Season 5 of Bosch is here, and with this season’s plot stretching back 20 years to the start of the seasoned cop’s career, it promises to put Bosch’s past front and centre. So what’s been going on in his life over the last four seasons? As it turns out, quite a lot.
His mother was murdered
It’s the crime that’s haunted Bosch (Titus Welliver) for much of his career: his mother was murdered when he was 11 and the killer was never caught. Working as a call girl at the time, she was strangled and her body left in a dumpster; you don’t have to be a genius to figure out her death played a fairly major role in Bosch’s choice of career.
His childhood was no picnic
In season 1, Bosch is forced to confront his past when a dog uncovers a bone that turns out to be from an abused child who died back in 1989. For Bosch, the case rapidly becomes personal, and it dredges up memories of his own abusive childhood. He might not be able to get back at the people who made his youth a living hell, but at least he can get some justice for this murdered child.
He’s not great at separating work and family
Midway through season 1 Bosch flies out to Las Vegas to spend some quality time with his ex-wife Eleanor (Sarah Clarke) and teenage daughter Maddie (Madison Lintz). It seems like an endearingly sweet move from the grumpiest cop in LA… until we discover that his ex-wife is also a former FBI profiler and he’s after her help on his current case.
At least when Maddie runs away from home to stay with him later in the season, he’s got a chance to build a real relationship with her, and by the start of season 2, they’ve established quite the double act. Unfortunately, a few episodes later both Maddie and Eleanor have been kidnapped by thugs looking to get their mob boss freed. At least it gives them something to talk about when Bosch gets home from work.
He’s not great at office romance
Season 3 sees Bosch striking up a relationship with Deputy DA Anita Benitez (Paola Turbay). You’d think this would be a pretty bad idea for both of them, what with his reputation on the force (he’s literally caught on camera calling the DA “weak” in the very same episode).
What’s interesting about this relationship is the way it just… fizzles out. There’s no big break-up scene; rather, they come together for a while, then the pressures of their different jobs pull them apart. He’s not exactly a demonstrative guy when it comes to romance, and he’s definitely not a plus for her career. It’s the kind of low-key, realistic plot development that not a lot of cop dramas could bring off.
Seriously, he’s really not great at separating work and family
With Maddie now living with Bosch full time in LA, you might think season 4 would see things settling down on the home front. But no: back in Las Vegas, Eleanor is trying to get back into the FBI by going undercover to infiltrate a gambling ring run by Chinese nationals. Unfortunately for her, her cover is blown, and mere moments after a heart-to-heart lunch with Bosch she’s gunned down in a drive-by shooting and dies in his arms. The killer’s soon found dead, murdered by his own gang, but that’s small comfort to Bosch and Maddie.
But solving crimes? He’s great at that
Remember Bosch’s dead mother? He definitely does; tracking down her killer was a slow-burn plot thread for the first two seasons, coming to a head in season 3 when he finally thought he had the killer nailed – only to discover in a last-minute twist that the real killer just might be someone high up in LA’s police community. It took a lot more legwork – and the killer confessing in a desperate attempt to have Bosch kill him rather than send him to jail – but finally justice was served. So it’s all plain sailing ahead for Bosch? Not quite…
Season 5 sees an old flame turning up the heat
Remember how Bosch really isn’t great when it comes to office romance? In season 5 it comes back to haunt him, as an old flame and former police colleague accuses him of planting evidence, throwing one case in doubt and casting a shadow over all his other arrests.
Obviously she has a grudge against him; she’s currently working at the DA’s office and she blames Bosch for her police career going nowhere. But with Bosch’s reputation for going after justice at any cost, her story has the ring of truth to it. So Bosch needs to defend himself, and who does he hire to handle his case? Long-time sparring partner Honey Chandler (Mimi Rogers).
With their past together, it’ll be very interesting indeed to see what happens if Bosch decides to give office romance one more try…
Season 5 of Bosch commences on Thursday, 5 September at 10:30pm on SBS or watch the entire new season at SBS On Demand now (season 4 is also available as a box set).
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