Three Thoughts On ‘Bosch’ Season Three (SPOILERS)

Amazon released season three of its cop drama Bosch on Friday. I really enjoyed the first half of the season, and got to watch the second half over the weekend, which means it’s time for a few spoiler-filled thoughts, coming up just as soon as the other team is too tall…

1. Everything wrapped up nicely. Except the things that weren’t supposed to.

This season put a lot of story balls into the air, but the main ones involved Harry and Jerry’s investigation into the private military contractors, Harry and Anita prepping the case against the director (and navigating their complicated relationship), and Harry being framed for Gunn’s murder, and all three came to satisfying conclusions, with the latter two mainly concluding in the ninth episode, and Harry taking on Dobbs in a bit of improvised island warfare in the finale. (In aging down Bosch from the Vietnam vet he is in the books, the show made him ex-Special Forces, and it’s good to see his skills on display here, or in the sequence earlier in the season when he gets the drop on Woodrow and nearly catches him.) Bosch has reopened his mother’s case, the Koreatown Killer is still out there, we have to learn a lot more about Eleanor’s undercover return to the FBI, and in theory Bosch could keep pursuing Veronica Allen for her role in season two’s crimes, but the show does a nice job of providing a complete experience each season, even as certain storylines bleed from one year into the next.

2. I was wrong about Edgar (sort of).

In last week’s review, I suggested that on another show, following Jerry home to meet his ex-wife and sons “might seem a warning sign that he’s about to get shot in the line of duty,” where here it was just a sign of his increased role on the series. Well, he did get shot a few episodes later as payback for killing Woodrow, but he survived, and he got to play a crucial emotional role in the climax for calling out Harry for allowing Gunn to be murdered for the sake of his larger mission. Jerry has to be a character we’re invested in for his scolding to have any dramatic weight at all, and it worked nicely. The show has made him into a very different and more sympathetic character from the Edgar of the books (who’s always distracted by his moonlighting job selling real estate, which the show winked at here when his ex-wife suggested he retire and do that), and I’ll be curious to see if he’s still Harry’s partner going forward, or if the show picks up the books’ musical chairs approach and slots in a new sidekick.

3. I love how democratic the show has become with the other cops.

This ties into what I said about Edgar, but one of the weakest aspects of the first few books is the way that virtually every cop Harry deals with is less competent, or at least less dedicated, than he is. The show never treated the other Hollywood detectives as bumblers, but it’s definitely given them more respect over time, and it’s not hard to imagine this as a more pure, Homicide-style ensemble drama where Bosch and Edgar are the leads much of the time, but we also get to follow Crate and Barrel, or Sgt. Mankiewicz, or Robertson and his young partner, as they work their own parts of the job and deal with their own issues. Robertson in particular had big shoes to fill, as that part of the story is adapted from A Darkness More Than Night, which is a team-up between Bosch and Terry McCaleb from Michael Connelly’s Blood Work, and the writers and Paul Calderon did a nice job quickly turning him into someone who could be Harry’s equal as both an investigator and moral authority. For that matter, I like that Harry and Luke Goshen from the FBI have now become buddies — as much as Harry can be with anyone — when it would be so easy and cliched to have them hate each other after Harry stumbled into Luke’s undercover mission last season.

And the show continues to do good work when it follows the supporting characters home, whether dealing with the awkward relationship Billets has working for her ex-husband’s new wife, or seeing Irving navigate the dating world after his divorce (and revealing himself to be quite the foodie, on top of that).

This has become a very satisfying show, and season three a fine example of the many things Bosch does well.

What did everybody else think?

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