Lethal Weapon season 2 episode 5 “Let It Ride” made a strong case for a Leo Getz spinoff. The original Lethal Weapon was written by Shane Black, the future director of Iron Man 3 and The Predator. The story found two mismatched cops forced to work together to solve a case, with one being mild-mannered family man Murtaugh (Danny Glover), and the other being violent, impulsive ex-soldier Riggs (Mel Gibson). The robust chemistry of the leading men, combined with Black’s dialogue and the film’s intense action, made it a box-office smash.
It also became the template for every buddy action movies that followed, from Arnie’s Red Heat to the Black scripted The Long Kiss Goodnight. The success of the original led to a quick succession of sequels, coming to a close with 1998’s Lethal Weapon 4. Sadly, the follow-ups would prove to be diminishing returns for most fans. There was talk of Gibson, Glover, and director Richard Donner returning for Lethal Weapon 5 in recent years, but that project has gone quiet.
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The Lethal Weapon TV series brought the beloved franchise to a new audience, casting Clayne Crawford as Riggs and Damon Wayans as Murtaugh. Despite mixed reviews the show was a surprise ratings winner. Behind the scenes tension between Wayans and Crawford led to the latter being fired following season 2, with Seann William Scott coming in as Murtaugh’s new partner Wesley Cole in season 3. The show also offered a reimagined take on Leo Getz (Thomas Lennon), who was originally played by Joe Pesci (The Irishman) in the movie franchise.
Following his one-off appearance in the first season, Lethal Weapon season 2 episode 5 “Let It Ride” brings back Thomas Lennon’s Leo. In this episode, Leo wants Riggs and Murtaugh to look into the death of his friend at a racetrack; it looks like a heart attack but Leo thinks he was murdered. While Lennon’s take on Leo is no less chatty than Joe Pesci’s, he brings a different energy to the role. His guest appearances always brightened up the show and “Let It Ride” was a great showcase for his talents.
Like the movies, Riggs and Murtaugh find Leo annoying but oddly endearing – which mirrors the audience’s response to him too. Lethal Weapon season 2 episode 5 gets a lot of comedy mileage from letting Lennon just do his thing, from making fun of the “B-team” – AKA detectives Bailey and Bowman – to his creative use of his friend’s ashes in the finale. “Let It Ride” is also a solid episode for Riggs where he talks about his rough childhood in therapy, which would come into play later in the season.
While it would obviously have fewer fight scenes and shootouts, Lethal Weapon season 2 episode 5 makes a good case for Leo Getz receiving his own spinoff. Thomas Lennon is hilarious in the part, and during some of the weaker episodes of Lethal Weapon, it was easy to wonder what bizarre situations Leo was getting up to offscreen. With the show having ended now, a Leo Getz spinoff is unlikely – but it would still be a lot of fun.
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