Bosch – Season III (A Review)

Posted: 05/02/2017 in Uncategorized

Presenting yet again the personification of Michael Connelly’s LA, Bosch Season 3 delves even more deeply into the city’s, and  Harry Bosch’s (Titus Welliver) own personal darkness. While not bereft of levity and humor, this was a darker ride than the last two seasons. This season also allowed for greater character development with Bosch’s partner, Jerry Edgar (Jamie Hector) who absolutely delivers with his depiction of Harry’s long term and long suffering partner. Equally brilliant are Amy Aquino as his lieutenant, Grace Billetts, whose boundless empathy and assurance that she has her team’s backs on all occasions provides us with a boss we would all like to have. Madison Lintz’s portrayal as his daughter Maddy is solid and. A later moment in which she tells her mother that she wants to stay with Harry, regardless of Eleanor’s (Sarah Clarke) relocation plan, packs an emotional impact that belies the young actress’ years. Season 3 is gritty, well paced and engaging. In other words, another great season of Bosch.

From the stellar theme “Can’t Let Go” by an aptly named band “Caught A Ghost”, Bosch seductively takes you in. LA is understated in nearly sepia tones it becomes as much a player as the characters within it. It is beautiful, more often at night then during the glare of day, particularly when looking out from Harry’s balcony. Mining “Black Echo” and “A Darkness More than Night”, this season presents Bosch with three cases, the first is the preparation for the Holland (John Ales) trial in which a director confesses a murder to Bosch only. The effort to prove the man’s guilt is the framework of this latest installment. The second matter is the murder of Edward Gunn, a man that Harry is certain killed young prostitutes but was never able to prove. This unresolved case is at the heart of Boss’ overall obsession for justice, particularly noting that his mother Marjorie Lowe had been killed in a similar fashion. Bosch’s mantra of “everyone counts or no one counts” is aptly stated. The final case involves the murder of an Afghanistan war veteran and  its intersection with the life of one street hustler, Thomas Niese known as “Sharkey” (Bridger Zadina).

While there is some confluence of cases, there are enough moving parts and a serial killing spree apart from said cases that would tax most writers/show runners. Such is not the case with Bosch where not only are all angles gamely addressed, but deeper character development presented as well. This season is more ‘ensemble’ than its predecessors. Bosch is a lone wolf, an honor guard for the forgotten but whether he wants or acknowledges it, he is not alone.  Bosch does a fantastic job via pacing at demonstrating the less pleasant aspects of police work, the report writing, the lengthy and often fruitless surveillance work and most importantly the harshness of being the face and voice to approach parents and loved ones with the worst news possible. Detectives Johnson (Barrel) and Detective Moore  (Crate) played by long time character actor Troy Evans, and Gregory Scott Cummins, are more fleshed out this season, providing both needed humor and a sense of fellowship. This season had a more familial vibe, expanding the role of Sgt. John Mankiewicz “Mank” (Scott Klace) including both thanksgiving and Christmas gatherings under Grace Billett’s guidance. This push toward normalcy was necessary as the depths of Bosch’s restlessness are deeply mined this season.

Police Chief Irvin Irving played by the fantastic Lance Reddick gets his own arc in this run and it is duly engaging. Still recovering from the loss of his son George (Robbie Jones), Irving ponders various job offers and leaving the city behind that has both given and taken so much from him. Irving is a presence from his ramrod posture and gait to his clipped, matter of fact speech, he is an essential component to this series. Now finalizing his divorce from Connie (Erika Alexander), Irving is undecided which path next to take. Connie actually provides him with clarity and direction. The notion that he might begin a new life is freely offered via a burgeoning romance with Jun Park (Linda Park).

This however is not the Irving show..it is “Bosch” to its noir core. We learn that Harry is far removed from peaceful. He seems even more restless and edgy since solving his mother’s case. This edginess informs his surveillance of Ed Gunn (Frank Clem) and the facilitation of his becoming a suspect in the man’s killing.For every ally Harry has gained for his methods and clearance rate, he has an equal if not superior number of enemies or at least detractors. Enter Santiago “Jimmy” Robertson (Paul Calderon), a detective with the same drive possessed by Bosch and one convinced of Harry’s involvement in the murder in some manner. There is a lot of infighting this season and the perception of Harry as ‘favored’ comes to a head several times. Irving’s attempt to ‘in-debt” Harry banks off of this notion. Harry’s response is vintage Bosch. Arnold Vosloo gives a gritty, stand up performance as Rudy Tafero, another variant of what Bosch could have become.

Harry’s ‘hard-assery’ is what makes him the animal he is. Sharkey’s case wounds him as does Billy Meadows’ (Chad Van Allen). His soft spot for the disenfranchised shines brightly this season via a street kid’s and homeless vet’s respective plights that could very well have been his own fate. His moments with Robertson’s younger partner Pierce (DaJuan Johnson) show he is able to educate and empower when he wishes to, hidden agenda or not. Feet of clay, hard edged, but all too human. Harry’s daughter puts it succinctly when discussing him with Grace Billett’s daughter  Lisa (Callie Thompson) who speaks flatteringly of his being a ‘bad ass” by calmly noting ‘except he’s not”. The presentation of the children of police officers’ views was also refreshing with this run. Both young women are wiser than they should be as to the cost of such a career choice. That the character who knows him best and tethers him from the absolute darkness within him is his daughter resonates beautifully via all moments between the two actors.

The action occurs in spurts but is tension laden throughout up to an island run and man hunt via Harry’s calling upon his military training and guile. Some arcs intersect to resolution while others remain open until the already confirmed fourth season. At a taut 1o episodes, there is no waste. Everything from performances to set ups of future arcs occurs in stealthily organic fashion. The one assurance is that Bosch stands as its own identity, a strong, individualized version of the police procedural. Bosch is simply outstanding and well worth your time.

Set List:)

  1. The Smog Cutter
  2. The Four Last Things
  3. God Sees
  4. El Compadre
  5. Blood Under the Bridge
  6. Birdland
  7. Right Play
  8. Aye Papi
  9. Clear Shot
  10. The Sea King

 

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