Airtime: Friday, March 11th on Amazon Prime
Episode: Episodes 5-10, Season 2 (S02)
Tweetable Takeaway: #Bosch has its best episode yet leading up to the finale, but fails to stick the landing.
The second half of this season of BOSCH was action-packed, thrilling, and engrossing, up until episode eight. Unfortunately, the final two episodes of the show were slow and meandering. However, let’s start with the good: Harry Bosch finally shows some emotion. Titus Welliver plays Bosch like a throwback to a simpler era of cops—stoic, hard-boiled, and not easily rattled, the type of guy who barely blinks when he sees a dead body. This changes in episode five, as Bosch’s own family, Eleanor and Maddie, are kidnapped by Joey Marks in an attempt to get Bosch to turn over Rykov to them instead of extraditing him to Los Angeles.
Of course, Bosch doesn’t play by Marks’ rules, instead using the GPS tracker on Maddie’s phone to track them down, bursting into the house fully armed and almost single-handedly taking out their captors and rescuing them. He decides to bring them back to Los Angeles, where they live with him for the rest of the season. Rykov gets extradited without a problem, which was a little disappointing. I almost expected Marks to attack the car driving him, but whatever. Once back in LA, Bosch goes to visit Rykov in jail, only to find out that he’s an undercover agent for the FBI. The gun really was planted, but by who? The only people who had access to the crime scene seemed to be Bosch and the Las Vegas Police.
Meanwhile, George gets pulled deeper into the underworld of the dirty cops. He meets their leader, who we recognize as Carl Nash, the security guard from Veronica Allen’s gated community. They make him ride a mechanical bull rig in a bizarre hazing ritual known as the iron rodeo, but it’s really an excuse to get him to take off his clothes so they can check for wires. They find one in his watch.
By now, in episode 6, it is clear to the viewers that Carl Nash arranged for Tony Allen’s death, as he works closely with Mo, the female who pulled Tony’s car over. The cops still have to catch up. It’s an interesting choice to let the audience solve the crime before Bosch himself, but it doesn’t take long for him to get there.
George’s days were numbered as soon as the dirty cops found the wire, but that doesn’t make the moment when he walks into the convenience store, only to be brutally shot and killed by a masked assailant, any less shocking or tragic. His funeral was especially gut-wrenching, with his parents both handling their grief in different ways. Deputy Chief Irving is furious with the department and the investigation, which isn’t looking closely enough at his undercover work, while his mother is withdrawn and completely broken.
Iriving enlists everyone’s favorite rule breaker Bosch to help investigate, and the two go rogue, tracking down George’s partner Eddie and threatening to give his name to a ruthless drug dealer as someone who’s ripped him off if he doesn’t give them answers. He says that Carl Nash is in charge of the operation, and has been promising everyone a big payout soon. The audience knows he’s probably getting that money from Veronica for killing Tony. George’s undercover work has been directly linked to Bosch’s big case the whole time.
Bosch breaks into Carl’s house and finds pictures hidden in the vent that show that Carl was stalking Tony and Layla, although it is implied that Veronica planted the evidence. Eddie is asleep in a chair when Mo shows up with a masked gunman and murders him, staging it like a suicide. There’s also a subplot about Bosch’s wife feeding the FBI information on the investigation, with Bosch’s support, in order to get a letter of recommendation from them so she can return to her job as an agent (she was forced out after being indicted several years ago), but it’s not as exciting as the Carl Nash conspiracy.
Now we’re at episode 8, which was my favorite of this season and perhaps the series as a whole, culminating in a thrilling shootout in a bank parking lot next to a farmer’s market—another example of how real the Los Angeles of the shows feels. Bosch learns that Carl Nash was fired from the LAPD for being brutal and corrupt. He goes to talk to Rykov, who tells him that Marks believed Tony was ripping him off. There’s a lot of money missing, which both Nash and Veronica knew about.
Veronica sneaks past Bosch and Edgar and goes to the bank, where she’s finally gotten approval from a lawyer to forcibly open a safety deposit box. Inside the box is…. nothing except pictures of Tony and Layla. Layla’s name was on the box, and she took the money and left the country. Veronica wheels an empty suitcase out into the parking lot, where everyone is waiting to ambush her and take the money—Nash and his crew, as well as Marks and the Armenians. The shootout is epic, tense, and gripping, with several people dying, but not Nash. Nash uses an innocent woman as a human shield, steals her car, and goes on the run.
After all that excitement, my expectations were high going into the final two episodes of the show, but they were a lot slower, featuring a disappointing end to Veronica’s femme fatale storyline and Bosch once again reopening his mother’s murder case. Veronica goes to Layla’s church and confronts the priest about a large donation he just cashed, freaking out and murdering him, but claiming self defense. She’s arrested and put in jail.
Bosch and Edgar eventually find Nash in a cabin in the woods. They shoot at each other, but Nash has grenades, blowing up the house and killing himself in the process. Bosch finally follows up on the reporter’s tip from earlier in season, contacting Annette, who claims she was a prostitute with Bosch’s mother and sent her to see one of her clients the night she was murdered.
Bosch does some investigating and determines that the client was a confidential informant for the department, delivering major arrests in high profile drug cases, so the department most likely covered up his murders. He gets the name of man and learns the department relocated him via witness protection, but he died. Bosch visits his grave, and the season ends with a sappy montage of pictures of a young Bosch and his mother. It’s great that he finally has the closure he’s been looking for, but compared to the tension and high, immediate stakes of the dirty cops/Tony Allen murder investigation, it was a relatively low-key way to end a season.
All in all, the second season of Bosch was considerably more enjoyable than the first, with more action, a faster pace, and a stunningly photographed Los Angeles full of murder and corruption. While the final two episodes were a bit of a let down, I’d be eager to see if the show can continue this upward trajectory in a third season.
Jennifer Trofa lives for two things: spreading the “Superstore” gospel and themed “Law & Order: SVU” marathons on USA.
Jennifer Trofa | Contributor