Though Chandler and Bosch appear to have discovered the corrupt cops behind recent deaths and cover-ups, they may still not have enough direct evidence to clear their client and they still have problems of their own as the FBI follows through on its threat to arrest them for past misdeeds, even if they were done in the service of a higher justice. As Bosch pursues the fugitive Detective Ellis it would seem that the FBI are using every means at their disposal to make sure their own case is solid.
But as Ellis corners Harry, as Chandler calls in favours, as Maddie acts on instinct, as Mo seems compromised and the unforgiving FBI noose seems to tighten, people are about to find out just how dangerous the Bosch family and friends can be when it’s a matter of life, death and cold justice…
The final two episodes of Bosch: Legacy‘s second season are interestingly paced with a great deal of the ‘climax’ of proceedings taking place in the ninth episode with the finale actually acting as more of an epilogue and the clearing up of some other story strands. But they never drag in intensity.
We were left at the end of the eighth episode wondering how Honey Chandler (Mimi Rogers) could possibly get out of the legal tangles in which she’d found herself after the tenacious FBI agents (headed by Anthony Michael Hall in arrogant, boo-hiss form) seemed to corner her legally and professionally. The reality is that it’s not the dead-to-rights scenario it seems to be and quite speedily un-turned when it’s revealed that Chandler had pretty much covered every eventuality and had a Plan C, D and E to out-play the FBI agents. One could argue that it was mightily convenient and that if Chandler knew she’d already covered herself then she wouldn’t have made herself appear so compromised professionally and to her peers – but this Honey ‘Money’ Chandler and one suspects that winning isn’t enough – it has to do be done with some ruthless payback. That she and Harry glide by some of the pot-holes created to catch them might be a sign of stylistic writing, it does also produce some delightful fist-bump/middle-finger gestures to our heroes’ adversaries that definitely satisfy.
This season really has satisfied – lifting plot-points from Michael Connelly’s The Crossing, yet introducing enough new elements to keep even seasoned fans on their toes… and let Titus Welliver, Madison Lynch and Mimi Rogers really flex their talented acting muscles with some emotional and satisfyingly savage dialogue. With the SAG-AFTRA strike freshly ended, one hopes production can begin again in earnest and get us back on the Bosch and Connelly beat as fast as possible…
Max Martini always makes a solid villain or rugged anti-hero and yet it’s satisfying to see his Detective Ellis get his ultimate (and inevitable) just desserts at the hands of two generations of the Bosch family, even if that aspect of the season’s main investigation wraps up more quickly than expected.
Though Harry Bosch remains the key character, one has to acknowledge that this season has done a lot with Maddie Bosch – expertly played by Madison Lintz and given great writing from which to play. She survived her kidnap ordeal at the start of the season, the subsequent PTSD and strains of police-work and also navigating a personal and professional relationship with her father – a man she admires and loves but who often frustrates her. The two Boschs have strong, similar character traits involving loyalty and justice, but are at opposite ends of their law-enforcing careers and often at odds. There are many times that the show manages to have both actors bring their A-game to the inter-personal scenes that show both the familial bonds and fractures. There really has been some excellent work here and the freevee platform allows some of the rawness that might have been lost of a primetime network show.
Last week I mused that as much as I like the supporting character of Stephen A. Chang’s Maurice ‘Mo’ Bassi, it felt like he wouldn’t have been so easily led by the somewhat mysterious / conveniently enigmatic ‘Jade Quinn’ (Jessica Camacho). It was evidently clear to savvy viewers that she was more/less than she appeared and was essentially entrapment and luring Mo into committing some dodgy hacking. So, yes, it’s little surprise that she’s revealed to be a Fed called Janice Morrell, acting undercover and essentially the FBI’s back-up policy of having something on the hacker that they could use to get leverage about Bosch and Chandler’s activities. Though it seems as if the FBI have Mo over a barrel – and doing so without exposing Jade/Agent Morrell’s’s cover, it’s good to discover that Mo is just as smart as we thought he was and has slyly insulted himself against charges. It amounts to technobabble about self-deleting files and the nuances of words, but Mo totally manages to screw over the FBI and ‘Jade’ in particular. She seems genuinely remorseful – to some extent – when Mo reveals he knows her game (if not saying for how long he suspected) but there’s also an element of cold revenge that Honey Chandler would admire when he tells Morrell that if she resigns from the FBI within twenty-four hours he won’t expose her duplicity and federal status to the entire hacker community she’s infiltrated. Ouch.
The ‘epilogue’ aspect of the finale is good, but it does give the audience a feeling of waiting for the ‘other shoe to drop’, waiting for something that stops everything being tied up so neatly. It comes in the final scene where Maddie answers a call meant for her father that certainly does more than merely suggesting that the in-cell (and off-screen) death of Kurt Dockweiler (the man who abducted her and buried her alive) may not have been an accident… but more so, it appears to have been a revenge action ordered by Bosch himself. It certainly indicates a crossing of a moral line for Bosch, one that will inevitably fracture the already strained relationship with Maddie. In the books, particularly the recent 2022 release Desert Star, we’ve seen the literary version of Bosch also step over some major moral lines (albeit in a different, if more hands-on way) but this is another element of the series’ story is not taken from the novels and I have a bit of trouble believing Bosch, a career police detective even if he’s left the force, would undertake ordering what amounts to ordering a ‘hit’. Yes, he might well take the law into his own hands in some primal parental way, but if he was that determined to make Maddie’s abuser/kidnapper pay, I think he’d have found a way to handle it personally. We’ll see what the consequences are.
Of note elsewhere, eagle-eyed fans of Titus Welliver should note that it’s his daughter Cora who plays Coltrane’s dog-walker and – sadly – this is the final television appearance of Lance Riddick, reprising his role as Irvin Irving from the original Bosch show, now retired from his role as a city councilman, and a former Deputy Chief and Assistant Chief with the Los Angeles Police Department. It’s little more than a cameo, made bittersweet by Riddick’s death in late 2022, but it’s a nice scene and helps drive Honey Chandler’s story-arc into the next season.
This season really has satisfied – lifting plot-points from Michael Connelly’s The Crossing, yet introducing enough new elements to keep even seasoned fans on their toes and let Titus Welliver, Madison Lynch and Mimi Rogers really flex their talented acting muscles with some emotional and satisfyingly savage dialogue. With the SAG-AFTRA strike freshly ended, one hopes production can begin again in earnest and get us back on the Bosch and Connelly beat as fast as possible…