Keesha Sharp quickly became a fan-favorite on Lethal Weapon thanks to her performances as Trish Murtaugh; now, Sharp has stepped behind the camera to direct an episode that promises to mix up the series in the best kind of way. The episode, which airs on November 6, will introduce a new maverick character.
This character will be a woman known as The Gute, and while she certainly won't be a carbon copy of Lethal Weapon's original maverick, she could deliver something that none of the other current detectives on the show bring to the table. Keesha Sharp spoke with CinemaBlend about why The Gute is important to the Lethal Weapon franchise:
Listen, our writers and our showrunners are some of the best. They really are. To be able to take a franchise, Lethal Weapon was eight hours, the movies. We have 1, 2, 3, and 4, about eight hours, which as you know, I love the franchise movies. But we are able to do 40 hours. Now we're even working on 50 hours of content, of Lethal Weapon stories. So we get to delve into these characters and create new characters, and it becomes about this whole team of people. So them introducing a female character and is somewhat of a maverick is telling of the time change that we're in.
The introduction of The Gute as a female law enforcement officer who gets to embrace some of the maverick qualities traditionally associated in Lethal Weapon with a male character is a sign of evolution for the franchise. Keesha Sharp is a big fan of the movies that kicked off the franchise, and she has been a key part of the show that some movie fans never believed could actually make it on the small screen.
Now that Lethal Weapon is going strong in its third season, there is room for growth that there was never time or room for in the big screen installments. One of the highlights of Lethal Weapon as a series really has been the fleshed out cast of characters beyond first Murtaugh and Riggs, and now Murtaugh and Cole. The Gute isn't stepping in to partner one of the guys while his regular partner is out of commission. No, she'll be a partner for Bailey.
Paola Lázaro is set to tackle the role of The Gute, a.k.a. Louie Gutierrez. The earliest description of the character revealed that she would join the Robbery/Homicide division following a year of undercover work against the Mexican cartel. Lethal Weapon showrunner Matt Miller described her as "a little bit unglued" and "a little bit crazy," and the dynamic with Bailey (who is definitely not unglued) should be entertaining and unique.
Keesha Sharp went on in our chat to share her feelings on introducing The Gute in her Lethal Weapon directorial debut, saying this:
These strong women characters that I'm really excited about, and to give that to me as a woman is telling of our production. They trust me. It doesn't matter that I'm a woman. It helps that. I like the idea that they gave this episode to me not because I'm a woman, but because I was qualified and I happen to be a woman. And so I want to be the woman that says, 'Listen, just give us the opportunity. We'll show you that we can do it. That's all we need, is the opportunity, and that's for every woman out there, every minority out there. Give us the opportunity and we'll show you that we can do it. And that's what they've done and I'm excited to be the woman who brings a new woman, a maverick to the Lethal Weapon franchise. I'm excited about that.
If there were any fans who may have feared that Lethal Weapon would become stagnant after losing one half of its lead duo ahead of Season 3, Keesha Sharp helming an episode that introduces a new female partner for Bailey is just the latest sign that this is a show that can adapt to any circumstances and perhaps rise even better than ever. We can only hope that this opportunity for Sharp leads to more opportunities for minorities, on Lethal Weapon and elsewhere.
The Gute will debut less than a month after Lethal Weapon leading man Damon Wayans announced his intention to leave the series at the end of Season 3, citing a desire to slow down. There has been no official announcement regarding his future or lack thereof on Lethal Weapon; if he does leave, there is room for characters like Bailey and her new partner to shine even more. It would certainly be a shame to lose Wayans and Roger, but Lethal Weapon will have what it takes to evolve yet again.
Keesha Sharp did weigh in on why Lethal Weapon can have a future without Murtaugh and Riggs, and the show has done well enough after killing off Riggs and introducing Cole. Fox still seems to have faith in Lethal Weapon, as the network ordered an extra couple of episodes for Season 3 after Wayans announced his intention to leave. For Fox, Lethal Weapon may not depend on having at least one half of the franchise's iconic Murtaugh/Riggs partnership. Why not a Season 4 and beyond?
When I commented that TV viewers don't often get to see a pair of female law enforcement officers working together as partners, Keesha Sharp offered her insight:
No, you don't! Listen, I think people are going to love that. I think you're going to love it. These strong women who don't take mess. It's just a beautiful thing, and of course Lethal Weapon is doing it. Of course we are.
Tune in to Lethal Weapon on Tuesday, November 6 at 9 p.m. ET on Fox to catch The Gute's debut in the episode directed by Keesha Sharp. The episode also promises to reveal more than ever about Cole and why he is the way he is by the time he joined Murtaugh in Robbery/Homicide, and there will be plenty of action and even a cliffhanger as well. It's not an episode to miss.
If you need some viewing options for the other nights of the week, be sure to swing by our fall TV premiere schedule.