Let's start with the basics...
Who’s who in Bosch
Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch (Titus Welliver)
Military vet Harry grew up in orphanages after the death of his mother, which still haunts him. A prostitute, she was killed and callously thrown into a dumpster. The case went cold and her unsolved murder is the inspiration for Harry’s personal credo: “Everybody counts or nobody counts”.
Dogged detective Harry will do whatever it takes to get justice for “nobodies”, even when it involves going up against LA’s biggest “somebodies”. Though his frequent clashes with authority have threatened his career, his success rate has protected him – so far. But in season three, he stepped over the line, legally and morally, severely damaging his relationship with long-time partner Jerry Edgar.
Can their rift be healed in season four?
Jerry Edgar (Jamie Hector)
Though he was shot and almost killed at the end of season three, there was an even bigger shock in store when J. Edgar learned of his partner’s betrayal. When a murder suspect he had been illegally surveilling was himself murdered, Bosch chose to keep vital details to himself.
J. Edgar’s discovery of this dishonesty led to deep disillusionment and disappointment in a man he’d formerly respected. Jerry’s brush with death also frightened his family, particularly his ex-wife. Her concern for him leads to a reconciliation in season four, but, in the high-stakes world of Bosch, can they make it last?
Chief Irvin Irving (Lance Reddick)
If anyone knows the toll police work can take on family life, it’s Irving. The death of his son in the line of duty led to the breakup of his marriage and abandonment of his career ambitions. In season three though, he began to re-emerge romantically and professionally, tentatively pursuing a new relationship and allowing himself to be wooed back into power. At the end of season three, he was being sworn in as Chief of Police.
But before he can enjoy his new role, Bosch returns to be a thorn in his side…
Maddie Bosch (Madison Lintz)
After spending season 3 learning to drive and shoot (not simultaneously, fortunately), Maddie is preparing for college. The return of her mother (and Bosch’s ex-wife) Eleanor Wish (Sarah Clarke) and the revelation that her current marriage seemed to be on the rocks came as a surprise. With Eleanor back in LA and crashing on Bosch’s couch, is there a possibility of a reconciliation between Maddie’s parents?
(Interim) Captain Grace Billets (Amy Aquino)
As his long-time friend (and sometime caretaker for his daughter) it can be difficult for Billets to rein in Bosch, who always seems on the verge of committing career suicide. With her own career prospects looking up, can she stop Bosch from dragging her down with him?
Where we left off in season three
Just as it appeared Bosch had finally solved his mother’s murder, an unexpected twist led him to believe he was wrong and that her killer may be none other than the President of the Police Commission who, as season three ended, was swearing in Irving as Chief of Police.
Also unresolved at the end of season three was the case of the bicycle-riding serial murderer dubbed the “Koreatown Killer”. Police had arrested a suspect, however, the audience knew the real killer was still at large.
The other main ongoing plot involved former FBI agent Eleanor, who had been secretly working with the Bureau in an attempt to get reinstated.
What lies ahead in season four
As well as its ongoing story lines, in each season, there’s a murder (or two or three...) for Bosch to solve. This season, Harry is hunting the killer of a civil rights attorney who is suing the LAPD on behalf of a black client claiming he was tortured by police. The season is based on the sixth Harry Bosch novel, Angels Flight, which was published in 1999, not longer after the LA race riots.
Though set 20 years later, the themes in this season remain topical, in an America where tensions between the police and the public and claims of racism have sparked political debates and movements like Black Lives Matter.
The attorney’s death opens the door for the return of some old favourite characters like tough-as-nails lawyer Honey Chandler (Mimi Rogers) and the appearance of new ones like Pamela Duncan, a woman with a connection to the murdered man. She’s played by TV veteran Anne Dudek, who many will remember fondly as “Cutthroat Bitch” from House.
This season features some shocking twists – including the death of a major character – and some amusing ones, like the unexpected conclusion to the Koreatown case. (It’s “solved” by “Crate & Barrel” who are basically Bosch’s version of Hitchcock & Scully from Brooklyn Nine-Nine).
Given that season 5 is already in production, it’s not a major spoiler that Bosch survives but, as he relentlessly pursues his suspects, the question remains, as always: how many people will he tick off along the way? And how will it come back to bite him?
Bosch season 4 airs Wednesdays at 10:30pm on SBS. The entire season is streaming at SBS On Demand: