In Lethal Weapon Ep. 3.7, ‘Bali’ Shows Us The Lonely Grave Of Wes Cole

by Ben Martin

[PLEASE NOTE: This recap of Lethal Weapon: Season 3, Episode 7: Bali DOES CONTAIN SPOILERS. It is assumed you have already viewed the episode. If you have not, it is recommended you do so. Episode 7: Bali can be seen on Fox, On-Demand or via your preferred streaming service.]

The previous episode of Lethal Weapon, Episode 6: Panama, was a cliffhanger. Wesley Cole’s (Seann William Scott) past as a CIA operative came back to haunt him; eventually leaving his life hanging in the balance. Of course, Cole’s only hope of survival is his partner-in-law, Roger Murtaugh (Damon Wayans). In my estimation, Panama was one of the best episodes of this series so far. You can read my recap here.
The episode in recap here, Episode 8: Bali is a direct continuation from the previous episode. But does it end up being as strong as its predecessor?  Let’s get into Bali and find out!
This episode opens with Riana Murtaugh (Chandler Kinney) continuing her recent streak of teenage rebellion. Alas, staying out past curfew and dating bad seeds have gotten Riana grounded this time around. As Murtaugh and Trish (Keesha Sharp) are laying down the law; Murtaugh’s phone rings. It’s Cole’s daughter, Maya (Shay Rudolph), wondering if her dad has been seen or heard from. This call concerns Murtaugh a bit, though he doesn’t let the kid know it. As fate would have it, Murtaugh and crew get called to the crime scene of Cole’s kidnapping. Soon, they’re able to put together the pieces and deduce that The Vasquez Cartel kidnapped their fellow officer.
Meanwhile, Cole is in a shack being tortured. Before long, Cole’s kidnapper, Sofia Vasquez (Leonor Varela) reveals herself. As he is being stabbed, Cole flashes back to when he first met his ex-wife, Natalie Flynn (Maggie Lawson). Elsewhere in LA, Murtaugh quickly discovers that Tom Barnes (Mykelti Williamson) turned Cole over to Sofia. Alas, time is running out for Cole, as he’s thrown into an open grave and buried alive.

Out of options and at Barnes’ suggestion, Murtaugh makes a dramatic decision. That is, our hero chooses to release Benny Avila (Hemky Madera), an ex-member of The Vasquez Cartel. Murtaugh sets Benny free; in exchange for Benny’s leading Murtaugh to Sofia and thereby his buried partner. Being buried gives a man time to think of course. As such, we see Cole’s memory of finding out Natalie was pregnant and his suggesting they go to Bali. Thankfully though, Cole’s walk down memory lane toward death ends; not in white light, but with a bright one as Murtaugh digs him up!
Barnes is one bad dude; wasting no time in recruiting Benny Avila to assassinate Sofia Vasquez. Around this same time, Cole “Self-discharges” himself from the hospital after finding out that Murtaugh went to Barnes. Together, the two partners deduce what the deal is and race to stop the murder of a drug queen. Cole, however, doesn’t intend to endanger his partner any further; as a result, he knocks Murtaugh out and puts him in his own trunk. A few hours later, Murtaugh wakes only to find that Riana has taken the car to see her boyfriend. Bursting through the backseat, Murtaugh scares the bejesus out of the two lovebirds.
Meanwhile, Sofia Vasquez’s mansion has essentially become the ending of Scarface (1983) as Benny, and his goons descend on the house with guns blazing. Utilizing his old covert skills, Cole makes his way into the mansion through a window and explains everything to Sofia; offering to save her life. With no other option, the cartel matriarch takes Cole up on his offer. Alas, the pair isn’t genuinely safe until Murtaugh races onto the scene, hitting Benny with his car in the process. The following day, Cole severs some ties with the past; telling Barnes never to come into his or Murtaughs lives again. At the same though, Cole rebuilds old past relations by reigniting his romance with Natalie. Thus, this episode ends happily, leaving us to wonder what the future will hold.

Two-part TV episodes can be tricky. All the drama is built-up in the first installment, leaving the latter episode to wrap-up whatever story is in play. More often than not, I find that stretching the televised taffy can quickly lose its appeal. That is precisely the case with the Bali. As I said in the opening of this recap, the first half of this story unfolded in the previous episode, Panama; one of the best installments of Lethal Weapon to date.
However, that isn’t the case for this episode unfortunately. To the contrary, Bali falls victim to being an overcrowded and unsatisfying conclusion to this narrative two-parter. While this episode is watchable enough, it’s also filled to the brim with one convenient and or ridiculous development after another. Worse yet, the action here is nothing special; nor is there any emotion to propel the story. In the end, I feel that Panama and Bali should have been truncated into one extended episode. That way, the emotion and momentum of this story arch could’ve been maintained. Perhaps, we’ll get treated to a more fun and entertaining episode with the series’ upcoming presumably hockey-themed episode.

Episode 7: Bali can be seen on Fox, On-Demand or via your preferred streaming service.
Episode 8: What the Puck is coming up Tuesday, Nov. 27 on Fox!

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