Lethal Weapon Ep. 3.5 Is All About The Big Picture
by Ben Martin
[PLEASE NOTE: This recap of Lethal Weapon: Season 3, Episode 5: Get the Picture DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS. It is assumed you have already viewed the episode. If you have not, it is recommended you do so. Episode 5: Get the Picture can be seen on Fox, On-Demand or via your preferred streaming service.]
These days an 18-22 episode season of a TV show feels like a helluva’ lot of content. In many ways, television has generally become a medium shorter narratively propelled 10-13 episode seasons as popularized by the cable network model. Still, shows on major networks, such as Lethal Weapon on Fox have larger, traditional season orders to fulfill. Due to this traditional model, that means that some episodes within a TV season are going to be filler ones. Which is precisely the case with this very entertaining episode in recap Get the Picture.
If the action genre has taught us anything, it’s that driving a big rig is a dangerous profession. Get the Picture opens using that troupe as a driver transporting priceless art gets hijacked by a three-man crew in another semi. Luckily, the driver is armed with a pistol and manages to defend himself against two of the three thieves. However, the remaining robber gets the drop on the truck driver and shoots him in the head. Following this, the burglar turned killer hooks up the trailer filled with art up to his semi and drives off into the sunset.
Meanwhile, the personal lives of our heroes aren’t going that smoothly. Wesley Cole (Seann William Scott) still has a knack for dropping in on his ex-wife Natalie Flynn (Maggie Lawson) and her boyfriend, Andrew (Jonathan Sadowski) at inopportune times. As you might imagine, this makes Maggie’s new beau uncomfortable. Over at the Murtaugh household, Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) is avoiding conflict. Trish (Keesha Sharp) refuses to let their eldest daughter Riana (Chandler Kinney) attend a concert on a school night. However, that changes when Riana gets the upper-hand on her dear, old dead; discovering that he still has the boat he claims to have sold. Using this information, the teen blackmails her father for concert tickets, and Murtaugh cooperates to avoid Trish’s wraith.
Soon enough though, the boys have other concerns as they’re assigned to the art theft case. Murtaugh and Cole are introduced to Lena Pacar (Annet Mahendru), who works for the owner of the art, Victor Halderman (Robin Thomas). Meanwhile, the driver who was shot is recovering, and in stable condition. Cole goes to interview him and garners the name “Gatanas,” from the driver. As he steps out into the hospital hallway, Cole sees Andrew getting on the elevator and decides to accompany him in an effort to make amends. This attempt fails, as not only is Andrew claustrophobic, but he also manages the drop the engagement ring he’s carrying.
Going on the evidence that there were paint chemicals found on the dead thief; our heroes soon track the semi to a paint company. Alas, in their effort to retrieve the stolen art and arrest the suspect, things go awry. A firefight breaks out, and mind you, this is in a warehouse full of flammable chemicals, so an explosion is sparked. As most of the priceless art is destroyed, the thief is killed when he trips and is impaled on a piece of horn art. On the upside, some of the art survived the inferno.
Cole escorts Lena to inspect the remaining priceless artwork. Lena’s happy to find that her favorite painting, Shaadi Bar, a depiction of a beach in Lebanon is still intact. At the same time Murtaugh and Sonya Bailey (Michelle Mitchenor) board Victor Halderman’s yacht to question him; suspecting that he stole his own art to commit insurance fraud. As evidence, Bailey and Murtaugh show the art dealer a copy wire transfer paperwork with his signature on it. However, Halderman maintains that not only did he not approve the transfer; but that he was in Panama when it occurred. He deduces and reveals that Lena must have done it, as she is the only other person with access to the account. Another unpleasant discovery is soon made as Lena locks Cole in the storage facility, taking Shaadi Bar with her. In doing so, Lena manages to escape on a motorcycle; but is injured in the process.
Digging into the intel, Bailey discovers that Lena Pacar is an assumed identity. In reality, Lena Pacar was an elderly woman who died a year ago. Dead is something Murtaugh wishes he was as Trish questions him about the concert tickets. In doing so, Trish also finds out about Riana’s blackmail and thus, her husband’s boat. Meanwhile, Cole and Bailey discover that Lena is actually Layla Qadr, the daughter of the artist who painted Shaadi Bar. Suspecting that Layla wants to take the painting home to Lebanon, Cole tracks her down to the airport. In the way that only he can, Cole convinces Layla to come back to his motel room, where he has Natalie patch her up.
The following morning, Murtaugh and Bailey find that Halderman isn’t innocent after all. It seems that the art aficionado also had dealings with a shell corporation set up with a Colombian gang. However, Halderman’s new dirty dealings are a little more high-tech. Inside of the painting, Cole finds a microchip which contains part of the plans for building a dirty bomb. Plans which the Columbian gang has now killed Halderman for misplacing and have tracked down to the Safari Inn, where they take Cole and Layla hostage.
Shortly thereafter, Bailey and Murtaugh are contacted by Cole and the gang. Murtaugh has no choice but to exchange the microchips in the LAPD’s possession for the lives of Cole and Layla. Murtaugh’s given strict instructions to meet the gang at sea for the exchange. Lucky for our hero, he still has that boat. Thus, he and Bailey set out to sea to make an aquatic rescue. Alas, violence soon breaks out; resulting in the explosive demise of boats and the Columbian gang. Thankfully though, Cole, Murtaugh, Layla, and Bailey are all of fine. Well, except for the fact that Murtaugh’s boat sinks.
After a busy day at sea dispensing aquatic justice, everyone is safe. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t have to face the consequences for their actions. Layla will serve a short prison sentence for her crimes. In exchange for doing time, Layla’s mother’s painting will be placed in The National Art Museum of Lebanon. Murtaugh’s sentence is undoubtedly less dier, but probably just as painful. As dutiful father and husband, Murtaugh must take Rianna and five of friends to San Diego for the concert. The episode concludes with Murtaugh calling up Cole, trying to convince his partner to tag along.
As I said up top, Get the Picture is ultimately nothing more than a filler episode for Lethal Weapon: Season 3. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you. It merely means that this episode is one that provides no narrative advancement. However, what this episode does have going for it is entertainment value! Frankly, Get the Picture is just a fun episode filled with action and comedy. I mean, sure, I could ask for more. Then again, who doesn’t enjoy watching TV for an entertaining escape from everyday life?
Now, there is one thing that this episode might have put in place to advance the series as a whole. I honestly think and hope that the character of Lena / Layla (played wonderfully by Annet Mahendru) could eventually be a great love interest for Cole in a future season. A concept that I’m hoping the series’ creator Matt Miller and the writing staff are considering. Then again, who knows where this show will go as its now rumored that Damon Wayans may stick around after all.
[*Author’s Note: I apologize for the lack of pictures accompanying this recap. There were not many episode stills published for this particular episode. Despite this, I hope you still enjoyed this recap and thank you for reading it!*]
Episode 5: Get the Picture can be seen on Fox, On-Demand or via your preferred streaming service. Recap of Episode 6: Panama COMING SOON!