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Lethal Weapon went through a big change between the end of Season 2 and beginning of Season 3 thanks to the departure of Clayne Crawford as Riggs. Crawford was ousted after allegations of misconduct on set, and footage released of co-star Damon Wayans clashing with Crawford on set. While the legendary Riggs/Murtaugh partnership wasn't going to be part of the series in the third seasons, all signs pointed toward a fun fresh dynamic between Murtaugh and new partner Cole. Now, that doesn't look to be the case, as Damon Wayans says he's quitting the show. Here's how Wayans dropped the bombshell:
I am going to be quitting the show in December, after we finish the initial 13. So, I really don't know what they're planning but that's what I'm planning. I'm a 58-year-old diabetic and I'm working 16-hour days.
Damon Wayans didn't mince words when he shared his plans with EUR, and it seems quite clear that he wants to leave Lethal Weapon because the demands of working as co-lead of an action series at his age and with his health issues are more than he wants to handle. His comments nevertheless will come as a shock to fans who have only had two episodes to get used to a Lethal Weapon without Riggs; what could Lethal Weapon look like without Riggs and Murtaugh?
The actor went on to confirm that he's "done" with the show and even cited Murtaugh's legendary line: "I'm too old for this." Damon Wayans is looking to spend more time with his family in real life rather than his TV family. Still, we have to wonder if there was more to Wayans' frustration on Lethal Weapon Season 2 than just his issues with Clayne Crawford's behavior.
As much as it's difficult to imagine any incarnation of Lethal Weapon without at least Murtaugh or Riggs, Damon Wayans' comments don't indicate that he necessarily expects the show to end with his departure. His reference to "the initial 13" may mean that he expects the door to be open for Season 3 to potentially receive an order for more episodes or perhaps for the show to score a renewal for Season 4. He also mentioned in the interview that he was "giving them enough time to find a replacement." The end of his time on Lethal Weapon may not mean the end of Lethal Weapon altogether.
It's worth noting that Lethal Weapon just announced the casting of a very Riggs-esque character as a partner for Bailey, and this new character is set to debut in the sixth episode of the third season. Is Lethal Weapon attempting to recreate the Murtaugh/Riggs dynamic with Bailey/The Gute and continue beyond Damon Wayans' departure? If Bailey and her new partner do become the focus of Lethal Weapon, that would leave newcomer Cole as the odd man out. We'll have to wait and see. This isn't the only casting change happening in Season 3, so it feels like anything can happen. Well, except for a return from Riggs.
We'll have to wait and see. Murtaugh will still be around for at least 11 more episodes, and you can find him on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET on Fox.