I loved this episode so much, I've already rewatched it. It was so good, I didn't even realize Avery wasn't in it until my rewatch. That's how you know, heh.
Seann William Scott is just fantastic, and Cole is such a delightful character. You know, I keep praising SWS (who deserves all the praise, truly, for entering into this situation and making the best of it in a way I could not have foreseen, by his talent, charm and sheer likability) but the writing itself also deserves to be applauded. Cole could have been an uneven mix of random stereotypes, but the writing has not let him down. He has his flaws, and he has made his mistakes, but, as Erica said, he remains very likeable, He's a good person, with good motives, and the writers have taken the time to allow him to bond with all the other characters (even Harper!) and it has paid off majorly. Mostly because SWS has chemistry with anyone who comes within 3 feet of him.
Again, though, the writers deserve praise here, too. Take Cole's love interests, for example. I was rooting for him and Natalie 100%, and their chemistry was palpable, as was their warm, deep affection for each other, since they do share a child and they've known each other for so long. But when Natalie came to her senses and rejected Cole, I also loved that development. I wasn't upset my "ship" was going down, I just appreciated the wonderful acting that came out of that. And then, when Erica was introduced, I enjoyed the comedic aspect of her connection with Cole (the actress is naturally pleasant and funny, imo), and also their physical chemistry, because they did spark instantly. But there were a few more emotional moments, too, and the writers took the time to let their relationship grow. So now that they happened, I am rooting for them 100%. In a way, none of this is about ships. It's about good writing and great acting. That's all I need from a TV show. Who knew?
Speaking of, this episode's script was a doozy. I liked the pretty classic Lethal Weapon interrogation, and the play with time, and the jokes were flying left and right, but also, the action! That elevator scene! So good. I think I only saw SWS's stunt double in 2 or 3 instances, the rest was clearly him, and it made a difference.
Erica's mom was hilarious, and that entire "call girls" moment with Cole was comedy gold.
Lastly, I'm one of the people who still likes Damon Wayans and I do think he's gifted both in comedy and drama (plus I side with him in the LW debacle), but even I have to ask; does this show need him? Provided we keep Trish, the answer for me would be no. I would love to see one more season of a SWS-led Lethal Weapon. But, even if we don't get it, I'll always appreciate Season 3.