gets shot to smithereens in a drive-by massacre at the Hi-Ho Donut Shop. Ruiz was a narc prepared to provide states evidence against the Flores Cartel and one of their head honchos. They were at the donut shop to negotiate the terms of Ruiz’ relocation program.
The shooting occurred while Getz was taking a powder in the can. Getz escapes unharmed, but assumes the cartel is going to find out somehow and then he will be in deep doo doo. However, Getz thinks he can protect himself so he goes about his business chasing ambulances until Riggs and Murtaugh catch up with him. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
DEAs Dunking for Donuts and Death
Murtaugh and Riggs show up at Hi-Ho to find that the new DEA on the case is the beautiful homespun freshness of Agent Karen Palmer. Immediately, Palmer comments on how handsome Riggs is in this particular shade of sobriety and the sparks begin to fly. Palmer is there wanting the LAPD’s help because she suspects that someone in the DA’s office tipped off the cartel about the donut shop meeting.
Of course, Getz will cop to nothing except being in the bathroom when the shootout occurred and refuses to help Murtaugh and Riggs in any way shape or form, despite the fact that the cartel probably thinks he’s negotiating with the DEA.
When Getz takes off to a taco truck to try to contact the cartel and clear his name, the dynamic duo follow him, hoping his visibility will shake the cartel hitmen out of the bushes. By the time the cartel takes aim at the bullseye on Getz’ back, Palmer has arrived as Getz’ “protection.” Having almost gotten his testicles blown off, Getz is now much more open to negotiating for protective custody in exchange for whatever Ruiz might have told him before he got killed. Unfortunately, Getz knows nothing. However, he does provide some leverage for the boys to use against Pablo, the taco vender who might know more.
With a little cajoling, Palmer admits that the Flores Cartel Big Bad she is after is called “The Architect,” meaning he’s the man who designed and runs the money laundering operation in LA. Oy, that’s a big deal. Unfortunately, taco boy doesn’t know The Architect’s name either.
The Cartel Completely Missed Their Target
Even though Pablo’s unable to finger The Architect, he does let it slip that the cartel people are upset about the Donut debacle because Palmer wasn’t killed. See, she was supposed to be the DEA at the meet with Flaco and Getz, but the meet time was changed in an effort to slip it by the DA snitch.
When Murtaugh and Riggs hear this they immediately call Palmer just as she’s about to be turned into Swiss cheese by two of the cartel hooligans with mean looking sidearms. She gets shot in the flack jacket and flies into Riggs’ arms while Murtaugh tackles one of the gunmen.
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Palmer And Riggs Uncover The Architect . . . Too Late
Ramon, one of the gunmen taken into custody for attempting to murder Palmer, has never seen this elusive Architect either, but something he says leads the team to believe that something Palmer did three days previously pissed someone off mighty fierce.
What did Palmer do to invite the wrath of the cartel? She’d filed blanket subpoenas against a bunch of companies suspected of working with or being owned by them or … yeah, something like that. While Murtaugh is off settling Getz into a slimy secret hotel room, Riggs offers to ‘help Palmer look through all the paperwork produced by her subpoenas. In other words, he orders Chinese take-out. Riggs and Palmer are up all night going through the files, identifying Weyburn Advisors as the shell company run by The Architect, whom they now know is Stafford White, the sole owner and operator.
While Palmer is going through the proper channels to get the arrest warrant, Murtaugh and Riggs head over to White’s office and find his brains splattered all over the inside of his office building’s elevator car. Oops. So, maybe he wasn’t The Architect? Surely the cartel wouldn’t sheer off the head of the hydra, would they? Then again, hydras are known for growing new heads … and so are mobs. So, what next?
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After she finally gets her arrest warrants for White, two cartel guys dressed at EMTs inject something into her neck and abduct her. Getz witnesses the abduction and follows the abductors to an old crappy hotel/diner/gas station while calling Murtaugh and Riggs. As gunshots shoot out at Getz, a helicopter drops out of the sky to collect Palmer and the two cartel guys.
As the helicopter takes off with a restrained Palmer inside, Riggs grabs onto the helicopter skids and manages to yank out one of the guys mid-air, then shoots the pilot. Instead of crashing to the ground with the helicopter, Riggs and Palmer decide to jump out of the plane. They crash land through the roof of the old diner and land on a mattress within, covered in detritus. “I figured you’d endup in bed with me,” teases Palmer.
Riggs Finally Faces His Greatest Fears: Living and Talking to Girls
Riggs has had a rough year since Miranda died. he’s finally got a new home in the Murtaugh family and the precinct. He’s even got a couple of friends, if you can call Mo Cahill and Avery that. Now here’s Palmer. Riggs almost lets Palmer leave without saying goodbye. To be more accurate, he hides in the morgue while she is upstairs taking her leave. Murtaugh, ever the matchmaker, calls him out on his fear of talking to a girl.
Eventually, Ruggs returns to his desk and moments later Palmer returns to get something she’d forgotten. They both admit that working together wasn’t entirely unenjoyable. As Palmer heads to the elevator, Riggs joins her at the last moment. When the doors open for Scorsese, he doesn’t realize it, but he’s caught them in the middle (or beginning?) of a kiss.
Nice and slow, Lethal Weapon takes it. Not heavy-handed and ridiculous, but subtle. Lots is said in the silences alone. It totally works. This is doubly awesome because a little birdie tells me Palmer will is appearing in two more episodes before this first season runs it course.
What did you think of the pave of this budding romance? And how about Murtaugh’s intuitive assessment? Imagine how much longer it would have taken Riggs to face his fears if not for Murtaugh’s feminine side. What do you think Trish will do now that she’s left her firm because she didn’t get her promotion?

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