Season 3 of BOSCH is really taking shape with these middle three episodes. The heat is turned up on Bosch as it becomes more and more evident he is being framed for a murder we know he did not commit, and the Hollywood director on trial attempts to smear his character. Meanwhile the military contractor team we met earlier this season becomes more nefarious in their attempts to dodge Bosch and the department’s prying eyes. And Harry tries to deal with his personal life while working multiple cases at once, at least one of which bears a terrible tragedy.
When we pick up, Detective Robertson is still investigating Bosch in the case of the Gunn murder, a serial killer who was let off the hook years ago because the District Attorney didn’t see it as “slam dunk” case. It was a known fact that Bosch had it out for Gunn ever since then, so it makes sense to Robertson that Harry may have had something to do with his death, vigilante style, especially because a fingerprint or two of Harry’s turned up at the scene of the crime. Robertson has already been called off but Lt. Billets but he can’t ignore the signs.
One thing that turns up is that there was forced entry into the home. A specialist points this out to Robertson’s assistant, but no prints are found. They discover that the local PD actually held Gunn on bail after a night of public drunkenness, and that a mysterious person bailed him out. Is this person connected to Bosch? As it turns out, no (which we already knew, as we saw Bosch watching footage of a woman escorting Gunn home that night). They go to the Bail Bonds place and after some prodding they are able to discover the name of who bailed him. It was a Latina woman. And they also discover Bosch came looking for whoever bailed him out, too.
Holland is still having Hollywood dinner parties and complaining that Bosch is the bane of his existence. What’s worse is the judge allowed Bosch testifying that Holland told him he did it and that he’d get away with it. They need to smear his character somehow and make it risky for him to be put up on the jury. Well, Robertson is helping out a bit with that without even knowing. On some advice from an ex-cop he decides to leak the info that an LAPD cop is being investigated for the murder of Gunn, and let the higher-ups in the department deal with it. When Billets orders he squash it, he renegs to the L.A Times reporter. But news leaks anyway when Holland starts the “hashtag down and dirty detective.”
Soon everyone from Billets to Irving is having to deal with the negative publicity. Bosch is already under internal review for the way he blew up on the District Attorney in public in the season opener. Irving has to put that to rest when the threat of a suspension or permanent severing of ties with Bosch rears its head. He needs to remind the internal reviewer that Bosch has over thirty solved homicides under his belt and is currently working some others. He gets results and that’s more valuable than all this other nonsense. Believe me, Irving has no love for the amount of time he has to deal fielding Bosch’s PR nightmares (he tells Bosch as much in Episode 6) but he knows that at the end of the day he wants Bosch on his team.
Some updates on the Meadows murder: they are able to track down the tagger Sharky who heard it happen. Bosch meets with him multiple times in public. You know where this is going. Since the military contract team has been tailing Bosch to keep abreast of what he knows, they see Sharky talking to him and figure he may have something on them. Soon Xavi is picking poor Sharky up in his stolen BMW and taking him to a passenger tunnel outside the Hollywood Bowl. He cuts him and Sharky bleeds to death. It’s not long before his body is found, and Bosch seems to feel at least partially responsible for speaking to the kid in public and making him a target. Over the course of a few episodes Detective Johnson and Moore are stuck in front of their desks looking at street footage to spot the BMW Sharky’s friends saw him go off in. They finally do and are able to zoom in enough to spot Xavi driving away from the scene of the crime. Can they bring him in? Not yet, Bosch says. Why? Because they are staking out Woodward to bring him in for another murder.
Wash, the fourth contractor guy, ends up stabbed to death and WASHED up on Seal Beach (see what they did there?). He was the guy who surreptitiously handed off the “cargo” from Afghanistan to Woodward, which we THOUGHT was a whole mountain of money. All that split three ways looks a lot better than four ways. But soon enough Dobbs discovers that those stacks of cash are fake. And it appears more blood has to be shed. After staking out Woodrow’s home for a long time, J. Edgar goes down to the nearby beach to get a coffee and spots him. Woodrow is about to pull his gun on him when J. Edgar guns him down. It was the right move, but he spends a day of hard questioning from the force.
So that Latina Woman who bailed Gunn out of jail turns out to be none other than… Holland’s assistant. And she is having sex with Rudy Tafero. Tafero is the brother of the man we saw feeding Gunn drinks at the bar, and later watching Bosch. His name is Jesse. They pick him up for questioning and he says he knew Gunn, would have drinks with him, but that was it. It’s a tense exchange. Rudy swoops in to save the day and Robertson agrees to let Jesse go. Afterwards, we see Rudy ditching his watch in a sewer–presumably the one that left the marks on Gunn the night he was killed.
Oh and, through all this, there’s now a serial killer on the loose, the “Koreatown Killer” who pops up every six months on a bike to gun down innocent people. Fun!
Like I said, there is a lot going on, and it’s sometimes hard to keep track of all the story lines and how the weave into each other. Holland had Gunn killed to smear Bosch so his character would be smeared and his testimony less valuable in his rape/murder case? That’s a stretch, but hopefully it will all pay off. When the cases move slow it’s good to have a lot of things moving. The acting is also superb, and I have to say as an L.A native it’s very cool to spot recognizable places around town. I’m on to the final three episodes of the season, and I hope it goes out with a bang.
Season 3, Episodes 5-7 (S03E05-07)
Bosch’s full season is available now on Amazon
Paul Gulyas | Contributor