'Lethal Weapon' review: Sean William Scott's Cole takes centerstage in Keesha Sharp-directed 'Panama'
For the frst time in a long time, 'Lethal Weapon' finally feels like it's got its mojo back. 'Panama' is a must watch - even if you've missed the rest of the season.
'Lethal Weapon's latest episode is a perfect tribute to the gem that is Seann William Scott. The directorial debut by Keesha Sharp, 'Panama' is one of those nail-biting episodes that you cannot help but be on the tenterhooks about. Scott is fantastic, and for the first time in a long time, 'Lethal Weapon' finally feels like it has got its mojo back. A must watch - even if you've missed the rest of the season.
The story this week revolves around a mysterious incident that happened in Panama and its repercussions on Cole's life in present times. His CIA life is explored in the best way - with an origin story. Meanwhile, in sunny California, there's a murderer on the loose, who turns out to be an ex CIA agent gone rogue. Murtaugh and Cole investigate a bank robbery and find that the robber is the rogue Special Agent. What follows is a battle royale that leaves Cole heartbroken.
'Panama' had the best fight sequences this season, and perhaps from the last two seasons combined too. Cole's CIA training comes across during his screentime and while we do have faith that he will pull through, we still fear for his safety. The fights are very handsy and dangerous, with the episode actually embodying what "in the nick of time" means. The success of the scenes has a lot to do with Scott's insane ability to make the same old fighting shtick feel dangerous - every muscle movement, every eye signal, clearly comes through. You're in the park with him as he's stabbed with a skewer and then back to the morgue as he's stitching up his puncture wounds. Scott has fit into the shoes of Wesley Cole like a breeze, for sure.
This episode really brings out his dual personality, which is the character's core trait. His tough exterior doesn't hide the fact that he buys flowers for his baby girl is actually a really sweet dude. That's probably the best part about him - the way he embraces his past and present and has still not lost the ability to enjoy life's simple pleasures. 'Panama' gives this character the opportunity to showcase all of this in a 45-minute slot.
'Panama' was so much of a one-man show, another Cole moniker. While Murtaugh, Bailey, and Barnes all had things going on the side, there wasn't one distraction from the main story - the story of how Cole's past keeps pulling him back. At times, it did feel like Murtaugh was the baby that needed protection in this one - perhaps a symbolism to the boy Cole lost in Syria? Scott switches back and forth between the tough guy and the non-violent persona and always makes sure Murtaugh is out of trouble. The tables have definitely turned since last season when Murtaugh tried to play daddy to Martin Riggs.
This episode is definitely the type that feels lethal, but the plot is quite predictable at the same time - but then what recycled procedural drama isn't? It doesn't do complete justice to the origin story as well - a little more detail on how Cole landed in Tom Barnes' (guest star Mykelti Williamson) lap in the first place would have also been nice. With the way this episode has ended, it wouldn't be far-fetched to think that we will be seeing more of Barnes in the coming episodes. It's more than obvious that we will definitely be shifting our focus in terms of the storyline from Murtaugh to Cole and clearly, it isn't such a terrible thing.
'Lethal Weapon' airs every Tuesday on Fox at 9 pm ET/PT.