A lot of troubled TV cops start to soften a little around the third season. Not Harry Bosch.
Amazon Prime makes the third season of the Bosch detective series available on Friday, and Titus Welliver’s (top) L.A. cop remains a bad guy’s worst enemy.
Also his own.
Picking up where the second season left off and quickly opening several new dramas, Bosch again illustrates the speed with which Harry makes things personal.
We start with the case of Veronica Allen (Jeri Ryan, left), a former porn star whose porn producer husband got himself murdered.
Harry, the lead detective on the case, is pretty sure Veronica did it. But when he has to testify at her trial, as the star witness, her attorney notes that Harry has been accused of planting evidence in the past and seems confident that accusation will plant reasonable doubt in jurors’ minds.
Meanwhile, another Hollywood producer, who is still alive, is accused of killing women he lured to his home. Here, too, Harry is pretty sure the guy did it, and what clinches it is that when Harry leaves the guy’s house after a fruitless search for evidence, the producer says this town would never convict anyone of his stature anyhow.
Other murders follow, like the puzzling death of a homeless veteran, and Harry’s plate quickly fills up.
This makes him a little snappish, which in many ways is his natural state. As originally drawn by Michael Connelly in a series of best-selling crime novels, Bosch doesn’t always play well with others.
That includes his partner Jerry Edgar (Jamie Hector, below, with Welliver), who likes Bosch but keeps his radar on whenever Bosch springs into action.
Changes are also afoot in the police department, as Harry’s superior and friend Grace Billets (Amy Aquino) is shooting for a promotion.
Her association with Bosch doesn’t turn out to necessarily be a plus in that quest.
Los Angeles is also getting a new mayor, which may be good news for Bosch’s commander Irvin Irving (Lance Reddick). It’s definitely good news, to Bosch’s thinking, that the new mayor isn’t Rick O’Shea (Steven Culp), the district attorney Bosch has long scorned as a timid wimp.
Amid all this, Bosch may also be poking around at the idea of romance, though it’s clear that would only happen if it didn’t distract him from battling bad guys.
In general, the fact Bosch will never be voted Mr. Congeniality or become the teacher’s pet in the LAPD hasn’t bothered him before and doesn’t bother him now.
What does start to bother him is that his reputation could be hindering his pursuit of bad guys, and one of the suspects in these new marquee cases is plotting to make that reputation even darker.
It’s enough to make a guy take up smoking again.
Fortunately, Connelly and new showrunner Daniel Pyne, who replaces Eric Overmyer, make good use of the one moderating influence in Bosch’s life: his daughter Maddie (Madison Lintz).
She’s a smart kid and also an unusual one. Despite being a teenager, she seems to genuinely care for her old man. She also takes the time to pay attention to him and, as a result, understands him pretty well.
This season he starts teaching her to drive, scenes that are played for the bonding rather than the laughs.
In its third year, Bosch remains somewhere between serial drama and procedural. Certain matters get resolved along the way, and others hang around.
That feels pretty true to life – and so, thanks to Welliver, Lintz and the rest of a solid cast, does one of the best cop shows around.