Bosch’s old gang is breaking up.
In the seventh and final season of Amazon Prime TV’s hit series Bosch, the Hollywood homicide division is being shut down. Veteran Detective Harry Bosch (Titus Welliver) and his colleagues are all awaiting reassignments, knowing their lives will be altered. Given that the season is set in January 2020, things will change more than they could imagine.
That uncertainty underlies everything in the last eight episodes of the series based on author (and part-time Tampa resident) Michael Connelly’s bestselling novels about Bosch.
The season opens on New Year’s Eve with a case that is guaranteed to press Bosch’s buttons. An arson fire in an apartment house occupied mainly by Latino immigrants leaves several people dead. Called away from a holiday date, Bosch goes to the scene and sees the body of a 10-year-old girl, dead of smoke inhalation at the foot of a locked exit door. Her mother sent her to deliver fresh tamales to a neighbor, and she got lost in the smoke. The mother died, too, looking for her child.
Fans know that the deaths of innocents are the ones Bosch just can’t let go. This case is an exemplar of his creed: “Everybody counts, or nobody counts.” The neighborhood is gang territory, but it’s also gentrifying. Was the fire related to drug trafficking, or was someone trying to force out the tenants?
The murdered child gets tagged in media as “the little tamale girl,” but Bosch isn’t having it. Every time he hears the sentimental nickname, his jaw clenches and he growls, “Sonia Hernandez.” Say her name.
Finding justice for Sonia will propel much of the season, but it’s hardly the only plot arc. In Season 6, Bosch’s partner, Jerry Edgar (Jamie Hector), killed Jacques Avril, a gang leader (and CIA asset). Edgar believed Avril, a former secret police member in Haiti, executed Edgar’s uncle there and two detectives in L.A.
Avril was armed when Edgar shot him, but Jerry knows he sought out Avril meaning to kill him, and it’s haunting him. He’s not sleeping or eating, he’s drinking too much and, to Bosch’s growing chagrin, he’s messing up on the job. When Edgar does something that puts Bosch’s daughter in danger, their partnership, professional and personal, could fracture.
Maddie Bosch (Madison Lintz) steps fully into major-character status this season. She’s planning to become a prosecutor but working for celebrity defense attorney Honey “Money” Chandler (Mimi Rogers), hoping to learn, as she tells her skeptical father, how the other side thinks.
She’s learning a lot working with Chandler on the case of a scammer named Victor Franzen (Reed Diamond in a deliciously despicable turn). But when the case takes a shockingly violent twist, Maddie realizes how much she admires Chandler. The lawyer reminds her of her late mother, FBI agent and professional gambler Eleanor Wish — both of them “fearless,” Maddie says, even when they were “the only woman at the table.”
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Season 7 is about women in many ways. Bosch’s boss, Lt. Grace Billets (Amy Aquino), usually everyone else’s anchor, becomes a target.
At one chaotic point in the squad room, someone asks what’s going on. Detective Johnson (Troy Evans), also known as the Barrel half of the fondly named team of Crate and Barrel, replies, “The usual treason and f--kery.”
But this is more than the usual. Billets finds antigay slurs painted on her personal car, and then a fake X-rated photo with her face circulates on social media. When she files complaints, men above her in rank turn on her, instead of going after the cops whom she knows are attacking her. But Billets is one more woman who’s fearless, and she’s not the only one at the table.
Even further up the ranks, Chief Irvin Irving (Lance Reddick) has worries at home: He and his wife, Jun (Linda Park), have a new son, born very prematurely. At work, Irving is fencing with a new mayor who wants to push him out for her hand-picked chief.
He’s also negotiating, as he so often is, a turf war between his own force and the FBI, and this one involves the arson case. Bosch and Irving have developed a tenuous friendship over the course of the series, but this case will lead to a shocking scene that smashes that relationship and perhaps Harry’s devotion to his job.
As always, the city of Los Angeles is as vivid a character as the human ones, from the parched neighborhoods of the poor to the lushly landscaped mansions of the rich, all watched over by Bosch from his dreamlike hillside aerie of glass.
Season 7 was written, Connelly told me, toward endings, and the series’ major characters all get resolutions of their stories of one kind or another.
But while the season was being shot, a deal was made for a spinoff, the first ever from an Amazon original series. It doesn’t have a title yet, but it started shooting this week, with Welliver, Lintz and Rogers on board as its main characters.
The last couple of scenes in the eighth episode point viewers toward the changes in Harry’s life, and the new series will pick up 18 months after this one ends.
Season 7 is a terrific ending to a splendid series, and I’m looking forward to the spinoff. I do have one question: What’s going to happen to one of the best title sequence/theme song combos on TV? Can’t let go.
All seven seasons of Bosch are available now on Amazon Prime.