BOSCH Review: Episodes 1-4


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Amazon’s original series based off the popular Los Angeles noir detective novels returned with its third season on Friday. I hadn’t seen the previous two seasons so coming into the show with a fresh pair of eyes in the middle of a lot going on (and I mean a LOT going on) is always interesting. I did read up and watch recaps of the first two seasons to have some sort of context, but I’m not sure I needed it. The new season brings a plethora of new cases, suspects, and mysteries for Bosch and his cohorts, and they are all pretty gripping.

I’m not sure one of these story lines could stand on its own, but together, and jumping back and forth amongst all of them, turns out to work really well and keeps the viewer on his or her toes.

Last season Bosch finally learned the identity of his mother’s killer, only to find out that the murderer is already dead. This season he has a chip on his shoulder because of that missed opportunity for closure, and he is more miserable than ever. The season opens with our first poor soul whose murder investigation will most likely be the biggest thread of the entire season. A young graffiti artist named Sharky witnesses an SUV roll up on a parked mobile home, hears gunshots, and sees the car drive away. When he enters the RV, he sees the dead body.

When Bosch gets called to the scene he identifies some tattoos on the corpse as belonging to special forces: the Green Berets. When they ID the guy he ends up being a man named Meadows who served in Iraq and who upon returning home became a drug addict and destitute. Bosch and his partner Jerry Edgar interview the man’s parents, who are as clueless as they are. When they get into some sort of facility where Meadows was able to keep belongings while on the streets (in a large trash bin) they find pictures of Meadows and his military pals, and a single photo of a smiling female soldier. Bosch is able to track down the military pals, one of which heads up a private security company that may or may not be involved in shady doings.

Turns out it MAY. These guys are in fact the dudes who killed Meadows, but their motive is unclear thus far. When they realize that Bosch is on to them they set a watch on Bosch’s home. Bosch spots the guy, resulting in a high speed chase down the Hollywood Hills, where ultimately the culprit gets away. They continue tailing Bosch and notice that he’s talking quite a bit with Sharky, even though Sharky is giving him practically nothing. But it’s too suspicious. At the end of episode four, Sharky is brought to a pedestrian underpass at the Hollywood Bowl and stabbed to death by one of the mercenaries, which Bosch is highly effected by.

But Bosch has other things to worry about! First and foremost, his colleagues, including Edgar, start to suspect him of having something to do with the homicide of a alleged serial killer he’d been a long time: a man named Gunn. We learn that years ago Gunn got off for the rape and murder of two women because the DA didn’t think a trial was quite a sure thing to land in their favor. Bosch has been keeping an eye on him ever since, having set up cameras he checks periodically at a building across from Gunn’s apartment. Gunn is drunk when we meet him, in a bar being fed shots by a mysterious man in a hat. He is then helped home by a woman in a red dress. She pushes him into his apartment and leaves, unscathed. Bosch reviews all this on the tape and wonders who she could be. We still don’t know at the end of episode four.

A few nights later, while there to change tapes on his cameras, Bosch witnesses men go into Gunn’s apartment and murder him. At the scene of the crime, newcomer to the series Detective Robertson learns that a glass in Gunn’s apartment has Bosch’s fingerprints on it. He says he screwed up at the scene of the crime and took his glove off to use his phone, but Robertson, and especially Bosch’s partner Jerry, know that Bosch is better than that. The more Jerry digs around, the more he sees that Bosch may be connected to Gunn’s murder. Jerry finds a wooden owl he believes was placed in the apartment the night of the murder. On the bottom is written in latin “Beware, beware, God sees” which is attributed to a 16th century Dutch painter by the name of Hieronymus Bosch. Knowing Bosch wouldn’t be so stupid as to have signs pointing to him, Jerry and Lt. Billets figure somebody is framing Bosch. But who?

Well as of the end of episode four it looks like the smart money would be on the defense team of semi-famous director Andrew Holland who is accused of murdering a woman after having sex with her. Bosch claims that Holland told him he did it in a private moment and told him that he was going to get away with it, too, because he’s a “God” in this town. The judge will allow Bosch’s testimony during the trial, so the defense team has to go to great lengths to discredit the word of Detective Bosch. Would they go as far as to murder a man Bosch has been chasing for a long time to make him look like a murderer himself? Possibly. The hubris of movie directors…

One thing the DA and Bosch do have going for them against Holland is a woman who comes forward claiming that Holland also raped her a year ago. When she tells them her story, she says she never said anything because she was afraid, and because he was kind to her afterwards. But Bosch points out that he left her knocked out on the floor and was in the shower; he thought he had killed her and was getting ready to dispose of her body. She seems ready to testify against Holland until it is discovered that she is actually an “escort” and the defense team will obliterate her character. Bosch tries to convince her to stay strong and testify. At the end of episode four, we don’t know which way she is leaning.
Like I said, there is quit a lot happening here and at times it’s hard to keep track of. Add in personal story lines with Bosch and his teenage daughter Maddie, Captain Irving dealing with his son’s death and perhaps trying to start a romance, Lt. Billets applying for a Captain position, and some spillover from last season’s pornstar/murderer Veronica Allen storyline, it’s enough to make a new Bosch fan’s head spin. But I can say after these four episodes I am a fan and eager to see where the season goes. Stay tunes for the recap/review of episodes 5-7 on Wednesday!

TB-TV-Grade-B+Season 3, Episodes 1-4 (S03E01-04)
Bosch’s full season is available now on Amazon

Read all of our reviews of Bosch here. 
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Paul can legally do detective work in the city of Los Angeles based solely on all the cop shows he’s consumed.
Follow Paul on Twitter: @paulgulyas
Keep up with all of Paul’s reviews here.

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