Lethal Weapon season 3 will respectfully handle the absence of former lead character Riggs. The character of Riggs was made famous by Mel Gibson in the original Lethal Weapon movie, with the character being a suicidal cop who is struggling following the death of his wife. His growing friendship with new partner Murtaugh (Danny Glover) helps to pull him out of his depression, and the chemistry between Gibson and Glover was part of the reason the movie become a major hit.
The onscreen friendship between Riggs and Murtaugh grew over the course of the series, but the quality of the scripts took a noticeable dive. By the time of Lethal Weapon 4, the franchise had essentially become a big budget sitcom and was overstuffed with returning side characters and awkward comedy. After talk of a movie reboot starring Chris Hemsworth amounted to nothing, Lethal Weapon was revived as a TV show in 2016 starring Clayne Crawford as Riggs and Damon Wayans as Murtaugh. The series proved to be a surprise ratings hit, but news arrived in May 2018 that Crawford was being fired following a number of on set clashes with Wayans.
Seann William Scott was soon drafted to play Murtaugh’s new partner Wesley Cole in Lethal Weapon season 3, with Riggs dying of a gunshot wound he sustained during the season 2 finale. While fans will no doubt lament the loss of Riggs, Scott explained in a new interview with EW that he believes the show will respectfully handle the absence of the character.
"I think a lot of fans may be upset they’re not going to see Riggs, which I totally understand. I really believe they’re going to watch this and feel like we handled it in a way that is really respectful to the character and what he meant to the show."
While the season 2 finale left Riggs' fate somewhat ambiguous, it became clear that once Crawford was fired that the character's gunshot wound would prove fatal. Apparently, some unused footage from the finale will be used in the season 3 premiere that shows the character dying onscreen, and a big part of the episode will involve Murtaugh still mourning over the loss of his friend. While curious viewers and fans will likely tune into the first episode of season 3 to see what the new dynamic between Scott and Wayans will be like, only time will tell if the show will have legs beyond that. The network ordered a shorter, 13 episode run for season 3, just to be safe.
Elsewhere, a planned Lethal Weapon 5 reuniting director Richard Donner with Gibson and Glover is apparently still in development, following reports it may have been canceled. The fifth movie would be the final installment of the Lethal Weapon movie series, and would reportedly go back to basics by focusing on the relationship between Riggs and Murtaugh, in addition to having a darker tone.
Lethal Weapon season 3 premieres on FOX on Tuesday, September 25.