Closing the case of one of TV’s great police dramas with ‘BOSCH’

0

Travis Leamons // Film Critic

BOSCH: SEASON 7

Rating: TV-MA (8 episodes)
Creator: Eric Overmeyer (based on the novels by Michael Connelly)
Cast: Titus Welliver, Jamie Hector, Madison Lintz, Amy Aquino, Lance Reddick, Mimi Rogers, Paul Calderon, Troy Evans, and Gregory Scott Cummins

Detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch isn’t Joe Friday or a lethal weapon. He’s not dirty like another Harry, but he also doesn’t do everything by the book. He’s no-nonsense when it comes to his profession, and he has the mantra to back it up: “Everybody counts or nobody counts.”

The philosophy has guided the veteran LAPD detective through twenty-three novels and counting, and now seven seasons on Amazon Prime.

Considering the ever-changing nature of online streaming and decisions made in keeping or killing a series, seven seasons (68 episodes total) is more a testament to its quality than exceeding an expiration date. Though, I get a sense BOSCH doesn’t get nearly the amount of praise it should be getting. Then again, most police procedurals thrive on the crimes and not the characters.

Amazon Prime Video’s longest-running series doesn’t a need a double doink transition (LAW & ORDER) to keep things moving. BOSCH is keenly aware of how detectives operate. One case isn’t solved in the time it takes to phone order and have a pizza delivered. It goes slow, allowing viewers to soak in the police work and mounting pressures that arise.

Based on the novels by Michael Connelly, the final season’s primary story is inspired by his 2014 novel THE BURNING ROOM, which itself was inspired by a real crime. Harry (Titus Welliver) is called out to a smoldering apartment building on New Year’s Eve 2019. A firebomb through a window claims several lives, including a little 10-year-old girl the media dubs as “the little tamale girl.” She was an unsuspecting victim who was kindly going around to neighbor apartments giving out tamales her mother had made when the fire broke out.

Holding firm to his code of seeking closure, Harry sets her picture alongside photos of the other unsolved cases still haunting him. Steely-eyed as ever, our valiant detective is more than ready to ruffle some feathers among the rank and file of LAPD’s Hollywood Division.

The more he pries, the more he discovers the collateral damage suffered at the expense of the blaze is something the Feds can tolerate–the reason being that they are protecting the prime suspect who Harry believes ordered the bombing. Bureaucracy in the way of police work, Harry’s staunchness gets him in direct opposition with Chief Irving (Lance Reddick). Yet, again, the latter of whom bowed out of L.A.’s mayoral race and now finds himself trying to maintain his job after the election of the new mayor.

The office politics of the cop drama feel authentic in their presentation. Maybe inflated to a degree, but the hallmarks are there. It even dips into the topic of sexual harassment as Harry’s direct supervisor, Grace “LT” Billets (Amy Aquino, most recently seen as Bucky Barnes’ therapist on THE FALCON AND THE WINTER SOLDIER), finds her homosexuality disparaged by some male officers. LT has grown wearied, having achieved a high rank despite a sexist work environment, but is far from a quitter. Her story, though small, is a nice counterbalance to Harry’s own bouts with bureaucratic BS.

The B-story of the season is a juicy legal case with Honey “Money” Chandler (Mimi Rogers) as chief counsel to a Ponzi-schemer whose insider dealings make those around him a target, including Harry’s daughter Maddie (Madison Lintz), who is interning at Honey’s law office.

At one point, the two stories merge as Harry takes the lead at another crime scene where a man and woman are found murdered. Everybody counts, right? But who takes priority?

Harry Bosch has always been a watchful protector, living in the Hollywood Hills peering down on his angelic city mired in corruption. He may not wear a cape, but he might as well be a Dark Knight with a badge and sidearm. Tough and unyielding, Harry’s unsatiable drive in a never-ending quest for closure makes him one best fictional detectives around.

By the time the eighth episode reaches its epilogue, and with peace once again eluding him, Harry is at a crossroads.

BOSCH fulfills one journey while offering new beginnings. With a spin-off series already in the works with IMDb TV, Harry will return in a different role and new surroundings. However, his pursuit of justice remains unchanged. Until then, bask in the California heat, cool nights, and classic jazz that permeates this stellar cop drama one last time.

Grade: B

About author