How Lethal Weapon Could Say Goodbye To Murtaugh In Season 3

lethal weapon season 3 roger murtaugh fox damon wayans
(Image credit: Image courtesy of Fox)

Spoilers lie ahead for Episode 12 of Lethal Weapon Season 3, called "The Roger and Me."

Damon Wayans made huge news back in 2018 when he unexpectedly announced his intention to leave his role as co-lead of Fox's Lethal Weapon at the end of the third season. The show had only just gotten through writing out the first original co-lead of the series due to actor Clayne Crawford's firing, and it was difficult to imagine that Lethal Weapon would get rid of one partner the same way it had gotten rid of the first.

Now, the events of "The Roger and Me" may have presented the way Lethal Weapon intends to say goodbye to Roger Murtaugh. On top of the usual action-packed shenanigans that generally fill an hour of Lethal Weapon, Murtaugh took the time to deliver a guest lecture to a group of promising prospective LAPD cadets.

He was a hit with the crowd, and although the lecture was later played for laughs when it was revealed that everybody loved his lecture because they thought he was retiring, the reactions of other characters on top of the episode's timing lead me to wonder if Lethal Weapon intends to use pseudo-retirement via a job as a lecturer as a way to write out Murtaugh without sending him off a la Riggs.

This is hardly the first time that Lethal Weapon has suggested that retirement is a valid option for the next stage of Murtaugh's life, and "The Roger and Me" is hardly the first time that Murtaugh adamantly declared that he was not ready to turn in the badge and the gun for a quieter life. As much as even Trish and Avery seemed to be on board with this possible path for Roger, his heart still seems to lie in the chase.

If the guest lecture subplot happened in any other episode at any other point in the series' run to this point, I wouldn't think it was any more than a new way to deliver laughs. After all, Lethal Weapon is hardly the grimmest drama on primetime, even when major characters are being killed off and/or forced to deal with their own PTSD. Damon Wayans is a classic comedic actor; it would be a shame not to use his comedic chops.

But... Damon Wayans announced his intention to leave before the end of Season 3, and there are currently only three episodes left of the third season. (Lethal Weapon scored a bonus couple of episodes shortly after Wayans made his big announcement.)

If Wayans does indeed leave Lethal Weapon after these three episodes and if Lethal Weapon survives to a Season 4, as cast member Keesha Sharp argues is perfectly possible even without either Riggs or Murtaugh, the way out for Murtaugh introduced in "The Roger and Me" could be the perfect way to do it.

Admittedly, writing Murtaugh out alive and well might mean a lot less of Trish and the kids as they're currently featured. Lethal Weapon requires a certain amount of suspension of disbelief, but it might be asking a lot of even the most diehard fans to accept that Roger is out of the house or in the shower whenever scenes are set in the Murtaugh home. Still, it would be possible.

If Damon Wayans would be open to the occasional cameo or guest appearance, writing him out as a regular via a lecturing job for Murtaugh could be the most painless way to handle the whole situation. Only time will tell. At this point, I'm just hoping that Lethal Weapon has enough steam for Fox to order a fourth season. For me, Cole has proved that he could carry the show if necessary, and Lethal Weapon's ensemble is packed with characters capable of stepping up.

New episodes of Lethal Weapon air in the midseason TV lineup on Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. Resident of One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and Northeast Ohio. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).