For detective Harry Bosch, there are no small crimes – and the one that starts off the final season of ‘Bosch’ will drag him all the way back to his origins.
Anthony Morris

22 Jun 2021 - 4:39 PM  UPDATED 28 Jun 2021 - 2:56 PM




When masked men firebomb a building and kill five people, including a pregnant woman and a 10-year-old girl, it’s a crime that shocks Los Angeles. It’s also a crime that has detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) going beyond the law to track down and punish those responsible. Because if there’s one thing we’ve learnt over the last six seasons of Bosch, nothing drives him to breaking point like crimes involving children.

It goes all the way back to the start of season one, 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, dredging up memories of his own abusive childhood in foster homes after the murder of his mother (she was a call girl who was strangled and left in a dumpster). His search for her killer was a smouldering subplot over the first few seasons that eventually led to the upper levels of the LAPD; the only person surprised he’d go after his bosses was the crooked police chief he took down.

The first season was also when we met his teenage daughter Maddie (Madison Lintz). Back then she was living in Las Vegas with her mother, Bosch’s ex-wife and FBI profiler Eleanor (Sarah Clarke). Turned out Eleanor was no picnic to live with for either of them; Maddie ran away to be with her dad later in the first season, setting up one of the central relationships in Bosch’s life. Eleanor could have been a keeper too – if she hadn’t been gunned down by a Chinese gang in season four.

But then Bosch has never had much luck with the ladies. A season three relationship with Deputy DA Anita Benitez (Paola Turbay) fizzled out, while in season five another old flame (also working at the DA’s office) accused him of fabricating evidence. But that did open the door for defence attorney and recurring thorn in Bosch’s side Honey Chandler (Mimi Rogers) to become a series regular, ironically defending him against the same kind of charges she accused him of back in the very first episode.

There’s been a growing focus on the courtroom side of things since then, especially with Maddie taking an interest in the law – she’s an intern at the DA’s office in season five, and becomes Chandler’s intern at her civil rights practice in season six. But Bosch has never been afraid to mix things up: season five saw Bosch working undercover to infiltrate a drug ring, while season six had him juggling a cold case murder (involving a dead child) and tracking down terrorists looking to set off a dirty bomb.

With that kind of case load he needs a solid partner backing him up. With Detective Jerry Edgar (Jamie Hector), Bosch has one – though they’ve had their ups and downs. In season three Edgar was secretly ordered to investigate Bosch as a possibly crooked cop; later seasons see him run his own investigation into police corruption that connects to a string of murders, ending in one that Bosch seriously suspects was by Edgar’s hand. What effect this will have on their relationship remains to be seen, though Bosch probably shouldn’t start pointing fingers when it comes to going outside the law.

The rest of the squad room regulars have their own unique charms. His superior Lieutenant Grace Billets (Amy Aquino) keeps a watchful eye on his loose cannon tendencies without ever fully reigning them in; Chief of Police Irvin Irving (Lance Reddick) is usually busy with various political schemes and scandals, with a recent run for Mayor seriously hampered by his somewhat shady past. Then there’s old-time (and just plain old) detectives Crate (Gregory Scott Cummings) and Barrel (Troy Evans), who should be past it, but somehow keep getting results.

But it’s Bosch, with his tattoos and jazz records (his dog is even named Coltrane) and drive for justice – plus his ability to take out two bad guys on a private plane then land the plane himself – who’s the heart of the series that bears his name. A great lead performance doesn’t hurt: Welliver’s is spot-on all the way through, bringing a low-key charm to the role that balances out Bosch’s relentless nature and makes him the kind of TV cop who’s fun to hang out with while still being a dynamic dramatic lead. He’s an angry man doing a dirty job, but he knows when to step back and give himself room to breathe.

Then he dives right back into it: as Bosch says, when it comes to crime either everyone counts, or no one counts.

Bosch season 7 lands at SBS On Demand Saturday 26 June at 10am.


Follow the author @morrbeat


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