[This article contains spoilers from season 4].
Last season proved a huge one for tough-as-nails Detective Hieronymus “Harry” Bosch (Titus Welliver).
He finally nailed the real killer of his mother, led perhaps the biggest case of his career and suffered a crushing personal blow. And by the end of the action-packed season 4 finale of the gritty LA-set cop drama, based on the best-selling novels by Michael Connelly, three major murders had been solved.
Here are the key things you need to know before watching season 5, which premiers on July 25.
Bosch cracked the Angels Flight murder case…
When high-profile African American civil rights attorney Howard Elias (Clark Johnson, The Wire) was murdered on LA’s iconic Angels Flight funicular, newly minted Police Chief Irvin Irving (Lance Reddick, The Wire) had Bosch lead a special taskforce to find the culprit.
Elias was due to prosecute the so-called Black Guardian case against the LAPD, in which his client, also African American, accused detectives of shocking brutality during an interrogation. The attorney had already made many enemies in the LAPD by ending several careers of crooked cops, so suspicion quickly fell within Bosch’s department.
With the City of Angels on edge at the seemingly racially motivated murder and violence at the hands of the police, Harry was under pressure to find the killer. His investigation unveiled a web of corruption leading straight to City Hall and the upper echelons of the LAPD.
In one of the season’s biggest twists, the killer turned out to be none other than the very dirty Police Commission President, Bradley Walker (John Getz, Blood Simple).
…and finally caught his mother’s killer at the same time
Although Bosch thought he’d already found the man who killed his mother Marjorie, a call girl strangled in a hotel and disposed of in a dumpster in 1978, by the end of season 3 another suspect had emerged: none other than Walker.
In a showdown in a network of underground tunnels, Walker admitted to the crime, goading Bosch to kill him. But the detective resisted – jail for a top cop would be a much worse fate.
Bosch’s ex-wife Eleanor was murdered
Season 4’s biggest shake-up came early. Former FBI profiler turned poker pro Eleanor Wish (Sarah Clarke, 24), Bosch’s ex-wife and the mother of his daughter Maddie (Madison Lintz, The Walking Dead), went undercover to infiltrate a Chinese triad gambling racket. If successful, she would earn her re-entry into the FBI.
But tragedy struck when Eleanor was gunned down by two assassins on a motorbike in a café car park moments after a heart-to-heart with Bosch over coffee. In a heartbreaking scene, he desperately tried to revive her to no avail.
In the final moving moments of the season, Bosch stood beside Maddie as she released Eleanor’s ashes into a canyon.
Eleanor’s shooter was killed but the man who hired him got away
Bosch and the team made the grisly find of the corpse of Eleanor’s killer in a car boot with Bosch’s business card wedged between his teeth. It was the same card the detective gave Chinese agent gone rogue Shiwei Chen (Leonard Wu, Marco Polo) who made a veiled threat to Bosch and Maddie.
It transpired that not only was Chen responsible for laundering money from the gambling operation for a planned act of “financial” terrorism against the US, but also orchestrated Eleanor’s assassination. But to Harry’s dismay, the FBI let him get away on a private plane back to China, to avoid an international incident. The FBI’s rationale was that the punishment meted out by his criminal bosses for exposing the gambling racket would be far worse for Chen than jail. But it’s of little comfort to Bosch and Maddie.
The Koreatown Killer case was solved
Veteran detectives “Crate and Barrel” (Gregory Scott Cummins, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia and Troy Evans, ER), caught a lucky break when they were called to a hit-and-run. Investigating the victim, they deduced he was none other than the Koreatown Killer, a murderer, mugger and carjacker on a bicycle who had reigned terror on LA for four years. And the detectives were mighty proud of themselves telling anyone at the Hollywood precinct who would listen.
Coming up in season 5
Based on Connelly’s novel Two Kinds of Truth, this season picks up 15 months after the events of season 4 as Bosch courts danger going undercover in a drug ring. On top of that, new evidence has surfaced concerning a 20-year-old murder case, with Bosch accused of planting evidence to convict the killer and throwing his cases ever since into
question. And sparks are bound to fly with the attorney representing Bosch none other than his sometime nemesis Honey Chandler (frequent Bosch guest star Mimi Rogers, Lost in Space).
Bosch won’t be retiring any time soon with the show already renewed for season 6, but the question is, what shape will he be in at the end of this season?
Now you're all caught up, dive into Season 5 at SBS On Demand: