'Lethal Weapon': Why Captain Brooks Avery is the one that's keeping it together
'Lethal Weapon' has always portrayed Avery like a sidekick - the guy who sits behind a desk and signs off on paperwork when in reality, he's the guy that runs the whole show.
Captain Brooks Avery isn't your regular cop - he's funny, he's enthusiastic and always has some drama or the other on with his husband Todd. 'Lethal Weapon' has always portrayed Avery like a sidekick - the guy who sits behind a desk and signs off on paperwork when in reality, he's the guy who runs the whole show. Say what you may about Captain Brooks Avery, he really is the glue that keeps the whole LAPD together.
Portrayed by actor Kevin Rahm, Avery is the head of the Robbery/Homicide Division of the LAPD on the show. He is known for being Roger Murtaugh's supervisor and at some point in his career, was his partner. Even though the two have had a very close relationship in the past, we never see Avery letting that get in the way when he has to call out Murtaugh for any reckless actions. He is extremely professional and never lets his friendship with his detectives ever get in the way of getting the job done. Unfortunately, the show never manages to highlight that.
Avery's character has been written as a gay man in a powerful position - a stereotype he is clearly above. His husband's mad at him or that he couldn't be with him for the holidays or that his election campaign was ripped to shreds - the writers have always focussed on mocking his flaws rather than focussing on his strengths. He's more than the babbling man in a suit who can't control his detectives - he's an incredibly capable police officer who in spite of being behind a desk isn't afraid to risk his life for his team.
Remember when 'Lethal Weapon' premiered back in 2016? In the pilot, the LAPD is dealing with a hostage situation at a bank. Right before Martin Riggs rolls into the scene, there's Avery suited up in a kevlar vest, a pistol in his hand, just ready to shoot any miscreants. Although he has never had to spring into action, he's always there protecting Murtaugh/Riggs/ Wesley Cole. Can you imagine how much of the city's properties have Riggs/Murtaugh and Murtaugh/Cole blown up through the past three seasons? Unimaginable right? We barely ever see the brunt of the higher-ups because Avery protects his people.
His character arc has had only one episode to shine and it was all the way back in season 1, episode 11 called 'Lawmen'. Until then, there was nothing on the backstory of this crucial character. All the way back when he was working at the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, he and his partner David Reed had planted evidence to get a murderer behind bars. They had tried to play by the rules but unfortunately, all of the previous evidence in the case had been overlooked. They got the man in prison but Avery couldn't deal with what he had done - he was that much of a straight arrow. At the time he had decided that he would step down from the job. It was then that Murtaugh convinced him to stay telling him that if he did not continue to hide the secret, all of the bad guys he had put behind bars lawfully could get out of jail. Even though he was conflicted, he still decided to stay, simply because he didn't want to stop doing his bit for LA and its people.
He then was promoted to the Robbery/Homicide Division where he and Murtaugh worked as partners for years. Avery was clearly great because then, he was made Captain while Murtaugh still chose to be on the field. There's no denying that Avery takes his job very seriously even though he appears to just be frustrated with his top detectives. In many ways, he sometimes loses the battle and wins the war - something people like Murtaugh, Riggs, and Cole failed to see. He never ever lets go of the bigger picture - that is of keeping the city safe. It's also probably why he shields his team - because he knows they are the best LAPD has.
Without Avery, we'd have none of the lethal chases that Cole and Murtaugh are a part of now. Perhaps the property damage costs that are always getting on Avery's nerves may have lessened (since Cole is less violent than Riggs), he's the one that makes everything possible. Avery is the oil that keeps the machine running - and it is about time that the show gave him more respect.